Frank Wolf holds one-sided youth violence hearing

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chair of the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a meeting on the National Science Foundation report: “Youth Violence: What We Need To Know” on March 19 that correlated video games with violence. No video game proponents were called to witness, and the video game industry is calling foul.

“Unfortunately Chairman Wolf is trying to make this hearing as one -sided as he possibly can. The hearing will have two panels and two witnesses – both who will present evidence that violent media has some sort of connection to real-world violent acts. Wolf is handling this hearing the way other lawmakers tried to handle SOPA and PIPA; by presenting only one perspective. Clearly there’s mountains of research that disputes Bushman’s claim that video games and other media are a bad influence on America’s youth.”

Wolf’s press release on the NSF report states that (emphasis mine):

“The research described in the NSF report supports Wolf’s belief that rampage shootings are a result of multiple factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, and exposure to violent media, including violent video games.”

Congressman Wolf could have called the authors of Grand Theft Childhood, Drs. Cheryl K. Olson and Lawrence Kutner who have been studying the issue since 2004 after winning a $1.5M grant from George W. Bush’s Justice Department. Their research exposes many of the myths that the Wolf-funded report perpetuates.

If you have kids, ask them if they know the difference between real world tragedy, and video game violence. I bet they do.


5 thoughts on “Frank Wolf holds one-sided youth violence hearing

  1. Barbara Munsey

    re the “emphasis yours”, PD, did you happen to see this article?

    “‘It had to have taken years. It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research.
    ‘They don’t believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet,’ he continued. ‘This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list….’They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills. That’s what (the Connecticut police) believe.
    ‘They believe that (Lanza) believed that it was the way to pick up the easiest points. It’s why he didn’t want to be killed by law enforcement.
    ‘In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that’s why he killed himself.’”

    I would venture that most normal kids DO know the difference between a game and reality.

    Some others do get confused, though.

  2. Barbara Munsey

    Are you suggesting the post is data?

    Or that the article is mere anecdote?

    (nevermind, I’m guessing I know the answer– :D )

  3. Elder Berry

    When I was growing up, we regularly played “war” and “gunfight” and “cops and robbers”. We had pretend guns (or toy guns) and we shot each other. We pretended to die. We eagerly watched movies and TV in which people shot each other and pretended to die. We read books in which people were shot, stabbed, burned to death, hung, torn apart by dragons and orcs, blown up by space weapons, etc.

    I’d bet Congressman Wolf did too.

    Neither of us is out there murdering people.

  4. Barbara Munsey

    “Neither of us is out there murdering people”

    Very true, elderberry, and true for the vast majority of diverse people.

    Worth noting is the entire list of factors, instead of the single one selectively exphasized for the personal context of this (relatively pointless) post: “multiple factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, and exposure to violent media, including violent video games.”

    Multiple, including. As in, not limited to?

    Someone with mental health issues may respond differently to media, games, etc, and should surely NOT have access to weapons.

    Making the media, games, or weapons non-existent is akin to attempting to create a peanut-free world on behalf of the percentage of individuals who react to them.

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