Congressman Duncan Hunter: Target Bad Parenting, Not Video Games

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."

You can read the entire thing here. Thanks to EA's Blog for pointing this editorial out.

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  1. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Hunter ran for president in 2008, and was probably the most socially conservative of all the candidates, except maybe Sam Brownback. I'll never support him unless he does a 180 on his positions on abortion and gambling, but this is a pleasant surprise coming from someone like him.

  2. 0
    kurifu says:

    There are so many examples of both republicans and democrats seeking to remove the rights of Americans that I honestly think you have an observer expectation bias here. It takes only 5 minutes and Google to see this.

  3. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    Anyone find it funny how it's almost always the Democrats that are usually the ones attacking video games and wanting to regulate Free Speech and not the Republicans, even though republicans are usually associated with social conservatism and puritanical religious moral views.

    I'm far from a Republican, but a Libertarian, and it looks like more and more Republicans are taking a libertarian stance on social/civil issues such as this gentleman. Kudos to you Duncan. A politician with the guts to put the blame where it belongs (the individual and/or parents), rather then just attacking a scapegoat (ex. violent media, guns, ect.)

  4. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    The so called liberal progressives can be just as authoritarian as their conservative brethren. 

    As an individual, when a politician tries to pass nanny state laws to protect me from myself, as they think they know what's best for me and others in society, it is just as annoying as a conservative fundamentalist dipshit passing laws cause God supposedly told him to.

  5. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    I agree. I think politicians from both parties suck, and both parties want to take away our individual rights/freedoms and liberty either by enforcing a religiofacist puritanical morality police state, or a PC nanny state that tries to protect us from ourselves.

    But my main point is that the Democrats seem to be the ones more likely to want to censor Free Speech. At least in regard to violent content and video games. Also while most republicans are still far right on social issues, at least some of them are  now starting to take a more libertarian or at least centrist stance on social or civil issues rather then pandering to the religious right and puritanical family values nutcases. Just look at the Rand Paul filibuster in congress where is he constantly bringing up the fourth amendment and due process in regards to the drone strikes and other unconstitutional actions being done by the executive branch. At least this is a start.

  6. 0
    greevar says:

    But it doesn't deny the fact that parents are either unwilling or unable to properly invlove themselves in their child's life, which is a problem in itself. We should be making it easier for parents to be present for their childrens' sake instead of burdening them with a need to put all of their time and energy into earning money to simply support their child. Parents can't serve their purpose of being role models if the only time their children see them is after they come home from their wage slave job tired and stressed out. If parents are burned out from their job, where do they find the energy to focus on their kids?

  7. 0
    kurifu says:

    While it is easy to argue that parenting ultimately affects how our children develop, this is still a very short sited way to go about the problem. Again, like many politicians and people, he is more interested in pointing a finger to avoid accepting responsibility or being part of a solution.

    The thing with parents is that there are some children, despite how perfect the parenting, that have issues. This can be because of community, mental illness, etc, etc. But more importantly is that MOST parent, even most bad parents, are not inherently bad people but instead lack the resource like money so that instead of working multiple jobs and leaving the kids at home alone they can be more directly involved in their children's lives.

    It is in my view that when a politician points the finger at parenting, they're really looking to rationalize how much they segregate the poor and disenfranchised.


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