Games & Guns

Back when I didn’t have a job (oh so many moons ago), I used to read a lot of gun blogs. One topic I found consistently discussed was the use of the firearms in video games, like the Call of Duty series or Counter Strike: Source. Most of the blog articles I seemed to find were negative in nature, mocking the gamers. The same goes for the video comments I read on YouTube, such as “go back to playing Call of Duty/Counter Strike punk”.

This should be no surprise, but I grew up playing video games. I enjoy the Medal of Honor series, Call of Duty series, Rainbow Six series, Counter Strike, etc. I’m sure if I started to rattle off Call of Duty perks and the Counter Strike names for guns (like Deagle, Duelies, or FN), many would be quick to dismiss me as just another gamer. If you didn’t know me, and know my love of firearms, wouldn’t you do the same? The point is, this leads to debate between the gunnies and the gamers, like 9mm vs .45, Glock vs 1911, or AK vs AR.

And the thing is, which is what makes it sad for me when I read the debate, is there are quite a few gamers who would love to actually shoot the guns they use in-game. When some of my gaming friends found out I owned an H&K USP, several wanted to go shoot it simply because they loved to use in-game. Did I dismiss them? Nope, I told them let me run you by the store so you can buy a box of ammo, and I’d be more than happy to show you how to shoot it.

However, the stigma runs deeper than just online debate. Many professionals believe that gamers who play a lot of violent video games (see Call of Duty, Counter Strike) well grow up to become warp, twisted individuals, such as Lt Col Dave Grossman, author of On Combat. They believe that because there is no punishment for injuring or killing people in video games, gamers will come to believe that they can kill in the real world without punishment. I’m sure many of you have read the news articles years ago about the Grand Theft Auto series, where you can have relations with a prostitute then beat her to death (or cut her up with a chainsaw, or run her over with a car, or set her on fire, etc) to steal your money back. They claim that series is one of the worst games out there, that gamers would be killing people left and right, much like the antis said about CHLs back in the 90s.

However, this simply isn’t ringing true. I mean sure, you do have the occasional person who goes off the deep end, but gamers as a whole aren’t that way. We understand right and wrong,  and the concept of morality. We have feelings just like everyone else.

Anyway, I believe we need to educate gamers, not scoff at them for calling a Desert Eagle a Deagle or talking about the ACR in Call of Duty. A vast majority of them are honest, law-abiding people who love to play video games, and are just simply wrapped in the shroud of the video game culture. They have been negatively stereotyped by gun owners, just like us gunnies have been stereotyped as back woods rednecks (though this is changing). I think taking that extra minute or two to explain things can go a long way, maybe enough to visit a local gun range and rent a handgun/rifle or two, which may lead into buying and ownership.

One can hope.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going back to playing Counter Strike: Source. ;)

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