The Gun Game – Caught Between Violent Games, Uncle Sam, and the NRA


Facebook just isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Somehow, we went from an endless parade of recycled jokes, babies, cats, and faux-inspirational-quote pictures to an endless tirade about this political problem or another. The presidential election was quite possibly the worst time to be on Facebook. Arguments, rants, and people saying horrible things to each other were everywhere. And nobody’s mind was changed. I don’t know where the 6% of people who were undecided on the election were, but it’s a good bet they didn’t have Facebook pages.

It’s all so utterly pointless, just hot air in text form. But sadly, until something new comes along that will be popular enough that I can keep in touch with all my friends, I’m pretty much stuck enduring the tirades. And the last few days have been no exception.

For those of you who don’t know, my home state of New York recently passed new gun laws expanding controls on assault weapons. And I sat back and watched as my Facebook news feed exploded. Gun owners were outraged that it would now be slightly harder for them to end lives. Those in favor of gun control either stoked the flames of that outrage, or were outraged themselves that the laws didn’t go far enough.

This could’ve come from either side. Either way, predictable joke.

While I tend to side with the idea that fewer guns can only be a good thing, and that opinion is strengthened by everyone in the NRA suddenly becoming dumber than a sack of half-melted doorknobs, in this case, I’m not a fan of either side of the (again, entirely pointless) debate. The gun owners’ whining grates on my ears just as much as the gun controllers’ gloating, and I’m sick of both.

And then, inevitably, someone makes the assumption that being a fan of video games MUST mean I’m also a fan of guns. And that REALLY gets my hackles in an uproar. Or, it would, if I had the slightest clue what hackles were.

I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I don’t like real guns. I never have. It might be my parents’ fault – when I was younger, they had me watch some after-school special designed to teach young children the dangers of guns. Two kids started playing with a loaded gun, it went off, and one of the kids was killed, blood spraying everywhere. I remember screaming and running from the room. What do you expect? I was only 27 years old.

My face was like this, except smeared by peanut butter and jam.

That may or may not be why I don’t like real guns. I can’t say. What I can say is that I probably should like guns. I consume action games and action movies with equal abandon, I own several airsoft gun replicas that look remarkably like the real thing, I’ve even written, directed, starred in, and edited a video with gunplay in it – in fact, a very pretty girl gets shot and dies. And I really liked her.

But Aaron, I magically hear you say, if all this entertainment you like and even create has guns in it or depends on guns, then isn’t it hypocritical of you to dislike guns, or to side with those who want more gun control? And that’s the kind of brilliant question I’ve come to expect from my super-intelligent readers, and you should be really proud of yourselves for coming up with it.

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