WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama included videogames among his targets on Jan. 16 when he proposed a wide-ranging package of laws and executive actions that the White House said were designed to reduce gun violence.
Obama said he wants the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, part of the National Institutes of Health, to conduct a $10 million study on the alleged "impact of violent media images and videogames."
The proposal was detailed in a 22-page document titled "Now Is the Time: The President's Plan to Protect Our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence." | OPEN PDF
The document makes only two direct references to videogames. On page 5, it states: "The Administration is calling on Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC to conduct further research [into gun violence], including investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence." The document's concluding paragraph states: "The entertainment and video game industries have a responsibility to give parents tools and choices about the movies and programs their children watch and the games their children play."
The president's announcement of new antiviolence initiatives was a direct response to the mass shooting of children and teachers at a Connecticut elementary school on Dec. 14.
Within 72 hours after the slayings, media reports claimed the shooter was a heavy player of so-called "violent" videogames. However, no evidence for these claims has surfaced. | SEE STORY
The president's proposals followed a series of highly publicized information-gathering meetings held by Vice-President Joe Biden with executives from gun manufacturers and videogame manufacturers, among others. The meetings were part of the work of a White House taskforce that was charged with coming up with a package of policy recommendations and options.