Rockefeller Files Media Violence Bill as Amendment to Gun Control

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) has offered his
media violence research bill as an amendment to gun-control legislation
currently before the Senate, according to a committee spokesperson.

amendment mirrors the standalone bill Rockefeller introduced in January
the wake of the Sandy Hook School shootings.

Republicans allow debate on the gun-control bill, there could be an up or down
vote on the Rockefeller amendment.

bill directs the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Health
and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive study of whether violent video
games and video programming have a harmful effect on kids, including causing
them to be aggressive and causing already aggressive kids to be even more so,
as well as whether that harm is distinguishable from the "negative
affects" of any other type of media. That suggests the study would have to
extend to movies, books and other entertainment.

also wants to know whether the negative impact, if there is one, is
long-lasting and whether video games have a unique impact due to their
interactivity and "the extraordinarily personal and vivid way violence
might be portrayed in such video games."

the Newtown shootings, the senator said he would
push for the bill, the Violent Content Research Act of 2013.  Rockefeller
has been concerned about the impact of media, particularly media violence, on
children. He has attempted to give the FCC explicit authority to regulate broadcast
violence as it does indecency and profanity, and would also have put cable andsatellite programming under an FCC violence-regulation regime.

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.