BANNING VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES
By Lynn Stuter
June 3, 2003
Governor Gary Locke of Washington State recently signed into law a bill making it illegal for stores to sell video games to minors that contain violence. The law carries a penalty clause establishing a $500 fine for anyone found in violation of the law.
Undoubtedly, there will be a challenge to this new law to "protect" our youth. And well there should be.
To begin, the old adage that you can't legislate morality applies. You cannot make young people not want to engage in the playing of violent video games by making the games illegal for minors. If parents don't want their children playing violent video games, parents should raise their children to understand that violence is not morally acceptable, and parents should accept the responsibility of keeping their children away from these games, whether on the internet, in public arcades, or places where young people congregate that might offer video games as a source of entertainment.
In a free market society, such as America is supposed to be, the market operates on supply and demand. If violent video games were shunned because they are morally decadent then violent video games would not be in demand, would not be produced, and would not be on the market. The same concept applies to pornography and to books.
The market supplies what the consumer wants. As a society, we deplore pornography, lewd and crude books, and violence, but do nothing to eradicate the root cause of the problem: moral decadence. If people, of their own volition, choose to be morally responsible, choose to raise their children according to a strong moral code, then and only then will the growing problem of pornography, lewd and crude books, and violence reverse its present course and decrease. At the same time, other crimes emanating from and related to moral decadence will also decrease.
When a society tries to legislate morals, such quickly turns to tyranny. However, when a society, as a unit and of its own volition, chooses to pursue a morally ethical path, that society will grow and flourish as American society did in its first 100 years.
Many will cry, "But we must protect our children." The best way to protect children from this is to know where they are and what they are doing, to teach them right from wrong, and to give them a good, strong moral foundation. Censorship isn't the answer. If today we censor pornography, lewd and crude books, and anything that promotes violence, tomorrow it could be the Bible or books like To Kill a Mockingbird.
Others will say, "What about parents who don't care where their children are or what they are doing, who don't teach them right from wrong, don't give them a strong moral foundation?" This is a problem finding basis in world view and will not be cured by implementing more laws based on the Humanist world view which, by its very construct, encourages moral decadence. Nor will it be cured by government intervention in the form of child protective services.
John Locke (no relation to Gary Locke) stated, at the time of the writing of the American Constitution, "The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom." Freedom is neither preserved nor enlarged when laws are passed that restrict freedom.
The answer, once again, is self-government and the only world view that teaches self-governance is the Christian world view.
Our Founding Fathers were far more intelligent than people give them credit for, and certainly far more intelligent than the leaders of today. While our leaders today believe they must leave whatever Christian values and virtues they have at the door of the halls of government, our Founding Fathers knew, in writing the First Amendment, that the exercise of one's Christian values and virtues in the halls of government was not only desirable but necessary. They also knew that such does not constitute a violation of the First Amendment as so many claim and believe today.
Legislating morality is a slippery slope to tyranny. It is the antithesis of freedom; it is not the answer to what ails American society today.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Our Founding Fathers were far more intelligent than people give them credit for, and certainly far more intelligent than the leaders of today. While our leaders today believe they must leave whatever Christian values and virtues they have at the door of the halls of government, our Founding Fathers knew, in writing the First Amendment, that the exercise of one's Christian values and virtues in the halls of government was not only desirable but necessary."
Can government that sanctions violent abortion, gay rights, legislate morality and protect children from violence?