Taxing Violent Video Games - Kansas City Week in Review


Uploaded by KCPTOnline on 18.01.2013

Transcript:
ARE WE POINTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION BY SINGLING OUT GUNS? A REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER FROM
 
RURAL MISSOURI IS THIS WEEK CALLING FOR A SALES TAX ON VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES IN RESPONSE
 
TO THE DEADLY CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING. REPRESENTATIVE DIANE FRANKLIN OF
 
CAMDENTON SAID THE PROPOSED 1% SALES TAX WOULD HELP PAY FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND LAW
 
ENFORCEMENT MEASURES AIMED AT PREVENTING MASS SHOOTINGS. THE TAX WOULD BE LEVIED ON VIDEO
 
GAMES RATED TEEN, MATURE AND ADULT ONLY BY THE ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE RATINGS BOARD.
 
THE ORGANIZATION IN CHARGE OF RATING VIDEO GAMES. EVEN THE NRA HAS POINTED THE
 
FINGER AT THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY AND ITS ROLE IN MASS SHOOTINGS.
 
SO IS THIS A PROPOSAL THAT'S GAINING ANY TRACTION? IT MAY IN PART BECAUSE THERE
 
IS SOME EFFORT TO RAISE MONEY. I DO THINK IN MISSOURI, THERE WOULD BE A CONSTITUTIONAL
 
PROBLEM IN TAXING JUST CERTAIN VIDEO GAMES, BECAUSE THEN YOU'RE BASING IT ON CONTENT IN SOME
 
WAYS, WHICH IS A SUBJECTIVE JUDGMENT AND HAS A 1ST AMENDMENT PROBLEM, BUT YOU COULD TAX ALL
 
VIDEO GAMES, FOR EXAMPLE. THERE IS SOME DISCUSSION IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY OF
 
TAXING WEAPONS. WHEN YOU SELL WEAPONS, INCREASING THE TAX ON AN AR-15
 
OR SOMETHING ELSE AND USING THAT MONEY NOT ONLY
 
FOR MENTAL HEALTH PURPOSES, NICK, BUT TO PROVIDE
 
SECURITY AT SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND WE GO BACK TO THE --
 
THERE ARE JUST SO MANY MOVING PARTS TO THE ARGUMENT. WE CAN TALK ABOUT VIDEO GAMES,
 
AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT GUNS, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER
 
IS, OTHER COUNTRIES, INCLUDING YOURS, MY FRIEND, HAVE VIDEO GAMES, AND OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE
 
PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS, AND OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE NOT NEAR THE VOLUME OF GUNS WE HAVE HERE, AND
 
NO ONE HAS THE GUN HOMICIDE RATE THAT WE HAVE IN THE UNITED STATES.
 
THAT IS THE PROBLEM, FIGURING OUT WHY WE HAVE THE PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE AND THE VOLUME OF THE
 
PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE HERE. IT'S ALSO INTERESTING, THIS IS A REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER IN
 
MISSOURI, STACEY, WHO IS PROPOSING A TAX WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN SO VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED,
 
REPUBLICANS IN MISSOURI EVEN TO A CIGARETTE TAX, BECAUSE THEY SAY THAT IS THE WRONG WAY OF
 
SETTING POLICY IN MISSOURI. AND THEN TURNING AROUND WHEN IT'S POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT TO
 
TAX SOMETHING, TALK ABOUT GUN CONTROL BEING A KNEE JERK REACTION, TAXING VIDEO GAMES IS
 
A KNEE JERK REACTION, TOO, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU START TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THESE GAMES
 
AT THE TEEN RATING ARE GUITAR HERO AND SIMULATED LIVING GAMES LIKE THE SIMS.
 
MENTAL HEALTH, VIDEO GAMES, GUN CONTROL ALL NEED TO BE ON THE TABLE.
 
THERE ISN'T ANY DOUBT. THE REASON WE HAVE A HIGHER MURDER RATE IS BECAUSE WE DO
 
FOSTER A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE, AND ALL OF THESE
 
THINGS PLAY IN, BUT EACH SIDE IS DIGGING IN AND
 
TRYING TO POINT THE FINGER AT SOMEONE ELSE INSTEAD OF HAVING RATIONAL PEOPLE COME TO THE
 
TABLE. WHEN YOU PROPOSE A 1% SALES TAX, AND EVEN IF YOU GET THAT SMALL
 
AMOUNT OF MONEY, IT'S NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE ISSUE. THE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND
 
THE ENFORCEMENT THIS REPRESENTATIVE WANTS ARE TARGETED AND THEY'RE NOT GOING
 
TO GO TO THE SOCIAL CAUSE THAT ACTUALLY CREATES THIS PROBLEM. VIDEO GAMES, VERY MUCH LIKE
 
MOVIES, ALL HAVE RATINGS, AND I THINK IT GETS DOWN TO AN ISSUE OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY.
 
WE HEAR ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE PLAYING THESE GAMES. WHY AREN'T THE PARENTS LOOKING
 
AT WHAT THEIR KIDS ARE WATCHING? I MEAN, THEY ARE RATED. THE INFORMATION IS PRETTY CLEAR,
 
AND AGAIN, MOM AND DAD, WATCH OUT. CAN I JUST SAY QUICKLY,
 
BEFORE WE MOVE OFF THIS TOPIC, IN A NORMAL POLITICAL
 
CULTURE, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE JUST
 
BEEN TALKED ABOUT AROUND THIS TABLE WOULD PROBABLY BE ACHIEVABLE, MAYBE SOMETHING
 
ABOUT VIDEO GAMES IN THE VIOLENT CULTURE, MAYBE SOMETHING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING, MAYBE
 
SOMETHING ABOUT PAYING FOR SCHOOL SECURITY, AND MAYBE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY
 
OF GUNS. THERE IS DEAL TO BE MADE THAT INVOLVES ALL OF THE ABOVE, BUT
 
IN THE CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL CULTURE, NICK, AND I THINK WE'RE SEEING THIS IN MISSOURI AND
 
KANSAS, CERTAINLY IN WASHINGTON, EVERYONE WANTS TO ATTACK EVERYONE ELSE'S SOLUTION RATHER
 
THAN TO SIT AT A TABLE AND SAY, LET'S PUT
 
EVERYTHING OUT THERE AND DO SOME COMBINATION OF IT.
 
I THINK THERE WOULD BE GREAT SUPPORT NATIONALLY FOR THAT KIND OF APPROACH, BUT IN OUR
 
POLITICAL SYSTEM, IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THERE.