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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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  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:23PM (#27884709) Homepage Journal

    From what i understand some places in Europe already ban anything that even looks like a gun, such as replicas.


  • Re:Backward Thinking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aranykai ( 1053846 ) <slgonser@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> 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?

  • 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.

  • Re:Backward Thinking (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Walpurgiss ( 723989 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:08PM (#27884955)
    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.
  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:15PM (#27884993)

    "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 their government makes every effort to wean them from violent play.

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

    by Hojima ( 1228978 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:20PM (#27885017)

    It's even more ironic that they plan to ban pellet sports. The soldiers in training use lasers, which involve no pellets, and the guns are real and fitted with blanks. So if anything, they are making the more violent/practical sport a legal alternative. Way to go legislature.

  • by RsG ( 809189 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:35PM (#27885115)

    Being armed wouldn't have done any of them the slightest bit of good. They were outnumbered, out gunned, and up against a modern fighting force. At best, they could have taken a few SS with them, which would not save them, but might fuel Nazi propaganda.

    The best, and only, choice for those who the German government was rounding up and murdering was to flee. Leave occupied territory, go into hiding, or otherwise avoid capture and death. Going down fighting has never done anyone the slightest bit of good; you have to have a chance of winning to make the fight worth your life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:47PM (#27885185)

    I disagree, the German court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has continuously protected the rights and freedoms of the German citizens. Examples include rulings against free access of police on provider logs [] (German) and rulings against electronic voting [](German).

    At the moment this is whole thing is just a media stunt, if a law really gets passed I am optimistic it will get shot down by the court.

  • 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.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> 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 pipingguy ( 566974 ) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @01:09AM (#27885707)
    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:Ah, yes. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jcnnghm ( 538570 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @02:03AM (#27885981)

    Right wing hate group, you aren't referring to the Nazi's are you? You do know that Nazi stood for Nationalsozialismus, officially National Socialism. From the 25 Points of Hitler's Nazi Party:

    7. We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood. If it should not be possible to feed the whole population, then aliens (non-citizens) must be expelled from the Reich.

    10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

    12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

    15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

    16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

    17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

    18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

    20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State.

    21. The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.

    None of those are "right-wing" points. You'll notice that all three of the great mass-murderers in the 20th century, Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin, leaned far to the left.

  • by stonewallred ( 1465497 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:14AM (#27886579)
    Fighting for your life and the lives of your family is the important part. If every jew, gypsy,homosexual and other fodder for the nazis' death camps had fought to their dying breath before being taken off to be exterminated, that things may have been different. Look at the French Resistance, the current islamic terrorists, the IRA, and then try to extend your mind into the realms of numbers. How many jews, how many gypsies? How many armed and ready to die in the street, taking at least one government stooge down with them does it take to stop BS? If every time a local USA police department staged a predawn raid, they had to be concerned with not only the people in the house, but their neighbors also, you would see a remarkable decrease in the use of the heavily armed no knock intrusion. The threat of deadly response is a big speed bump for oppressive governments, hence the heavy use of secret police, and the indoctrination of the youth in every oppressive government.And the most important thing you forgot is the idea that it is better to die on your feet, as a free man, than live on your knees as a slave.
  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kno3 ( 1327725 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:03AM (#27886789)
    I am English, and have spent a large amount of time living in Germany and the US. I would say that Germany is very similar to the US in many ways, definitely a lot more like the US than the UK is. You share a lot of sentiments, such as you fighting to preserve the right of the individual, something that we pay far less attention to in the UK (thank god). Something that I admire about your two peoples is that you are both very friendly. Travelling around the US and Germany you are made to feel similarly welcome. Places like some of the more closed off small US towns deep in the country also have parallels in Germany, although admittedly it is far less obvious.
  • Re:Really Germany? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spanky the monk ( 1499161 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:59AM (#27887023)

    such as you fighting to preserve the right of the individual, something that we pay far less attention to in the UK (thank god)

    Maybe that's why, in the UK, there are CCTV cameras watching your every move.

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

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:09AM (#27887465)

    I wonder what an examination in one of the most violent gun cultures on earth would show?

    Not as much as you might think. No universal military service here, so fewer people with military training than your average European country.

    Mostly what the USA shows is that criminalizing recreational drugs produces criminals, who shoot each other fighting over drug profits.

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

    by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:27AM (#27887549)

    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? []

    I don't care if they never handled guns, but the way some people go around telling others they never had a gun as if they never "sullied" themselves with one. Yes good citizen, good job.

    This move by Germany is stupid beyond all belief. They don't have real freedom of speech, they are locking down on guns, etc. The whole reason oppressive regimes rise up isn't because the people have too many freedoms but because of these ever more powerful and centralized states and the worship of the idea of the all-knowing state. Just look at the number of police they have, insane beyond all reason and armed with light tanks, armored personnell carriers, etc.

    They should take some instructions from Switzerland, where the populace is well-armed (and trained).

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

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted&slashdot,org> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:24PM (#27891915)

    What elections? That farce theater there? How do you not realize that the whole point of it, is to keep you from using your guns and/or hang them? Imagine the exact same situation that is now, but without elections, and without any information about the politics getting out.

    Would the population rise up? You can bet on it!

    So all that crooked spin doctoring and beating around the bush, and the whole "election" theater just keep you off of it, while actually meaning exactly nothing for your freedom to choose a government.

    That's the problem. The real problem. And that's why I read books about rhetorics, logic in speeches, psychological manipulation and and neuro-linguistic programming right now. ^^

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.