A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

A Slight Bias

The Supreme Court is going to be hearing a case in November dealing with California’s ban of “violent” video games to minors. A story making the rounds today is that 72% of adults approve of such laws. Anybody who has been in the gun rights scene long enough recognizes a bias survey when they see it.

In this case an advocacy group called Common Sense Media (their name of course being doublespeak as they lack common sense) were the ones who commissioned the study. Taking a look at their web site I think their mission page says a lot:

We believe in media sanity, not censorship.

Please tell me the difference between sanity and censorship. Censorship is censorship regardless of how you look at it. Trying to rephrase it as “media sanity” is a lot like rephrasing war as a policing action.

We believe parents should have a choice and a voice about the media our kids consume and create. Every family is different but all need information.

They believe parents should have a choice but also believe California’s law banning the sale of “violent” video games to minors is hunky dory. What if a parent is OK with their children playing “violent” video games (my parents for instance had no problem with me playing Doom or Duke Nukem 3D and I didn’t turn into a blood thirsty killing machine).

We believe that the price for free and open media is a bit of extra homework for families. Parents need to know about the media their kids use and need to teach responsible, ethical behavior as well as manage overall media use.

The price of freedom is always personal responsibility. This statement is one of the few I can say is correct. Parents need to know what their kids are doing and determine if they feel it is appropriate. If my memory serves me I believe that’s actually a parents job. Providing a mechanism for parents to learn about different types of media is good. On the other hand:

We believe appropriate regulations about right time, right place, and right manner exist. They need to be upheld by our elected and appointed leaders.

Doublethink alert! How can an organization be for the right of parents to make informed decision and also in favor of government telling parents what is right? Making informed decisions is the exact opposite of something in authority telling you what you will do. This right here is the ultimate problem they want parents to make specific decisions, not informed ones. You no longer have choice once a law is enacted besides obey or break said law.

If there is a law banning children from playing “violent” video games (as there are laws against children smoking cigarettes) for instance a parent no long as the choice to determine whether or not their child can play “violent” video games.

This organization is biased. Cases are different on a child by child basis and parents have to know what their children are doing and if they find it appropriate. For instance Common Sense Media state:

Media violence is especially damaging to children under 8 because they cannot easily tell the difference between real life and fantasy, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology

I never had any such problem as a child. I knew that shooting Dr. Wily’s robots in MegaMan 2 was fantasy violence. When I watched Transformers I understood Optimus Prime sending a laser blast through Decepticon scum was fantasy. Other children may not be able to determine such things though and in that case the parents need to make a decision on whether to allow their kids to play or watch such things. Making a law just fucks everybody over and gives the government more power to determine how you will live you life.

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Written by Christopher Burg

September 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

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