Earlier in the week Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA.) penned an editorial over at Politico that takes aim at parenting and deflects the idea that video games are to blame for violent crimes in America. The editorial title sums up Hunter's thoughts on the top pretty succinctly: "Target parenting, not games for violence."
To his credit Hunter avoids the tropes that Republicans usually rely on when talking about parenting like having a traditional family (a mom and a dad), or the worn out catchphrase of "family values." Instead he talks about how parents either using media to raise their children or are not paying enough attention to what their kids are doing – not just with video games. Basically parents are letting children raise themselves without any sort of input.
"Also overlooked is the obligation of parents and caretakers to exercise proper oversight of their children. Video games are present in millions of homes nationwide. They are there for the purpose of entertainment, the same way different types of literature and music have entertained past generations and new forms will continue to grab the attention of future generations. Targeting video games as the problem is nothing more than a distraction from the broader challenges presented by improper parenting and far more obvious triggers of violence.
So the implication that video games are damaging is worthy more as a criticism of parents. Video games are meant to entertain and even teach in some cases. They are not intended to be replacements for good parenting. For those who view video games that way, they have some serious rethinking to do."
Hunter goes on to point out the decision the Supreme Court came to in Brown v. EMA, and a recent study showing a decline in violence around the world even as video games sales continued to increase. Hunter sums up his thoughts on the issue this way:
"This all underscores an important point: Video games are not precursors to violence. So let’s stop pretending that an entertainment medium is the cause of the problem. Let’s look for solutions in the real world, not the virtual one."