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The Evidence Against Media Violence

Some comments on Making a Killing in Japan:

>> I wouldn't exactly call that empirical evidence. <<

It's empirical evidence that media violence has caused at least one person to act.

>> Does media cause violence, or are violent people drawn to violent media? <<

Or both.

>> This report does nothing to clarify this question <<

It clarifies that media violence can incite individuals to real violence. If it's proven possible, the only question is how often it happens.

>> until something does, I'll stay unconvinced. <<

Since you deny the validity of scientific studies, I'm guessing you'll stay unconvinced a long time. <g>

Even if a guy were filmed watching a violent show, then going out and committing violence directly, you could still say it was mental illness, his parents, or his genes that made him do it—not the media violence. So give me a hint. What exactly would you accept as irrefutable proof that media violence triggered real violence?

>> Alex (who is quicky getting back to murdering hostages in Counterstrike 1.0 and yet somehow remaining un-driven to commit REAL acts of violence against REAL people <<

For the nth time, the question isn't how media violence affects you, but how it affects society, including millions of people who may not have your internal fortitude. For the nth time, media violence doesn't cause real violence, for the most part; it causes increases in the overall aggression levels. Is there some reason you're having trouble grasping what I've said repeatedly?


The debate continues....
>> But it doesn't tell us that they wouldn't have committed an act of violence if they hadn't seen any violent media. <<

"Caused" means caused. If something else might've caused him to commit violence also, then something else is also a problem. The existence of other potential problems doesn't negate the problem of media violence.

>> Someone that disturbed would have committed an act of violence sooner or later. <<

In your opinion, you mean. I cited his own words, which is as close as you'll get to an actual proof. Until we invent a mind-reading machine, no better proof is possible.

>> Well, as you may have already seen, the Surgeon General feels that its more the latter. <<

Yes, and the Surgeon General has reiterated that no one should consider his report an excuse to slack off on the media violence issue. He remains deeply concerned about it.

>> People who are driven to commit violence will do so eventually ANYWAY. <<

Thank you for your unsupported theories. Too bad I've cited the countervailing evidence at length.

>> Well, once again, the Surgeon General seems to agree with me. <<

No, he and I agree completely, as I wrote last time. If you agree with us both, finally, I'm glad.

>> Do cars trigger car crashes? Well, duh. <<

Do we regulate cars? Do we require driver's licenses, registration, and training for them? Well, duh. Why shouldn't we pay similar attention to the media's effects?

>> Wierdos will always commit violence. <<

Reread my previous message on the known risk factors. Scientists have identified many of them, including media violence. To blame shootings on "weirdos" shows a vast ignorance of the subject.

Will nuts go crazy sooner or later?
>> Anyone who is borderline insane enough to be motivated to commit violence at the prompting of a comic book will sooner or later commit a violent act anyway, regardless of the actual trigger. <<

Apparently you're incapable of understanding me when I write:

The studies point to a spectrum of effects. Nightmares. Fear. A warped perception of the world as more dangerous than it truly is. Lack of empathy. Greater apathy about violence in society. And brains more primed to be hostile, aggressive, even violent, raising the risk that a hostile encounter will escalate.

I guess we'd better stop discussing whether media violence causes people to "pull the trigger" until your comprehension skills advance to an adult level. Because clearly your skills aren't at that level yet.

>> Should we 'sensitize' ourselves to the violence inherent in dog-owning? <<

Given that two dogs recently mauled a woman to death in San Francisco? **YES**. In fact, we are sensitizing the dogs' owners by threatening them with criminal charges, I believe. Anyone who owns attack-prone dogs may want to think about that.

>> Give me a break... And normal people who commit violence do so for a hundred reasons other than media violence <<

Then let's tackle all the reasons—all the risk factors—as I wrote in my previous message.

>> which (once again) the Surgeon General has found to be a negligible influence on real-world violence. <<

Once again, your comprehension skills seem to be poor. Let's cite what the study actually says, not what you think it says. From The Evidence Against Media Violence:

In a report on youth violence scheduled for release in Washington today, Surgeon General David Satcher will find repeated exposure to violent entertainment during early childhood causes more aggressive behavior throughout a child's life, according to a draft of the report obtained by The Times.

"Exposure to violent media plays an important causal role in this societal problem" of youth violence, the draft report states. "From a public-health perspective, today's [media] consumption patterns are far from optimal. And for many children they are clearly harmful."

Hmm, I don't see the word "negligible" in there. Do you? If you need someone to help you read what I write, ask them to locate the word "negligible" for you, okay? Let me know if and when they find it.

Synonyms for Satcher's choice of words, "important," are "significant" and "major," not "negligible." See Violence Apologists Are in Denial to learn just how significant the correlation between media violence and aggression is.

Correspondent needs hearing check
>> I hear you; the question is wether or not aggression results in real-world violence. <<

No, I don't think you hear me, since I have to keep repeating myself.

>> I think it results in violent actions among those already pre-disposed towards violence from other societal factors like poverty, child abuse, neglect, etc. <<

You could've stopped with "I think it results in violent actions," period. But your complete statement is reasonable. So? People are predisposed to alcoholism, but we don't ignore the alcohol and address only their genetics and family upbringing. We try to address these things and we limit alcohol purchases to adults and we regulate liquor stores and we spend money on education campaigns to discourage alcohol abuse. If we did something similar for media violence, the parallels would be exact.

>> The way to prevent these things from happening is to address those issues. <<

As I wrote, the Democrat Party is addressing them, in general. The Republican and Libertarian Parties aren't.

>> Focusing on 'The Punisher', video games, and movies, is a waste of time and effort. <<

Not according to the Surgeon General. I'm probably focusing on them as much as he is, since we're both scientific kind of guys. They're one puzzle piece in his work and they're one in my work also.

>> We should be trying to alleviate the causes of violence, not the so-called 'triggers'. <<

As I've written many times, we should be doing both.

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