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Research suggests violent videogames such as Hitman don’t make people antisocial, so is it time to change the debate? Michael Heilemann

When videogame violence has no effect, should we worry?

Earlier this week on The Conversation, Morgan Tear wrote a terrific article calling into question the supposed negative effect of videogame violence on players' behaviour. And I would argue we could use…
Vice President Joe Biden is spear-heading the Obama administration’s efforts to tackle gun control. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Gun control could help the fight against homegrown terrorism

The gun control debate in the United States has been reawakened for the new year, with Vice President Joe Biden providing President Barack Obama with 19 recommendations for action on guns. As The Economist…
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, we need to more concerned than ever about the effects of violent videogames. JBLivin/Flickr

Violent videogames should worry us (but shouldn’t be banned)

The Connecticut town of Southington last week introduced a videogames return program, offering a $25 gift card to parents who wanted to rid their households of violent titles. The program comes in the…
An eerie parallel exists between the gun control and climate change debates, involving statistics, “evidence” and entrenched positions. AAP

Will climate change ever have its Sandy Hook moment?

It’s easy to bash America. Externally Americans are often characterised as loud, star-spangled, gun-toting, bible-bashing, right-wing extremists with Fox News continually on in the background and a gas-guzzling…
A sign outside Sandy Hook Elementary School echoes the thoughts of many this week. AAP/Justin Lane

Gun control in modern America: hope for change?

I have been asked a number of barely concealed variations on the question “What’s wrong with you Yanks?” this week. Lacking anything better, my answer to the American thanatos with guns has been our national…
Grief stricken Americans will ask why is effective gun control beyond the capacity of their politicians. Peter Foley/ AAP

Guns and the US Constitution after Newtown

The horrific Newtown school massacre has again raised the question of why effective gun control is beyond the capacity of American politicians. The question is necessary, natural and appropriate. But it…
President Barack Obama hinted at gun reform in his speech at Newtown. EPA/Olivier Douliery

Gun control and the price of freedom: Obama’s great challenge

Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year…
Once the shock of the Connecticut shootings has receded, will US law actually change? EPA/Justin Lane

The gun lobby, the Second Amendment and the Sandy Hook shootings

It is a form of warfare in urban settings. The recent spate of shootings in the United States have seen the assailants dressed in combat gear – in Aurora, Colorado, an Oregon shopping mall and the latest…
When 20 children - along with six adults - are murdered in cold blood, is there an appropriate response? EPA/Michael Nelson

Connecticut shootings: we must carefully define our response

There are two ways of responding to deadly violence such as the school shooting in Connecticut. We can respond violently, as a way of protecting ourselves from the fear and anxiety we feel. Or, we can…

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