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German Gov To Ban Paintballing After Shooting 580

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-all-fall-down dept.
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 @10:18PM (#27884657)

    Come on Germany, you used to be cool.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Xaoswolf (524554)
      What are they going to do next, demand that we remove the ovens from the kitchens of the citizens?
    • Re:Really Germany? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by !coward (168942) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:46PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        Of all the people I know that play (or used to play) paintball, not one of them even owned guns.

        Goddamned, I'm sick of people parading around their lack of experience with guns as if it were a fucking virtue. The second amendment was written specifically to have an armed populace so the government wouldn't get oppressive. Now it's chic to never have touched a gun, good job, the government fucking loves you and can send in the swat teams without any worry.

        What if this guy didn't have a gun?
        http://www.wsbt [wsbtv.com]

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

          by adona1 (1078711) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @09:27AM (#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 Fooker (656693) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:18PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:31PM (#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.

      • by linhares (1241614)
        I heard the shooter picked his nose from time to time, when nobody was watching. So that's the right policy. Get those people that pick their noses and throw them in jail for life.

        Won't someone please think about the children?

    • by Toe, The (545098) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:35PM (#27884779)

      Psssst! Hey man, want some splat? I'll get you freaky painted.

      2 EUR a ball, 20 for a baker's dozen.

      Just don't share a dirty gun with your friends.

    • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:38PM (#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 wisty (1335733) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:06PM (#27884949)

        31 people in 7 years? That's nothing. 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).

        Germany has 82 million people, so that's 820 homicides per year. I am guessing that the biggest offenders will be husbands, and the next biggest offenders will be wives.

        I say they should ban marriage - it's obviously a far bigger cause of violence than paintball games.

        • by rossifer (581396) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:09AM (#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 wellingj (1030460) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:29AM (#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 mog007 (677810) <[Mog007] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:47AM (#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.

              • Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Sycraft-fu (314770)

                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 wel

              • by religious freak (1005821) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:08AM (#27887065)
                STOP. You're making too much sense! I just wish a politician would have the balls to actually change things. This war on drugs is such nonsense. If I had to choose between pot, cigarettes and alcohol to have legal, I'd choose pot. It's one of the most benign drugs anywhere.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by obi (118631)
                Well, drugs most definitely are illegal in Germany. By your reasoning, Germany's murder rate should be the same as in the US?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by couchslug (175151)

        "But you'd think the Germans of all people would understand the risks of having an overly powerful government and a largely unarmed populace."

        That wasn't precisely the problem for Germany. The problem for the majority, lest we forget, is that they lost WWII. People don't fight that ferociously for an ideology they don't buy into.

        Given the enormous post-WWII effort by the Allies to condition Germans to be peaceful and docile by relentlessly reminding them of the Nazi period, we should not be surprised if the

        • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:26PM (#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...

          • by guruevi (827432) <evi@smoking c u be.be> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:06AM (#27885275) Homepage

            This is a living memory only for a few old people, the young people and probably even all of the ruling class has heard about it but it's part of history rather not remembered just like the templar knights and the inquisition.

            My grandfather remembers it since he was arrested and sent to Bergen-Belsen, escaped, betrayed and sent to Buchenwald because he was in the resistance (sabotage) but he's 89 years old. He was also in the Belgian Congo and as he described it: shot blacks with spears off a bridge with a machine gun while being dropped by parachute to extract a "diddling" priest, the only white man in the village while there was an unusual amount of "mulatto" children. I had a friend that has lived it because of his religion (even went through the Death March) but he died last year.

            What I think is the main problem is 1) education: the gritty details are not being revealed to children because they believe they are too shocking while a lot of the media around it is romanticized or only described from one side (the winners side or what the soldiers had to go through to win) 2) shame: the survivors are to this day (with exceptions) ashamed to talk about it, the people or nations that went along with the nazi's (Germany, the Netherlands, the Catholic Church, Switzerland) are ashamed/afraid to admit wrongdoing. 3) Hitlers empire and the power he exerted over people is a wet dream for many politicians and rulers, if you analyze the political standpoints (without taking into account the blind hatred for minorities) you'll notice that politicians have been trying to do the same thing in a different way over and over again. What he promised was good jobs for everybody and to get rid of whomever seems to be the boogeyman for the current problems in exchange for their basic rights and freedoms all wrapped in a thin veil of hope for the children and pride in their own country.

      • by Pinckney (1098477)

        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.

        Exactly. "...the new rules, which the cabinet hopes to pass before a general election in September...".

      • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:33PM (#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!"

    • by williamhb (758070) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:39PM (#27884809) Journal

      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.

      Actually some aspects of the proposed laws do indeed get to the root of the problem. For instance tightening the restrictions on how registered guns are stored (the gun in this shooting was registered by the father but was not locked away -- had it been, this particular shooting certainly would have been much more difficult). As it is, there's talk of punishing the father through "involuntary manslaughter" under the existing laws (because the father knew his son was depressed and should have known this might happen) but that seems like vague retribution for the incident having occurred rather than unambiguous preventative legislation instructing gun owners that their guns must be securely locked away. Banning paintball is an odd reaction, but so far this is only a proposed bill -- AFAIK it's usual for proposed bills to be debated and to have things that turn out to be a bit silly taken out of them on the way through parliament (the Bundestag).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kinocho (978177)

        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.

    • by alvinrod (889928) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:47PM (#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.

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:03AM (#27885261) Journal
        I read an interesting quote from Herb Cohen (author of You Can Negotiate Anything, among others). I shall reproduce it here, for everyone's consumption.

        When people in our society believe they can't as individuals, make a difference, it's bad for all of us. "Powerless" people become apathetic and toss in the towel, which means others have to carry them on their backs, or they become hostile and try to tear down a system they can't understand and don't believe they can control. This attitude pervades our world. Some of its symptoms are declining productivity and senseless violence.

        Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was one of those who became hostile. She attempted to gun down President Gerald Ford. After her arrest, she explained, "When people around you treat you like a child and pay no attention to the things you say, you have to do something!"

        The "something" Squeaky did was psychopathic and self-destructive. Her self-perception was miles off base. She didn't realize that she had other alternatives that were socially acceptable and legal. She didn't realize that a criminal act, regardless of its goal, is almost always an abuse of power.

        I think it is a problem in society of people not seeing things clearly. It is the same problem that we have with poverty: people living in the slums could pick themselves up, get an education, get out and greatly improve their lives, but it is hard for them to see the path to accomplishing that. Sometimes it is hard for them to believe they are even capable of it, so they stay stuck where they are. The two are often related: people killing each other because they don't understand how the world is, and people remaining in poverty because they don't understand how the world is.

        Life sucks, but you can change things. We need to get that message out to people. It will be a lot more effective than banning guns.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)

        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 cour

      • by pipingguy (566974) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:09AM (#27885707) Homepage
        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

        By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."

        "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. Most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

        I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

        "Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

        "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

        If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

        But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

        Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

        The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. 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. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

        Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

        Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WCguru42 (1268530)

          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

    • by hey! (33014)

      I don't know if they are "creating a much bigger problem". What problem is that?

      It seems to me that they're passing laws just to make people feel like something is being done. It's not going to do any good, and it's going to do bad -- but just a tiny bit of bad. Certainly not a "much bigger problem" than somebody killing over a dozen people, but still a little bit bad.

  • by chris098 (536090) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:19PM (#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...

  • by RsG (809189) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:19PM (#27884675)

    But I will say I find this entirely in keeping with the policy of the German government. They have similarly ridiculous laws in place regarding video games and other entertainment, so while this new one seems utterly idiotic, it is at least a logical extension of what they've already done.

    At this rate, they'll be banning soccer next. Wouldn't want those hooligans "lowering the threshold for violent acts", now, would we?

  • Ah, yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:20PM (#27884687)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RsG (809189)

      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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by liquiddark (719647)
      I think this is more like banning the plus sign for its vague resemblance to a swastika.
  • From what i understand some places in Europe already ban anything that even looks like a gun, such as replicas.

    Idiots.

  • by MakinBacon (1476701) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:24PM (#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.
    • by Xeth (614132)
      I agree that these games should not be banned, but you're still committing what I like to call the fallacy of simple causes. Just because there is a known cause for a problem, that doesn't mean that other things can't also contribute to it. Humans may be inherently violent, but excessive cultural glorification of it (which is locked in a vicious demand-produce cycle) can certainly add to those natural tendencies.
      • by RsG (809189)

        I've seen the "cultural glorification" argument before. I'm afraid it doesn't hold up very well.

        Find me a culture that does not glorify violence, in entertainment, or values, or what parts of history are focused upon. You likely can't. Even "peaceful" countries generally place a great deal of importance upon their own military history. They glorify whatever wars they feel they fought justly.

        The human instinct toward violence is universal. The outlets vary.

        Conversely, if you look at the other end of thi

  • Backward Thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:25PM (#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:Backward Thinking (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aranykai (1053846) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [resnogls]> on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:36PM (#27884787)

      I had a similar experience with Airsoft(plastic BB guns essentially)when I was about 17. I also realized how much proper instruction in gun safety was after several of my friends shot themselves accidentally. I had been taught about pistols and rifles as I grew up, and my father took me to the shooting range a few times over the years, so I had the safety training they didnt get. If they had decided to pick up and play with a real gun they found, they could have seriously injured themselves.

      Back on topic, I do think to a degree, these war games can be an encouragement for using violence to work out your frustration. I continue play airsoft regularly, with about a dozen people for years now. Inevitably someone will start to take things too seriously, so we have rules in place where we can send them off to cool down. That being said, I think banning it because some might have obvious mental instabilities that would make this lead them to shoot people with real guns is absurd. Will they ban toy swords and water guns next?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Walpurgiss (723989)
        Northern Illinois University banned NERF guns after the school shooting on Valentines day last year, much to the dismay of our local Zombies vs Humans crowd.

        Everyone ended up having to just throw socks if I remember right from their protest flyers.
  • Mixed feelings (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roystgnr (4015)

    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!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by russlar (1122455)

      But if they no longer have any projectile weapons, next time they won't manage to conquer anyone except France!

      France surrendered preemptively after reading this.

  • I guess that's fair, in a country that "trivializes thinking."
  • All flatware will be replaced with sporks, and, after an adjustment period, the sporks will be replaced with rubber-tipped chopsticks. Also, the ! will be replaced with the pipe|.
    • Re:In Other News: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by joocemann (1273720) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:33PM (#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 Thomasje (709120) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:46PM (#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 panthroman (1415081) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:49PM (#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.

  • Folded sheets of notebook paper in the shape of SMGs? Or rubber bands over thumb and forefinger?

    Just holding a chicken finger in your hand in a vaguely gun-like silhouette?

    I imagine it will end in amputations...

  • "The rationale for this is that 'paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts.'"

    Oppressive laws that limit personal responsibility and undermine rational thinking trivializes society and risks lowering the threshold for legislating more inane laws that drive people to violent acts.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:34PM (#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.

  • Okay.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by missileman (1101691) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @12:33AM (#27885481)

    Just don't mention the war...

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:09AM (#27886013)

    paintball: Fines could be up to 5,000 euros.

    • Water pistols: 2000 euros
    • Running with scissors: 1000 euros
    • Playing Battleship: 500 euros
    • Playing Battleship (naming your "Bismark"): 10000 euros
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Seraphim_72 (622457)
      • Inventing the blitzkrieg and overrunning Poland: Pricless

      For this and all your other war chest needs, bank in Switzerland. Holder of Jewish gold and art to this very day.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:57AM (#27887433)

    This is in the news here since two days ago and basically backfired big time allready, with even the police union turning to the CDU and saying 'totally hairbrained stupid idea'. Particularly hilarious is the reaction of one of those supporting the programm in an spiegel-online interview [spiegel.de] from yesterday (it's in the last fourth of the video - in German though - but you can catch the tone nonetheless). The guy loses his cool the instant he is asked about it, having been bugged the entire day about it. Very funny indeed and the comentary of the video doesn't stint on snide and whitty remarks on this political botch either.

  • insanity rules (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @09:50AM (#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.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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