Former philosophy professor and regular Huffington Post contributor Myriam Miedzian pens an editorial on Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association urging the court to "protect people, not corporations." Her opinion piece opens with a discussion of Doom:
She then talks about how video games are not the works of individual writers but corporations, and how the Italian mafia and a certain Arizona killer factor into the equation:
"The argument that there’s always been violent entertainment from Shakespeare plays to Grimm fairytales fails to recognize that we are no longer dealing with individual writers exercising their art, being read or heard occasionally. Billion dollar video game industries now surround children with entertainment which permits them to shoot, torture, decapitate, dismember, and sexually assault people. Concern is not limited to the United States, European parliament member Sonia Alfano, whose Sicilian journalist father was murdered by the Mafia , recently asked the European Commission to consider banning video games that trivialize violence and murder. We Americans have even more to fear from this trivialization — unlike Western European countries where gun sales are highly regulated and homicide rates much lower, we live in a country where a deeply emotionally disturbed person can walk into a gun store in Tucson, purchase a semi-automatic pistol, and use it to kill 6 people and injure 14."
Miedzian goes onto talk about all the research supporting the theory that violent video games make children aggressive and even violent behavior:
"Agreement among researchers that violent video games are one of the variables encouraging violent behavior, is about as universal as scientists ‘agreement that smokers are at higher risk of lung cancer, or that global warming is real — and human activities play a role. The naysayers represent a tiny minority."
She wraps things up by listing all the justices that she believes support California’s argument that it has a right to enforce its 2005 law. She even takes some time out to bash liberal justices who refuse to protect children. She closes with this paragraph:
"If there exists a real threat to our First Amendment rights, it lies in the inadequacy of anti-trust laws which permit an increasingly smaller number of corporations, in the hands of a wealthy few, to control a large percentage of the mass media, and exercise undue influence on the political process, not in regulations to protect our children from exploitation by corporations."
Commentary: Of course, the only new element in Miedzian’s opinion piece is the mention of Jared Loughner, who some have tried to tie to video games, communism, liberalism, communism, Anti-Semitism, Satanism, and a hundred other -isms. Naturally, this is more about assigning blame to one particular group or dogma, and not about the actions of one individual. It is really a distraction from the issue at hand: does the state of California know what children should be allowed to play, or watch, or read? Or is that right reserved for parents? Our founding fathers certainly would not have wanted that – no matter how violent or provocative the free speech issue.