June 11, 2014

Internet Gaming and the 20-year Decline in Gun Violence

So I am reading this Pew Center report on the decline in firearms violence and the dates keep sticking in my head. The peak was 1993, with declines in some states as high as 90% since then. The big drops all seem to have begun around 2000. Well, that was right about the time concealed carry "shall issue" states began to outnumber "may issue" states and it comes as no surprise that those states are the places experiencing both the earliest drops in "gun violence" and the most significant drops. The proponents of gun control have their own theories, naturally, mostly revolving around things like banning of lead in house paints/gasoline and the rise in abortions among unwed mothers in lower income brackets.

Know what else gained speed from 1993 to 2000 and has taken off dramatically ever since 2000? Internet gaming. If I may quote Wikipedia,

"The Internet's takeover of the global communication landscape was almost instant in historical terms: it only communicated 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51% by 2000, and more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007."

I have long contended that PvP fanatics are in fact sadists who gain pleasure by causing pain and disrupting the lives of strangers. Nowadays millions of would be gang-bangers and serial killers are getting their jollies by destroying virtual people with virtual weapons and basing their personal worth in their number of kills. Not all of them naturally, Chicago and Detroit are proof of that! However, it is also worth noting that access to online gaming is more limited in neighborhoods where gang violence is prevalent.

1973: Roe v. Wade
1977: CPSC bans lead in house paint
1987: Florida passes pivotal "shall issue" CCW law
1995: Lead banned in gasoline
1997: Ultima Online goes live

I'd be willing to bet good money it will not be long before some liberal progressive academic living off federal grants makes the same connection and uses taxpayer money to write a book about it. I wonder how their "peer review" group will respond to such an "outrageous" proposition?

Wikipedia: History of the Internet
Pew Center: Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993
Journalist's Resource: The Contested Field of Violent Video Games