Obama Seeks Research on Effect of Media, Video Games on Gun Violence; Congress Had Barred CDC Inquiry; GUN CONTROL PROPOSALS

By Coyle, Jake | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

Obama Seeks Research on Effect of Media, Video Games on Gun Violence; Congress Had Barred CDC Inquiry; GUN CONTROL PROPOSALS


Coyle, Jake, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


NEW YORK Hollywood and the video game industry received scant attention Wednesday when President Barack Obama unveiled sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

No connection was suggested between bloody entertainment fictions and real-life violence. Instead, the White House is calling on research on the effect of media and video games on gun violence.

Among the 23 executive measures signed Wednesday by Obama is a directive to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and scientific agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. The order specifically cited investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence.

The measure meant that media would not be exempt from conversations about violence, but it also suggested the White House would not make Hollywood, television networks and video game makers a central part of the discussion. Its a relative footnote in the White Houses broad, multipoint plan, and Obama did not mention violence in entertainment in his remarks Wednesday.

The White House plan did mention media, but suggested that any effort would be related to ratings systems or technology: The entertainment and video game industries have a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play.

The administration is calling on Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC research.

The CDC has been barred by Congress to use funds to advocate or promote gun control, but the White House order claims that research on gun violence is not advocacy and that providing information to Americans on the issue is critical public health research.

Since 26 were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, some have called for changes in the entertainment industry, which regularly churns out first-person shooter video games, grisly prime-time dramas and casually violent blockbusters. …

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