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December 09th, 2022
L&T Opinions Page

A SECOND OPINION, The Boston Herald


President Trump used the shooting in Parkland, Florida, to convene a group at the White House last week to discuss the possible nexus between violent video games and actual violence, despite the lack of conclusive evidence that such a nexus exists. No less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court said in 2011 there is no “compelling” link.

And talk about going from the trivial to the titanic — the video game meeting was on the same day the president said he will meet for direct talks with the repressive leader of nuclear-armed North Korea. Hey, the president gets to pick his priorities — and it seems that in addition to meeting with Little Rocket Man one of his main goals is shifting the focus away from gun control to other “causes” of school violence.

The president is not alone in his concern about the impact of violent video games on young people. President Obama raised similar concerns when he was in office.

But even if the research were on Trump’s side — then what?

In that landmark Supreme Court case overturning a California law in 2011 the high court declared that video games represent a form of speech protected under the First Amendment, and said California couldn’t carve out a violence exemption. We realize this president doesn’t have much use for the First Amendment, but even he doesn’t have the power to wipe “Call of Duty” or “Grand Theft Auto” off store shelves.

And so what the meeting amounted to was a gripe-fest — a distraction from Trump’s own mixed messages on gun control. It was also a sop to folks like National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre, who has famously castigated entertainment companies for inciting violence.

In other words, it was a waste of time.

GUEST COLUMN, Ganon Evans, Kansas Policy Institute


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