Posted on June 5, 2007, Shawn Sines Video Game Legislation Causes Violence
New York’s State Wide News Service reports that the new video game legislation is provoking violent reaction among the Senate. An incident occurred during the hearing on imposing a Class E felony on anyone selling a violent video game to a minor. The bill’s sponsor Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island) and Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D Ã¢$” Mount Vernon) nearly came to blows over details about language on violent video games.
Andrew Lanza : “The cases that have been struck down have been struck down on the principle that states have attempted to prohibit the sale of video games based upon the speech content, that being violence. “
Ruth Hassell-Thompson: “You’re misreading the case. You’re misreading them. I don’t know whether you’re doing it deliberately or what. It’s frustrating me.”
AL: “I’m not misreading the cases. Those are the cases.”
RH-T: “You’re misreading the cases.”
AL: “Absolutely not Senator. We can agree to disagree on that point.”
RH-T: “You got a battery of attorneys sitting behind you. I’m telling you I wrangled with them 3 out of 5 meetings. “
AL: “Maybe you’re missing something.”
RH-T: “Well, we’re paying them. We should fire them.”
AL: “Let’s just be clear. It makes it a felony to sell video games based upon the speech contained therein. That’s what it does. Now it may pass constitutional muster because the speech that is being regulated therein is pornography, which I might add is already regulated and is already prohibited with its distribution to minors. So you might say the governor’s version accomplishes nothing. I’m not saying that but you might say it.”
Senator Betty Little (R-C, Queensbury) also voiced her objections to such a harsh penalty arguing store clerks could be hauled away in handcuffs for accidentally selling a violent video game to a minor.
It’s refreshing to see that some of our representation have given this matter serious thought and have taken reality into account.