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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 10 May 2009


The Thylacsomilus also commented on the latest outbreak of government bansturbation, this time in Germany.
The German government is planning to ban paintball and laser shooting games in reaction to the recent school massacre in which 15 people died.

Under legislation agreed by the ruling coalition of the chancellor, Angela Merkel, using air rifles to shoot paint-filled pellets at opponents is likely to be made illegal, and would be punishable with fines of up to €5,000 (£4,480).
And why?
The decision, which is expected to be fast-tracked through the Bundestag before the summer recess, comes two months after 17-year-old Tim Kretschmar shot dead 15 people at his former school in Winnenden, south-west Germany, with a weapon he had taken from his father's bedroom. Kretschmar's love of paintball as well as violent video and computer games was widely publicised.
Ah. Because a nutjob liked paintball it follows that people who like paintball are also nutjobs? I'm going to make a pretty cheap shot here, but following that line of thinking you have to wonder why vegetarian non-smoking painters aren't also banned in Germany. After all one of those turned out to be the biggest nutjob in history.
The government has found itself under pressure to tighten gun laws in Germany in what has become one of the main issues before a general election in September.
In other words the reaction of the dedicated non-thinkers is to demand the government do something (far be it from them to do something for themselves). The reaction of the government is to find something with a veneer of plausibility and do it. It doesn't have to be effective as far as they're concerned, it just needs to be something to do. To paraphrase Sir Humphrey politicians prefer activity to accomplishment, and a good old fashioned ban is usually enough to settle the nerves of people like this guy:
"This so-called game plays down violence, leading to the danger that people have fewer inhibitions about shooting each other," said Dieter Wiefelsputz, of the Social Democrats.
You know, I've always thought dealing with gun wielding mass murderers by banning guns was retarded, but that leaves me with no word to describe this. This fucknut seems to suggest quite seriously that playing paintball might turn normal people into homicidal maniacs. If he was suggesting banning more guns, and I'd be very surprised if people aren't demanding that to, I'd simply repeat my usual arguments.... but fucking paintball? It's virtually self-fisking. Paintball may attract someone inclined to shoot people but it won't fucking make normal people more inclined to shoot people any more than being a non-smoking vegetarian painter is going to make people want to invade neighbouring countries.

Predictably the ban-harmless-things-that-turn-normal-people-into-monsters-in-your-fucking-dreams brigade are joined by the usual breed of hoplophobic numpty.
The new law is also expected to forbid under-18s access to high-calibre guns and to make it easier for police to carry out random controls at the homes of registered gun owners.

Claudia Roth, head of the Green party, said that while she was no fan of paintball, the government's plan to ban it was hypocritical and amounted to a "cowardly concession to the gun lobby".

"They should instead be banning high-calibre weapons," she said.
So a large calibre gun that fires slow moving projectiles a short distance is worse than a small calibre one that launches a bullet fast enough to go straight through someone and kill the person behind them, and would otherwise go for maybe a mile? Because the only factor that has any importance at all is the internal diameter of the barrel, right? Bullet design, power of the cartridge, length of the barrel etc. and, from a criminal point of view, how concealable the things is, none of that has any effect on how much real danger the gun actually presents? I mean this sounds like shotguns, which are "large calibre" if you just take the almost 3/4 inch diameter of the barrel, would be banned despite the relatively short range and low lethality, and something like an AR-15 would be okay. Jesus Christ on a fucking shooting range, what there really needs to be a ban on is politicians passing laws on things that they know absolutely fuck all about.

Actually I'd go further - I'd like to see a law banning bans. I'm being serious here. I'd like there to be a hard to change law, something constitutional, which would basically say that any ban the government brings in is automatically subject to a sunset clause of, say, ten years or maybe a couple of parliamentary terms. And before the government can renew such a ban they'd have to prove that the one that's just coming up to it's expiry date has actually fucking achieved something. I mean really prove, not just stand up in parliament and assert that it's been a huge success despite any evidence to the contrary. If they can't convince a court they don't even get to vote on renewing the ban - the ban dies automatically since law has given it a fair go and it's don nothing. The idea needs polishing but I think it's got the potential to stop a government from imposing useless restrictions on their people "for their own good". Well, hobble them at least.
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