Activist: US Congress Going After Violent Games Is ‘Virtual Gun Control’

Activist: US Congress Going After Violent Games Is ‘Virtual Gun Control’

Considering how violent video games have been scapegoated by gun-rights hardliners, this defence seems to come from an unusual source. But a man who sued the District of Columbia — and won — over a handgun ban says lawmakers scapegoat video games because they can’t win on the gun debate.

“It seems to me that going after shooter video games is a surrogate for going after real guns and real owners,” Richard Heller told the conservative publication Human Events. “For too long the media and the gun grabbers have sold the idea that guns are cause of violence. They keep failing in their attempts to outlaw guns and undermine the right to keep and bear arms, so they are going around it.”

Five years ago the US Supreme Court ruled, in District of Columbia vs Heller, that the District’s then 33-year ban on possession of handguns was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

US Congress has passed no law regulating the sale or the content of violent video games, shooter or otherwise, though there is a bill pending in the Senate that would task the National Academy of Sciences to study video games, in addition to other violent media, to determine if any causal link exists. The proposal was introduced in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre last December.

Vocal gun advocates have not been so supportive of video games in the past. As his organisation came under scrutiny immediately after Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, excoriated video games as a greater influence on a violent culture than firearms.

Heller, in his comments, seems to say there’s no either-or-culprit in the debate: “We should not allow the government to make attempts to reduce the quality of our life to the lowest common denominator because somebody can’t behave themselves with a game or toy,” he said.

Heller: Banning, Restricting Shooter Video Games is ‘Virtual Gun Control’ [Human Events]


  • TL:DR

    Couldn’t the US of A just go with free speech on video games and basically like they do with the right to bare arms?? Or is this a double standards thing.

    • Free speech and right to bear arms alike, there are Americans who either agree or disagree with with the concept of unadulterated freedom in these fields.
      There are some who want both to have at least some limitations, those who want just one limited, and those who want them both completely unlimited.

    • For the sake of argument if we accept the premise that violent video games causes violent behaviour in people who participate, it could then be argued that violent video games would not be covered by free speech on the basis of the harm principle – “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

      If you reject the premise, there’s always the offence principle, but that all falls apart given the decades of action flicks

      As for the right to bear arms (AFAIK gloves to to elbows aren’t mandatory yet :p ) you’d be hard pressed to argue that video games fulfil the definition of a firearm or at least something you could use to defend yourself from the British.

  • I’ll save these guys a ton of money by giving them 3 ratios:
    1 – number of violent crimes compared to population of of “violent” video game players
    2 – number of violent crimes compared to gun owners
    3 – number of violent crimes compared to people with known mental health problems
    i’ve even given them a headstart by saying “violent crimes” rather than gun crimes. that way, it will capture all the ha-do-ken related fatalities.

  • Most video games I buy come from Canada and UK. Those studios do have offices including some development in America but most of the development for those games didn’t happen in America. So I don’t care about America. Always the same crap from their media, its time to switch them off. I’m tired of this.

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