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German Gov To Ban Paintballing After Shooting

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the we-all-fall-down dept.

Government 580

whoever57 writes "In response to the school shooting in March in which 16 people were killed, the German Government plans to ban all games in which players shoot at each other with pellets. The rationale for this is that 'paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts.' Fines could be up to 5,000 euros."

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Really Germany? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884657)

Come on Germany, you used to be cool.

Re:Really Germany? (0)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884807)

paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts

read:

paintball is superior combat training and risks lowering the threshold for members of an angry enough but otherwise untrained populace to commit violent acts

Re:Really Germany? (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884871)

I play paintball. You obviously don't.

I know at least two people with military training who also play. I can, and routinely do, tag them both.

It isn't "combat training" of any sort. The weapons don't work the same way - paintball guns are generally pump-action, semi-auto or work via electronic "ramping" systems, which do not resemble fire selection modes on firearms in the slightest. The recoil is practically non-existent. The range is measured in feet instead of meters as would be the case with rifles.

Projectile velocity is around 240 fps, whereas actual firearm projectiles move at anywhere from 1000 fps for pistols to over 3000 for military rifles. Trying to aim a paintball gun using firearm skills or vice versa is a good way to miss. You need to lead a lot more, and correct for dip a lot sooner.

The fields at which you play paintball are generally symmetrical (for speedball), or at least balanced.

About the only combat skill relevant to real life warfare and paintball is cooperation. Both a paintball team and military squad need to communicate, coordinate and cover each other. Since the "angry, but otherwise untrained" people you're talking about commit solo acts of violence, paintball would be useless training for them.

Re:Really Germany? (2, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884977)

touche

Re:Really Germany? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27885219)

douche

Re:Really Germany? (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884983)

Agreed, there is no reason to outlaw paintball, such a stupid german thing to do.

Re:Really Germany? (1, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885217)

They banned red blood in video games and throw people in prison for saying the holocaust didn't happen.

You expect something rational to happen there?

Re:Really Germany? (5, Interesting)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885017)

It's even more ironic that they plan to ban pellet sports. The soldiers in training use lasers, which involve no pellets, and the guns are real and fitted with blanks. So if anything, they are making the more violent/practical sport a legal alternative. Way to go legislature.

Re:Really Germany? (5, Insightful)

iamangry (1463943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885121)

In a world of grays, the black and white of law can never hope to completely navigate the perilous thin line between freedom and safety. Once upon a time, it was the principles of the people and the seriousness of the times that dictated where the line of law was drawn. Now, its the wishes of the powerful and the excuses of the times that allow the line of law to be drawn ever farther from freedom in the name of safety. This effect is seen in nearly every major "democratic" society today. And it's a shame.

Re:Really Germany? (5, Funny)

stms (1132653) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885177)

Not only that But I would definitely start playing more paintball if they illegalized; it illegal things are 10 times funner.

Re:Really Germany? (5, Funny)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885235)

Also, in paintball, bushes are cover :-).

Bad translation (-1, Offtopic)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885295)

The article was translated using machine translation, and contained a number of errors as a result.

The law actually is banning Nazi Paintball. It specifically states the fine is for any games where players shoot each other with diet pills, not pellets.

Re:Really Germany? (1, Funny)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884933)

What are they going to do next, demand that we remove the ovens from the kitchens of the citizens?

Re:Really Germany? (5, Funny)

peektwice (726616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885249)

What are they going to do next

Make you wear a helmet while driving your car.

Re:Really Germany? (5, Insightful)

!coward (168942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885183)

Well, the piece I saw on Euronews yesterday (I think) had the journalist saying that the move was a consequence of recent school shootings and, basically, just a way to uppease certain lobby groups that were demanding stricter gun control rules.

Now, I don't know if it's true, but it does seem like nothing more than a smokescreen manouver on the part of the German government.

It's actually funny, in a way.. I remember the first time I played paintball. Besides being tons of fun, I specifically remember how it struck me, for real, for the first time, just how easy it is to get killed in a combat scenario. One slip up, one moment's distraction, one false move, and you could end up with 4 members of the opposite team lined up in front of you like a firing squad (got blasted with something like 5 shots a piece that time, had to scream at them that I was dead -- corridor negotiation on an abandoned Asylum... man, what a perfect scenario for a match).

That and all the nooks and crannys where a shooter can hide and pick you off without you ever figuring out where he/she was.

Of all the people I know that play (or used to play) paintball, not one of them even owned guns. Yeah, they do have a certain charm, but .. *sigh* Correlation is not causation, anyone? (that is, assuming those recent school shootings even had any connection whatsoever to paintball).

Haven't these people learned? (4, Insightful)

Fooker (656693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884663)

Haven't these people learned that they are just going to cause a much bigger problem then they are trying to solve? It saddens me to see how they are going after everything but the cause of it. Banning paintballing isn't going to solve a thing, stuff like this is still going to happen. Next thing you know they are going to try and ban all FPS games over there. Get to the root of the problem, not something they "think" is the cause.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884757)

Each time I hear about some retard in office limiting the People's freedom, my treshhold for committing violent acts upon said retard is significantly lowered.
Obviously we should ban such retards from office.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884781)

I heard the shooter picked his nose from time to time, when nobody was watching. So that's the right policy. Get those people that pick their noses and throw them in jail for life.

Won't someone please think about the children?

New black market! (5, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884779)

Psssst! Hey man, want some splat? I'll get you freaky painted.

2 EUR a ball, 20 for a baker's dozen.

Just don't share a dirty gun with your friends.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884805)

What problem? That people kill each other? That's going to be the case no matter what.

According to the article, the last time they tightened gun laws in Germany was in 2002 in response to a guy killing 16 people. So... that's what, 31 people in 7 years? About 4.5 a year? Statistically, you're more likely to win the lottery than be shot by a crazed gunman. Or be struck by lightning. Hell, you take a bigger risk just crossing the street.

This isn't about safety. No, these politicians know exactly what they're doing. They LOVE stuff like this happening. It just gives them one more way to subjugate the public. But you'd think the Germans of all people would understand the risks of having an overly powerful government and a largely unarmed populace.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Interesting)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884949)

31 people in 7 years? That's nothing. Germany has something like 1 intentional homicide per 100,000 people (about 1/4 of the USA murder rate, which is about half of the Zimbabwean murder rate ... not that the US needs gun control).

Germany has 82 million people, so that's 820 homicides per year. I am guessing that the biggest offenders will be husbands, and the next biggest offenders will be wives.

I say they should ban marriage - it's obviously a far bigger cause of violence than paintball games.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884951)

Don't confuse individual statistics with actual national numbers.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (2, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884993)

"But you'd think the Germans of all people would understand the risks of having an overly powerful government and a largely unarmed populace."

That wasn't precisely the problem for Germany. The problem for the majority, lest we forget, is that they lost WWII. People don't fight that ferociously for an ideology they don't buy into.

Given the enormous post-WWII effort by the Allies to condition Germans to be peaceful and docile by relentlessly reminding them of the Nazi period, we should not be surprised if their government makes every effort to wean them from violent play.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (4, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885055)

Oh, it wasn't a problem for the Germans. It was a problem for the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other undesirables who were largely unarmed when the government came to take them away. And this is all within living memory for many. How quickly some people forget...

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885115)

Being armed wouldn't have done any of them the slightest bit of good. They were outnumbered, out gunned, and up against a modern fighting force. At best, they could have taken a few SS with them, which would not save them, but might fuel Nazi propaganda.

The best, and only, choice for those who the German government was rounding up and murdering was to flee. Leave occupied territory, go into hiding, or otherwise avoid capture and death. Going down fighting has never done anyone the slightest bit of good; you have to have a chance of winning to make the fight worth your life.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885171)

Read up about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising [wikipedia.org] and then tell me fighting a losing battle never does any good. A few poorly armed Jews managed to hold off the the Wehrmacht for nearly a month. Sure, they lost in the end. But would it have been so easy for the Nazis to round up their victims if they faced such a battle every time they had tried?

Remember that between 11 and 17 million people were killed in the Holocaust. Do you really believe that if every one of these people had a gun and used it against their oppressors, there would have been nearly as many murdered as there were? Look at the bigger picture.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (2, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885241)

I know of it. I thought of it when I posted. My point stands.

What you're overlooking is that the uprising was a total loss. The Jews were still killed, if not during the fighting, then afterwards. As a last stand on principle, it was a good thing, but from a practical perspective, it accomplished nothing.

Would it have been so easy for the Nazis to round up their victims if they faced such a battle every time they had tried?

Every time they tried? Wouldn't have happened.

The Warsaw Ghetto was packed. The people there had nothing to lose. Hell, they barely had any guns, and still made a fight of it. Sheer numbers were their weapon.

Most of the victims of the holocaust didn't have the numbers to make that stick. A few Jews in their homes with pistols would not have staved off the SS when they arrived. Especially not when their supposed "countrymen" were supporting the SS most of the time.

Yes, if everyone who the SS tried to round up had been armed and fought they'd have had a harder time of it. Most likely, the SS would have simply responded with escalating force of their own. A few civilians might stave off a death squad consisting of green troops with SMGs, but they'd be hopelessly outmatched by even one armoured vehicle.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885247)

Being armed wouldn't have done any of them the slightest bit of good. They were outnumbered, out gunned, and up against a modern fighting force.

Like the insurgents in Iraq?

Re:Haven't these people learned? (4, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885275)

This is a living memory only for a few old people, the young people and probably even all of the ruling class has heard about it but it's part of history rather not remembered just like the templar knights and the inquisition.

My grandfather remembers it since he was arrested and sent to Bergen-Belsen, escaped, betrayed and sent to Buchenwald because he was in the resistance (sabotage) but he's 89 years old. He was also in the Belgian Congo and as he described it: shot blacks with spears off a bridge with a machine gun while being dropped by parachute to extract a "diddling" priest, the only white man in the village while there was an unusual amount of "mulatto" children. I had a friend that has lived it because of his religion (even went through the Death March) but he died last year.

What I think is the main problem is 1) education: the gritty details are not being revealed to children because they believe they are too shocking while a lot of the media around it is romanticized or only described from one side (the winners side or what the soldiers had to go through to win) 2) shame: the survivors are to this day (with exceptions) ashamed to talk about it, the people or nations that went along with the nazi's (Germany, the Netherlands, the Catholic Church, Switzerland) are ashamed/afraid to admit wrongdoing. 3) Hitlers empire and the power he exerted over people is a wet dream for many politicians and rulers, if you analyze the political standpoints (without taking into account the blind hatred for minorities) you'll notice that politicians have been trying to do the same thing in a different way over and over again. What he promised was good jobs for everybody and to get rid of whomever seems to be the boogeyman for the current problems in exchange for their basic rights and freedoms all wrapped in a thin veil of hope for the children and pride in their own country.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885091)

This isn't about safety. No, these politicians know exactly what they're doing. They LOVE stuff like this happening. It just gives them one more way to subjugate the public.

Exactly. "...the new rules, which the cabinet hopes to pass before a general election in September...".

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885103)

As much as I hate to see paintball and airsoft banned... I don't see how this is the government subjagating its population. More like being a stupid hysterical parent (of which I have seen dozens in response to paintball over the years).

Just because this isn't effective, doesn't mean it isn't well intentioned. I'm sure the reason they're doing this is out of fear and outrage not some nefarious plot to supress the paintball revolution that was slowly fermenting in their borders.

Stupid? Yes. Ignorant? Yes. Useless? Yes. Evil plot by the government? Not likely. The government is run by people just like you and me. Most normal people think paintball is a strange and violent game played by a bunch of sociopaths. Normal people also think the world is 7,000 years old. Think they're more likely to get their identiy stolen by buying something on amazon than by their brother in law. Think only children play video games. Think photoshop only runs on a mac.... etc etc etc...

And who can really blame them in this instance. When else would you think it's normal for two people to be eating lunch and excitedly recounting how "He totally didn't see me coming. He was just sitting there and I snuck up behind him and shot him in the head. SPLAT!"

Re:Haven't these people learned? (3, Informative)

williamhb (758070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884809)

Haven't these people learned that they are just going to cause a much bigger problem then they are trying to solve? It saddens me to see how they are going after everything but the cause of it. Banning paintballing isn't going to solve a thing, stuff like this is still going to happen. Next thing you know they are going to try and ban all FPS games over there. Get to the root of the problem, not something they "think" is the cause.

Actually some aspects of the proposed laws do indeed get to the root of the problem. For instance tightening the restrictions on how registered guns are stored (the gun in this shooting was registered by the father but was not locked away -- had it been, this particular shooting certainly would have been much more difficult). As it is, there's talk of punishing the father through "involuntary manslaughter" under the existing laws (because the father knew his son was depressed and should have known this might happen) but that seems like vague retribution for the incident having occurred rather than unambiguous preventative legislation instructing gun owners that their guns must be securely locked away. Banning paintball is an odd reaction, but so far this is only a proposed bill -- AFAIK it's usual for proposed bills to be debated and to have things that turn out to be a bit silly taken out of them on the way through parliament (the Bundestag).

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

Grym (725290) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885293)

Actually some aspects of the proposed laws do indeed get to the root of the problem. For instance tightening the restrictions on how registered guns are stored (the gun in this shooting was registered by the father but was not locked away -- had it been, this particular shooting certainly would have been much more difficult).

Do you really think that a determined individual couldn't figure it out anyway? I mean, you do realize this is a human being, right? You're acting as if they had only put bear traps or rat poison all around the gun that this shooting wouldn't have happened. This kind of flawed thinking is what leads to ridiculous things like the U.S.'s No Fly List [wikipedia.org] , which screens passengers on the basis of their name, as if a terrorist, willing to die for his cause wouldn't think to use a false name. It's absurd, and the only real effect is the harassment of honest citizens with real middle-eastern sounding names like: Teddy Kennedy, Robert Johnson, or John Lewis.

But hey, if it makes people like you feel safer, I guess it's worth it, right?

-Grym

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884859)

What is the root of the problem? I know it's not video games, music, or any other activity or media that they could honestly care to ban. As far as I can tell it's just that a certain small portion of the population aren't mentally stable and would actually bring a gun to a school, church, etc. and start unloading on people.

There's no real way to prevent it from happening short of a big brother government with the observational powers mentioned in 1984. Short of that, we just aren't able to tell who's just a little strange and who's going to blast his classmates. People will always like to say that they thought little Billy was a little off, but they've probably thought that about hundreds of other people who didn't go postal.

I'm sure we can identify some risk factors, but there's no way we can possible identify some root cause until we have a much better understanding of the human brain. There're plenty of mentally unbalanced people who don't go around shooting up the neighborhood. Until they actually do go over the edge, are we supposed to lock them up based on the assumption that they'll do something horrible? If that's the case we might as well lock up every woman based on the assumption that she's more than capable of engaging in acts of prostitution and selling her body.

As far as I'm concerned the only possible solution is to keep these people from acquiring the weapons that allow them to inflict high numbers of casualties or to allow people carry sufficient protection to put one of these people down when they snap. Neither of these are particularly easy solutions (or even good) in my opinion. Perhaps someone else has a better solution of eliminating some root cause that I'm just not seeing or solving the problem in some way that's not a complete pain in the ass.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885261)

I read an interesting quote from Herb Cohen (author of You Can Negotiate Anything, among others). I shall reproduce it here, for everyone's consumption.

When people in our society believe they can't as individuals, make a difference, it's bad for all of us. "Powerless" people become apathetic and toss in the towel, which means others have to carry them on their backs, or they become hostile and try to tear down a system they can't understand and don't believe they can control. This attitude pervades our world. Some of its symptoms are declining productivity and senseless violence.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was one of those who became hostile. She attempted to gun down President Gerald Ford. After her arrest, she explained, "When people around you treat you like a child and pay no attention to the things you say, you have to do something!"

The "something" Squeaky did was psychopathic and self-destructive. Her self-perception was miles off base. She didn't realize that she had other alternatives that were socially acceptable and legal. She didn't realize that a criminal act, regardless of its goal, is almost always an abuse of power.

I think it is a problem in society of people not seeing things clearly. It is the same problem that we have with poverty: people living in the slums could pick themselves up, get an education, get out and greatly improve their lives, but it is hard for them to see the path to accomplishing that. Sometimes it is hard for them to believe they are even capable of it, so they stay stuck where they are. The two are often related: people killing each other because they don't understand how the world is, and people remaining in poverty because they don't understand how the world is.

Life sucks, but you can change things. We need to get that message out to people. It will be a lot more effective than banning guns.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885007)

I don't know if they are "creating a much bigger problem". What problem is that?

It seems to me that they're passing laws just to make people feel like something is being done. It's not going to do any good, and it's going to do bad -- but just a tiny bit of bad. Certainly not a "much bigger problem" than somebody killing over a dozen people, but still a little bit bad.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885231)

I don't know if they are "creating a much bigger problem". What problem is that?

It seems to me that they're passing laws just to make people feel like something is being done. It's not going to do any good, and it's going to do bad -- but just a tiny bit of bad. Certainly not a "much bigger problem" than somebody killing over a dozen people, but still a little bit bad.

Translation: Either I don't play paitnball or I don't live in Germany. Either way this doesn't affect me so I don't care.

Re:Haven't these people learned? (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885145)

dude. this *is* germany. there kinda big on scapegoats over there.

Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (1)

FlickieStrife (1304115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884665)

What the hell,now when people play music too loud, do they have to fucking walk around with their index fingers on their lips. Dont get me wrong, it is a tragedy about the shooting, but this is going a little too far.

Re:Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884703)

Our government is just totally insane. Crazy people with a turd instead of a brain.
It's almost as bad as in Britain or the US.

Re:Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (1)

FlickieStrife (1304115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884733)

I agree, while i haven't been to Germany, i can vouch that the US legal system is fucked

Re:Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (2, Informative)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884767)

True, but while I personally am not American, I can vouch that their system is better at avoiding censorship.

Look at all the idiot laws that Jack Thompson and his fellow crusading geriatrics tried to get passed. All of them, to the last, got struck down by the courts, or never made it out of the state legislature. That is an example of the system working as it should - the courts protect the rights that the lawmakers selectively ignore.

In Germany, those same sorts of restrictions have been, and continue to be, passed into law. There has been no restrictions upon the ability of the lawmakers to take away the freedoms enjoyed by the citizenry.

I'd say the German legal system is fucked. The American one is also fucked, but batting down censorship is perhaps one of the few things it gets right. Mind you, the moment the censors in the US try to ban sex instead of violence, the whole thing falls apart.

Re:Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27885185)

I disagree, the German court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has continuously protected the rights and freedoms of the German citizens. Examples include rulings against free access of police on provider logs [heise.de] (German) and rulings against electronic voting [heise.de] (German).

At the moment this is whole thing is just a media stunt, if a law really gets passed I am optimistic it will get shot down by the court.

The reason the USA is great (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885099)

I agree, while i haven't been to Germany, i can vouch that the US legal system is fucked

Can't be too fucked, since you have a right to say that it is. There's plenty of countries where you would get beaten up for just daring to communicate outside of your assigned channels, and would get killed for condemning the government.

Right now, the biggest failure of the legal system is a ton of stupid laws throwing a lot of people into jail probably where fines might be appropriate. But... cash strapped states, knowing that voters will despise any tax increase, have figured out that jeez, building new prisons every year costs a lot of money. On the federal level, the only way Obama will get national health care is if he can structure it in a way that caps medicare.... because, people aren't going to want to pay that bill. Sure, politicians have historically borrowed their way out of it, but with USA debt approaching its limits, and states essentially with no credit, particularly California, New Jersey and New York, the level of government spending is going to have to be aligned to what citizens are willing to pay, and in America, its not a lot.

Next thing you know, they'll surrender to France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884965)

Funny, though, they don't seem to be banning cars.

How many people have been killed in Germany by cars?

Re:Germany is turning into a fucking preschool (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885073)

No, they're becoming Scandinavians. That's what they were in the Bronze age, anyway. They're just taking an extra century or so to sublimate that barbarian raider energy into obsessive-compulsive social democracy.

From the article... (5, Insightful)

chris098 (536090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884673)

The teenager shot many of his victims in the head with his father's legally registered pistol.

This shows the gun registration laws work! If only we made it illegal to shoot people in the first place, all our problems would be solved. Oh wait...

Re:From the article... (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884835)

I'm impressed that he got so many headshot...That's skill... No, I'm not trolling, I just don't see why I should post a serious response to a stupid article.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry (5, Funny)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884675)

But I will say I find this entirely in keeping with the policy of the German government. They have similarly ridiculous laws in place regarding video games and other entertainment, so while this new one seems utterly idiotic, it is at least a logical extension of what they've already done.

At this rate, they'll be banning soccer next. Wouldn't want those hooligans "lowering the threshold for violent acts", now, would we?

Re:I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry (1)

ipX (197591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884699)

What is this threshold anyway? Isn't it healthier to act out your aggression by playing a _game_ rather than say... shooting up your school? What is the connection between paintball and this incident, it's not at all clear from TFA.

It would the the heart of the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884761)

boys will be boys.

Re:It would the the heart of the problem (1)

ipX (197591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884857)

I suppose. So their logic goes something like this then: "We will crush their primal urges by banning paintball!" Brilliant.

Re:I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885127)

I think they will ban tag and any game where someone is being chased around. Might give children the wrong impression that it's okay to chase someone with a gun.

AHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884677)

I hope this goes thru.

FOR LULZ.

Ah, yes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884687)

This is sure to succeed, just like banning the swastika has completely removed any trace of right-wing hate groups in Germany.

Re:Ah, yes. (2, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884729)

The de-Nazification laws at least made some sense. If your former government really was that monstrous, you too would likely want to bury all traces of it. Doesn't mean they actually work, merely that they are rooted in something understandable.

The laws in Germany banning or censoring anything remotely violent make no sense whatsoever. They've done nothing up until this point to prevent real life violence, like the shooting TFA mentions. They do not provide more than the illusion of safety, and I doubt anyone under the age of 40 buys into that illusion.

All they've done is stifle the enjoyment of the citizenry in order to make the foolish and reactionary idiots feel safer.

Re:Ah, yes. (1)

sando101x (1058590) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884785)

Can't have a discussion without some sort of pop culture reference:

German Tour Guide: You vill find more on Germany's contributions to ze arts in ze pamphlets ve have provided.

Brian : Yeah, about your pamphlet... uh, I'm not seeing anything about German history between 1939 and 1945. There's just a big gap.

Tour guide: Everyone vas on vacation. On your left is Munich's first city hall, erected in 15...

Brian : Wait, what are you talking about? Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and...

Tour Guide: We were invited. Punch vas served. Check vit Poland.

Brian : You can't just ignore those years. Thomas Mann fled to America because of Nazism's stranglehold on Germany.

Tour guide: Nope, nope. He left to manage a Dairy Queen.

Brian : A Dairy Queen? That's preposterous.

Tour guide: I vill hear no more insinuations about the German people. Nothing bad happened. Sie werden sich hinsetzen. Sie werden ruhig sein. Sie werden nicht beleidigen Deutschland. You will sit down. You will shut up. You will not insult Germany. (Throws his hand up in a Hitler salute.)

Re:Ah, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884829)

They do not provide more than the illusion of safety, and I doubt anyone under the age of 40 buys into that illusion.

yes, because people under 40 are so enlightened...especially today's youth...
boy, I'm more afraid of idiots like you.

Re:Ah, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884887)

Whereas people over 40 are? Riiight.

Somebody mod this idiot into oblivion please.

Re:Ah, yes. (2, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885057)

I know this is a troll, and I shouldn't feed it. But what the hell.

I've never met anyone under 40 who believed that banning or regulating violent entertainment would reduce real life violence. And they're quite correct to be sceptical - all the actual evidence is on their side.

Everyone who supports laws like these is generally 50+. Think of folks like Jack Thompson. They actually do believe that trying to keep young people from pretending to shoot one another will curb real life violence.

Now, there are plenty of sensible older folks who know this is BS. They just aren't a large or vocal enough group to drown out their delusional peers.

So, it's really a case of the old and reactionary crowd trying to make themselves feel safe. These laws are the illusion of safety, tailored to cater to the aged and deluded.

What about banning... (1)

maxter3185 (816089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884693)

Guns? Cars? Hookers? Cigarretes? Diseases? Stupidity?

Re:What about banning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884963)

...holidays in Poland and France...

Banning of 'gun look alikes' (1, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884709)

From what i understand some places in Europe already ban anything that even looks like a gun, such as replicas.

Idiots.

Re:Banning of 'gun look alikes' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884863)

Only realistic replicas are banned. The reason is obvious. When cops are pondering shooting at you, they can tell if your gun is a toy easily. Even if you were using a replica they would have no reason to believe it was.

"H3 sh0uld4 t4k3n 4 r34l 700L"
nurb432 19xx-2009

Re:Banning of 'gun look alikes' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884987)

Only realistic replicas are banned. The reason is obvious. When cops are pondering shooting at you, they can tell if your gun is a toy easily. Even if you were using a replica they would have no reason to believe it was.

If the nut holding up the bank is using a realistic-looking gun, kill him. Society becomes a better place whether the gun was actually real or not.

People are inherently violent (5, Insightful)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884713)

Does the German government actually think that people learn violence from games? Violence is part of human instinct. We have evolved so that we have a tendency to hurt other people. No amount of censorship is going to fix that.

Re:People are inherently violent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884759)

well i for one am set on changing that instinct. or repressing it. or what have you. i for one would not like to become a serial murderer or a killer of even one other human being. hell i dont even kill my own meat that i consume. anyway, the evolution will hopefully continue away from violence and hurting others. however paintball practitioners are working TOWARDS the goal of nonviolence by replacing real gun play with fake gun play- so there the germans are really making a bad mistake.
-rw

Re:People are inherently violent (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884763)

I agree that these games should not be banned, but you're still committing what I like to call the fallacy of simple causes. Just because there is a known cause for a problem, that doesn't mean that other things can't also contribute to it. Humans may be inherently violent, but excessive cultural glorification of it (which is locked in a vicious demand-produce cycle) can certainly add to those natural tendencies.

Re:People are inherently violent (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884825)

What about animals? They have a tendency to kill each other (and not just for food, either). Do they play paintball and video games?

Re:People are inherently violent (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884903)

I don't think you understand what I said. Just because something (A) is caused by something else (B) does not mean that A cannot also be caused by C.

Re:People are inherently violent (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884973)

I've seen the "cultural glorification" argument before. I'm afraid it doesn't hold up very well.

Find me a culture that does not glorify violence, in entertainment, or values, or what parts of history are focused upon. You likely can't. Even "peaceful" countries generally place a great deal of importance upon their own military history. They glorify whatever wars they feel they fought justly.

The human instinct toward violence is universal. The outlets vary.

Conversely, if you look at the other end of things, and focus on real life violence instead of cultural depictions of it, you'll generally find it's prompted by real or imagined motives. People murder one another because they feel it just, because they have something to gain, because there is something wrong, or damaged, with them, or some combination of the above.

Re:People are inherently violent (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885245)

Then why are there differences in murder rates across various countries? I doubt it's related to the means to kill; controlling for abundance of weaponry still leaves substantial variation. That leaves motive. While you could construct an explanation regarding ancillary causes generating more reasons for murder, I feel a cultural (or perhaps genetic, though heritable mental traits are generally verboten for discussion) explanation is much more plausible.

I'd might need to revise this thesis if violence were compared across countries when controlled against poverty.

A thin veneer..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884795)

.. that's all "civilization" is.

It's law of the jungle as it always has been. Just now they usually take your money instead of the rabbit you just killed.

Backward Thinking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884717)

When I was 15 or so, I wanted to play paintball. My parents were initially resistant to the idea. They thought it was militant and would be a poor influence on me. I learned quickly that it's damned well easy to get shot and the welts those things leave don't let the memory fade. Rather than thinking, "Hey self, let's go join the army and shoot people for real," I thought "If those were real bullets, I'd be dead inside of 5 minutes along with all of my friends."

So, yes, I did learn a thing or two about taking down mansized targets with horribly inaccurate, slow moving projectiles with no ability to penetrate cover. What I also learned was that I am not invincible, I play by the same rules as everyone else, and I want to be nowhere near real bullets fired in anger.

Re:Backward Thinking (4, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884787)

I had a similar experience with Airsoft(plastic BB guns essentially)when I was about 17. I also realized how much proper instruction in gun safety was after several of my friends shot themselves accidentally. I had been taught about pistols and rifles as I grew up, and my father took me to the shooting range a few times over the years, so I had the safety training they didnt get. If they had decided to pick up and play with a real gun they found, they could have seriously injured themselves.

Back on topic, I do think to a degree, these war games can be an encouragement for using violence to work out your frustration. I continue play airsoft regularly, with about a dozen people for years now. Inevitably someone will start to take things too seriously, so we have rules in place where we can send them off to cool down. That being said, I think banning it because some might have obvious mental instabilities that would make this lead them to shoot people with real guns is absurd. Will they ban toy swords and water guns next?

Re:Backward Thinking (2, Interesting)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884955)

Northern Illinois University banned NERF guns after the school shooting on Valentines day last year, much to the dismay of our local Zombies vs Humans crowd.

Everyone ended up having to just throw socks if I remember right from their protest flyers.

Re:Backward Thinking (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27885125)

When I was 15 or so, I wanted to play paintball. My parents were initially resistant to the idea. They thought it was militant and would be a poor influence on me....

Paint ball? MILITANT?

Geez, are you sure the man you call "Dad" is really your dad?

He sounds like a castrated wuss.

I bet you look like the milkman.

the welts those things leave don't let the memory fade

You sound like a wuss, too.

Awww, did da widdle paint ball hurt? Did you get a boo-boo?

You're pathetic. A two-bit spineless waste of protoplasm.

You and your whole damn sitzpinkler jellyfish family need to be lifted out of your shelted existence and be transplanted to, say, Somalia. You REALLY need to learn that life can be rough.

Paintball militant? Leaves welts that "don't let the memory fade"?

Grow the fuck up, you pussy.

Re:Backward Thinking (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885155)

What I also learned was that I am not invincible, I play by the same rules as everyone else, and I want to be nowhere near real bullets fired in anger.

What I learned from paintball is that if I'm ever in a situation where I have to shoot a real gun at real people who have guns of their own, I'll fair better if I plan to ambush them.

LK

Mixed feelings (2, Insightful)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884789)

Although I am naturally quite uneasy about a German government demanding such intrusive power over people's lives with the explicit purpose of shaping their very thoughts, I am pleased that at least they'll all be unarmed. The last time a German government went mad with power, their military might soon controlled most of Europe, deep into Russia, north Africa, the Atlantic... But if they no longer have any projectile weapons, next time they won't manage to conquer anyone except France!

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884817)

You are aware Germany has an army, right? Your post makes no sense whatsoever as a result. It's not as if the soldiers are having their guns taken away.

Re:Mixed feelings (2, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884989)

But if they no longer have any projectile weapons, next time they won't manage to conquer anyone except France!

France surrendered preemptively after reading this.

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885133)

And Godwin's law has been indirectly fulfilled.

Re:Mixed feelings (1, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885193)

I like that this was moded "insightful" and not "funny" :D

"Trivializes violence" (1)

Huntr (951770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884803)

I guess that's fair, in a country that "trivializes thinking."

In Other News: (1)

dotmax (642602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884845)

All flatware will be replaced with sporks, and, after an adjustment period, the sporks will be replaced with rubber-tipped chopsticks. Also, the ! will be replaced with the pipe|.

Re:In Other News: (4, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885105)

Fingers will be stumped, penises removed... You know.. to prevent the rapes and the sexual harassment..

Soon they'll find use for the banned sporks and start scooping out eyes from sockets at birth --- to prevent people from seeing things that they *might* interact with in ways that *might* have negative outcomes.

It will only end when The Matrix is fully developed so nobody can actually be harmed.

Ban fire, it won't save your house. Ban weed, millions don't give a shit. Ban guns, the innocent lose power to fight for their rights, criminals blow a line and move forward w/ guns like it never mattered.... Ban piracy, all your songs are now belong to soundcat.

Ban words, people still say them. Ban religion, like that would ever work... Ban skittles, some jerkoff with a recipe will *STILL* make them and teach his kids how to do it out of spite and our human nature to do whatever we truly want to do.

Ban meteors... Ban terrorism... Ban lies... Ban polygamy.... Ban swine flu.

I swear, you could ban Dick Flavored Pizza and somewhere, somehow, in S. Korea, a guy will get a pizza that tastes like a dick.

Banning paintball guns and airsoft won't bring 16 people back to life. I'm sure anyone involved wants to be noticed for caring (hence this stupid law idea)... But sometimes its ok to say 'such is life' and move on. Yes, bad things happen. Sympathize, accept, move on.

Just don't let all that emotion force you to forget to think.

Cowboys and Indians (5, Insightful)

Thomasje (709120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884851)

My brother and me and the other kids on the block played cowboys and Indians sometimes, we shot at each other with toy guns and (weak!) slingshots.
Years later, I amused myself with computer games, including a fair number of first-person shooters. Spent many an enjoyable hour playing Descent and Quake 3. Descent with the PC hooked up to my stereo was awesome -- those fireballs on the screen looked pretty damn good, and, by God, the booming from the speakers was way cool.
I'm 44 now and haven't killed anyone yet, but who knows, eh, what kind of violent rage was set into motion by all that mock fighting, only waiting to turn me into a murderous monster like that kid in Winnenden, Germany? OMG, I'm a ticking time bomb!

*shakes head in disbelief*

Re:Cowboys and Indians (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885227)

Just what I was thinking. My 4yo son (3yo at the time) was picking out a toy in a lucky dip (he didn't quite get the concept of the 'lucky' bit and just peered in and chose what he wanted). He chose the toy cap gun. I don't particularly remember him watching any tv shows with guns with them, and his older sisters never played any gun games, but he picked it out and knew exactly what it was for, and for the next few weeks went around 'killing' everyone and everyone until he got bored with it.

Good thing we aren't in Germany or he'd be in jail now :)

When I was a kid, my mum specifically never bought any toy guns of any sort. So we made them out of lego. Or paper. Or sticks.

I think paintballing is far better than playing with imaginary guns. For one thing you don't have any "you're dead!" "no i'm not", etc. When you get hit by a paintball it leaves a mark, and it hurts. People would pretty quickly figure out that if there was a real shootout they'd get pretty dead pretty fast.

we should promote science (5, Insightful)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884873)

Instead of (correctly) complaining that "correlation != causation" or "this won't work!!", could we use examples like these to promote science education?

Will banning paintball cause a decrease in school shootings? Did you know that's a scientifically tractable question?

When a tragedy like this occurs, the public demands a political reaction. More education on the only known way to get at causation - the scientific method - might cause people to demand political reactions that work.

What about Nerf? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884877)

Folded sheets of notebook paper in the shape of SMGs? Or rubber bands over thumb and forefinger?

Just holding a chicken finger in your hand in a vaguely gun-like silhouette?

I imagine it will end in amputations...

Shootings weren't by paintballing? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884913)

Just reading the headline, I thought the case was that someone had been seriously injured or killed. That would've at least made some sense.

This doesn't.

Re:Shootings weren't by paintballing? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884923)

My bad for not previewing. "injured or killed by paintballs"

Carlin quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884979)

"And now they're thinking about banning toys guns, and they're going to keep the fucking real ones!"

Should they start playing real guns instead?

Say it ain't so... (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885027)

"The rationale for this is that 'paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts.'"

Oppressive laws that limit personal responsibility and undermine rational thinking trivializes society and risks lowering the threshold for legislating more inane laws that drive people to violent acts.

if they outlaw paintball (1)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885059)

then only outlaws will paint balls.

The pussification of the West (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885107)

Here's how it usually goes down with these situations, aside from the case where the person isn't a sociopath:

1) Guy gets marginalized and picked on.

2) School knows about it and does nothing.

3) Guy gets subjected to violence.

4) The authorities do nothing despite the basic fact that we know from common sense and scientific observation that eventually an organism will lash out in self-defense if not protected.

5) Guy may defend himself, at which rate the authorities will come down hard on him because as we all know "violence never solves anything."

6) The authorities will earnestly pat themselves on the back as guardians of civilization for having stopped a victim from exercising force in self-defense.

7) Guy lashes out with disproportionate force because pent up frustration made his temper 5x more explosive it would have been if causality had been allowed to run its course between the attackers and the victim.

8) The authorities will claim it couldn't have been stopped.

Violence solves things splendidly with bullies. In the early 1960s, victims of bullying were allowed to beat the shit out of the bully, and the authorities didn't even think about taking up for the bully unless it was so extreme as to be a violent crime.

You want less violent shootings? Let teenage boys shoot guns (real guns), play video games and beat the shit out of each other when one attacks the other. When violence usually brings more violence back on the perpetrator, people usually are less inclined to use violence. Violent people who are quick to use force are not wired like normal people, and the best way to restrain them is to create a culture that will respond to them violently when they act out.

Violence is Gub'mnt property (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885117)

How German. Citizens can't move a muscle till Abwehr agents point. But, then oh my the Panzer divisions start rolling. Let's hear-it for Gub'mnt violence as well-ordered as a BMW 5-speed. 1-2-3 Seig-Heil mon Komrades.

Hey Germans World War II Guilt is over. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885153)

World War II was a bad thing. We all make mistakes. The people that made them are dead. You don't have to be pussies for the rest of your national life just because your ancestors went overboard.

Probably in another 10 years, everyone from the WWII generation will be completely dead, and then from there you can hire some PR guys to turn around that whole swastika problem around for you...

But, in the meantime, at some point, you just have to say, "Hey, everyone, look, we know that it was wrong to for us to start World War II, but you do have to admit that when we declared war on
-everybody-, it was pretty bad ass. The Fuhrer was pretty psycho but the one ball that he had left must have been pretty big to do that."

Politics (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885269)

On the one hand I understand this, it's the nature of the political beast: politicians need to be perceived as trying to do something about problems. They need to do this or risk not being re-elected, and they need to do it better than the other guy. This creates a one-up-manship which becomes ridiculous in time. This is ridiculous. Just like banning violent games was ridiculous. Germany, you are become a laughing stock for this and similar.

Well shucks... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27885273)

We'll have to go paintballing before shooting then.
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