That was the reaction of California State Senator Leland Yee (D, left) to word that a federal judge had ruled the 2005 video game law he sponsored unconstitutional. Said Yee via press release:
I am shocked that the Court struck down this common-sense law. AB 1179 worked to empower parents by giving them the ultimate decision over whether or not their children should be playing in a world of violence and murder.
As written, AB1179 would have blocked the sale of ultraviolent games to those under 18. Offending retailers could have been fined up to $1,000. Said Yee:
The $31 billion video game industry has fought any attempt at regulation every step of the way. They fought efforts to publicize their rating system because they thought it would impact sales, and now they’re again putting their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children.
The deliberations in this case took over a year, which shows that the ever-growing body of evidence that violent video games are harmful to children is getting harder and harder to ignore. The medical data clearly indicates that these ultra-violent video games have harmful effects on kids, and thus we have a state interest to protect them.
We simply cannot trust the industry to regulate itself. I strongly urge the Governor and the Attorney General to appeal this decision to a higher court and to the Supreme Court if necessary until our children are protected from excessively violent video games.