Pelosi: Laws on violent video games aren't the answer, more research is

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Blaster of the House

There's no evidence that violent video games cause gun violence, according to California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who pointed to a study that contradicted the popular theory.

"I understand what you're saying. I'm a mother, I'm a grandmother," said the former Speaker of the House to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

"But [the evidence] says that in Japan, for example, they have the most violent games than the rest and the lowest mortality from guns."

At the same time Pelosi pushed back against Wallace's suggestion that she should shame her "friends in Hollywood" to "knock it off," she pushed for more federally funded research on the connection.

"We don't want to be anecdotally writing bills. We want to have the evidence."

Pelosi, the highest-ranking female politician in the U.S., keenly transitioned from the study into what she wanted to talk about in one sentence.

"I don't know what the explanation is for that except [Japan] might have good gun laws."

Video game violence studied around the world

Pelosi didn't name the study that cited Japan as having the most violent video games but low gun mortality rate. However, there's even more convincing data out there to back up her point.

"Video game consumption, based on international data, does not seem to correlate at all with an increase in gun violence," concluded the Washington Post days after the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In fact, the Netherlands, South Korea, France, and Canada all have significantly lower gun murder rates than the U.S. while spending more on video games per capita.

"Countries where video games are popular also tend to be some of the world's safest (probably because these countries are stable and developed, not because they have video games)."

It should be noted that this study does make one assumption, albeit a safe one for everywhere but Japan: That all of these countries are playing the same video games.

Violent video game laws proposed by all parties

The theory that video games are to blame for gun violence still remains popular among lawmakers - even those in Pelosi's own party - who are in favor of stricter controls on the medium.

Bill H.R. 287, for example, is the newest attempt at a "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act." Proposed by Jim Matheson (D-Utah) last month, it calls for a prohibition on sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.

California attempted to enact similar legislation, but it was ultimately struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds of free speech in 2011.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) echoed the bill's sentiments during a Judiciary Committee hearing called in the wake of Sandy Hook, according to statement picked up by The Hill.

"There are too many video games that celebrate the mass killing of innocent people — games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children."

Even former third-party and five-time-failed Presidential candidate Ralph Nader called violent video game creators "electronic child molesters," according to Politico.

Tonight, President Obama gives his first State of the Union since winning reelection in November, meaning that this isn't the last time the country will hear about gun violence before the day is through.

Via Fox News

Matt Swider