NRA Fires Back at Washington Post Piece on Wii Zapper, Toy Guns

December 18, 2007 -
In November, GamePolitics cited a Washington Post article which related the launch of the gun-like Wii Zapper peripheral to long-standing parental angst over toy weapons.

Apparently the National Rifle Association took issue with the WaPo's view. The January issue of Americs's First Freedom, an NRA magazine, features this commentary:
In a recent story, the Washington Post declared that violence stems from toy guns. The latest toy to draw the wrath of the gun-banners at the paper? The Nintendo Wii, which comes with a futuristic-looking "blaster."

The paper uses the release of this toy to bash various toy firearms that have been introduced over the decades. They go after everything from your child's cap gun to your kid's Super Soaker...

"It seems like the Post will look anywhere to try and find solutions to violent crime... even your child's toy box," [NRA president Wayne] LaPierre added. "The only place they seem afraid to mention is a jail cell, which is where the solution lies."

GP: Big thanks to longtime GamePolitics reader illspirit for the tip!

Comments

Instead of focusing on blaming videogames and guns for violence, how about blaming the people for a change. First off, people who use guns in crime usually get the guns in an illegal matter. So banning guns will not solve the problem. Second off, videogames do not teach kids to kill. Companies like R* aim their violent games at ADULTS and does not give a flying rat's ass about the children demographic. People who have unstable minds and/or have evil intent are the ones truely responsible for killing. We should be focusing on these people in order to prevent future crime!!!

@chopperlink

if you believe for one second that rockstar doesn't value that 14 to 17 market you are an idiot.

Well Pandrajackass, let me give you a quick lesson on American History (which you should probably learn).

You see, in the beginning of the colonies, we had to answer to the British. To make it worse, we had to quarter their army, and for the time being, no one cared enough to do anything about it. After taxations and other bullshit, we finally rose up with our muskets and fought the British out of this country.

Do you know how many homicides are committed with firearms in this country a year? Based on the 2002 statistics, it is 26000 and some change.

Actually, they list it as 54000. But they don't take into account the fact that 57% of those 'homicides' with firearms were, in actuality, suicides.

Do you know how many people die from car accidents a year?

Should we ban cars, because they're dangerous and contribute to your 'evil corporate America?' Or are they, like firearms, a tool for everyday life?

By the way, did you know that 2 million crimes are prevented a year because of the deterrent value of firearms?

Pandralisk, you are without a doubt the biggest jackass I've ever had the displeasure to deal with.

As a European I really do not understand why in The States so many people want to carry firearms with them for 'protection'. Is it really neccesairy. In Europe or at least the Netherlands guns are illegal, and I have never felt unsafe. Do you know why? Because I know the guy next to me hasn't got a gun either. In Europe the killing/murder rate is much lower than in the USA.

@ Austin Lewis: the comparison between guns and cars is not fair. Cars are designed to transport people, guns are designed to kill. Quite a difference is it not?

I will not make a strong judgement about your internal politics, but for an European it is just strange.

About the Wii controller, c'mon it's a toy... ;-)

@Dutchie,
It's all in the thinking. The guy next to you doesn't have a gun, UNLESS he's a criminal. How do you know?

...so better shoot him just in case.

On a mildly off-topic note: Austin, you said "You see, in the beginning of the colonies, we had to answer to the British". You do realise that in the beginning you WERE the British? Well, and the Dutch and the French and what have you.

Also "2 million crimes are prevented a year because of the deterrent value of firearms" seems AWFULLY difficult to prove. I personally maintain that 56 squillion billion crimes are prevented through the deterrent value of margarine. It's so effective that YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT'S WORKING.

The big problem with guns is that people don't know how to use them. Once everyone has em out all the time and constantly shuffles around with a bead on the nearest person's head, THEN we can talk about deterrence.

@ emordino,
LOL. I don't eat margarine, so am I more likely to be a victim of crime?

@emordino

Well you did prove your point that alot of people don't know how to use guns. You don't aim for the head, you aim for center of mass.

@broken scope:
The NRA may be knowledgable about guns, but games? I trust that organisation as far as I can throw a real tank.

That, and they simply don't get a chair in that kind of discussion in my book. It's just way out there. It's like screwing for virginity. To further emphasize how ridiculous it even is to compare guns or gun handling with games, it is important not to have the NRA pipe into this.

It makes things worse than they already are. And my skin crawl. It's as easy for a certain lawyer to poison the entire discussion just by pointing at us and them, together, sitting side by side, simply to make us look like we actually HAVE something in common here. We don't. No kind of game has nothing to do with real guns, unless of course, you play with real guns! They are tools of portrayal. Always have been.

I really do not understand why everyone is so happy about these news. It's troubling me, seriously.

@Tammej

"but games?"

You are an idiot.

You don't have to be a fucking genius to realize that a fucking video game can't teach you to use a gun with any proficiency.

However when an organization that includes some of the foremost firearms experts in the united states, not to mention a large number of law enforcement, agrees with you on what should be a common sense point you don't fucking bitch about it. Do you not pay any fucking attention?

One of the claims constantly made is that games teach you to be a good shooter, who can operate a firearm quickly and efficiently place shots accurately.

The NRA has called bollocks on that more than once.

Oh and lets not forget that they also have some of the most fervent 1st amendment advocates you will ever see.

Jack could point to them and everyone could laugh in his fucking face.

"It’s all in the thinking. The guy next to you doesn’t have a gun, UNLESS he’s a criminal. How do you know?"

You never do for sure. But because guns are illegal here, the chance that (s)he is carrying a gun is not big. Besides: it is quite paranoia to think that everyone around you is a crazy criminal. And even if the guy or girl next to me has a gun, I think my best chance over survival is, to not become aggresive and stay calm. Pointing a gun at a crazy criminal is a very dangerous thing to do.

It is funny to see the difference between Europeans and Americans. Although I really think the Americans are very nice people, I probably will never understand their political points of view. ;-)

@ Dutchie

Broken Scopes comparison is fair because guns are ALWAYS grouped in with deaths. People kill other people with cars. 'Nuff said.

@ Tammej

There's everything right with the NRA being associated with the video game industry and before you call me nutty here's why. The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. It is second only to the AARP. If the NRA steps in and starts defending the gaming industry more power to them. Nothing against the ECA, but they do not yet have the political clout or financial backing that the NRA has.

On that note, I've read many rumors that the AARP is working at getting their group more aquainted with video games and what the younger generations get out of it. If you go to the AARP website they have videos showing grandparents playing Nintendo Wii with their grandkids and discussing the benefits (at least they did a week ago).

Honestly if the NRA and AARP start backing the game industry there can be a million JTs in the world and it wouldn't matter a bit.

Let them help the cause. I understand they have a stigma about their organization, but is that any different than the stigma we as gamers get? Honestly?

AWESOME!!!!
The 'movement' that I have long had a suspision was made up of nothing more than short-sighted kids and mal-adjusted egomaniacal underdeveloped post-pubescants (of which I am joyfully the latter) and had about as much hope of influencing public discourse as my old college pro-hemp buddies...well, now they have the support of a group that for decades has displayed a gross and disturbing lack of concern for pretty much everything other than their very narrow agenda, and f#ck any who happen to get caught in the cross fire. This will show the mainstream how you are actually thinking of something other than getting your f*cking cookie and jamming it down your own throat...

This is perfect. This is like Flint getting first amendmant support from NAMBLA. Uh, thanks but no thanks.

There needs to be a Top 10 or 20 of the stupidest political statements, moves, or otherwise by politicians, lobbyist groups, and other gaming factors. From the NRA misunderstanding a post by the Washington Post, to a New York Govenor listing a hoax site as a valid parental resource.

Seriously, this list needs to be made!

~Otaku-Man

@gh0st

the only agenda that the NRA has is to preserve our second amendment right.

If you don't like it, move somewhere else.

@broken scope

Would you *please* stop being so aggressive in how you write your rebuttals? I've read them and I simply do not find it acceptable to have the NRA and the games industry side by side. I've explained the reasons and I've already seen the points you've brought forward before, and thus still don't agree with you. Let's agree to disagree here.

@Loudspeaker

I'll have to accept that they're here now, anyway, but yeah, there is a valid point - they sure are a powerful ally. I'm not quite so keen on agreeing to them doing this as broken scope already pointed out, it's quite obvious and you don't have to be a genius to figure out how those games don't teach you how to use guns. That's yet another reason why we don't really really need these powerful allies. I'd think we already make sense enough making that statement all on our own. Not so much a fan of lobbying anyway. Maybe it's because I don't come from the states or something (now don't take that the wrong way, please).

However, they've done it and there's no going back now. Let's make the best of it and hope this gets out of the way faster.

Wasn't that article about how silly it was to worry over toy guns?

The NRA should be a natural ally. Afterall, the 2nd Amendment only comes one place below the 1st.
 
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