/// Obama’s Gun Agenda Includes Media Violence Study

January 16, 2013  |  Media Week

The culture of media violence was only obliquely referenced in President Obama's sweeping plan to reduce what he called an epidemic of gun violence in the wake of the tragedy at Newtown. Among the 23 executive actions Obama signed Wednesday immediately following his address was a directive to the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, including “investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence.” But first, Congress will need to fund $10 million for the research. The CDC study is similar to a bill to be re-introduced next week by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that calls for a study by the National Academy of Sciences into the link between violent video games and programming and gun violence. Also part of Obama's broad proposal, the administration is urging gun owners and groups to launch a campaign to promote “common-sense gun safety measures.” The proposals were the result of meetings between vice president Joe Biden and 229 groups, including representatives from the entertainment, media and video game industries. Although groups such as Common Sense Media recommended further restrictions on violent content and marketing beyond the self-regulatory programs currently in place, those policy recommendations didn't seem to make the president's cut. Nevertheless, the organization applauded the proposal for a study by the CDC. “By calling on Congress to direct $10 million to the CDC for research on the possible linkage between violent video games and other media images and acts of violence, our country is taking an important first step towards protecting the most vulnerable among us,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media.

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