MO Republican pushes for sales tax on ‘violent video games’
A Missouri lawmaker has introduced her own solution for preventing future mass shootings: a sales tax on “violent” video games.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Rep. Diane Franklin’s (R) proposal calls for a 1 percent sales tax on games rated Teen, Mature or Adults Only, with the money raised going toward “treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games.”
“History shows there is a mental health component to these shootings,” said Franklin, alluding to last year’s attacks on Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut and a Colorado movie theater. The bill, introduced on Monday, must be approved by a committee before it can be debated on the state House floor.
However, Gamefront.com noted that some studies suggest that isolation may be a greater contributing factor to violence than simply playing a given video game.
According to an Ohio State University study, college students were less likely to act aggressively if they playing games in a team format beforehand.
“The point is that the way you act in the real world very quickly overrides anything that is going on in the video games,” said communications professor David Ewoldsen, who co-wrote the study. “Video games aren’t controlling who we are.”
Franklin’s proposal comes two months after state voters rejected a bill proposing a tax increase on tobacco for the third time in 10 years. An Oklahoma state bill last year that also proposed a video game tax was struck down in committee.
Gamefront also pointed out that Franklin’s bill would also classify musical games like the Guitar Hero series and Dance Central, as well as the life-simulation game The Sims as “violent.”
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