The State of California is asking the United States Supreme Court in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association to uphold its law that prevents the sale of violent video games to minors. The State of California has stated that the entertainment industry has not done enough within its trade group to prevent the sale of violent video games to kids. This is an interesting issue and I see both sides. One side will say that it is the parents duty to protect their children from violent video games just like parents need to limit their children’s time watching T.V. The argument is that parents have the first and paramount duty to protect their children and that the First Amendment freedom of speech cannot be restricted in this manner. The other side of the argument is that these violent video games are harming children and should be limited in the same way that child pornography is limited.
There is also a First Amendment case pending concerning whether the government can ban protests at military funerals. This is another interesting case considering the way that the long and lingering war in Iraq is dividing the country. Just a few days ago the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Stevens declared unconstitutional a federal law criminalizing the sale or possession of depictions of animal cruelty. The Court struck down the law as a violation of the First Amendment because the Federal Law could apply to hunting videos. This case riled the hunting community and they joined in asking that the law be declared unconstitutional.
My son plays video games and many are army or war games. I sometimes worry that he may be exposed to violence and what affect that will have on him. As a parent I have talked to him often about these games. Banning the sale to minors seems to me very minor. Most states ban the sale of alcohol and cigarettes to minors. It is interesting that Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Governor is pushing for this law. From what I can remember his movies were violent and popular. Makes you go hummm?
Merrida Coxwell is the managing partner of Coxwell & Associates, a law firm in Jackson, MS, that regularly practice across the State. The law firm has a branch office in Ridgeland, Madison County, MS. For a free evaluation of your case call 1.601.948.1600.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.