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Government Republicans Games

Missouri Republican Wants Violent Video Game Tax 506

New submitter sHr0oMaN writes with news that Diane Franklin, a Republican member of Missouri's state House of Representatives, has proposed a sales tax on violent video games. The proposal, HB0157I, is one of many responses to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The proceeds from the tax would go toward mental health programs and law enforcement in the hopes that future shootings can be prevented. The total amount taxed would be small — 1% — and would be applied to video games rated Teen, Mature, or Adult-only by the ESRB. Of course, many games earn the "Teen" rating without having violence in them, like Guitar Hero. The Entertainment Software Association responded to Rep. Franklin's bill with a statement: "Taxing First Amendment protected speech based on its content is not only wrong, but will end up costing Missouri taxpayers."
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Missouri Republican Wants Violent Video Game Tax

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  • Misdirection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @09:27PM (#42598879)

    Looks to me like a Republican, in the face of potential gun bans, is pointing at video games and saying "LOOK OVER HERE! HERE! LOOK OVER HERE INSTEAD."

    Mind you I'm completely against any gun legislation myself.

  • Re:Misdirection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @09:49PM (#42599097)

    I'm for punishing criminals and leaving law abiding citizens the right to own whatever weapons they want. However, it would be dishonest of me to act like it was a copy of Star Craft II (the game news reports stated he played) was used to murder the 20+ people in the latest spree killing, rather than -- you know -- firearms. It'd also be dishonest to act like he was being influenced by Star Craft II, instead of medication. Or that he was influenced by Star Craft II, instead of a crazy end-of-times-preparing mother.

  • Ugh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JasoninKS ( 1783390 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:26PM (#42599339)
    Alrighty Ms. Franklin, and just who gets to decide what is a "violent" video game? You and your church ladies?
    I'm sure it'll have a broad enough definition that nearly every game could count. Space Invaders? You shot a weapon at enemies. Pac-Man? Ran around eating dots until eating "special" dots that make you strong enough to go take out your enemies. Super Mario Brothers? Stomped on enemies or sometimes shot them with fire once obtaining a special weapon.

    Yet another bill proposed by someone that hasn't got a clue about the real world around them.
  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:27PM (#42599353)

    I agree with some of your post, except for two areas.

    Bully anyone enough, even the most well-adjusted happy teenager, and you'll get a psychopath out the other end, regardless of his upbringing.. The public schools are breeding grounds for this kind of behavior because instead of teaching kids to stand up for themselves, our 'PC' culture teaches ineffectual passive-aggressive 'coping skills' that actually magnify the teasing as they destroy self-esteem. The 'normal' kids who aren't fully indoctrinated with them actually end up with better self esteem than the kids they tease as a result. So instead of a fist fight or two in 7th grade, he shoots up his school senior year.. or, much more likely, has some kind of breakdown. I've watched less extreme examples following the same dynamics go down time and time again while I was in school, and I can't imagine my school system was/is unique.

    Oh, and simply kicking the crap out of children for every offense doesn't build empathy. It builds deep seated anger if done repeatedly to modify behavior. For example, I heard today there was a 12 year old who shot his neonazi father for abuse and the kid is serving 11 years for that. The claim is that the father regularly beat both the kid and his wife.

    To those who say gun bans would've prevented this, I say it wouldn't have. Instead of a 'gun death', the murder/act of self defense would've been counted some other way as it would've likely still occurred.

  • It will never fly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Murdoch5 ( 1563847 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:36PM (#42599399)
    No one is going to accept paying more for a "violent" video game. Even if such a tax did some how make it through to the customer, game developers will just find a way to make the "violent" game rate not-violent. On the other hand if a "violent" video game does get taxed more the end result realistically will be nothing. A person who is going to kill doesn't care about $2 more for a video game, of course like I've said before, Video games don't make anyone kill or become violent so really this is an attempt to make money. The most violent people who have ever lived never even touched a video game, so to all those "violent video games cause violence", please explain.
  • by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:38PM (#42599413)

    Also the fact that gun violence, in the UK at least, has increased, because they KNOW that their targets are not armed. The only ones with guns are the criminals.

    Making concealed carry hard to acquire is good. Allows cops to go after criminals for suspicious bulges. If they bother a law-abiding citizen they just won't find anything.

  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:16PM (#42599645)

    When Tipper Gore and her PMRC tried to couple violent society with violent games and movies... "NANNY STATE! NANNY STATE! PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY!" was the deafening call from the GOP pundits. And now.. wtf?

  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @02:10AM (#42600447)

    more and more heavily armed and suffer the consequences

    Such as the murder rate going down.

    Yeah, now it's only three times higher than Europe, instead of four.

  • The end result (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @04:24AM (#42601021)
    One percent won't affect sales as they assumed so the government gets a 1% windfall. What do they spend it on? More contracts with mega-rich corporations to line the pockets of the filthy rich. Now how many lives does this save, exactly????
  • Re:Misdirection (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Q-Hack! ( 37846 ) * on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:06AM (#42601953)

    Weren't guns supposed to decrease the likelihood of you being victimized by criminals?

    No, they only level the playing field. While having a gun will deter the criminal that doesn't want confrontation, it doesn't deter the criminal that is looking to steal guns. It is a simple concept that seems to be lost to the anti gun types.

  • Re:Misdirection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:02AM (#42602579)

    By that logic the only weapon protected by the 2nd Amendment would be a musket.

  • Re:Misdirection (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:24AM (#42603657)
    "So yes, if there were no guns then no one would need guns"

    Not true. Guns don't exist for the sole reason of protecting yourself from others with guns. If someone attacks you with a knife, do you think a knife is sufficient defense? You better believe I would rather bring a gun to a knife fight. And I'd rather bring a tank to a gun fight, but it's a little harder to carry a tank around in a holster. Regardless of what kind of weapon a person is attacking you with, I'd want to meet it with a gun in defense. And this scales up to when they invent phasers and other such things. I want the biggest bang that balances speed and accessibility so that the attack lasts as short a time as possible. The longer it lasts, the more likely I get hurt or killed. Even if someone doesn't have a weapon, if there are more of them than there are of you, a gun is STILL needed. A knife or bat may get the odds closer, but unless they attack you like a jackie chan movie, they'll quickly overwhelm you.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling