And the rolling tide from the Newton tragedy continues, as a Missouri Representative—Diane Franklin—has proposed a 1 percent sales tax on violent video games to be effective immediately.
The House Bill 157 defines violent video games as "a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only." Please note no exceptions are made for games with such ratings that have nothing to do with violence. All money raised from the tax would be used exclusively "for the treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games."
I haven't read the DSM in quite a few years, but has there been a mental health condition linked to exposure to violent video games? I'm honestly curious.
The NRA has endorsed Franklin and this bill, which is odd considering that the NRA recently released a first-person shooter on iOS. In addition, Franklin proposed a resolution earlier this week to encourage Missouri high schools to add trap shooting to their sports programs.
Missouri isn't the first state to propose such an unconstitutional tax. Oklahoma proposed something very similar just last year, and that bill has gone nowhere. Most likely, this one will go to the same place, although in the wake of Newton, it may take longer to get there.