Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), a longtime critic of media
violence, particularly video games, took to the House floor during general
speeches on Thursday to call on the president to get the media more involved in
the solution to gun violence.
His latest interest was sparked by the Sandy Hook school
shootings (the Virginia Tech school shooter lived in his district).
In arguing against focusing on guns, Wolf said that he had
concerns about what he called the "lack of discussion" about mental
health issues and "violent media and the role they play in mass
shootings." He called it irresponsible to focus only on shooting.
He focused mostly on violent video games, but did not stop
there. "I am not naÃ¯ve enough to think that video game violence is the
only issue here. We need to have an honest discussion about media violence --
TV, movies and video games."
Wolf did not say access to guns should be excluded from the
conversation, only that those other factors be more prominent.
"It is easy for the president to go after the NRA -- he
doesn't support them and they don't support him," he said on the House
floor. "But will the president ever ask the entertainment industry to get
involved or will he continue to be silent? While media violence is not the only
factor of mass violence, it is one of the easiest factors to change and it
needs to be addressed, in addition to looking at access to firearms and mental
Media trade groups this week launched a campaign to promote
the TV and movie ratings system. Wolf put in a plug for a universal rating on
all media. "The current rating system is confusing to parents, for
example, there is R for movies, TV-MA for TV and FV for 'fantasy violence' in
video games," he said.
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