Rarely has the Supreme Court struck a blow for individual freedom as it did in its recent decision in Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. The ruling had dissenters on the left (Justice Breyer) and on the right (Justice Thomas), but nobody on the political center-right should be doing anything but cheering the outcome of this case, which centered on a 2005 California law restricting the sale of certain violent video games to children.
The Court upheld lower court decisions and revoked the law, ruling that video games were protected speech under the First Amendment. No one in their right mind would endorse the sale of these games to minors; in fact, many people believe that no one in their right mind (of any age) should even play these games. But the issue was whether the government has the right to restrict their sale, or whether the responsibility for such restrictions belongs in the hands of parents. What the high court really concluded is that government is not in the parenting business, and that Moms and Dads should get their fat carcasses off the couch, monitor what their kids are doing, and learn how to say NO.
In a world where regulations are taking over almost every imaginable aspect of our lives, it’s rare that anyone from the government instructs you to figure things out for yourself. One particularly pernicious area of government intervention is within the relationship between children and their parents. Too often, kids are told that they don’t have to listen to their parents, because there is a government agency chock-full of bureaucrats ready to help.
The Supreme Court clearly stated that no matter how heinous the game, it is the parents – not the government – who are responsible for supervising their children and ensuring that they don’t entertain themselves with this garbage. What a refreshing ruling. It’s a cold slap in the face of every growing bureaucracy that wants to take over our lives.
Unfortunately, this decision didn’t stop the State of California from attempting to expand their domain in another invasive and equally fruitless manner. The legislature passed – and Governor Jerry Brown signed – an anti cyber-bullying bill, which continues a trend in which government injects itself into issues better handled on a local, community basis. The fact that this bill became law demonstrates how leftists place no limit on how they will intercede into our lives – even if they have absolutely no ability to enforce the bill they passed.
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