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Rockefeller Plans Home State Event on Media Violence

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has scheduled an event for
Monday, March 25, in his home state to talk about protecting kids from violent
media, with an apparent emphasis on video games.

In the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook school
shootings, Rockefeller signaled he would focus on the issue in the new Congress
and has introduced legislation, TheViolent Content Research Act of 2013, that would direct the National
Academy of Sciences to investigate the connection between violent video games
and programming and "harmful effects on kids."

The discussion, involving "concerned parents, teachers,
mental health experts as well as national advocacy groups and representatives
from the video game industry" will be held at the RCB Health Sciences
Center in Martinsburg, W. Va., according to an emailed notice.

The White House's anti-gun violence initiatives include
directing the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce
violence and callingon the Congress to fund specific research on the effects of violent video
games and other media on real world violence.

During an FCC oversight hearing in the Commerce Committee,
Rockefeller expressed his frustration to the commissioners on the issue of
violence. "I could go on to violence, but I know what you would say and I
know what you would answer," he said. "What the FCC would say is it does
not have statutory authority to regulate violence. I would just hope that you would
take what you did in 2007 [a congressionallymandated report on TV violence] and kind of move that forward. We have to
do the heavy lifting on it to give you capacity in violence. I've never quite
understood that. And it had sort of a bad reaction on this committee, which I
never understood either. But be that as it may, you do work and I will try to
do mine."

Rockefeller has previously pushed legislation that would
give the FCC explicit authority to regulate violence, but did not find a lot of
support on the committee or beyond.

Many of the major entertainment trade
associations, including NCTA and NAB, have gotten together to promote parental
controls, and have said they are willing to be part of the ongoing conversation
about violence.