A simple truth about politicians is they can’t leave well enough alone. When incidents of tragedy happen, they look for “solutions” even when none exist. That’s what happened when President Obama and a handful of members of both political parties suggested that government study the impact of video games and violence.
The president directed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to spend 10 million taxpayer dollars on a study. That study will pile on top of dozens of other existing studies when it is completed — the vast majority showing no link between video games and real life violence. While the politicos look for something or someone to blame, the commonsense of the people already seems to know the answer.
New research and polling by Dr. Dr. Andrew Przybylski of Oxford University and YouGov.com asked Americans to discuss three critical questions regarding video games and violence:
1) Do video games contribute to mass shootings;
2) Are video games a useful outlet for frustrations and aggression; and
3) Should Congress enact new legislation to restrict the availability of games.
Not surprisingly, Americans distrust and opposition to big government "easy" answers came through loud and clear.
When asked whether video games contribute to incidents of mass violence, by a 59-41% margin, Americans said NO.
When asked whether games are a useful outlet for anger and frustration, by a 71% to 29% margin, Americans said YES.
And when asked whether the government should intervene and restrict video games, Americans responded with a resounding NO — again by a 71 to 29% margin.
This data flies on the face of the politicians whose knee jerk reactions late last year was more government; more regulations and less freedom. Even some conservatives like Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) said ”Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table" in response to invidents of violence.
Dick Heller, the famous plaintiff in the District of Columbia vs. Heller case that liberalized gun laws in Washington, DC and confirmed the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms has recently spoken out against efforts to get the government involved in what he called “virtual gun control.”
For generations, a growing number of Americans have pledged that the government can get their guns only from their “cold dead hands.” Now it seems clear that a growing number of Americans feel the same way about their video game controllers.