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German Gov To Ban Paintballing After Shooting 580

whoever57 writes "In response to the school shooting in March in which 16 people were killed, the German Government plans to ban all games in which players shoot at each other with pellets. The rationale for this is that 'paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts.' Fines could be up to 5,000 euros."


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German Gov To Ban Paintballing After Shooting

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  • Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:18PM (#27884657)

    Come on Germany, you used to be cool.

  • by Fooker (656693) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:18PM (#27884663)
    Haven't these people learned that they are just going to cause a much bigger problem then they are trying to solve? It saddens me to see how they are going after everything but the cause of it. Banning paintballing isn't going to solve a thing, stuff like this is still going to happen. Next thing you know they are going to try and ban all FPS games over there. Get to the root of the problem, not something they "think" is the cause.
  • by chris098 (536090) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:19PM (#27884673) Homepage

    The teenager shot many of his victims in the head with his father's legally registered pistol.

    This shows the gun registration laws work! If only we made it illegal to shoot people in the first place, all our problems would be solved. Oh wait...

  • Ah, yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:20PM (#27884687)

    This is sure to succeed, just like banning the swastika has completely removed any trace of right-wing hate groups in Germany.

  • by MakinBacon (1476701) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:24PM (#27884713)
    Does the German government actually think that people learn violence from games? Violence is part of human instinct. We have evolved so that we have a tendency to hurt other people. No amount of censorship is going to fix that.
  • Backward Thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:25PM (#27884717)

    When I was 15 or so, I wanted to play paintball. My parents were initially resistant to the idea. They thought it was militant and would be a poor influence on me. I learned quickly that it's damned well easy to get shot and the welts those things leave don't let the memory fade. Rather than thinking, "Hey self, let's go join the army and shoot people for real," I thought "If those were real bullets, I'd be dead inside of 5 minutes along with all of my friends."

    So, yes, I did learn a thing or two about taking down mansized targets with horribly inaccurate, slow moving projectiles with no ability to penetrate cover. What I also learned was that I am not invincible, I play by the same rules as everyone else, and I want to be nowhere near real bullets fired in anger.

  • Re:Ah, yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:27PM (#27884729)

    The de-Nazification laws at least made some sense. If your former government really was that monstrous, you too would likely want to bury all traces of it. Doesn't mean they actually work, merely that they are rooted in something understandable.

    The laws in Germany banning or censoring anything remotely violent make no sense whatsoever. They've done nothing up until this point to prevent real life violence, like the shooting TFA mentions. They do not provide more than the illusion of safety, and I doubt anyone under the age of 40 buys into that illusion.

    All they've done is stifle the enjoyment of the citizenry in order to make the foolish and reactionary idiots feel safer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:31PM (#27884757)

    Each time I hear about some retard in office limiting the People's freedom, my treshhold for committing violent acts upon said retard is significantly lowered.
    Obviously we should ban such retards from office.

  • Mixed feelings (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roystgnr (4015) <> on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:36PM (#27884789) Homepage

    Although I am naturally quite uneasy about a German government demanding such intrusive power over people's lives with the explicit purpose of shaping their very thoughts, I am pleased that at least they'll all be unarmed. The last time a German government went mad with power, their military might soon controlled most of Europe, deep into Russia, north Africa, the Atlantic... But if they no longer have any projectile weapons, next time they won't manage to conquer anyone except France!

  • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:38PM (#27884805)

    What problem? That people kill each other? That's going to be the case no matter what.

    According to the article, the last time they tightened gun laws in Germany was in 2002 in response to a guy killing 16 people. So... that's what, 31 people in 7 years? About 4.5 a year? Statistically, you're more likely to win the lottery than be shot by a crazed gunman. Or be struck by lightning. Hell, you take a bigger risk just crossing the street.

    This isn't about safety. No, these politicians know exactly what they're doing. They LOVE stuff like this happening. It just gives them one more way to subjugate the public. But you'd think the Germans of all people would understand the risks of having an overly powerful government and a largely unarmed populace.

  • by Thomasje (709120) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:46PM (#27884851)
    My brother and me and the other kids on the block played cowboys and Indians sometimes, we shot at each other with toy guns and (weak!) slingshots.
    Years later, I amused myself with computer games, including a fair number of first-person shooters. Spent many an enjoyable hour playing Descent and Quake 3. Descent with the PC hooked up to my stereo was awesome -- those fireballs on the screen looked pretty damn good, and, by God, the booming from the speakers was way cool.
    I'm 44 now and haven't killed anyone yet, but who knows, eh, what kind of violent rage was set into motion by all that mock fighting, only waiting to turn me into a murderous monster like that kid in Winnenden, Germany? OMG, I'm a ticking time bomb!

    *shakes head in disbelief*

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:47PM (#27884859)

    What is the root of the problem? I know it's not video games, music, or any other activity or media that they could honestly care to ban. As far as I can tell it's just that a certain small portion of the population aren't mentally stable and would actually bring a gun to a school, church, etc. and start unloading on people.

    There's no real way to prevent it from happening short of a big brother government with the observational powers mentioned in 1984. Short of that, we just aren't able to tell who's just a little strange and who's going to blast his classmates. People will always like to say that they thought little Billy was a little off, but they've probably thought that about hundreds of other people who didn't go postal.

    I'm sure we can identify some risk factors, but there's no way we can possible identify some root cause until we have a much better understanding of the human brain. There're plenty of mentally unbalanced people who don't go around shooting up the neighborhood. Until they actually do go over the edge, are we supposed to lock them up based on the assumption that they'll do something horrible? If that's the case we might as well lock up every woman based on the assumption that she's more than capable of engaging in acts of prostitution and selling her body.

    As far as I'm concerned the only possible solution is to keep these people from acquiring the weapons that allow them to inflict high numbers of casualties or to allow people carry sufficient protection to put one of these people down when they snap. Neither of these are particularly easy solutions (or even good) in my opinion. Perhaps someone else has a better solution of eliminating some root cause that I'm just not seeing or solving the problem in some way that's not a complete pain in the ass.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:49PM (#27884871)

    I play paintball. You obviously don't.

    I know at least two people with military training who also play. I can, and routinely do, tag them both.

    It isn't "combat training" of any sort. The weapons don't work the same way - paintball guns are generally pump-action, semi-auto or work via electronic "ramping" systems, which do not resemble fire selection modes on firearms in the slightest. The recoil is practically non-existent. The range is measured in feet instead of meters as would be the case with rifles.

    Projectile velocity is around 240 fps, whereas actual firearm projectiles move at anywhere from 1000 fps for pistols to over 3000 for military rifles. Trying to aim a paintball gun using firearm skills or vice versa is a good way to miss. You need to lead a lot more, and correct for dip a lot sooner.

    The fields at which you play paintball are generally symmetrical (for speedball), or at least balanced.

    About the only combat skill relevant to real life warfare and paintball is cooperation. Both a paintball team and military squad need to communicate, coordinate and cover each other. Since the "angry, but otherwise untrained" people you're talking about commit solo acts of violence, paintball would be useless training for them.

  • by panthroman (1415081) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:49PM (#27884873) Homepage

    Instead of (correctly) complaining that "correlation != causation" or "this won't work!!", could we use examples like these to promote science education?

    Will banning paintball cause a decrease in school shootings? Did you know that's a scientifically tractable question?

    When a tragedy like this occurs, the public demands a political reaction. More education on the only known way to get at causation - the scientific method - might cause people to demand political reactions that work.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:11PM (#27884977) Homepage


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:13PM (#27884987)

    Only realistic replicas are banned. The reason is obvious. When cops are pondering shooting at you, they can tell if your gun is a toy easily. Even if you were using a replica they would have no reason to believe it was.

    If the nut holding up the bank is using a realistic-looking gun, kill him. Society becomes a better place whether the gun was actually real or not.

  • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:26PM (#27885055)

    Oh, it wasn't a problem for the Germans. It was a problem for the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other undesirables who were largely unarmed when the government came to take them away. And this is all within living memory for many. How quickly some people forget...

  • Re:Ah, yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:26PM (#27885057)

    I know this is a troll, and I shouldn't feed it. But what the hell.

    I've never met anyone under 40 who believed that banning or regulating violent entertainment would reduce real life violence. And they're quite correct to be sceptical - all the actual evidence is on their side.

    Everyone who supports laws like these is generally 50+. Think of folks like Jack Thompson. They actually do believe that trying to keep young people from pretending to shoot one another will curb real life violence.

    Now, there are plenty of sensible older folks who know this is BS. They just aren't a large or vocal enough group to drown out their delusional peers.

    So, it's really a case of the old and reactionary crowd trying to make themselves feel safe. These laws are the illusion of safety, tailored to cater to the aged and deluded.

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:33PM (#27885103)

    As much as I hate to see paintball and airsoft banned... I don't see how this is the government subjagating its population. More like being a stupid hysterical parent (of which I have seen dozens in response to paintball over the years).

    Just because this isn't effective, doesn't mean it isn't well intentioned. I'm sure the reason they're doing this is out of fear and outrage not some nefarious plot to supress the paintball revolution that was slowly fermenting in their borders.

    Stupid? Yes. Ignorant? Yes. Useless? Yes. Evil plot by the government? Not likely. The government is run by people just like you and me. Most normal people think paintball is a strange and violent game played by a bunch of sociopaths. Normal people also think the world is 7,000 years old. Think they're more likely to get their identiy stolen by buying something on amazon than by their brother in law. Think only children play video games. Think photoshop only runs on a mac.... etc etc etc...

    And who can really blame them in this instance. When else would you think it's normal for two people to be eating lunch and excitedly recounting how "He totally didn't see me coming. He was just sitting there and I snuck up behind him and shot him in the head. SPLAT!"

  • Re:In Other News: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:33PM (#27885105)

    Fingers will be stumped, penises removed... You know.. to prevent the rapes and the sexual harassment..

    Soon they'll find use for the banned sporks and start scooping out eyes from sockets at birth --- to prevent people from seeing things that they *might* interact with in ways that *might* have negative outcomes.

    It will only end when The Matrix is fully developed so nobody can actually be harmed.

    Ban fire, it won't save your house. Ban weed, millions don't give a shit. Ban guns, the innocent lose power to fight for their rights, criminals blow a line and move forward w/ guns like it never mattered.... Ban piracy, all your songs are now belong to soundcat.

    Ban words, people still say them. Ban religion, like that would ever work... Ban skittles, some jerkoff with a recipe will *STILL* make them and teach his kids how to do it out of spite and our human nature to do whatever we truly want to do.

    Ban meteors... Ban terrorism... Ban lies... Ban polygamy.... Ban swine flu.

    I swear, you could ban Dick Flavored Pizza and somewhere, somehow, in S. Korea, a guy will get a pizza that tastes like a dick.

    Banning paintball guns and airsoft won't bring 16 people back to life. I'm sure anyone involved wants to be noticed for caring (hence this stupid law idea)... But sometimes its ok to say 'such is life' and move on. Yes, bad things happen. Sympathize, accept, move on.

    Just don't let all that emotion force you to forget to think.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:34PM (#27885107) Homepage

    Here's how it usually goes down with these situations, aside from the case where the person isn't a sociopath:

    1) Guy gets marginalized and picked on.

    2) School knows about it and does nothing.

    3) Guy gets subjected to violence.

    4) The authorities do nothing despite the basic fact that we know from common sense and scientific observation that eventually an organism will lash out in self-defense if not protected.

    5) Guy may defend himself, at which rate the authorities will come down hard on him because as we all know "violence never solves anything."

    6) The authorities will earnestly pat themselves on the back as guardians of civilization for having stopped a victim from exercising force in self-defense.

    7) Guy lashes out with disproportionate force because pent up frustration made his temper 5x more explosive it would have been if causality had been allowed to run its course between the attackers and the victim.

    8) The authorities will claim it couldn't have been stopped.

    Violence solves things splendidly with bullies. In the early 1960s, victims of bullying were allowed to beat the shit out of the bully, and the authorities didn't even think about taking up for the bully unless it was so extreme as to be a violent crime.

    You want less violent shootings? Let teenage boys shoot guns (real guns), play video games and beat the shit out of each other when one attacks the other. When violence usually brings more violence back on the perpetrator, people usually are less inclined to use violence. Violent people who are quick to use force are not wired like normal people, and the best way to restrain them is to create a culture that will respond to them violently when they act out.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamangry (1463943) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:35PM (#27885121)
    In a world of grays, the black and white of law can never hope to completely navigate the perilous thin line between freedom and safety. Once upon a time, it was the principles of the people and the seriousness of the times that dictated where the line of law was drawn. Now, its the wishes of the powerful and the excuses of the times that allow the line of law to be drawn ever farther from freedom in the name of safety. This effect is seen in nearly every major "democratic" society today. And it's a shame.
  • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:45PM (#27885171)

    Read up about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising [] and then tell me fighting a losing battle never does any good. A few poorly armed Jews managed to hold off the the Wehrmacht for nearly a month. Sure, they lost in the end. But would it have been so easy for the Nazis to round up their victims if they faced such a battle every time they had tried?

    Remember that between 11 and 17 million people were killed in the Holocaust. Do you really believe that if every one of these people had a gun and used it against their oppressors, there would have been nearly as many murdered as there were? Look at the bigger picture.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by !coward (168942) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:46PM (#27885183)

    Well, the piece I saw on Euronews yesterday (I think) had the journalist saying that the move was a consequence of recent school shootings and, basically, just a way to uppease certain lobby groups that were demanding stricter gun control rules.

    Now, I don't know if it's true, but it does seem like nothing more than a smokescreen manouver on the part of the German government.

    It's actually funny, in a way.. I remember the first time I played paintball. Besides being tons of fun, I specifically remember how it struck me, for real, for the first time, just how easy it is to get killed in a combat scenario. One slip up, one moment's distraction, one false move, and you could end up with 4 members of the opposite team lined up in front of you like a firing squad (got blasted with something like 5 shots a piece that time, had to scream at them that I was dead -- corridor negotiation on an abandoned Asylum... man, what a perfect scenario for a match).

    That and all the nooks and crannys where a shooter can hide and pick you off without you ever figuring out where he/she was.

    Of all the people I know that play (or used to play) paintball, not one of them even owned guns. Yeah, they do have a certain charm, but .. *sigh* Correlation is not causation, anyone? (that is, assuming those recent school shootings even had any connection whatsoever to paintball).

  • Re:Mixed feelings (Score:2, Insightful)

    by at_slashdot (674436) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:48PM (#27885193)

    I like that this was moded "insightful" and not "funny" :D

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) <> on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:53PM (#27885217) Homepage
    They banned red blood in video games and throw people in prison for saying the holocaust didn't happen.

    You expect something rational to happen there?
  • by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:00PM (#27885241)

    I know of it. I thought of it when I posted. My point stands.

    What you're overlooking is that the uprising was a total loss. The Jews were still killed, if not during the fighting, then afterwards. As a last stand on principle, it was a good thing, but from a practical perspective, it accomplished nothing.

    Would it have been so easy for the Nazis to round up their victims if they faced such a battle every time they had tried?

    Every time they tried? Wouldn't have happened.

    The Warsaw Ghetto was packed. The people there had nothing to lose. Hell, they barely had any guns, and still made a fight of it. Sheer numbers were their weapon.

    Most of the victims of the holocaust didn't have the numbers to make that stick. A few Jews in their homes with pistols would not have staved off the SS when they arrived. Especially not when their supposed "countrymen" were supporting the SS most of the time.

    Yes, if everyone who the SS tried to round up had been armed and fought they'd have had a harder time of it. Most likely, the SS would have simply responded with escalating force of their own. A few civilians might stave off a death squad consisting of green troops with SMGs, but they'd be hopelessly outmatched by even one armoured vehicle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:09PM (#27885297)

    Germany: Great Idea, control the population by restricting personal freedom. How did that work out for you in the past?

  • by rossifer (581396) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:09PM (#27885301) Journal

    Germany has something like 1 intentional homicide per 100,000 people (about 1/4 of the USA murder rate, which is about half of the Zimbabwean murder rate ... not that the US needs gun control).

    Exclude drug-related murders from both Germany and the US. The remaining violence statistics are on par.

    The "War on (some) Drugs" is the most common proximal cause of murder in the US. Firearms are just the most popular tool for accomplishing a bit of drug fueled violence.

  • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:21PM (#27885401)

    If the rebels in the Warsaw Ghetto accomplished nothing simply because they lost, then neither did the Third Reich.

    Perhaps you will have the foresight and good fortune to flee a tyrannical government when you finally recognize your own to be one. Maybe to you the possibility of fighting back seems hopeless, and compliance--or even collaboration--is the only answer. I, for one, will not be rounded up so easily. I wish I could say the same for the rest of my countrymen, for my own sake if nothing else. But sadly many of them, like yourself, have forgotten or are willfully ignorant of the lessons of history. Against a single criminal or a tyrannical war machine, a gun can be the great equalizer.

    And for the record, the Nazis outnumbered the resistance fighters by a ratio of between 2:1 and 7:1. And the Nazis had tanks and an effectively unlimited supply of weapons at their disposal. You dishonor the fighters by trivializing their accomplishments.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:24PM (#27885419)

    Yes, if everyone who the SS tried to round up had been armed and fought they'd have had a harder time of it. Most likely, the SS would have simply responded with escalating force of their own. A few civilians might stave off a death squad consisting of green troops with SMGs, but they'd be hopelessly outmatched by even one armoured vehicle.

    Standard guns, rifles and the like, in such a scenario are great for defense. That is, they might allow you the time to improvise more efficient weapons, based on the target. With some tools (preferably milling machines) and materials and some know how, it wouldn't be hard to build something like a bazooka or panzerfaust, in substantial numbers, and IEDs in great numbers. Even simple Molotov cocktails were a great asset in Warsaw.

    Look at Iraq. Sure, the Wehrmacht would have been infinitely more ruthless, but with the help of small arms, the indigenous people still find successful ways to harass and delay a real modern, mobile and information fueled, 21st century fighting machine.

  • by wellingj (1030460) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:29PM (#27885449)
    Prohibition/Blackmarket fueled Violence.
    Drugs have about as much to do with the violence as the guns do.
    Guns and drugs are inanimate objects that don't do anything with out a person's input.
  • by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:36PM (#27885507)

    If the rebels in the Warsaw Ghetto accomplished nothing simply because they lost, then neither did the Third Reich.

    Yes. They didn't accomplish their goal of conquest.

    What did the Third Reich accomplish? It killed a great many people. It changed the geopolitical landscape of the day, though not for the better. It caused untold misery and suffering.

    These are accomplishments? Crimes, maybe. Accomplishments... not so much.

    Losing a fight is not an accomplishment. Fighting to the bitter end isn't either. Had the Warsaw Uprising resulted in the victims escaping death, or halted the advance of the German army, then I might call it an accomplishment.

    They had no choice in the matter, and I'd have done the same in their position. Doesn't change that they lost. And would have just as surely lost no matter how well armed they were; from a tactical standpoint, once the enemy has you surrounded and cut off from retreat or reinforcements, you are most likely screwed.

    Maybe to you the possibility of fighting back seems hopeless, and compliance--or even collaboration--is the only answer.

    -1 flamebait right there buddy. Oh, and there ought to be some Godwin variant that applies here; surely such a tasteless remark deserves it. Frankly, you ought to be ashamed for even making such a remark. I doubt you'd have the courage to say as much to anyone to their face.

    I never said resistance accomplishes nothing. I'm saying having guns ready for when the government comes for you accomplishes nothing, except your own demise in a shootout.

    Resistance is best accomplished through other means. If you must resist violently, explosives are a better choice than firearms, sabotage a better choice than a direct fight. Look at every successful uprising, and tell me I'm wrong.

  • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:41PM (#27885541)

    Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

  • by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@ g m> on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:47PM (#27885583)

    It's about motivation. If drugs were legal, there wouldn't be vast amounts of profits for the drug dealers, because American corporations have made profiting from anything an art form. You get the beer companies and the cigarette companies fighting over legalized pot, and you stop the real assholes from murdering over it.

    Burger King doesn't get into block wars with McDonald's just because they opened up a new restaurant right across the street.

  • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:53PM (#27885607)

    Your definition of "accomplishment" is bizarre and self-serving. If the only thing that makes anything worthwhile to you is immediate success in the endeavor, then we have no common ground on this matter.

    I stand behind everything I've said. The only thing you seem to be concerned with is short term well being. I find this attitude contemptible. If you would like to meet I will tell you the same thing in person.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:01AM (#27885673)

    As far as I'm concerned the only possible solution is to keep these people from acquiring the weapons that allow them to inflict high numbers of casualties or to allow people carry sufficient protection to put one of these people down when they snap.

    I used to think that gun control is the solution to violence. That banning guns would work. However, I'm starting to think though that guns are like P2P technology: the genie's out of the bottle, and no one's putting it back in. There are too many legitimate reasons to own a gun, and in the vast majority of countries, it will not be possible to remove all guns from circulation. As a result, I'm tending towards the same approach as P2P technology - use it, and use it as much as makes sense.

    The trick, of course, is what makes sense? My initial thought on this is that the probability to encounter a gun in public should be the same probability as being able to buy a gun. Yes, it means a lot of people will be carrying guns. It will require training, and it will require a major slap-down if anything happens to your gun, or if you do something with your gun that puts others in jeopardy (like leaving it unattended), you get slapped down hard. Fines if you were merely careless, jail time if something bad resulted from it (self-defense will only be valid if another gun was drawn). Only those who are willing to bear the risk will be out in public with them - good and bad people alike.

    Will it make going out an entirely different experience? Sure will. Restaurants will have a gun check, along with a coat check. Clubs will become a little less carefree. Secondary shootings will go up. Would it be worth it? I don't know. But one thing I'm learning is that everything is a tool, and you can't unmake tools, or unlearn them. We might as well embrace them.

    Finally, I think we're going to end up with an interesting social experiment: Germany is banning violence, but allowing boobs. The US is banning boobs, but allowing violence. We'll see how things evolve.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kleen13 (1006327) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:44AM (#27885883)
    Exactly, and well said. You might as well ban the military for the same reasons. Talk about political knee jerk reactions with untangable results. Any elections upcoming?
  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <kwelris>> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:45AM (#27885891)

    The "good men" in that quote isn't just talking about other countries though, it applies on the individual level too.

  • by east coast (590680) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:34AM (#27886115)
    Violent movies are just as dangerous.

    Actually, movies are probably worse. They teach that the main character can kill dozens without getting a scratch. Airsoft and paintball teaches you that you suck with a gun. Which is more glamorous in the eyes of a downtrodden teen?
  • by SBFCOblivion (1041418) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:49AM (#27886199)

    Exactly. You stand up for yourself and somehow you're the bad guy. It even extends to parents, man. The whole "don't stoop to their level" crap.

    My wife and I have a son who is one and a half years old and we've already discussed and agreed upon situations like this. When our kid is old enough to understand we're going to reassure him that if he's ever picked on and defends himself we'll defend him all the way. If we get called in to the school because of an 'incident' and it turns out he was only defending himself I don't think the school administration will be too happy when we 100% condone what our kid did.

    I realize this may cause problems with him being in that school, but that's something we'll deal with if/when the time comes. I refuse to preach bullshit to my kid about 'stooping to their level'.

    I was a complete pussy when I was a kid and got picked on a lot and never once tried standing up for myself. I'm going to constantly ensure my kid that he'll receive no objection from me.

  • Re:Ah, yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ishobo (160209) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:51AM (#27886203)

    The 25 points consisted of a mixture of exaggerated nationalistic demands, corruptions of socialist ideas, and racist and anti-Semitic doctrines. That is not what I would call ideas of the far left, and explains why you did not reprint all the points. This was a great propaganda campaign. I highly recommend learning something of this history rather than quote mining.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:58AM (#27886249)

    Having a gun in a fight works if the fight is nearly fair. Two men with pistols each have a decent chance of winning a gunfight. We aren't talking about that here. We're talking about a civilian against soldiers, plural. Guns don't help there. Other weapons do.

    If every group of soldiers suffered just one serious casualty for every group of jews or whatever group they were assigned to bring in, morale would plummet to the point of mutiny pretty quickly. Even if soldiers ended up slaughtering everyone in each group, there would still be a pretty good chance of them taking one casualty in the process.

  • by Reservoir Penguin (611789) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:13AM (#27886327)
    Because you must think that it's better to perish in a gas chamber after months of humiliating existence in a concentration camp then to die fighting next to your comrades.
  • by logicnazi (169418) <(logicnazi) (at) (> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:23AM (#27886373) Homepage

    No, if everyone the SS tried to round up had been armed and aware losing meant a near sureity of death for them and theirs they would have taken over the country. Hell, even if only 10% had been ready and willing to die for the cause they would have won, guns or no guns.

    History is filled with examples of asymetric warfare where armed fanatics bested or held their own against huge numerical and military advantages. The vast majority of soldiers in every regular army aren't killers nor eager to die. They mostly just go with the flow and try not to get shot. Except for a small number of elites they are useless without their command structure and the psychological comfort of group membership.

    Fanatics or people with their back to the wall don't suffer the same disadvantages. When failure is as good as death for you and yours you'll fight back even in isolation. Military hardware is great for defeating armies but most of it is useless against a scattered population of individual killers. That's why a small number of insurgents in Iraq can keep hundreds of thousands of our troops occupied and even then most insurgents aren't true fanatics or up against a wall. Even a thousand men ready to kill and die to stop you is a grave threat even if they are armed with sticks.

    But of course the upshot of this is that I agree with your conclusion. Guns wouldn't have made a difference, only knowledge would have. Even without guns the holocaust would have been a fraction of the size had the victims really believed they were to be sent to their death. On the other hand without that belief guns would be confiscated before anyone was willing to use them.


    Let me put it this way. No matter how racist and unfair you think the police where you live are how likely are you to shot back if they come and demand your guns under a new law? Would you have fired back to stop them from taking you to a japanese internment camp in WWII?

    If your answer is no why would you think it would have gone down and differently during the holocaust? Maybe during less organized genocides but not the holocaust.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyn1c77 (928549) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:30AM (#27886397)

    Woah, woah, woah.

    I play paintball too. And I disagree with some of your statements.

    It isn't "combat training" of any sort.

    It can serve as a form of combat training, especially for close-quarters combat. I used to play with some soldiers on an Army base who would train with paintguns for just that reason. They said that the military laser systems were rampant with cheaters and they also wanted the soldiers to feel the sting of being shot. (This was 10 years ago, maybe they have improved the laser systems since then.)

    Trying to aim a paintball gun using firearm skills or vice versa is a good way to miss. You need to lead a lot more, and correct for dip a lot sooner.

    Paintball really honed my snap shooting skills and I have found that directly translates to shooting real firearms. I find that shooting trap or skeet with my shotgun is almost exactly like shooting a paintgun at a moving target. I also think that it improves defensive pistol shooting where you aren't carefully aiming at a target, but just trying to draw and hit it quickly.

    Projectile velocity is around 240 fps

    I know Germany keeps the velocity low (210??), but it's 280-285 in the US at insured fields, and a lot of people who play on their own fields turn it up to 300 fps.

    That said, I totally agree that in paintball, cooperation is key. The angry or solo players are usually taken out early... unless they are really good.

    TFA said that the crazy kid's dad had 15 guns, so I am betting that little Johnny was a pretty good shot... especially when matched up against an unarmed, unsuspecting crowd. Germany needs to reconsider their gun laws, not their paintball laws. I doubt that banning guns would deter a motivated individual anyway.

    But you've got to remember that Germany has had a hard-on for paintball for a while. They have ridiculously low velocity limits, you can almost jump out of the way of the paintballs. Also, German paint markers have to be certified and F-stamped or they are considered unregistered firearms.

    It kind of sucks for paintballers, but I think that the atrocities of WWII remain in the collective German subconscious to some extent. So it isn't unreasonable that they are hypersensitive about any activity that could even be construed as promoting violence.

  • by kinocho (978177) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:35AM (#27886415)

    Ok, usually I don't get into guns discussions, but just for your information, in my country you have to have your guns locked, dismantled and inside a safe box.

    Thing is, the safebox is too complicated for my father to go throuhg, so, so you know who was the one in charge of opening it most of the times? Yeah, his 7 years old son, that was me, by the way.

    And although I admit to being a full sociopath, I am not a crazy or assassin or anything.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rts008 (812749) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:46AM (#27886481) Journal

    While I see your point, there are several things I would like to address.

    I know at least two people with military training who also play. I can, and routinely do, tag them both.

    I commend your skills.
    But...I have trained with both MILES gear, and paintballs while in active service, and have 'played' paintball' as a civilian.[getting banned is not fun]

    Playing 'paintball' is in the same 'mental category' as playing 'Battlefield 1942' on a public server. You can respawn, or just collect your gear and go home.
    'Real life' combat is much more harsher than that.
    I do not mean to dismiss/diminish your 'skills', as attitude is as as important in 'real life' combat as training/skills are. You, with your 'paintball play', have exhibited this 'attitude', and have developed some technical proficiency. That I will not deny, or does mean a lot in 'real life' combat!

    We 'know' that we will 'respawn', or 'collect our gear' and go home, so it does affect our 'gameplay' and tactics. I have been kicked out/off several paintball courses and game servers for taking advantage of my 'real life' combat skills/experience for 'cheating'.
    I now have to travel quite a distance to 'play paintball' due to being 'banned' locally. I hate that, because it is 'good training'!...keeps me from getting 'rusty'.[again, I am not denying your 'experience'!)

    What I am really trying to say is this:
    Keep the faith, bro!
    Having the 'mindset', and the ability to apply it is more than 'half the battle',
    I would take you in on my team, just from/by your attitude.
    The 'mental levels' require an 'active, alert, analytic' frame of mind. 'Playing paintball' provides that. What could be bad with that?

    Just don't get yourself convinced you are in 'my league'(and others like me) because you 'survived' on a paintball course...but you do provide a valid/important data point....and may still 'tag' my ass!
    Damn Kids! Get off my lawn!(out of paintball range!)
    And 'turn that crap down!'
    It was a crazy world back then... ;-) :-) ;-) :-)

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SlashWombat (1227578) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:51AM (#27886493)
    This happened in Australia after a massacre which triggered drastic Gun law legislation changes. It put many paint ball places out of business. They are starting to re-appear now though. (Just wait for the next massacre though.)

    From at least one of the Australian tragedies, it can be deduced that military training is more of an issue than paint ball ... I wonder what an examination in one of the most violent gun cultures on earth would show?
  • by Entropy98 (1340659) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:00AM (#27886519) Homepage

    That's a gross oversimplification. Its sounds like something you would hear in an elementary school. You don't actually believe that bullshit do you? If you do, well, I'd say you're the sheep.

    The world is not black and white, people are not either good or evil. This isn't a fairy tale, the world isn't that simple. That sounds good, feels good bullshit is part of the problem. It perpetuates the we are good, they are bad myth.

    The world is a dangerous place, "sheepdog" security theater isn't going to save them, though it may get some politicians elected and sell some product. The world is full of different shades of gray. People need to learn how to think for themselves, not hide behind some fucking "sheepdog".

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RsG (809189) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:11AM (#27886569)

    It can serve as a form of combat training, especially for close-quarters combat. I used to play with some soldiers on an Army base who would train with paintguns for just that reason. They said that the military laser systems were rampant with cheaters and they also wanted the soldiers to feel the sting of being shot. (This was 10 years ago, maybe they have improved the laser systems since then.)

    I'm sorry, feel the sting of being shot? Paintballs leave welts. Gunshots leave holes. That doesn't just "sting".

    Unless you meant that as more along the lines of denying cheaters the opportunity to claim they weren't hit, which happens much too often in airsoft matches. With paint or lasers though, it isn't about the sting of being hit, so much as it is about there being physical evidence of a hit.

    Paintball really honed my snap shooting skills and I have found that directly translates to shooting real firearms. I find that shooting trap or skeet with my shotgun is almost exactly like shooting a paintgun at a moving target. I also think that it improves defensive pistol shooting where you aren't carefully aiming at a target, but just trying to draw and hit it quickly.

    Snap shooting, maybe. Marksmanship, no. And I can get you three guys who know more of shooting than I who I've paintballed with to back me up on this.

    Over short distances the difference is lead and dip is going to matter less. You'll be off be a few inches. Medium range, it's more like a few feet. With a shotgun, that might matter a bit less, though (given enough spread).

    And anyone used to shooting a paintball marker is going to be in for a rude shock when a shotgun kicks them hard enough to dislocate their shoulder. Recoil control is a really big deal with guns.

    I get where you're coming from, but from the sound of it, most of your marksmanship skills come from actual firearms. Somebody who trains on a marker isn't going to have that.

    I know Germany keeps the velocity low (210??), but it's 280-285 in the US at insured fields, and a lot of people who play on their own fields turn it up to 300 fps.

    We're still talking a full order of magnitude lower than a rifle though, and less than a third the muzzle velocity of a pistol.

    That said, I totally agree that in paintball, cooperation is key. The angry or solo players are usually taken out early... unless they are really good.

    Which, conveniently, makes the whole "oh, it'll train psychos" argument even more lame. I'd kinda think that paintball would give the loners a chance to make friends with like-minded people. Teamwork can be good for that sometimes.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ardor (673957) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:13AM (#27886573)

    Germany, where you can watch two people shit in eachothers mouths while doing backflips, and where you'll get arrested for doing "the gun" with your hand.

    Funny thing is, in the US it is exactly the other way round. Dozens of firearms in the house, even automatic ones? Hey, no problem! Dare to show a female nipple on TV? This goes straight to the Supreme Court.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:48AM (#27886709) Homepage Journal

    Well politicians live in a fantasy world and don't acknolwedge that the realistic nature of paintball forces you to realize that if you were using a real gun that your life would be very short.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uglyduckling (103926) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:01AM (#27886773) Homepage

    Good post.

    But, seriously, you 'need' to 'stop' putting 'single quotes' around every other 'word'.

  • Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:54AM (#27886997)

    When things are illegal, people who deal in them will use illegal means of dispute resolution, in part because those are the only ones available. If you and I have a business dispute over legal business and we just can't resolve it, well then one of us can take the other to court, and resolve it there. However if we are dealing in illegal business, we really can't be doing that since, well, we'd get arrested and all that. Thus violence is a more common means of resolution. Now when you have a large, and well funded empire going on, then the violence level increases that much more. You have the means to get lots of weapons, and the reason to use them.

    Well legalization really does take that all away. The reason is that you just can't compete effectively with the legal businesses, unless you set up your own. If you try to run a business designed around the way you did it when things were illegal, you'll go broke.

    I mean take alcohol as a good example. There is no widespread distribution of moonshine. That isn't to say there aren't people who don't occasionally make alcohol illegally (it is controlled and you have to pay taxes on it and such) but it is rare, and localized. There's no way to make any real money. After all customers won't come seeking you, since you aren't offering a unique product, you are offering something they can get at any Safeway. You can't distribute your product at retail centers, so no widespread sales. You can't charge a lot since the only thing you can offer is a lower price. Thus there's all of no money to be made on it illegally. You either go legit or you go out of business.

    Now I'm not saying legalization doesn't have downsides, no action is without cost, but to argue that legalizing wouldn't reduce violence is stupid, and shows a massive ignorance of the prohibition in the US and basic economic realities. You get Philip Morris and the like in on selling drugs and you'll see the cartels dropping like flies.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by malcomreynolds (1358799) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:57AM (#27887013)
    I would say that the USA is very much different from Germany when it comes to violence. Just look at the level of violence allowed in primetime TV in both countries and you will see that violence is an integral part of American culture. A 1 second shot of a woman's breast is cause for a national outrage, and it is even more pathetic when you consider that it was during an event which is pure violence. The USA has it's priorities backwards. I saw a .sig once that said "I'm European. I'm afraid of guns not boobs." When you consider the number of violent crimes per capita, the percentage of the population in prison and the recidivism rate, I think Germans and Europeans in general are doing something right.
  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:46AM (#27887385)

    Not really - they banned laser tag too :/

  • Re:Ah, yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by liquiddark (719647) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:36AM (#27887601)
    I think this is more like banning the plus sign for its vague resemblance to a swastika.
  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bryanp (160522) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:46AM (#27887647)

    Funny thing is, in the US it is exactly the other way round. Dozens of firearms in the house, even automatic ones? Hey, no problem!

    Not exactly true. As someone who owns "dozens" of firearms (currently at 26 because I haven't sold 4 I don't want anymore, so yeah ...) and is reasonably familiar with the relevant laws, obtaining an automatic firearm is not as easy as many people would like to believe. It's involves a substantial background check, getting permission from your local law enforcment, and several other obnoxious hoops. The process is time consuming, somewhat complicated and quite expensive. The laws affecting automatic weapons have made them an exceptionally pricey hobby. I could easily point you at many lower-end models that would cost me as much as my entire collection of bolt action, lever action, pump action, revolving, and semi-automatic firearms.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adona1 (1078711) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:27AM (#27887811)

    The second amendment was written specifically to have an armed populace so the government wouldn't get oppressive.

    Speaking as a non-American, I'm interested in just when you guys are going to utilise the second amendment you're so fond of for that purpose. My personal bet is this side of never....

  • by obi (118631) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:33AM (#27887845)
    Well, drugs most definitely are illegal in Germany. By your reasoning, Germany's murder rate should be the same as in the US?
  • insanity rules (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:50AM (#27887919) Homepage Journal

    Yes, another fine product of the current german government. And yes, I am german, so I'm allowed to whine (and yes, I'm trying to change things).

    The problem is that the current government in Germany is made up of people who are either incompetent or insane, and sometimes both. And when I say "insane", I actually do mean that in a clinical psychological sense. Our minister of the interior, who is pushing law after law which are almost all later found to be unconstitutional, is suffering from PTSD. His medical records are kept a secret. This is the same guy who says that if you've got nothing to hide, you couldn't possibly be opposed to all the new surveilance measures. Go figure.

    Our (female) minister for family, education, etc. is the bitch behind the "STOP" sign and DNS redirection to fight child porn. You know, the thing that does absolutely nothhing against actual child abuse, but only tries very weakly to stop the display of pictures of same (i.e. at least two layers of abstraction away from the actual event). If you've followed her story even a little, you also have to doubt whether she's perfectly sane or not.

    The list goes on with ministers of finance who were personally involved with some banks that crashed and likely prevented investigations until liabilities for the former owners (their friends) had expired, a minister of transportation who's trying to sell the state train system, at about 10% of its estimated worth, and a prime minister who very strongly stands for ... nothing. I don't think anyone on the streets of Germany could tell you what she stands for, what her policies are, or what the heck she's doing at all.

    So that's Germany in 2009. Not so much different from the US in 2008, even to the point that it is election year. Except that we don't have an Obama to promise change. So elections will be very interesting.

  • by WCguru42 (1268530) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:39PM (#27889605)

    There are two major flaws with this story...

    The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    Unless you're in the real world. Look at those Pennsylvania judges that sent all those kids to juvenile correction centers in exchange for cash payouts from those running the facilities. The judge is not your typical "sheepdog" but they sit in equivalent seats of authority. Those two judges aren't getting anything near the punishment they deserve (the minimum of which should be equal time in jail to what they sent those kids away for) defeating the whole notion that "sheepdogs" will be severely punished for when they do harm. Democracies and Republics don't work like shepherds, because a real shepherd would actually deal with a sheepdog attacking his flock.

    Speaking of shepherds, your story doesn't even mention them. Ever wonder who has the greatest power in the sheep, sheepdog, wolf story. It's the shepherd, and the shepherd doesn't even have to use violence. And that, my friends, is why the shepherd can protect his flock without terrifying them. The difference between the sheepdog and the shepherd in real life is the difference between the cop who gets his gun and thinks, "Now I've got the power." and the cop who gets his gun and thinks, "I hope I never have to use this." The sheepdog is nothing but a wolf who hasn't attacked the wrong people. The shepherd doesn't want to use his power unless necessary and will not resort to it until the time requires it.

    Still, by adding in this extra player, you're still left with an oversimplification of good and evil. If you want a free society you have to live with the dangers of a free society. If we had authoritarian rule then there probably wouldn't be as much violence in the public, but you've gotta believe the government would be killing off all those who broke the least of laws or just happened to upset someone in authority. I'd rather have the risks of freedom than any government "security blanket." Simply put, those who tell us that our freedoms our not the most important things are those who are too afraid to step into the dark and face the unknown. These are the kinds of people that would never go to the moon, that would never risk their lives for something, and who seek only to control what is ultimately uncontrollable, humanity.

  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by woot account (886113) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:15PM (#27889935)
    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.