Biden’s Single Good Idea: Study Effects Of Violence In Media

One of Vice President Joe Biden’s few, short-supplied intelligible remarks came Thursday when, to his credit, he suggested studies be carried out that examine the effects that “violent video games and media have on childhood development and behavior.”

Kudos to him for not only using words with more than two syllables, but for being coherent. Such a rarity is always a treat.

Of course, mixed in with Biden’s annual utterance of a single good idea always comes one stupid one–in Thursday’s case, that the government be the conductors of the study.

The government is good for doing studies when the goal of the study is to be as inefficient as possible by wasting as much time and money as possible. Plus, the government employees who would be tasked with conducting this study would have a vested interest in coming to the conclusions that their higher-ups wanted them to come to, would they not? Let the private sector do the study. Let a bunch of different private-sector researchers do the study so that they can be reviewed by one another, their notes compared, their ideas bounced around.

Biden is also either a liar or has been grounded from reading newspapers or news sites, because he also claimed that the NRA doesn’t want such studies to be conducted.

Biden might want to tell NRA president Wayne LaPierre that his opinion is not actually his opinion, because Biden’s claim of LaPierre’s beliefs certainly seems to contradict LaPierre’s actual beliefs. Here’s LaPierre himself:

“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?”

So, Biden, you were saying?

LaPierre (and Biden) are both right in putting the blame on violent media. Not all the blame goes there, of course, but a good deal of it. The media does not reflect society; society is downstream of the media. The media creates society. Today, the media—rap music, movies, video games—is the most violent it has ever been, and people digest it and then spew it back out into society.

If Biden’s proposed studies observe a causal relationship between violence in media and violence in society, he and President Obama would probably propose some moronic law to regulate how many guns are allowed to be in a movie made by their friends in Hollywood, or how many shots are allowed to be fired in a movie, or how many celebratory references to shootings and gang rapes are permitted in each stanza of a rap song. But that solution is no good, for any government that can tell you what you cannot show in the media can also tell you what you must show in the media. That opens up a great window of opportunity for government propaganda.

No, what must be done is men and women need to stop playing house. They need to stop having babies out of wedlock, have and hold a solid family, be involved in their kids’ lives, and teach the absolutism, not the relativity, of morality. We would then and only then see any decline in the violence (and decadence) in society.