Republican Gun Bill Includes Media Violence Research

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ted Cruz of
Texas have introduced alternative gun control legislation that would call for
yet another set of studies on the impact of violent media--specifically video
games--on real-world violence.

The "Protecting
Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act,"
which the legislators
were pitching as an alternative to a Democrat-backed bill currently before the
Senate, would direct the National Institute of Justice and the National Academy
of Sciences to conduct a study on the "sources and causes of mass shootings
including psychological factors, the impact of violent video games, and other
factors," as well as the availability of mental health resources, exposure
to bullying, parental awareness and other environmental factors.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Tuesday filed his violence
research bill as an amendment to the Democratic gun control bill. The president
has already directed the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to
reduce violence, but also called on the Congress to fund specific research on
the effects of violent video games and other media on real-world violence.

All these efforts were prompted by the Sandy Hook school
shootings last December.

At a January press conference surrounded by kids
and in front of an audience that included gun violence survivors and families
of victims, the president signed 23 executive actions (orders). One of those
was a memorandum directing the CDC to "conduct research on the causes and
prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images
and violence."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.