Video game censorship

April 30, 2010

The Express always has a non-scientific user poll about issues of the day and the other day was about a measure to restrict the sales of violent video games to minors.  (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042601787.html)  I was surprised that 75% of the people were in favor of the restriction (keep in mind though it is a non-scientific poll) and that got me thinking:  If people are willing to impose restrictions on one amendment (in this case, the first) based solely on common sense and anecdotal evidence, then why wouldn’t they be willing to do the same for another (e.g. the second)?  In other words, if you are willing to restrict the first amendment based on the unproven, yet reasonable, idea that violent video games are bad for kids, then why not restrict the second amendment based on the unproven, yet reasonable, idea that the sales of certain weapons such as assault rifles, sub machine guns, and any other weapons that are specifically designed for killing people, pose a threat to the safety of the general populace?  To quote from a 1980’s George Carlin bit, “Now they’re thinking about banning toy guys and they want to keep the fucking real ones!!”

Just for the record, I don’t belive the first amendment applies to video games.  The first amendment is designed to ensure that you can voice your political opinion / practice your respective faith without fear of being sent to jail.  It’s not about entertainment.  The same is true with the second amendment:  It’s about the right of the state to arm its own militia to protect against an overly powerful central government, not the right of the citizen to buy a fully automatic assault rifle for home protection.  Both amendments have been riding their respective slippery slopes for many years to the point where they have been made to apply to a variety of situations for which they were not originally intended.  I’m not a constructionist by any means, but there’s got to be a middle ground between making the text so broad that it applies to everything and making it so rigid that it becomes outdated.

p.s. – I find it amusing that the people who support government regulation of video games are the same people who decry the excessive influence government has over their lives.  In other word, ‘I’m all for government regulation as long as it supports my position, otherwise I’m opposed to it and will threaten to resort to violence to make my displeasure known.’


One comment

  1. Define entertainment. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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