Although pointing the finger of blame at video games seems to be the popular way to go these days, the ACLU seems to think this might be a bad idea.
Kotaku reports the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement on its official website regarding the role video games played in the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. While the National Rifle Association (NRA) wants to pin the proverbial tail on what they view is a “shadow industry,” the ACLU believes this isn’t the route to take.
Gabe Rottman, legislative counsel for ACLU Washington’s legislative office, issued the essay “Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games” on December 20. In the piece, Rottman explained that blaming the media for the corruption of children isn’t an entirely new concept.
He explained in the article:
“Media violence has long been a target of lawmakers seeking a cheap and politically cost-free way to address crimes committed by young people. Calls for studies, hearings, self-censorship, or even actual censorship are easy. Most folks aren’t going to go out of their way to defend stuff that panders to the baser instincts, and lawmakers look like they’re doing something proactive to get at the problem.”
Rottman goes on to say that politicians and lawmakers attempted to protect children from the effects of the media back in the 1920s. Laws were put into place to shield kids from what they deemed to be offensive sexual material.
Rottman feels everyone should take a step back from the situation before making any rash decisions regarding legislation. He explained:
“We shouldn’t move too quickly because of lingering trauma from last week. These are the worst facts, and they will make the worst law if we let them.”
“I think guns should be banned, not video games. People have been killing people for thousands of years before video games,” avid gamer Angelo Portella explained. “It’s a game, it’s not real life. If you’re going to be violent, you’re going to be violent.”
What do you think about the ACLU’s stance on video games? Do you think titles such as Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto played a role in the Sandy Hook shooting?