by EMILY BEZERRA Social Media Coordinator
Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has held a firm standing against the usage of violent video games. Christie is now pushing for legislation to ban retailers from selling such video games to minors without parental consent.
Christie is not the only person who has expressed his opposition to violent video games since the Sandy Hook shooting. Last month, a New Jersey state legislator proposed a bill to ban the sale of video games rated M (Mature) and AO (Adults Only) to minors. Also last month, a New Jersey state task force recommended regulating violent video games, claiming it would aid “gun protection, addiction, mental health and families, and education safety.”
The law Christie is pushing is nearly identical to the California bill that failed miserably back in 2005. A bill that banned the sale of violent video games to minors was passed in California and then struck down five years later by the high court during a vicious legal battle that cost California tax payers two million dollars in opposing legal fees, as well as an attorney-general’s office.
The question standing now is, will the bill Christie and his fellow New Jersey politicians are backing fail just as miserably? Many believe that it will undoubtedly lead to nothing and similar wasted legal fees.
“This is just common sense,” the governor said of his plan, “and means that parents and legal guardians are actively engaged and aware of the kinds of games their kids are buying and renting.”
No matter how strongly Christie feels about this topic, the Supreme Court can easily shoot this idea down in a court room. First of all, video games are considered a “form of speech” protected by the First Amendment.
The Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan advocacy, is one group who supports Christie’s decision completely.
“You can’t say which pack of cigarettes is going to give you cancer. You can’t say which video game being sold to which child is going to lead to some consequence down the road,” said the council’s president, Tim Winter. “When you are ostensibly going through a murder rehearsal time and time again, what is the consequence?”
When the California bill took the court room a few years back, the Supreme Court found no legitimate connection between violent video games and real world violence. The idea plummeted (to say the least) in a 7-2 hearing.
Christie also argued that this law is similar to the well-known rule that adults must accompany minors to R-rated movies.
Christie and his supporters think that this is one of those laws they can pass if they keep up the perseverance and knock some sense into the Supreme Court- we will just have to see about that one.