Brave Educators Confront Guns, Vampires

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94 Responses

  1. RogerX says:

    "They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies," said the father who couldn't be bothered to be accountable as a father or adult human being.

    FALSE. THERE ARE NO GUNS IN MINECRAFT. They also use pickaxes, not hammers. Assclown.

  2. Steven H. says:

    And Minecraft is related to guns (functional or not) exactly how?? Swords, yeah. explosives, hell yeah. But no guns to be seen…

    And what the hell was Dad doing leaving even a non-functional gun where his kids could get at them???

  3. Edward says:

    I once saw a girl charged with a felony for throwing an orange at a teacher. Are real oranges more dangerous than imaginary guns? Perhaps we can charter a study on this issue.

  4. Gus Bailey says:

    Please, Ken, tell me these sentences are a parody;

    "And children who imagine guns will go on to imagine other things, which is highly detrimental to our curriculum. Moreover, thanks to budget cuts, many of our professional educators have been deprived of the in-service training days that would permit them to distinguish between 'real' and 'imaginary' guns."

  5. stakkalee says:

    I'm sorry RogerX, but you're simply wrong. Behold, the Minecraft Chicken Gun.

  6. ysth says:

    I….I think this needs to be clearly labeled as non-parody, if in fact it is non-parody.

  7. adam says:

    dol umbridge. as in dolores umbridge? from harry potter?

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dolores_Umbridge

    the attitude is a perfect match.

  8. Gus Bailey says:

    So teachers these days cannot distinguish between imaginary and real guns, and the system would prefer our children not imagine things.

    Oooookaaay.

    quietly unloads the bird shot, fills the tube with slugs.

  9. eddie says:

    "I can't teach my kid the difference between fantasy and reality. That's what schools are for," said one Orlando father who had recently blamed the popular computer game "Minecraft" for his nine-year-old son bringing a steak knife, bullets, and an inoperative but real handgun to elementary school. "I look to the government to flush this sort of nonsense out of his head. What am I supposed to do about it?"

    This snark is entirely unjustified.

    The claim "Father Blames Minecraft for Son Bringing Gun to School" is from the headline writer at GamePolitics. It is unsupported by factual statements in the article or by actual quotes from the father.

    The article states "The father said that the boy was just acting out the game in real life". To characterize this explanation as "blaming Minecraft" is an interjection of emotional rhetoric where none was implied.

    To carry it further and suggest, as you have, that the father has neither the desire nor the capacity to teach his child the difference between fantasy and reality, is to buy into the narrative being pushed by the GamePolitics writer rather than sticking to conclusions justifiably warranted by factual reporting. You know nothing about this man's approach to childrearing, his feelings towards Minecraft, his feelings about his son's actions, and his reactions to the punishment his son has received at the hands of officials.

    Stop it.

  10. Ronnie says:

    *thunderous applause for the Harry Potter reference*

  11. ZK says:

    "Dol Umbridge" should be a hint, guys. I suggest researching her previous employment in the educational and government sector before commenting.

  12. princessartemis says:

    Those who say there are no guns in Minecraft haven't seen what modders can do.

  13. Dangerboy says:

    Brilliant, and though parody, entirely too prophetic. I imagine myself using wreckingball diplomacy on Little Danger's school system at some point.

  14. Lizard says:

    They have a new school district spokesperson every year. It's like the job is cursed, or something.

  15. RogerX says:

    stakkalee: I stand corrected. Clealry I will not be along in calling for an urgent an immediate ban of Minecraft amongst school-age children before they begin bringing deadly chickens to school en masse to launch at their teachers.

    We must end this awful Chicken-Launching menace NOW.

  16. Mike says:

    Umbridge sounds just like the Happy Potter character of the same name.

  17. RogerX says:

    I think eddie missed the snark / satire here. He went full SRS BSNS

  18. Zack says:

    Poe's Law in full effect. Took me 90% of the article to determine it was satire because we've all seen crap almost exactly like this before, from pop-tart gun suspensions to rules against any contact at all in schools.

  19. eddie says:

    @RogerX:

    I think eddie missed the snark / satire here.

    Did I?

    "This snark is entirely unjustified."

    Huh. I guess I didn't. I think it's possible you may have missed the point of my comment, though.

  20. Xenocles says:

    According to several notable books, if you imagine something it becomes real somewhere. This is a wise precaution.

  21. Ken White says:

    You know nothing about this man's approach to childrearing,

    I know his household leaves ammunition and a non-operative (according to him) but real handgun where his child can get them and use them unsupervised.

  22. eddie says:

    … and what does that have to do with whether the father is "blaming Minecraft" or whether he is failing to teach his children the difference between fantasy and reality?

    Which is what you've accused him of. Without evidence.

  23. eddie says:

    .. but, fair point. That's not nothing. I retract my statement and revise it thusly:

    "You know almost nothing about this man's approach to childrearing"

  24. Ken White says:

    Eddie:

    Okay. But, in fact, the school didn't stake a kid at Halloween, either.

    What I know about the father is this: when his kid took items to school, some of which suggest he does not practice good firearms safety, he reacted by saying the kid was acting out a video game. In the context, that suggests to me he was excusing the kid's conduct and placing implicit blame on the video game.

    Your interpretation may differ.

  25. ketchup says:

    Evidently some of those commenting here missed the in-service training on how to tell "real" blog stories from satire.

  26. Lizard says:

    This snark is entirely unjustified.

    Those words make no sense in that order.

  27. eddie says:

    he reacted by saying the kid was acting out a video game. In the context, that suggests to me he was excusing the kid's conduct and placing implicit blame on the video game. Your interpretation may differ.

    My interpretation does differ, and I think yours would as well had you not first encountered the situation as framed by the GamePolitics writer's headline and editorial. The assumption that the father was trying to excuse the child's behavior is an assumption that should be supported by some explicit fact, and it simply is not.

    Saying "X because Y" is not inherently BLAMING X on Y. It could also be – and in common occurrence, usually is – merely explaining Y as the proximate cause of X, or providing Y as context to better understand X.

    For example:

    Cop: Mister White, your nine-year-old son here was running around in traffic in his underwear with a cape tied around his neck.

    Ken: Oh, thank god he's okay! Get up to your room, we'll talk about this later. Officer, thanks for bringing him home safely. Sorry about this.

    Cop: Is everything okay at home?

    Ken: No, we're fine, thanks.

    Cop: What was he doing?

    Ken: He was probably just trying to be Superman. Again. Gotta talk to that boy…

    Cop: Trying to be who?

    Ken: Superman. … Superman? You know, from the comic books?

    Media: CALIFORNIA MAN LETS CHILD PLAY IN TRAFFIC, BLAMES COMIC BOOKS

  28. eddie says:

    But, in fact, the school didn't stake a kid at Halloween, either.

    Your satire wasn't implying that they did.

    Your satire WAS implying that the father – whom you know almost nothing about – had abandoned his responsibilities to teach his child the difference between fantasy and reality and had blamed his child's behavior on video games.

    Wasn't it?

  29. Lizard says:

    @Ketchup: A good way to tell if someone actually has researched all sides of a position, or just knows what they believe and what people who agree with them *tell* them the other side(s) believe, is if they can identify satire of The Enemy's position. If they can't — you know they have never actually studied The Enemy's source texts, and only know what they've been told about The Enemy. (Often, this is excused with "I don't have time to read what a bunch of Rethuglicans/Dumbocrats have to say! I'm informed because I read Daily Kos/World Net Daily, and they tell me how smart I am and how all the other media lies to me!")

  30. Ken White says:

    It was more generally implying that the father abandoned appropriate parental responsibility, supported both by the kid's easy access to a gun and ammunition and by the fact the father reacted by telling the media the kid was acting out something from a game.

  31. Lizard says:

    Media: CALIFORNIA MAN LETS CHILD PLAY IN TRAFFIC, BLAMES COMIC BOOKS

    Dr. Wertham? Is that you?

  32. rmd says:

    Okay. But, in fact, the school didn't stake a kid at Halloween, either.

    Must you burst *all* my bubbles, Ken?

  33. eddie says:
    This snark is entirely unjustified.

    Those words make no sense in that order.

    I'll be happy to rephrase for the particularly thick and obstinate:

    "The things that you are implicitly accusing this man of by using this particular bit of snark directed at him are not true, or at the very least, you have no reason to think are true. You are merely assuming that they are true based on reading an editorial which framed the situation such that it played to one of your favorite biases, rendering the man in question a suitable target for your favorite brand of discourse."

    Does that order work better for you?

  34. ZK says:

    I'm all for prevent easy child access to a firearm. That's bad parenting even if the gun is disabled in some way.

    Why is access to ammunition in the same class? What's a kid going to do with just ammunition? Eat it? Hit it with a rock?

  35. Shelby says:

    In fairness to Minecraft Boy, there are in fact zombies at school. They're the ones in charge.

  36. Chris Simmons says:

    Reminds of Principal Skinner: "I have caught word that a child is using his imagination and I've come to put a stop to it."

  37. Crusty the Ex-Clown says:

    When our youngest (now 23) wanted to play first-person shooting games at age ten, we made him take and pass a firearm safety class at the local gun club first. We made damn sure he knew the difference between fantasy and reality.

  38. eddie says:

    It was more generally implying that the father abandoned appropriate parental responsibility, supported both by the kid's easy access to a gun and ammunition and by the fact the father reacted by telling the media the kid was acting out something from a game.

    a) Your snark didn't make any points at all about easy access to a gun and ammunition.

    b) Your snark didn't make any points about parental responsibility in general.

    c) Your snark was very specific about the teaching the difference between fantasy and reality, which was in fact the main thrust of your entire post.

    If your snark was intended to be about parental responsibility in general and access to non-working firearms and ammunition (and steak knives and hammers), then it was terribly written. And you don't write terrible snark. Your snark is ferociously precise.

    Maybe you were having an off day.

    And finally,

    d) What's wrong with saying that the kid was acting out a video game, if that is in fact what the kid was doing?

  39. Ken White says:

    @Eddie:

    Actually, in draft, I had the father saying "what am I supposed to do, lock this stuff up?"

    I rejected that as too insultingly obvious, and decided that "what am I supposed to do about it" conveyed the message I wanted to convey.

    De gustibus, etc.

  40. crankytexanattny says:

    I am more worried about the fact that each of the things to which Ken cites are real events. A keychain? Really?

  41. Ken White says:

    Also, since I am leaping to conclusions totally unfairly about the father "blaming" Minecraft, I'm sure there is some other explanation for why the father, in interviews with local news, says they are throwing out Minecraft and other video games from the house. (Watch video.) Eddie, in his superman analogy, just left out the line where, for completely unrelated reasons and without blaming the comics, decides to toss out the Superman comics.

  42. Ryan says:

    Ken, you are engaging in a conversation about gun rights which eddie is trying to cloak under different auspices, despite the fact that its pretty clear what he's really interested in arguing. That way madness lies.

  43. Allen says:

    Oh no, not The Chicken Gun.

    I actually knew a guy who had that job. The FAA would pay him to launch chickens (no, they were not live chickens, live ones are to hard to stuff in a sabot) at various airplane parts to determine how much damage might occur in a bird strike.

    Incidentally, it's where I first heard the term snarge.

  44. eddie says:

    conversation about gun rights which eddie is trying to cloak under different auspices, despite the fact that its pretty clear what he's really interested in arguing

    You got me.

    I guess I need a more powerful Auspice Cloak. This one is only +2 vs. Gun Control.

  45. Ken White says:

    I want a Cloak of Displacement so I write a post and people in the comments get incensed at Clark.

  46. RogerX says:

    Oh man, Eddie's really talking about gun control? Based on "Your satire WAS implying that the father – whom you know almost nothing about" led me to think he was coming here to personally defend a friend or family member.

  47. eddie says:

    @Ken – Yeah, I watched the video a little bit ago (after my last post, before yours). I should have followed all the links to get there earlier. Mea culpa.

    I admit, the father's desire to toss out "all the games" does sound like blaming.

    I am somewhat reluctant to cast it that way wholeheartedly, though, simply because in that entire news report, we've got no more than two sentences of actual words actually spoken by the man in question, neither one of which actually say anything like "I blame video games".

    Haven't your clients ever said a sentence or two that got taken out of context by the media?

  48. lagaya1 says:

    An interesting illustration of how far the pendulum has swung. When I was in 5th or 6th grade 50 years ago, all the students in our class were gathered in the auditorium to watch a video. Afterwards, we took a test to see how well we understood the video's content. If we passed the test, we received an embroidered patch from the NRA declaring us to be "Ohio Safe Hunters". I passed the test, and would have felt pretty confident that I could handle a gun, if I ever came across one.
    Schools need to be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

  49. eddie says:

    Incidentally, it's where I first heard the term snarge.

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing your enlightenment.

    I will strive hereafter to use this term at least once per fortnight.

    "Each day, the Smithsonian Institution's Feather Identification Laboratory receives about a dozen packages from around the country"

    But not today! The Rethuglican shutdown claims another victim.

  50. Ken White says:

    @Eddie:

    Yes. It's possible that he told the media that he took responsibility, and that the part of about throwing out the games was an additional statement, and that he modified it by saying "but the games aren't at fault," and they quoted out of context.