Christie Plans to Restrict Video Games – Are They the Problem? [POLL]
Since reports surfaced that Newtown killer Adam Lanza spent days on end in his basement playing violent video games, the discussion over how to curb gun violence has focused on the games themselves.
Many that we’ve spoken to have said the games aren’t the problem.
That sentiment is shared by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who has said:
"Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively," Justice Antonin Scalia, the linchpin of the court’s conservative bloc, wrote in the majority opinion.
However, our Governor, no fan of the violent game genre plans to ban retailers from selling the games marked “mature” to minors without a parents permission.
Last Friday, Christie outlined a plan to ban retailers from selling the video game — or others like it rated "mature" or "adults only" — to minors without a parent’s permission. The proposal is part of the governor’s plan to curb gun violence that also includes a ban on the .50 caliber Barrett rifle and increased penalties for gun trafficking.
"This is just common sense and means that parents and legal guardians are actively engaged and aware of the kinds of games their kids are buying and renting," Christie said.
(However) The U.S. Supreme Court says video games are a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, and experts say the governor’s proposal would likely be zapped in court.
Christie’s plan is similar to proposals pushed by the Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan advocacy group founded by conservative activist Brent Bozzell.
"You can’t say which pack of cigarettes is going to give you cancer. You can’t say which video game being sold to which child is going to lead to some consequence down the road," said the council’s president, Tim Winter. "When you are ostensibly going through a murder rehearsal time and time again, what is the consequence?"
But the proposal to ban or limit the sale of violent games to children — given fresh voice by the National Rifle Association and state and federal lawmakers after the shootings in Newtown, Conn. in December — has already been tried in 10 states only to be struck down in federal court, according to the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group for video game makers.
And in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, invalidated a California law banning the sale of the games to minors.
The high court ruled the games, like books and movies, are protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. The Supreme Court also said it found no convincing link between the games and real world violence.
So are they the problem a good many lawmakers say they are, including Governor Christie, who, by the way, is right to ban them for his children.
It’s his choice as a parent.
It may not be his choice to ban them for you and your kids.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan, nor do I see the point in a game where killing as many enemy combatants, pimps, drug dealers and the like gets you “the prize.”
But that's me.
The way I see it, it’s all in the disposition of the person watching.
And the parents who gives his or her kid permission to either watch or play.
Do you feel violent video games lead to an increase in youth violence?