Adam Lanza gunned down twenty-seven people in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 14 and his access to high-powered firearms has put gun control front and center in the discourse around the tragedy, but the 20-year-old’s reported enthusiasm for violent video games has some experts and lawmakers wondering if those, too, need the kind of regulation so many want on gun ownership.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) addressed this issue while discussing his proposed “national commission on mass violence” on “Fox News Sunday” Dec. 16.
“The violence in the entertainment culture, particularly with the extraordinary realism to video games and movies now, does cause vulnerable young men, particularly, to be more violent,” said the senator, who was joined by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
The issue of the effect of video game violence on young people came into the national spotlight in 2011 when a California law banning the sale of some games to minors was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. The 2005 law was never enforced due to legal challenges. California asked the court to treat violent and sexually explicit video games as apart from First Amendment protections, much like obscenity.
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