Senate Commerce Committee chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) favors a multi-pronged approach to the issue of gun violence, and part of that involves the effect of violent programming, particularly on young people. He believes a study proposal from the Institute of Medicine will be a good start
Ultimately, Rockefeller would like congressional intervention aimed at protecting young citizens from violent content. His bill, the Violent Content Research Act of 2013, would get the ball rolling on a study such as the one proposed by IOM.
In a statement, Rockefeller said, “The federal government has always taken a lead role in addressing the emerging issues that threaten public health such as distracted and impaired driving and strict safety standards for children’s products. The crossroads we are facing with violent content is no different than these other challenges and just as serious.
“But legislation is not an option right now because the courts have ruled that existing and outdated research does not support what parents, pediatricians, and psychologists have all told me – violent video games and violent programming can have a negative effect on children.
“The research agenda proposed by the IOM would improve our understanding of this content and how it is linked to behavior. This will inform our work to develop policy that protects our children. We should take the IOM proposal seriously and make sure the research into causes of gun violence can begin in earnest. I have always believed that the cornerstone of good public policy is strong facts rooted in objective evaluation.”