Hill: Rep. Blackburn Assails Violent Video Games, Seeks to Examine Impact of Psych Meds

Rep. Blackburn 'Astounded' By Level Of Violence In 'Call Of Duty' Video Game

By Alicia M. Cohn - The Hill   January 13, 2013


Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Sunday criticized violence in video games, specifically targeting the very popular "Call of Duty" war game during a discussion about gun violence.

"I watched a couple of these [games] last night in preparation for this segment, and Candy, as a mother and a grandmother, I was astounded with some of the things that I was seeing on 'Call to Duty,'" Blackburn said on CNN's "State of the Union” to host Candy Crowley.

The very popular "Call of Duty" game franchise, a first-person and third-person shooter game in a war setting, includes some of the best-selling video games in the country.

Blackburn raised the subject of video game violence, along with concerns about bolstering mental health programs and investigating "psychiatric and psychotropic drugs," as important to addressing the root causes of gun violence. Blackburn and many other Republicans have warned that increasing restrictions on guns may not fully resolve the issues that have led to mass shootings this year including one at an elementary school a month ago in Newtown, Conn.

"The problem is, it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car, a gun, but there still needing to look at this mental health and you have to make certain that you're protecting an individual's rights," she continued.

"This is something where you say, no. 1, let's keep children safe. No. 2, let's protect our freedoms, and let's put these issues on the table and have a good solid conversation about them."

Vice President Joe Biden met with representatives of the video game industry and retailers to discuss violence in video games as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent future gun violence. 

Biden, who is spearheading the White House task force on gun violence, is expected to deliver recommendations to the president by Tuesday, encompassing a variety of measures touching on mental health, new gun control restrictions as well as ways to address violence in entertainment.