Monday, August 15, 2005

GTA Didn't Make You Do a Damn Thing

By the time I was old enough to count I'd already seen Daffy Duck's beak blown to the back of his head by a point-blank shotgun blast more times than I could count. Not to mention the number of times I saw Wile E. Coyote squashed into an accordion by a falling boulder... Or witnessed Foghorn Leghorn lose every feather on his body to a TNT explosion. And, funny enough, the majority of these near-fatalities were caused, directly or indirectly, by "The Good Guys"... Elmer Fudd, the Road Runner, and the Dog.

Did this give my 5-year old brain the impression that doing this type of damage to each other was okay, or even acceptable? Did I suffer Temporary Insanity by way of Loonie Tunes?

Not bloody likely.

Then came my not-so-brief love affair with arcade games. Sure, I was raised in the relatively tame era of Asteroids, Pac-Man, and Dig Dug, but I eventually evolved along with the rest of the world. Some of my favorite games became the driving ones, like Cruisin' USA, where I could put the pedal to the metal and fly down the interstate with reckless abandon. What's that? Oncoming traffic? Bah! No big deal for a daredevil like myself! And who cares how many cars I destroy along the way anyway? And the shooting games! Yeah... I loved any game with a little plastic gun tethered to it. I played some of them so many times that I knew where every target (be it a robber, a cop, or an alien) would pop out and I could pick them off with a nice, clean head-shot. I took great pride in the fact that my arm and wrist would give out long before my quarters would.

But I didn't take my need for speed to the real streets... I've never once believed I could drive through rush hour traffic at top speed just because I could do it in an arcade. Nor have I ever gone on a shooting rampage. In fact, I've never even fired a real gun... I have no urge to what-so-ever.

So, it should come as no surprise that I can't understand how Devin Moore from Alabama thought for two seconds that he could blame his senseless killing of three police officers on the Grand Theft Auto game series. I'll freely admit that the games are ultra-violent and not suitable for children... I know because I play them. But to say that they influenced you into killing cops in the real world is just retarded. Who are you kidding? The most influence those games are going to exert over a person is to compel them to stay up playing all night then call into work sick so they can keep right on going. Go out and kill someone? Bah! That would mean getting out of Mom's basement...

You know, I'll bet it wasn't even this kid's idea to cop the plea in the first place. It was probably his court-appointed lawyer, looking to make more of this case than there was in order to springboard his pathetic career. Maybe this guy is suffering from temporary insanity, brought on by watching too many courtroom dramas.

"Your Honor, I'd like to cite Ben Matlock in the case of The State of Georgia vs. The One-Armed Hillbilly Bandit..."
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