Pokémon: First Seizures, Now Armed Robbery?

Is it possible that by spending the last few years debating the supposed detrimental effects of mature video games like Manhunt 2 or GTA on our youth, we’ve managed to overlook the real culprit?


According to the Associated Press, a 10-year-old boy was sent to juvenile hall for robbing a younger schoolmate of his Pokémon trading cards at gun point. According to police, the fourth grader was holding an Airsoft gun to the 6-year-old’s head while he robbed him.

AE: Thankfully, no one was hurt in this case.  The 10-year-old has been suspended and school officials are considering expulsion.

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Anonymous says:

    It’s just that kids don’t know any better yet; they’re still young and inmature. The problem is the American eductation system doesn’t teach them things like good maturity. It used to be something that kids would just learn naturally over a period of time, mostly from their parents. But now it’s getting out of hand, because parents think putting their kids in front of a children television show is going to teach all that for them. Either parents reform or education reforms, and parents aren’t going to reform any time soon.

  2. 0
    tallimar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    terrible tom:
    “…explain to all that these games were demonic/obscene and would be confiscated…”

    yes, beware of the devil worshipping witchcraft rituals of magic: the gatheing which was actually made by a mathematician. *rolls eyes*

    seriously though, some of those cards could be fairly valuable to as much as $20 fo as single card. ( http://find-ccg.com/Top100/Pokemon.html ) this kind of story doesnt suprise me all that much.

  3. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    In SC, the public schools started enforcing anti-pokemon and anti-magic: the gathering rules when I attended. My principle would go over the intercom and explain to all that these games were demonic/obscene and would be confiscated if they were found on school property. Teachers defended this stance claiming Pokemon and MTG was way to offensive and a distraction from an educational environment. But really, to be honest I think MTG especially made me think a whole lot so I would consider it educational.

    Meanwhile used needles were commonly found in the boy’s bathroom stalls. They sure had their priorities strait.

  4. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Aye, same here. I used to do all that and now I only play the games, since the card games was too confusing to me (and I haven’t bothered to try to learn it again) and after watching them a bunch of times I came to the realisation that the shows and movies STINK. They have the most predictable plot lines I have EVER seen in my life (except for comedies or parodies where the plot gets made fun of for being predictable).

    A memo to team rocket, get a gun, or a knife. If you really want his freaking pokemon then just use some good old fashioned mugging (they’re criminals anyway).

    Oh and I didn’t know what an airsoft gun was, I honestly thought it was a NERF gun.

  5. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Even if you WERE a racist and were only ratting on black kids doing it, that’s not against the law, it really isn’t. Now if you blamed them for crimes they didn’t commit (like a certain piece of scum in North Carolina), then that’s another story. I see no way that the judge will find it in their favor, absolutely no way.

  6. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You need to be 18 to purchase an airsoft gun, so obviously he got one from either his parents or someone older. My guess is that he had a Walmart plinker that shoots less then 200 fps firing a .12g bb. Nobody will be hurt by that.

  7. 0
    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I would assume the youth got the gun, as most do, from his home. Airsoft is a fairly popular sport so it’s not out of the question that there would be one there.

    Also, I didn’t find the AP report to be sensationalistic at all. I’m certainly critical of the discrepancy between first calling the weapon a “foam pellet gun” and then an Airsoft. Two very different things, those. But no one’s claiming Pokémon caused this incident.

    Andrew Eisen

  8. 0
    chadachada(123) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I have that card in Japanese, I got it at a pawn shop for 50 cents, the symbol only came on the Japanese version of the card. Nintendo’s statement was that “what is ok for some cultures just isn’t for other cultures.” It wasn’t a Nazi Swastika, it was a swastika that was turned on it’s side, more rectangular, red, and spun in the opposite direction, but people still complained.

  9. 0
    Ben from Baltimore says:

    There was an incident in December 2007 over in my father’s neighborhood where kids were going around slashing people’s motor vehicle tires and busting up their rear view mirrors with baseball bats and their parents were covering the kids asses so that the cops wouldn’t take the kids away to juvenile lock up. I had caught them doing it a second time with the video function on my HP Photosmart digital camera. I had showed the video to the police and now the parents are suing me and accusing me of being a racist by only catching black kids doing the destruction. We think that the judge will throw the civil case out because the kids were just convicted in juvenile court, thanks to my video.

  10. 0
    FlyinM_X ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ everyone bringing up pokemon based complaints and conspiracies

    You guys forgot another pokemon based complaint, one card (can’t remember which) offended the jewish community because it appeared to have swastikas on it. It turned out that the symbol was actually just a japenese symbol for good luck, but it had to be removed nonetheless.

    I am surprised that this is still going on to be honest, I thought that besides the games everything else was dying away, I suppose not. I honestly think it comes down to spoiled bratism. He saw something that he wanted but didn’t have, so he did whatever he felt was necessary to get them when his parents wouldn’t (or couldn’t) get them. It’s that selfish mentality that screws up the youth today. Some things you just can’t have y’know.

    I loved pokemon a ton when I was younger. I played the games, collected cards, watched the show, went to movies, etc. but me and my friends eventually outgrew it for the most part.

    I only play the handheld games today, they’re still fun. What is funny is some people still use that as ammunition to make fun of me, how sad…

  11. 0
    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Father Time,

    No one’s blaming Pokémon. I’m just being a wiseass.

    The thing that struck me odd about this story is the original article first describes the weapon as a “foam pellet gun” so my first thought was some (mostly) harmless NERF gun or something.

    Then a couple sentences later it says Airsoft gun. Big difference that. One’s a toy and the other shoots plastic pellets at a few hundred feet per second. Even a spring powered model can potentially put out someone’s eye. Holding one to a 6-year-olds head is incredibly dangerous.

    Andrew Eisen

  12. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does anyone else think juvenille hall and expulsion is absolutely moronic and border-line insane in this case?

    Oh and who lets themselves be robbed by an air-soft gun? Those things don’t hurt THAT much.

  13. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What ever happened to going “Gimme’ your [insert item of value here] or I’ll beat you up!” And speaking of odd stories involving pokemon, I can’t believe half those horror stories I heard about kids getting themselves hurt when it use to be huge.

  14. 0
    Ken ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I find it funny how people still go after Pokemon (in the stupid ways) after all these years. Religious nuts thinking it’s evil, same with Harry Potter, that bitch claiming Jynx was racist and not doing research about ganguro first, Uri Geller claiming that Kadabra was an insult to him, etc.

  15. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I think it’s two things, firstly that Pokemon is aimed at a less mature audience, and secondly because of ‘gotta catch them all’. In fact, in the UK they may have to change that catchphrase under new advertising laws which forbid advertising messages that compel children to buy something, I’ll have to check out the wording on the new advertising laws to be sure however.

  16. 0
    LightWarrior ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yup. I too heard alot of wacked out stories about pokemon cards back in the day.

    I don’t understand why kids are resorting to violences over pokemon cards when like I never really heard anything about other card games like magic the gathering.

    What is so speical about pokemon…(dispite being aimed towards kids.) that causes more crime and violence compaired to other card games. (With Magic the Gathering being aimed towards a bit older demograph.)

  17. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Heh, when I was about 13, there were similar stories regarding the sticker set from ‘Return of the Jedi’, one kid ended up in hospital with severe skull fractures because he had a card that another kid needed to complete the set. It’s far from new, nor limited to Pokemon.

  18. 0
    Waffles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Eh, not the first time something like this happened. Some odd number of years ago I heard a story about a kid getting stabbed over a Pokemon card.

  19. 0
    Pierre-Olivier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Reminds me when my primary school (6-12 years-old approximately) banned the Pokemon card game. But at least, they had a legit reason.

    This reason is that they couldn’t control the fact that many kids were stealing objects from their parents to trade Pokemon cards, and those parents complained.

    But seriously, this case is no different from other shooting cases, except no one was hurt (if you see what I mean).

  20. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Not to mention the inherent telepathic powers that a child has to force their parent to not pay any attention whatsoever to their Media intake, and even if that power fails, there’s another one that simply makes the parents run around going ‘Who’s going to fix this for me?!?!’

  21. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It was an Airsoft rifle, so it’s probably something his Parents let him have. Even if it were put away between uses, everyone knows children have the power to phase through locks and such. When you grow up, you loose the power and the memory of the power. And when you’re a kid, you have this special defensive memory block that makes you flatly deny it exists.

    In fact, the power only works when no one is looking at them. Kinda like that invisible kid on Mystery Men. :)

    NW2K Software

  22. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They shoot plastic pellets, they are highly unlikely to kill anyone, but they can result in blindness and other serious injuries if they hit in the right place.

  23. 0
    tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    while i agree with you that this is a silly case, don’t imagine that the cards are a mere 10 dollars worth, it’s quite possible that it was more a binder filled with cards that could be worth upwards of a hundred dollars depending on rarity (i’m not sure the going price on pokemon cards)


    it was an airsoft gun, i believe even a monor can pick those up at most sporting goods stores, or even perhaps walmart

  24. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Nova

    It was an airsoft gun, just shoots concentrated little poofs of air. William Shatner used one once as Denny Crane in Boston Legal. In other words, it was a toy gun.

    Or at least i THINK that’s what the term means…

  25. 0
    Zephyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m sorry but where the f* are the f*ing parents of that kid? i know if I had pulled anything like that as a kid the fires of hell and brimstone would have seemed pleasant compared to my parents

    what the hell is wrong with people today??

  26. 0
    NBHS says:

    Honestly. Pointing the blame at Pokémon would be the equivalent of saying that armed robbery is “caused by” jewels, wallets, and cash register drawers. It’s simply an object of value.

  27. 0
    Danny Moules says:

    “Even a spring powered model can potentially put out someone’s eye. Holding one to a 6-year-olds head is incredibly dangerous.”

    The airsoft community gets as much unjustified slander as the games community does. Nice to see you demand evidence for other people’s statements but not your own. Look up the Home Office’s reports on legal limits for airsoft weapons.

  28. 0
    MonkeyFace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Am i the only one who finds this disturbing?(yah i didnt think so)
    Little kids are crazy.
    Young children rob each other all the time,here in Ohio some 10 year old stole an 8 year olds bike at gun point,except that time it was a real gun!
    That and there was a series of cars getting broken into that turned out to be a gang of 12 year olds.

    Seems like a stupid thing to steal though…wowie I saved whole $10 by threatening to shoot someone

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