Illinois Legislator on NIU Rampage: Don't Blame Guns, Blame Video Games

February 17, 2008 -
In the wake of Thursday's tragic shooting at Northen Illinois University, a state legislator was quick to defend guns while attempting to shift blame for the rampage to other targets - including video games.

As reported by the Chicago Daily Herald, Rep. Robert Pritchard (R), whose legislative district includes the NIU campus, said:
[Gun control] doesn't seem to impact the kind of gun violence that goes on. I think we need to broaden the discussion to include what other factors are weighing on these kind of deranged individuals.

I think video games is a part of the problem, television, movies. Just a whole culture of violence.

Comments

GUNZ dont blame the vid games u idiots,

 ppl who play games should have some common sense , 

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Re: Illinois Legislator on NIU Rampage: Don't Blame Guns, Blame


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@smoking gun

Thank you, now I hopefully don't have to explain my insurance point earlier, but just in case.

You MAY be attacked, you may be assaulted, and you may be robbed and if those do happen wouldn't you just love to have a gun with you to even the odds?

Oh and to the rest of jcoit's reply.

Some people do use gun ranges for fun. I have an interview here from one of the lead designers of Black, apparently they tested guns at a gun range to see their physics and one of them said this

"I cannot recommend it more strongly. Given the cost of comparable adrenaline activities - racing sports cars, snowboarding, flying a jet plane - it's incredibly good value and can be done in a couple of hours. The best approach is to progree from pistols as quickly as possible, get stuck in with the shotgun, and then fire every machine gun in the joint. This worked for us. An exciting, exhilirating and periodically terrifying couple of hours."

This is taken from the August 2005, issue of PSM (if only I could get my scanner to work).

" Also, I would think that is someone has a nice and want to rob you they are just going to go for you."

Yeah because having a murder on your hands is much more preferable then a simple mugging, riiiiiiiiight.

"Everyone is clawing for those guns that protect your house from natural disaster and electrical fires. I know I am!"

Yeah and I'm looking for the insurance claim that can summon armed men to my house, to protect me in less than 10 seconds flat even if the power's out.

"There will more than likely never be a call to arms to fight the politicians."

The 19th century says hi, as does the confederate flag (yes I'm well aware they lost but if certain conditions were changed, they could've won).

Oh and of course 1776 and the french revolution say hi also (and the Spaish Civil War).

I may be mistaken, but doesn't Washington have strict gun laws? If so, that'd probably explain why they have high gun crimes.

_>....

THERE GOES THE LOGIC TRAIN!


ninganinganinganingaNINGANINGANINGANINGAninganinganinga----...

@Aidinthel he may not have but he could have the old ones are bloody huge

i blame the American law an fox and this is why
for some odd reasion some clerver amarican in high power diceded that saying ,,, ON record haveing a gund was your god given right * and this makes alot of americans decide there right must be used to its full extent of a fully auto... go figer
Fox ... well not just fox all American news i lived in the usa for about a year and well scare mungoring comes to mind i mean if i took what the news said for tru then every one has bombs in bags and "james bond style poision pens"
ahh well
*so isnt haveing a game your right too?

Yes, let's CONTINUE to ignore the fact that he was off his meds.

@DarknessDeku

Because the police can't be there in 5 seconds whilst you're being mugged or robbed, or if some mad men is killing people in front of you.

I meant mad man not mad men, (insert mandatory request for edit button here).

Instead of bawling about this, is anyone actually going to write to this man?
This is a poor show of gamer activism then.

*smacks face on desk repeatedly*

How many idiots could possibly be in positions of power on this earth?!

Where's the NRA?

----
Papa Midnight

As those of us from other countries would argue, guns were what enabled him to do what he did. He could not have done these things with a knife on anywhere near the same scale. Many of us also do not believe that it is right to kill someone to protect property, only to protect other peoples lives, and also that the law is not something to be taken into our own hands but rather to be enforced by the proper authorities.

At the end of the day, it is stupid of anyone to say "America should just ban guns." The gun is a fundamental part of American society and history, it is viewed as a great equalizer, a small man can fight a large man and win, a poor man can kill a rich man, etc. It is simply unrealistic to expect any nation with such a history of gun use to be able to ban these weapons, since they are so wide spread and many otherwise law abiding citizens would refuse to hand them over.

That said, surely even people who like guns can understand that someone who is obviously mentally disturbed should not be able to walk into a store and buy a bunch of guns? One of the current problems with gun control in the US, infact it seems to those outside to be a problem with ANY control of anything in the US, is that the moment you talk about limiting access via government decree, people start complaining about their rights. This means that you end up with a bunch of deranged school kids or other disturbed individuals able to buy guns.

When people look at these events, they shouldn't be trying to isolate a cause.. the fact he was off his meds wasn't "The Cause". The fact he had guns wasn't "The Cause". The possiblity he played games wasn't "The Cause".

To find out why these things happen, people need to start looking wider. If, as a teenager with obvious problems, he had recieved actual treatment instead of just being forced into taking mind and personality altering drugs the story could have been far different. The culture of fun ownership AND violent media in all forms is definitely an issue, but only goes to highlight a stark fact about American society and history.. it is a violent nation, based and built on war, a nation of great variety who only truly seems to act together against outside or internal threats which its people fear and therefore want to hurt. Central to American history and social behavior is the idea that if someone threatens or hurts you, or takes something from you, or upsets you.. hurt them.

If people truly want to stop these things happen, they need to bring about change far more extensive than just banning guns, or video games. They need to actually change the culture in which they are living, they need to stop the sensationalism, the "easy fix" attitude towards medication, and even their political climate before this sort of stuff will stop happening.

Buh.
Blaming games? Moronic.
Blaming guns? Short-sighted.

Who fires the gun? A mentally diseased kid. If he didn't have a gun at hand (say, if guns were prohibited), then he'd just run for the nearest sword/knife/weapon/home-made explosive.
There are other weapons than guns. Treat the bloody person using 'em and stop the damn witch hunt.

Still, he'd be using a weapon, and then afterwards, people would be wanting the banning of knives as well, and if I'm not mistaken, I think at one point, the UK government did want to ban knives.

Still, I don't go with gun control, now, background checks and stuff, I will, but you will never change my mind on outright gun banning.

What is there to debate about this subject? I completely agree with what everyone is saying, but no one is taking action. The ECA wants us to become more active in protecting our rights, but I see none taking place. I'm not a member of the ECA but what they say is logical.

As soon as I have the proper time (going out very soon...), I am going to find this man's email and write something off. However, I am not in his district so my words won't have as much influence. It would be MUCH better if we had people writing to him from his area. I hope you all do the same too. But, for sanity's sake (or at least mine), leave Jack Thompson our of your mailings! :)

Also, I just wanted to throw this in here as well. These people say video games are the problem, jack says that counter strike was part of this. If it was, how come he did not blow the place up? you see, in counter strike, the whole point is to stop the bad guys from planting a bomb, or if you are the bad guy, your job is to plant the bomb. So if the game is an influencing as they say.Why has NO ONE blown a school up from playing counter strike, they only shoot people?

What? is that the only aspect of the game that is influencing? the gun part? this whole thing is just stupid.

If I remember correctly, Illinois was one of the states that passed video game legislation, and then had it turned over on a constitutional basis, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. Ill. in particular, if I remember correctly, pulled funds from child welfare programs, and education programs to cover their faux pau after legal fees were awarded to, I want to say the ESA or the ECA, the plaintiff in the matter. So, effectively, we're seeing a sore looser who has yet to learn his lesson shoot off his mouth yet again.

@wheelchairman

Like I said before they guy was taking medication and was doing great, if that shows up on the registry how are the gun store owners supposed to know that one day he'll stop taking his medication and then snap?

@Father Time

And skeet shooting. I wasn't aware clay was senteitn.

thats it, i am fed up with this country. i am moving to china where the government recommends games for me to play. where can i pick up my copy of Rainbow Island Online?

Unfortunately, he had a federal license that granted him the rights to purchase firearms. It wouldn't matter were he actually bought the guns since he did have that license. Now, he wouldn't have been able to receive that license if his mental history had been shared with the different law enforcement agencies. But that makes a little to much sense for that to ever happen. Considering that I own several guns myself, I definitely don't advocate banning guns. But since the majority of these shooters have or had mental issues, I would have no problem with their mental history being shared w/ law enforcement.

@illspirit

All that I was saying, in that instance, is that some may go to a shooting range to better their use with a gun for that purpose. Police officers do not go to shooting ranges to practice shooting traffic signs from the window of their cruiser, they do it so they can be more effective in a situation where they may have to shoot, and harm, another individual.

I would like to point out, and apologize that I may have been a bit hasty with that analysis. Guns used for hunting and other said sporting events should be allowed. If kept for "protection" or for eventually being turned on another human being have no cause or need in this world, unless you live under a constant state of serious attack.

My apologies.

Add another senile fool to the bandwagon...

yeah, sorry jcoit, i'm pretty tolerant of foreigners not understanding the 2nd amendment, but you are so far lost, it's going to be hard for you to even see the reasoning behind it. If you remove the publics' ability to use a gun, you are removing their ability to fight back. Government is guaranteed to abuse it's power if given the chance (just look at the past 7 years). When the only people with guns are those in power, this just makes the situation worse. If you can't defend yourself against a tyrannical government, you are indeed asking for a tyrannical government. Just because the military has 'better' weapons is no excuse for banning guns. Did the American revolutionaries have the same munitions and technology as the British army? It's about freedom, and personal responsibility. Something one not living in a truly free country can never understand.

The issue isn't even guns, or society, or even video games. The people to blame here is the SHOOTER. And no one else.

@KayleL

"How often are guns used to protect people by a non-law enforcer or non-military person? Not very often.

Show me those statistics please.

"most people who are killed in there household (where people could get their gun to ‘protect’ themselves) are killed by their own gun"

Show me those statistics as well.

"If you give scissors to one classroom of first graders, and they all behave, that’s just fine. But if a good chunk of another class of first graders are using that scissors to stab people’s eyes out, you would remove the scissors from the classroom. Even if you only give it to the good behaving kids, a violent kid could come by, steal the scissors, and start stabbing."

So by your logic, we should not let people drink because they might drive. Even the ones that obey the law, and don't drink and drive, we should take there drinks a way to because someone may steal there drink and then drive and kill someone.

At the end of the day, its just BS.

Kawauso Says:

"Now, I’m not trying to take a stance on gun control by saying this, but really, statistics like that aren’t a whole lot of good. What about countries like, say, Switzerland, which maintain heavily armed neutrality? Pretty much everyone there has firearm training and access to at least 1 firearm."

Okay, I nearly missed this reasonable response in the haze of the other 2. You are right Kawauso, but you partially answer your own question here. The Swiss population does military service and is therefore trained to use guns and show the power and damage that they can cause. I believe in part this helps with the care and ownership of rifles and such.

"There are more violent crimes, period, in the U.S. than the UK. There are more violent crimes in the U.S. than a lot of developed countries. The level of gun “control” in the States can’t help with violent crimes, I’m sure, but I don’t think if gun ownership in the U.S. became illegal over night it would really change much."

This is true. Overnight not much would happen. There would still be a large amount of illegal weaponary out there needing to be confiscated and taken off the streets, but it would happen slowly and surely. I'll go on to how I think it would be best introduced in a minute.

It also doesn't address the wider reason of why Americans commit more violent crime as you say. I think this is a social problem from a number of factors. You have gang problems, a disparity between the rich and poor, a fundemental lack of caring for the poor (living on minimum wage in the UK is hard but possible - in the US it is nigh on impossible due to healthcare and lack of support from Government etc), general fear instilled into the population from News and Government to keep its population in check... None of these reasons are address by gun control alone.

So what DOES gun control curb? It prevents mass killings from being so easy. You can outrun knives, use protection, keep people at range with objects or even tackle them and remove the knife from them. A gun would negate these things in an enclosed space. It also reduces the ease and instant death that a gun brings.

I personally would introduce certain restrictions and background checks and ban some weapons. An outright ban wouldn't be popular or work. My proposal is to ban automatic weapons completely. There is no argument for having these for any purpose by the civilian population besides titiliation. Semi Automatic weapons and Shotguns need to be heavilly guarded against and reasons for ownership offered, documented and a representative come to look at how the gun is secured and stored when not in use.

That leaves handguns. Here I would have anyone who wants to own one require a background check into mental health conditions, previous convictions and maybe even be forced to do a course at a local gunclub. This would take time to compile and to secure. All this information is available to the Government anyhow, it would just need someone to look it up. And I wouldn't allowed gunshop owners access to this information, I would just have a seperate licensing government body to do the background checks and confirm/deny gun sales to each person on an individual basis with an Appeals panel available for disputes and clarifications.

I believe this is a reasonable and fair way to gun control in the US that doesn't prevent the "right to bear arms" but DOES place some degree of responsibility on the ownership of them.

Thoughts?

@Hans Moleman

everyone knows that the Palestiniasns from young are taught to hate, its in their school curricllum and videos and palestinian new's service everyday. of which quotes can abundantly be found on the internet.

As far as Israel taking land. the day they were given a piece of the desert in 1948 of which no palestinian occupied nor wanted, it was a bunch of sand- the next day they were invaded by Arab countries and they were forced to fight to live.
each time a people attack and when they lose, Israels land expands as the spoils of war often go.

as far as history- Islam refuses to acknowledge that King David - Solomon built the temple and it was called the land of Israel. even Jesus and the Jewish people lived there (under roman occupation) 2000 years ago. and parts of the wall of Herods second temple are there long before any palestinians became refugees and were sent there from arab lands.
one would do well to learn some history from historians that have no religious bias, then to listen to what people want them to think for an agenda.

Smoking gun:

So when one religion talks about killing it is morally reprehensible but when yours does that is okay?

Furthermore you say "well the verse in the Bible does not teach that we kill them. pay attention to what it actually says." Well I read it and note #32 "Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them”.

Religious texts are old and written at a time of differing moral and social norms. That is as true for Muslims as it is for Christians.

@ Smoking gun

no need to call me a 'freaking moron'. When people start to shout descriptive insults like that based on no point it generally means they are shouting because they have no argument to shout instead.

umm did i EVER say they where out of context? no, my point is yeah the quotes you have stated clearly ARE in there.

the point was that it is hypocritical to point at a religious text and criticise it , whilst holding another religious text behind your back containing many equally aggressive, outdated, or morally unscrupulous things.

my point was made by pointing you toward mr phelps and his whole obsession with the bibles god hates homosexuals thing.

if you want some quotes to prove the point :


"Ex 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

Ps 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Isa 13:18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.

Ho 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

and specifically to homosexuals
Gen. 13:13; Gen. chapters 18 and 19; Jude 7; 2nd Pet. 2:6
The people in these cities were completely destroyed by fire and brimstone because their sin was “very grievous”, they were “wicked sinners before the Lord,” they had a “filthy manner of life,” and they gave “themselves over to fornication” and went after “strange flesh” (sodomy) among other sins. They “are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”




so... yeah... there you go. you can find abhorrent materials in many religious texts.

State senators like this guy make me feel good about leaving the Republican Party behind and joining the Democratic Party. Can any GP readers that are in his district organize a campaign to either get him to apologize for this blame game in regards to the NIU shooting, either that or force him to resign his office ... that would be a good idea.

lol we arent trying to criticise, just make a point that its A) mans interpretation of a religious text that can be anything (if not explain to me fred phelps)


and that most religious texts have parts in them that are outdated. If you honestly are goint to argue thats not true, fine but you are deluded.

First of all, bear in mind that the very definition of a criminal is one who does not follow the law. Criminals will be able to find weapons in pretty much any situation, just as narcotics can't be stomped out either. Terrorists are the best example of how the system isn't airtight in the least.

Most of the AK-47 assault rifles functioning in the world today were constructed in the 1950s and simply kept maintained. They were acquired by terrorists and other criminals after the fall of the Soviet Union when weapon stores were either looted or sold off. That was nearly twenty years ago and we're still feeling the ripples from it. Think to yourself how many times you see a Kalashnikov rifle used for crime on TV. My point is that even if we banned the sale of guns entirely now, they would remain active on the black market trade for an unpredicatbly long period of time.
This is not like the "Domino Theory". This is a worst case scenario that would easily play out.

America is fascinated with death and violence. Movies like Saw and Hostel show how notions of sadistic violence can be entertaining under the proper circumstances. So long as the average person can remain emotionally detached from murder, it is no different to them. Why else would so many kids on the internet parody and make fun of the victims of the World Trade Center. Entertainment in general has given us a very immature attitude about weaponry and we have no intentions about changing that attitude.

In closing, I would like to say that I'm not a cynic who supports gun ownership because he believes that we're doomed no matter what. Quite the opposite. I would just like to underscore how little people care beyond initial shock when things like this happen. The legendary "it'll never happen to me" attitude is probably to blame. The only way to counteract this kind of selfish criminal act is to teach our youth to know better from the start. While Super Nintendo and Metallica won't create murderers, they won't raise honor students either. Do your best to influence a young life in a positive way. We're all in this together.

Hmm.

So....without guns, people could still shoot each other?
Riiiiiight.

He certainly didn't kill those people with an Xbox.

Mr. Pritchard is half right. Universal gun control isn't the answer. That just disarms people who obey the law. Making sure that people with mental disorders show up in the "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY DON'T LET THIS MAN BUY A GUN" database would be a start.

However trying to blame games and movies is just another shameful attempt to score political points.

this just go's to show you how stupit politicans are

Um..... Wow.... Illinois fails miserably when it comes to electing government officials.

That's why this is trying to get made about video games, though. You have a guy who went off his meds and bought two extremely dangerous guns with a history of mental illness. It's a gun control issue whatever way you slice it, so you have the pro-gun political operatives flooding the scene trying to make it about something, anything else.

and which factors have more SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE behind their 'potential' harm?

i for one belive there is more scientific evidence in the 'potential harm' of a bullet fired from a gun than the evidence for 'potential harm ' from video games.

duh. and im not even einstein. One has a DIRECT CAUSAL LINK eg bullet killed person. and one has a correllation (in the same way as the correllation between ice cream sales and shark attacks). duh *head slam*

please please please politicians, just use some common sense. i really dont get the statement that gun control seems to have no effect. if there are NO GUNS AVAILABLE they cant do anything but literally THROW BULLETS.

yes some guns will still be available. but not as readily. and the stricter the controls, the less likely a mentally ill perosn can get hold of one.

Can't anyone just be crazy anymore. It's always the video game's fault or the lack of gun control or whatever scapegoat the media and politicians find next. Is there is no such thing as personal responsibility anymore? People being responsible for their own actions? I guess not.

Sounds like somebody else needs to be added to GTA IV with this whole "Guns don't kill people. Video games kill people" bullshit.

Idiocy.....

WHAT!?!?!

I wasn't aware military death beams were already portable enough to fit in a handheld device. The only ones I knew of were the size of a house, required vats of highly toxic chemicals and or EXTREMELY high voltage, and required a huge truck or an airplane to move around, no apparently those are being put in video game controllers.

Ok, now that my inner idiot is done, I will say this guy is jumping on a wagon that has four flat tires and steers like a shopping cart with an extra wheel and the engine misfires and stalls, a lot. Better get our and crank the engine again.

Knowing how stupid these people are and how bass ackwards they are. They're probably going to start a program where if you turn in your video games, they'll give you a handgun.

Remember kids! Guns = Good. Video Games = Bad.

i dont even think seeing violence is the problem. i think seeing violence as a solution, to solve a problem is what is really driving this sort of thing. you look at things like war, both past and present, where total violence is/was depicted as the only real solution to solve our disputes. real world violence is going to put out a much more powerful message than fictional fantasy violence ever would. fantasy violence cannot create or inspire real world violence, its the other way around: real world violence creates and inspires fantasy violence.

and in order for fantasy violence to come into existance, it needs a source to draw itself from beforehand, it cannot do this by itself. we need to target the problem at its source, which is our portryal of it in the REAL world. we are rasing ourselves with the mindset that violence is justifiable provided it leads to serve a common good. and this is exactly where the problem is and why we are still going in circles.

By the way, blaming our "culture of violence" as the problem for things like this has already been proved false by the FBI's charts that show youth crime on a steady decrease. If what idiots like this guy and Jack Thompson were claiming was true, it would be sky high instead wouldn't it?

Oh, yeah, Jack just claimed it's because people aren't reporting it. lol What a tool.

Gah, Idiotnois is just full of morons running that state......

"I think video games is a part of the problem"

great grammar.
 
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