Here's a curious yet interesting tale of a conservative federal judge and a liberal federal appeals court. The judge is Southeast Missouri native Stephen Limbaugh and the federal appeals court is out of Chicago. At stake is just how much exposure to violence can we permit for children. Have no doubt, I side squarely with Limbaugh on this issue. And you should too.
Limbaugh believes that local governments should be able to limit children's exposure to violent or sexually explicit video games. So last week he sided with a St. Louis ordinance that regulates access to arcade or home video games that are violent in nature.
Of course the video industry knows what's at stake. So they have promised an appeal.
Limbaugh reviewed the violent and sexually explicit videos that are accessible to kids in arcades. He found their content has little to do with free speech.
But here's where the liberal appeals court got my attention. Here are the words of the court that ruled in favor of allowing the violent games to remain available for kids.
"Violence," the court said, "has always been and remains a central interest of humankind. To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would be deforming and leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it."
I ask you please to reread this absurd statement from the Chicago court and absorb what they are saying. Here's where that statement leads.
Drugs too are a central part of our current culture. To shield a child from drugs would leave them unequipped to cope in this world, therefore, drugs should be available to children. What's the difference? There is none.
Violence is indeed of interest to humankind. But to accept that statement most certainly does not lead one to believe that we should condone or promote access to violent or sexual activities. Just the opposite should be true. We can only reduce violence if we promote non-violent actions and these video games fall woefully short of that objective.
Limbaugh is right. Communities should have the freedom to shield youngsters from objectionable activities even if those activities are a part of our culture. There is absolutely no way to assure that a youngster will never witness violence. But we most certainly can control those issues of violence within our powers. Limbaugh hit the nail on the head while the Chicago liberal jurists missed the boat completely.
Aren't you amazed at how deep and growing a gap exists in our culture when it comes to issues that are so clear it defies the imagination?