Free speech and video games

Stan got me thinking about recent Supreme Court case about free speech and video games in his post about Free Speech.  For the record, I’m certainly opposed to these violent video games.

Briefly, the story is that the Supreme Court has struck down a California law that made it a crime to sell violent video games to children. It wasn’t even a close vote. The court ruled 7:2. The court made a stunning decision: Make parents responsible for their children. Is there any doubt that our court system (and the nation that supports it) has lost its mind?

This comment will probably reveal that I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t the 1st Amendment specifically say that “Congress shall make no law . . .” and not “the States . . .?'”  Also, wouldn’t this get in the way of the 10th Amendment?

More importantly, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the headlines noting that the responsibility to regulate this would now fall on parents.  That’s one of the major problems of people looking to government to solve all their problems.  The government solutions are usually counterproductive, but like drinking salt water the people just look to the government to solve even more problems.

This is just another example of the slippery slope of government intervention.  Countless parents have come to expect the government to feed their kids multiple meals per day, even if it means wildly wasteful programs.  But what could be a more basic responsibility of parents than to feed their kids?

Even though I thought the court’s view of this as a 1st Amendment issue was an overreach, I’m glad to see them err on that side.  It may mean we’ll have just a little more time before any criticism of the LGBTQX agenda is considered illegal.

6 thoughts on “Free speech and video games

  1. “It may mean we’ll have just a little more time before any criticism of the LGBTQX agenda is considered illegal.”

    I was good up until that comment. I fear you’re overly optimistic.

  2. This has always been the parent’s responsibility, part of training your children up in the way they should go. The problem here is that too many parents abdicate their responsibility to the Government.

    So, the government is forced to make the decisions parents are supposed to make.

    If only the government would without overstepping it’s bounds. But they do.

  3. I found a good way to deal with my kid’s and their choice of music. I told them that they could buy any CD they wanted, but if I found the lyrics objectionable, I would take it away.

    One asked what if they bought it, but didn’t know the lyrics were objectionable until after wards. This is where I got creative. I told them that if they brought it to me, we would try to return it to the store, stating our reasons. If the store wouldn’t refund their money, I would refund it and they wouldn’t lose any money. BUT, if they didn’t bring it to me and I heard it, I would take the CD and they would lose the money.

    Oh, also, I didn’t explicitly tell them what was objectionable. I told them that they knew what I would object to, and had the responsibility to honor it.

    I never lost money on the deal. They were careful what they bought.

  4. This comment will probably reveal that I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t the 1st Amendment specifically say that “Congress shall make no law . . .” and not “the States . . .?’” Also, wouldn’t this get in the way of the 10th Amendment?

    Yeah, I wondered that for a long time, too. The answer: incorporation via the XIV Amendment. Here’s how it works (and keep your eye on the marble that is moving under the cups): the Bill of Rights only applied against the federal government when it was written. (Other provisions in the Constitution apply against the states if those provisions specifically say, “The States”.) Then along came the XIV Amendment, which was intended to give citizenship to slaves, ensure that the South didn’t come crying to the North to pay its war debt, etc.

    The end of Section 1 has these three clauses: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    The “privileges or immunities clause” was gutted in the Slaughterhouse cases, but, textually, is a sensible basis for demanding that states abide by the Bill of Rights. The logic is that if the feds can’t deny you something, states shouldn’t be able to, either. Then, sometime in the 1920s, some bright spark up on the Supreme Court used the Due Process Clause (no, I’m not making this up) to say that states can’t restrict speech in ways that the federal government can’t. Thus, the birth of incorporation.

    A lot of the fun times of the Warren Court involved incorporating parts of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments against the states, especially when crazed murderers would be set free. A few years ago, however, the tables were turned and the Second Amendment was declared to be incorporated against the states (McDonald v. Chicago).

    That answer your question? :)

So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s