Fox News Host's Guns Vs Video Games Argument Doesn't Make Sense

In the Fox News segment excerpted above, Judge Jeanine Pirro argues that banning guns won't stop crime. She should certainly feel free to argue that position. But when she invokes video games in a preposterous culture-war argument, it's hard to take any of her comments seriously.

Here's a partial transcript of what she says at 0:28:

So, if we ban assault rifles, then should we ban the images of assault rifles in movies and video games? What's that, you say? The First Amendment protects free speech? Of course it does! And the Second Amendment protects my right to bears arms. Neither trumps the other.

The whole seven-minute clip comes off as shrill and screeching, which is par for the course with on-air punditry. But it's the comparison of the constitutional amendments that feels way off. Pirro equates the right to see an image of a gun with the right to own one. The implicit idea is controlling access to potentially harmful things like guns and video games. But that's a false equivalency that doesn't work. The harm caused by a gun in the wrong hands has a different impact than the harm that caused by exposure to violent imagery. It's the worst kind of apples-to-oranges comparison.

Look, folks, here's the deal on gun control: we are at one of those moments in America's political history where a particular aspect of everyday life seems almost destined to be legislated. A war of ideas is being waged over whether Americans will be able to access guns and ammunition in the same way that they currently do. It's an understandably worrisome concept for some people. But, when boneheaded rhetoric like this rears its head, you can't be blamed for thinking that the public good isn't actually a priority for the people making statements like this.


Comments

    "My right to bears arms"

    I can only imagine her with hulking grizzly arms tearing up an Xbox

    i know there's a gaming angle here, but how relevant is insane american politics to oz gaming?

      Probably because if they got their way and games were banned there would be hardly any gaming in Oz!

      Because crazy American legislation would affect the video game industry globaly.

      Seriously?

      If they only showed 'Oz Gaming News' there wouldn't be much of a website. I see Kotaku Aus as a general games news outlet, with some local content to boot. I don't expect it to be all Australian news.

      Have fun when half the games on the market aren't allowed to be created anymore. Then you'll see how relevant it is to us. You could say "Oh, but they just couldn't be released in the US!" The US is half the market for those games (if not the majority on its own) and most of the dev companies are based in the US. The short of it is they just won't make those games, and we won't get them in Aus.

      Hey, I am glad Kotaku is posting gaming news. I hate when they post random bullshit.

      FOX is a joke. They live in total fantasy world. They continually embarrass themselves with ignorant nonsense.

    Like she said.. the common thing amongst them was "mental illness".. why is she ignoring her own words.. because she is being told to be the teleprompter.

    Last edited 05/02/13 3:43 pm

      Must be really hard to read off a teleprompter when moving your head at all them odd angles.

    Ever since the presidential election I've been addicted to fox. This woman has given a couple rants on it. So has Huckerbee; a congressman who has a TV show.... Which is weird enough.

    There is no point getting worked up or even covering it. They have "reported" much much worse.

    I honestly don't understand the utter stupidity of the American Media nor do I want to become lowly enough to understand their illogical mentality. Sure the right to bare arms was relevant when American civilization was first founded; however in this modern era there really is no logical, practical need for firearms.

    The Americans simply fear change. They just can't let go of their guns and tradition...

      That being said, I simply cannot understand why the media wastes their time and effort scapegoating videogames for all US gun-related crimes rather than trying to take responsibility with where guns stand in today's society.

        Because taking responsibility would mean affecting the ease and availability of guns. If they can argue that it's something elses fault, then guns won't be touched. Think of it as you're in trouble because you punched someone in the face, but then argue to the teacher that it's the fault of everyone playing tag and how it makes people play rough, so then playing tag gets banned and you don't get detention.

          Really good analogy, dude :) Sums up this childish bullshit to the letter.

    FFS Americans, they're amendments. By their very definition they're not set in stone, and they can be repealed if, for example, it's found that the fact that everyone in the general population can buy an assault weapon is bad for society. When the 2nd amendment was made it was basically referring to single shot rifles.

      Yep. They cannot fathom the fact that they could ban guns to the extent that the only thing they're allowed to wield is a kitchen knife, and their right to bear arms would not be damaged at all.

      A kitchen knife is technically a method of self defence, right? What about a baseball bat? They could ban every weapon currently available in the USA, and they could still easily retain the right to bear arms by using a baseball bat to defend against possible corrupt governments.

      Actually it ran a little more powerful than rifles. As far as it was originally concerned, in modern terms it'd be intended to allow Americans to own their own tanks. It sounds crazy but it makes sense at the time the 2nd Amendment was added because the American military was in no way equipped to handle defending the entire country.
      That said, it only serves to prove how irrelevant the 2nd Amendment is in modern times.

        Have they added anything to prevent people owning tanks?

        Well actually it didn't, The amendment was only put in place as a way of protecting the people from their government. It allowed citizen to own firearms ( and in this period they mean muskets and pistols) so that in the event that the government overstepped itself the people could form a militant force and fight for their freedom. What we have now, with organisations such as the UN, first world governments just couldn't get away with a drastic change in governmental policy.

        Say Obama stripped Americans of their rights and used the armed forces to keep the public submissive. The people who stand up and form a resistance won't be the ones fighting to keep their guns now. (Speaking of which wouldn't that be a crazy way to end his term as president.)

        Besides something like 74% of guns carriers wouldn't even use their gun in an emergency. they've had bank robberies where the whole room had guns and nobody did anything to stop them.

        Anyway, my point being that it doesn't mention weaponry in the bill. However, there was a reconditioning in 2008 that stated that the second amendment allows a person to own a GUN without connection to a militia with regards to other governing laws. Keyword being gun.

        Typical Americans are pretty sane, it's the 15% or so down south that you need to be worried about.

          There was no 'only put in place' because it's a complex item that had multiple reasons behind it. However almost all of them, including the ones you mentioned, are laughably out of date. That's why you rewrite, add and remove sections of the constitution on a regular basis rather than holding it up as divine law. If they treated it properly the constitution wouldn't have any wriggle room re: what it means by militia or how it feels about automatic weapons because it would be written in plane English by people who actually understand the state of the modern world.

          As far as keeping the government in check goes the 2nd Amendment and the 20th century show that being able to own firearms does nothing. The government just isn't afraid of the public taking up arms and overthrowing them. If anything letting people own guns has given the government more power by handing them situations where the only reasonable response is to limit personal freedoms.
          American citizens are constantly having their rights bent and broken in order to preserve the right to own firearms. Hell, the police literally get away with murder because thanks to the 2nd Amendment they have to assume everyone is carrying a concealed firearm*.

          As for your stats, those don't really justify keeping their guns. 74% won't use their gun, even in an emergency? So why do they have them? The only time that gun will ever be used is if it's stolen, which is actually pretty likely because when someone breaks into your house they do it while you're not there, so the gun sits there packaged nice and neat for them. Where do you think black market handguns come from?

          *That's not taking a jab at the police for going out looking for people to kill, just pointing out that the 2nd Amendment puts them in a situation where the only sensible thing to do is assume everyone they interact with is armed and hostile, which is an awful way to run a police force.

          Last edited 06/02/13 8:38 am

            That's my point exactly, sorry if I generalized a bit.

            You'll find the majority of Americans are completely reasonable and don't go on mass shootings, however at the moment the NRA is saying that the only way to protect schools is to give teachers guns and a professional development day to learn how to use it. One day is not enough to learn how to maintain and use a gun properly.

            The reason I put those stats in was to show that even if you gave teachers guns they'd probably either do nothing, end up killing their own students cause they can't remember how to use the gun, or make teachers more of a target.

            I think they should adopt a system similar to us in Australia. Hell to get a gun here you need to wait six months to get approval after going through a whole heap of legal forms and then you need to be an active member of a gun club aswell as shoot something like 1000 rounds a year to even be able to renew it. Not saying we're perfect, we still have illegal gun trades here but its a damn sight better than having almost not screening at all. The transition would be hell, there would be so many people who shouldn't have guns that do, and they'd be the sort you don't want to be near when they're unhappy and have a firearm.

    Hide your kids, hide your wife, because the NRA are goin' round killin' everybody.....

    Fox News [...] Argument Doesn’t Make Sense

    PUT THAT IN A MEMO AND FILE IT UNDER "SHIT WE ALREADY KNOW".

    *After every murder, looks up to sky* 'DDAAAMMNN YOU VIIIDDEOOO GAAMMMMEESSSS!'

    I had this conversation with a friend once, the next 1st world country with the highest saturation of guns is Switzerland. But you got to join the military to have the rights to own one. The do have national service there though. But it does makes sense, if you are serious of wanting to bear arms, like owning a car, you better be trained to use them properly.

    Let's not forget that this is an american news channel. 21% of American's think the sun revolves around the Earth.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicole-neroulias/obama-is-muslim-alien-abd_b_688210.html

    I've never really understood the point of the Second Amendment. I mean sure you have the right to bear arms and for example could use that right to protect your family during a home invasion, but those people breaking into your house also have that exact same right...so there isn't really much benefit

    So backwards. America needs to wake up and change.

      Maybe just educate them and let them know what amendment means.

      American: You cant change the constitution and take away our rights.
      Rational person: Hey American, that 2nd amendment you're banging on about, it was the 2nd thing that was changed in your constitution. Derp!

    Am I the only one who thinks Crime is irrelevant to the argument?

    Now of course killing people is a crime, but the people who do it aren't repeat violent offenders who just got out of jail for armed robbery, they are random people without any priors who suddenly snap and realise they've got some high powered weapons to solve their problems.

    As if Criminals use legally obtained and traceable weapons, while this won't disarm the Drug Dealers and organised crime, the Drug Dealers aren't the ones shooting up schools, they shoot at other Drug Dealers, Criminals and the Police. I'm not saying Drug Dealers are good, I wouldn't care if they all got life sentences starting tomorrow and drugs where off the streets forever. Actually I'd be happily surprised because that's a really good thing. We're more worried about the mentally ill and their access to high capacity and high powered guns.

    I personally see very little point to guns in civie hands but for Americans it gives them a sense of personal empowerment and self-assured safety. I mean its mostly delusional but its like fighting religion. Entrenched values can't ever be beaten, just reigned in. When these fools think they can stand up to there own government... I mean that's a cute thought if you really explore it... the kind of thought that makes you pity and patronise those who are in militias and own Private MiniGun and RPG stockpiles... "Oh that's nice Billy-Bob, you know you're the first to get hit in ANY major civil unrest. If not by National Guard, who have you on file, then the other well armed arseholes like you."

    FOX panders and is never to be taken seriously and I have every confidence that gaming will keep on truckin just fine.

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