People who know nothing about statistics can also lie

Newtown school shooter Adam Lanza played video games.  (Well doesn't everybody?)

But now it's a big deal.  Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt on 19 March 2013 maintained at length that it is now known that "violent video games" produce violent school shooters, and that in fact the makers of the video games could / should be sued for damages by survivors of Sandy Hook Elementary victims -- because a reasonable person would conclude that playing a game leads to sociopathic behavior and homicide. 

"He didn’t snap that day, he wasn’t one of those guys who was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore,” the man said. “He had been planning this thing forever. In the end, it was just a perfect storm: These guns, one of them an AR-15, in the hands of a violent, insane gamer. It was like porn to a rapist. They feed on it until they go out and say, enough of the video screen. Now I’m actually going to be a hunter."  The person who said this is identified as "[t]he man to whom I spoke, a tough career cop who did not wish to see his name in the newspaper" by writer Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News.

Well there you go.  

See, reporters and anonymous cops know how the mind works. Little boys who stare at curvy pictures become rapists; players of video games become mass murderers.  Except they don't.  What's the p-value on that "porn to rapist" factotum?  Probably nearly null.  But I bet it's greater than the p-value for gamer to murderer. 

The idea that artists -- authors (even blog authors), movie makers, and video game producers included -- are to be held liable for the insane acts of art consumers, is itself insane.  When legislators or regulators get an idea like that, it is dangerously insane.  Think of the chilling of creative activity.  Think of the Taliban-style enforcement. Thought Police.  They know better.  Like that anonymous cop quoted in the New York Daily News.  He knows better, just ask him. 

I don't for a moment believe the gamer-to-murderer hypothesis.  I'll tell you one thing I do believe.  History.  There is  a strong p-value for the transformation of Big Government to Genocidal Regime.  

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