Rockefeller Files Media Violence Bill As Amendment To Gun Control

Bill Would Direct FCC, HHS to Study Impact of Video Violence

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) has offered his media violence research bill as an amendment to gun-control legislation currently before the Senate, according to a committee spokesperson.

The amendment mirrors the standalone bill Rockefeller introduced in January in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shootings.

If Republicans allow debate on the gun-control bill, there could be an up or down vote on the Rockefeller amendment.

The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive study of whether violent video games and video programming have a harmful effect on kids, including causing them to be aggressive and causing already aggressive kids to be even moreso, as well as whether that harm is distinguishable from the "negative affects" of any other type of media. That suggests the study would have to extend to movies, books and other entertainment.

Rockefeller also wants to know whether the negative impact, if there is one, is long-lasting and whether video games have a unique impact due to their interactivity and "the extraordinarily personal and vivid way violence might be portrayed in such video games."

After the Newtown shootings, the senator said he would push for the bill, the Violent Content Research Act of 2013.

The Senator has been one of the most consistent voices in Congress sounding an alarm about the impact of media, particularly media violence, on children.