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Guns and maniacs
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Incipient monsters" (Forum, Jan. 7), Lew Hansen argued for "overwhelming counter-assault" because "the old and weary" argument of "restricting ownership of firearms … does not address the problem of murderous psychopaths walking free." He blamed movie and video games for "training and desensitizing" these "incipient societal monsters."

Sending everyone over the age of 18 into a cold, unfeeling world where they will be beset by cleverly disguised psychopaths, with nothing to trust but a concealed 9mm, would be a great video game — except that it's actually proposed as a model for Western civilization by the Wild West guns-for-everybody crowd.

Hansen's video game would receive a "Mature" rating. Game ratings are like film ratings; those who choose to actually parent their children should consider what games and movies are appropriate.

Many say that putting guns into more hands will somehow dissuade a maniac, rather than to acknowledge that we need to make it harder for the maniac to get his gun. Gun control is the counter-assault to more senseless massacres.

The real old and weary argument is the government-is-going-to-take-your-hardware tripe. If you own legally and manage responsibly, you have nothing to worry about.

Running out of quarters playing Hansen's game?

Andrew McAfee


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