California State Senator Leland Yee has just spent somewhere in the ballpark of a million Californian taxpayer dollars to have his bill on violent video games struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Again.
Yee says he’s going to do it again. In fact, that would make the third time he’s heaped all of that money into a pile and metaphorically set fire to it.
You see, the same thing happened about six years ago. Now it’s happened again. And, if Yee has its way, it will keep happening, so long as he is in office.
Having the bill violate the First Amendment of the US Bill of Rights isn’t actually an entirely fatal stumbling block. There’s precedent for overriding the Bill of Rights in situations where clear harm is demonstrated. Given the millions in taxpayer money that Yee has poured into the bills so far, how much credible evidence has that paid for to put in front of the courts?
None at all.
I’m not saying that credible evidence of that sort does not exist, but Yee and his supporters haven’t provided any. All of the research that’s been done in the field and Yee and his team could not find one, single credible research result to support their case? Admittedly, there’s credible results that contradicts Yee’s opinion, and there’s plenty of non-credible results on both sides, but still. Surely something valid could have been dug up.
As such, when constitutionality inevitably crops up, there is no verifiable research results to support the proposition of harm for the judges to consider.
Yee – whose background is in psychology – has floated the bills on his assumption and professional opinion. Which is much like a doctor deciding whether a drug is safe or harmful without there having been any valid clinical trials.
Well, that’s a bit sloppy of Yee – especially since we’ve already gone around this ride before. It’s certainly a waste of money.
“The evidence is absolutely crystal clear that there are harmful effects on our children,” said Yee. Pity he failed to actually provide any of it to back his case.
I imagine that in the near future, quite a few tax-payer dollars will either be spent on children’s education, parental education, subsidising and promoting non-violent and non-sexual game development (neither sex nor violence is strictly necessary for a great gaming experience), perhaps even on the homeless … or Yee can just grab a bulldozer and start assembling all of that funding into a new million-dollar pile of state tax money outside the Senate to set fire to for attempt number three.
I know which option I’d bet on.
Of course, if you’re a minor, it’s easier for you to see an R-rated film (and much easier for you to buy an R-rated DVD) than it is for you to buy an M-rated video game. Maybe some money could be spent on that instead.