MSNBC's Morning Joe invited various politicians and pundits to the show Thursday to talk about the current gun control debate going on across the United States. Host Joe Scarborough deviated slightly from the topic to talk about the effect of violent video games and movies in our culture. In doing so though, he illustrated not a problem with media but with parental guidance.
While talking with California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Scarborough said, "I've got three boys, two older. I've seen them growing up and I've seen their friends. And, as a father, you know, you walk through the living room, and you see these images. Just these boys grow into young men and they've seen thousands and thousands of simulated murders on video games, movies."
Scarborough then went on to praise the Senator for comments she made last week about violence in games and other media. This includes the statement she made that Congress might have to step in if entertainment makers don't stop glorifying "big, powerful guns."
We covered Feinstein's comments last week but we would like to step back to Scarborough's statement about being a father. This is actually an amazing statement by the MSNBC host. He just admitted that he witnesses his three sons playing violent games or watching violent movies as he "walks through the living room." Who's the likely provider of the game systems and the television that this is all being witnessed through? Why, that would be you, Mr. Scarborough. Did it perhaps cross your mind that either you or your wife should step in and not allow your sons to witness "thousands of simulated murders" via products that you purchased?
You see, Mr. Scarborough, I have children myself - a boy and a girl. They like to play video games and sometimes they want to play violent video games that neither my wife nor I approve of for their age. Do you know what I do in that situation? I simply tell them, "No." Amazingly, that works for movies as well. Fairly easy to do and there are still plenty of not so violent games around for them to play and movies to watch.
Instead, you simply walked through the living room and saw your boys play violent games you didn't approve of but purchased on a games console you purchased hooked up to a TV you purchased in the house that you purchased. Then you praised a politician for speaking meaningless words. Why are they meaningless? See, the Supreme Court (PDF) ruled in 2011 that games are protected by the First Amendment in the same way as books. Any action that Feinstein or other politicians try to take to restrict content in games will get no where as a result.
So, Mr. Scarborough, if you are so concerned about violent video games and movies, look in the mirror and start at home.