January 19th, 2006

Indiana Legislator's Bill Inspired by Game Critic Grossman

Who needs research or public debate when state-level video game legislation can spring from the oft-repeated personal opinions of a high-profile game critic?

As GamePolitics reported on December 29th, Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse, a Republican, has filed SB 135, video game sales legislation modeled on the thoroughly unconstitutional Safe Games Illinois Act.

Now comes word that Kruse credits Dave Grossman (left) as the inspiration behind the proposed law. Grossman, author of several books, including Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, is a psychologist and retired Army Lt. Colonel. He is active on the lecture circuit, addressing law enforcement and education groups. By all accounts he is an accomplished speaker.

As Wired News reported recently, one of Grossman's primary messages is, "Violent media and video games are the largest single threat to modern civilization."

GP: So... the greatest threat to modern civilization is not terrorism. Not a nuked-up Iran. Not disease or pollution or war or racism, but video games? And this reasoning is the inspiration for Indiana's pending legislation? Well, this and the Safe Games Illinois Act, already torched by a federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional in harsh terms.

In crediting Grossman, Senator Kruse said, "Several years ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a speech by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, the United States' foremost authority on killing... Col. Grossman pointed out an important fact, one fact that remains with me even now, four years later: The majority of the teenagers responsible for the murders of their teachers and peers through violent attacks in schools have all been addicted to violent video games. These video games taught these troubled youths how to violently lash out against others."

"This year, I filed Senate Bill 135 in response to Col. Grossman's suggestion that we create legislation to better regulate the sale of these types of 'adult video games' to children and teenagers... The sale of adult video games must be regulated if we want any hope of preventing another potential Columbine-type tragedy.