Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 9th Mar 2013 15:42 UTC
Games "For nearly thirty years we've been having this discussion, asking the question: do violent movies, music or video games make people violent? Well according to Brad Bushman and Craig Anderson of Iowa State University, yes. Based on the results of their research they concluded in 2001 that video games and violent media can make people aggressive and violent. Based upon their data and their conclusions, however, it's safe to say that photos of snakes, crispy bacon, or a particularly rigorous game of chess can also make people aggressive and violent." And politicians?
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That has to be the most idiotic thing I've heard this month. Ban "civilians" from carrying guns and guess what happens? The criminals still get them.

Fewer criminals will have guns. And that is a good thing -- even if the occasional ultra-violent criminal gets an illegal gun anyway.

It's simple game theory. The criminals arm themselves to the extent that they feel they need to, in order to be successful in their lives of crime. If everyone else has guns, they're unlikely to buy an illegal rocket launcher on the world arms market, because that would be overkill. Similarly, if everyone else has knives, they're unlikely to buy an illegal gun, because that would be overkill.

We see this in lots of places. In England, for example, the police normally go around unarmed -- and resist calls for them to routinely carry guns. They argue that if they carried guns, then so would the criminals. And so they've gained no relative advantage over the criminals -- except that they've just managed to raise the overall violence level in society. In so doing, they make it more likely that they themselves will get shot in the line of duty.

Now, do the police in England get shot and killed from time to time, because they are unarmed? Yes. But much less often. When you bring down the overall level of gun ownership, you also bring down the overall violence level of society.

Edited 2013-03-10 00:00 UTC

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