The Constitution Still Doesn't Let States Stop Kids From Buying Video Games

from the for-those-who-weren't-paying-attention-the-first-dozen-times dept

Again? State after state after state has passed laws that ban the sale of certain video games to children, and time after time after time those laws are struck down as unconstitutional. Not a single one has passed muster, and yet court time and taxpayer money is wasted over and over again on these same issues, with at least 10 states having gone through the same process with the same results. States cannot ban the sale of video games to children. It's a violation of the First Amendment. This does not mean that stores themselves can't make such a policy, just as movie theaters have voluntarily (not based on a law) agreed not to let kids see movies of certain ratings. But to pass a law is unconstitutional. A lower court in Minnesota made that clear in 2006 -- but it didn't stop the politicians from appealing... and losing. Yes, a federal appeals court has agreed with the lower court that banning the sale of video games is not constitutional. While the lower court had noted:
"There is a paucity of evidence linking the availability of video games with any harm to Minnesota's children at all.... It is impossible to determine from the data presented whether violent video games cause violence, or whether violent individuals are attracted to violent video games."
The appeals court was a little less direct:
"Whatever our intuitive (dare we say commonsense) feelings regarding the effect of violent video games, precedent requires undeniable proof that such violence causes psychological dysfunction...."
Despite claims to the contrary by some activists, there still is no evidence linking violent video games to violent behavior. In fact, as has been pointed out repeatedly, violent crime has continued to drop as violent video games have become more and more popular. At most, studies have shown that violent video games make people emotional, but that doesn't lead to increased violent activity outside of the game itself. Of course, that won't stop grandstand politicians from pushing for such violent video game bans, despite the knowledge that they're clearly wasting taxpayer money every time they do so.

Filed Under: constitution, first amendment, minnesota, video games, violent video games

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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 18 Mar 2008 @ 6:05am

    Easy availability of firearms means people who want to commit firearms-based crimes have an easier time of it, because they can access them and because people like you defend their right to carry them.

    States that have more relaxed right to carry laws have a lower rate of violent crime than states with more restrictive laws. Washington D.C. banned the possession of handguns and had one of the highest crime rates in the country.

    Perhaps if guns had never been allowed in this country at all, they wouldn't be a problem now. However guns were allowed and now crime is a problem.

    Since by definition, criminals don't follow the law, they're not going to follow any laws that say they can't own or carry guns. Only law abiding people will give up their guns, which leaves them unarmed against possibly armed criminals.

    Schools are supposedly "gun-free" zones. Psychos ignore those rules when they decide to go on a killing spree. Anyone who does obey the rules becomes a sitting duck for said psycho.

    Look up Suzanne Hupp. She lost her parents when a maniac drove through the window of the caferteria where they were having lunch and started shooting people. Suzanne was licensed to carry a gun, but because she was also a law-abiding citizen, her gun was locked in her car, in the parking lot. Strangely the laws did nothing but assure the psycho that the 23 people he killed would be unarmed.

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