Now here is a novel idea from Diane Franklin, a Republican member of Missouri’s state House of Representatives, who recently proposed to slap a sales tax on, of all things, violent video games. The proposal known as HB0157I is definitely part of the ripple effect of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, late last year, where proceeds from the sales tax would then be channeled towards mental health programs and law enforcement, with hopes that future shootings can be prevented as and where possible. Sounds like a pipe dream really, you cannot really tax your way out of trouble, and wielding the bigger proverbial stick in the form of a better equipped law enforcement is not going to act as a deterrent.
What one needs to do is to get to the root of the problem, and that is dealing with our human nature as well as making sure our kids get the right kind of message when they grow up. Still, the proposed tax is relatively little at 1%, and would be applied to video games rated Teen, Mature, or Adult-only by the ESRB. Still, there are some other games that have the “Teen” rating without a peep of violence in them, such as Guitar Hero. According to the Entertainment Software Association, their response was this, “Taxing First Amendment protected speech based on its content is not only wrong, but will end up costing Missouri taxpayers.” What do you think?