Rep. Diane Black: Let’s Discuss Gun Violence “Intelligently” By Blaming Music and Games

Representative Diane Black (R-TN) says we should discuss the issue of gun violence “intelligently,” and by that she means blaming video games and that damn rock n’ roll.

BLACK: I want to make sure that we’re looking at this issue intelligently and from all — why Adam Lanza did what he did. Unprecedented levels of violent games, music, so on. None of these things that we’re talking about right now that are the biggest in the message is really going to help what happened in Newtown. So I’m disappointed that we’re doing a knee jerk reaction, only talking about it from one end, I think we have to talk about mental illness, about the breakdown of the family, about violence, about holding people who use guns and violent actions accountable, such as in the federal law where there’s a penalty for just possessing a gun.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent listening to Rage Against the Machine and playing the online first person shooter Counterstrike when I first enrolled at a local community college at the age of 17 back in 2001 (certainly an unprecedented amount), but it didn’t turn me into a murderous psychopath. In fact, I don’t even own a gun and probably never will notwithstanding antiquated family heirlooms that haven’t been fired since the Korean War.

To imply that discussing gun control is a knee-jerk reaction and that we shouldn’t focus on “one end” while simultaneously only focusing on one end (social and mental health) is contradictory and hypocritical.

With that said, I support the Obama’s administrations plans to study the link, or a lack thereof, between violent media and real acts of violence, because I’m confident the results will either be inconclusive or will put the issue to rest by proving there is no link. Furthermore, one of the reasons senators such as Diane Black can get away with making such baseless assertions is because the CDC has not studied the issue with any veracity since the late 1980s and early 90s. That leaves it up to a matter of opinion.

This entry was posted in Guns and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://doran.pacifist.net/ Doran

    And the other black senator is Tim Scott who, less than two months ago, was also appointed by his governor to fill a vacancy. A long way to go indeed.

  • blackdaug

    Is it just me, or is this site been down for the last week…….and for about 4 days a couple of weeks ago. It reappears, and I don’t see any mention of it is why I wonder.

  • bphoon

    …one of the reasons senators such as Diane Black can get away with making
    such baseless assertions is because the CDC has not studied the issue
    with any veracity since the late 1980s and early 90s.

    …because the gun lobby, abetted by the GOP, got Congress to make it illegal to do so. This is another example of the GOP rigging a system to fail then, once it fails, blaming the system for its failure. It’s the same kind of circular reasoning they’re trying to apply to the Obama Administration.

    • 1933john

      And Social Security and Medicare.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Why is no one making this obvious point: Guns make dangerous people more dangerous, and violent people more violent. They turn people who might not otherwise be dangerous, into dangerous people; they turn people who might not otherwise be killers, into killers.

    How?

    By making killing easier and safer for the killer. By giving dangerous, violent, unstable, &c. people both the ability and the willingness to inflict harm they would not be able or willing to inflict without a gun. By lowering the risk for the shooter and increasing the risk for everyone else.

    Let’s see an Adam Lanza slaughter 20 kids and 6 women in under a minute without a gun.

    And don’t give me any bullshit about how he could do it with a homemade pipe bomb or mustard gas, or by crashing a jetliner into the school building. The point is that dangerous instrumentalities like guns, bombs and chemicals make dangerous people more dangerous. That has to be dealt with.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I remember one of the ‘knee jerk” reactions to the Columbine shooting was to blame it on Marilyn Manson. Turns later, oops, they hated his music. So, before we even start blaming Newtown on video games, maybe someone should ask if Lanza even played first person shooter games.

    • Christopher Foxx

      maybe someone should ask if Lanza even played first person shooter games.

      Why would Black want to muddy the waters with actual knowledge?

    • ranger11

      They hated Marilyn Manson? I didn’t know that. Still the music link has always been crap to me going back to “Helter Skelter” and Charles Manson.

  • Christopher Foxx

    … or will put the issue to rest by proving there is no link.

    Facts putting a controversy to rest? Would that it were so.

  • muselet

    Here we go again.

    Unprecedented levels of violent games, music, so on.

    I must have missed the part of the story where Adam Lanza killed kids with a videogame controller and an MP3 player. Damn liberal media!

    … I think we have to talk about mental illness, about the breakdown of the family, about violence, about holding people who use guns and violent actions accountable, such as in the federal law where there’s a penalty for just possessing a gun.

    Mental illness is a red herring. Mental illness is not meaningfully correlated with violent behavior.

    Family dysfunction is correlated with juvenile crime, but in this context is a red herring. Juvenile crime has been dropping for two decades for a number of reasons, not all of which are intuitively obvious (including, as Kevin Drum has lately been at pains to point out, a decline in environmental lead). This decline in the juvenile crime rate has happened even as Righties have screamed about the breakdown of the family.

    Holding people who commit crimes with guns responsible for their actions is fine and dandy, and no one is arguing otherwise. However, it could be argued that making it harder for people to get their hands on firearms would be a more effective deterrent to violent acts.

    Asked if she would support any efforts to limit the availability of dangerous fire arms, Black said, “I will not erode our Second Amendment rights.”

    Quelle surprise.

    –alopecia

  • mrbrink

    The study called, turns out Satan is behind all these mass shootings. Just as they suspected.

    Grand Theft Auto taught me that it’s easier to beat the game without a five star wanted level.

    • bphoon

      Always easier to fly under the radar that to try to evade said radar…

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Hey Diane Black. Ask Japan if their equally, if not more, excessive time on violent video games have turned them into a country of violent, murdering psychopaths. Go ahead, we can wait.

  • 1933john

    Was Lanza a member of the NRA?

  • hanadora444

    Of course we all know that all those countries with far less gun violence don’t have any music or video games.

  • trgahan

    I am not a psychologist, but I call BS on the “mental health” argument as well.
    Considering the increasing levels of preparation and complexity in execution of mass shootings, I have doubts about exactly how mentally ill the shooters are. The fact that most mass shooters kill themselves is a clear indication that they understand their actions and what their actions mean to society as a whole. If these people are indeed mentally ill, they are so high functioning that no one could detect their capability to do such an act until they already did it.

    Also when talking about mental states, let us not forgot the last three shooters (Portland, Newton, and Alabama) have been right wing, dooms day preppers convinced that a black guy in the White House is a sign of the coming apocalypse. Wonder who put that idea in their heads….

    • bphoon

      Mental illness does not presuppose a tendency to violence. However, one can argue (without having a Psych Phd.) that some mental illnesses can include a tendency to violence, particularly in high-functioning individuals with the capacity to meticulously plan and systematically execute. One can be mentally ill–and act out on said illness–and still be able to tell the difference between right and wrong in spite of what the law says about the insanity defense. Indeed, many violently mentally ill people revel in the wrongness of the acts they indulge in.

      I think discussion of some mental conditions have a place in this discussion, not that the discussion should be confined to this one topic. The fallacy is in lumping all forms of mental illness together and speaking in overly broad generalities.

      The only approach that has any chance of overall effectiveness as regards reducing violence–especially gun violence–is a holistic one that considers all angles.

  • TonyGottlieb

    A high capacity gun ban exemption for the entertainment industry? Isn’t that like confiscating food while sanctioning the irrigation of fields with soda pop?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

    More of my states, TN –poor representation- Black is so out of touch.! Video games so out of touch. How can she even stand by Gabby Gifford and as a human being and spout such foolishness I am so glad she no longer represents me in the 4th District of TN- and moved to another district. Now to get Dejarlais out of office- We are working on that for 2014.