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U.S. senator: ‘I think video games [are] a bigger problem than guns’ — and other out-of-touch old dudes

United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is, like, my third favorite Lamar, but he done goofed today in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

Todd asked the senator if he could see himself supporting any of the bills that contain a universal background check for the purchase of firearms. Alexander avoiding committing to that by turning to video games.

“Chuck, I’m gonna wait and see on all these bills,” said Alexander before he let all of the stupid fall out of his face. “I think video games [are] a bigger problem than guns because video games affect people.”

Oh, good, I was under the impression that a bullet hole had a very traumatic effect on people. I’m glad to hear I was misinformed.

Here’s the clip from liberal news-blog website The Daily Kos (via Kotaku):

“The First Amendment limits what we can do about video games,” said Alexander. “The Second Amendment to the Constitution limits what we can do about guns.”

Out-of-touch old men

Alexander isn’t the only congressperson who is spending time condemning games while hesitating to act on gun control.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) similarly suggested that video games play a bigger part in gun crime than guns in a senate hearing on control today, according to Policymic.

“Gamers have got to just quiet down,” California State Senator Leland Yee (D-District 8) told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Gamers have no credibility in this [gun violence] argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) introduced a bill to congress that directs the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to enable studies into video game violence, according to Politico.

Representative Jim Matheson (D-Utah) introduced separate legislation that would require retailers to check the identification of consumers purchasing mature-rated video games. The industry already self-regulates with the Entertainment Software Rating Board giving an age rating to all retail games. Most retailers choose not to sell M-rated games (suggested for adults 17 and older) to children.

All of these men are echoing the sentiments of the National Rifle Association and its executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. LaPierre famously pointed the finger at games and the media in a Dec. 21 press conference. He called games “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry.”


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