Supreme Court Rules Against California’s Violent Video Game Law

Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the Violent Video Game Law in California.

The law defined a “violent video game” as one that depicts “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” in a manner that meets all of the following descriptions: (1) A reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find that it appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors; (2) it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors, and; (3) it causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”

This law effectively took away the rights of parents to decide what was acceptable or not for their children to play. Many of the Justices compared it in their briefs to a matter of First Amendment Rights. Justice Thomas went a bit further when quoting Thomas Jefferson’s actions :

“This conception of parental rights and duties was exemplified by Thomas Jefferson’s approach to raising children. He wrote letters to his daughters constantly and often gave specific instructions about what the children should do. See, e.g., Letter to Martha Jefferson (Nov. 28, 1783), in S. Randolph, The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson 44 (1939) (dictating her daily schedule of music, dancing, drawing, and studying); Letter to Martha Jefferson (Dec. 22, 1783), in id., at 45–46 (‘I do not wish you to be gaily clothed at this time of life . . . . [A]bove all things and at all times let your clothes be neat, whole, and properly put on’). Jefferson expected his daughter, Martha, to write “by every post” and instructed her, “Inform me what books you read [and] what tunes you learn.” Letter (Nov. 28, 1783), in id., at 44. He took the same approach with his nephew, Peter Carr, after Carr’s father died. See Letter (Aug. 19, 1785), in 8 The Papers of Thomas Jefferson 405–408 (J. Boyd ed. 1953) (detailing a course of reading and exercise, and asking for monthly progress reports describing ‘in what manner you employ every hour in the day’); see also 3 Dictionary of Virginia Biography 29 (2006). Jefferson’s rigorous management of his charges was not uncommon. ‘[M]uch evidence indicates that mothers and fathers both believed in giving their children a strict upbringing, enforcing obedience to their commands and stressing continued subjection to the parental will.’ Norton 96″

Justice Thomas is correct in that it is a parents duty to raise a child. As that parent they should be allowed to choose what their child should and should not play. The Government does not know the maturity and developmental levels of each and every child in this country. The individual parents do know their children and can be responsible to choose what games they should play. I am a parent and yes, my 11 year old plays mature rated games. She also understands that she has household rules and responsibilities that she follows in order to earn playing time. I am a responsible,informed, adult like millions of other parents. The Justices realized this today and  made the decision to put the video games where they belong, in the hands of parents to decide.

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