Sunday, July 17, 2005

GTA and Liberals

If I hear one more person tell me that liberals stand for liberty, I just may scream. The truth is, both parties are doing whatever they can to increase the size of government and to make sure that every area of our lives are their business. The "right to privacy" is novel in that it allows for abortion and Schiavo's execution--I'm still trying to figure that one out--but when it comes to other matters, that darn penumbra seems to vanish and we're left with Uncle Sam's filthy paws wrist deep in our private lives.

The latest example is, admittedly, mundane. This is precisely why it is a good example. Senators Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton--quick refresher, which party do they belong to--are bad at Grand Theft Auto. GTA has been a favorite target for those anti-violent video game types, but this time, it's not the violence, it's the sex.

Two high-profile U.S. senators, Joseph Lieberman and Hillary Rodham Clinton, are incensed over pornographic content "hidden" in the popular video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," and are demanding action from either the government or the game's maker.

The content can be unlocked by using the "Hot Coffee" code modification widely available on the Internet. By installing the modification, gamers can have their drivers find different girlfriends in the game who will have a "cup of hot coffee" -- a euphemism for sex -- with them.

Scandalous. Now, my view on sex is certainly conservative. Clearly, kids should not be playing this game.

Clinton (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, said she will introduce legislation to help keep inappropriate video games out of the hands of children, and has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the "Grand Theft Auto" game.

Her legislative proposal would institute a financial penalty for retailers who fail to enforce the video manufacturers voluntary ratings system rules. It would prohibit the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors and put in place a $5,000 penalty for those who violate the law.

It amazes me to no end how predicatable liberals are. People want something that we don't want them to have, let's make a law. If that law doesn't work, we can make a new one. It worked for gun control, so... oh wait, it didn't work for gun control. Maybe if we try harder. Keep trying Hillary.

The reality is, no responsible adult wants kids to be playing games. We already have laws in effect that prevent children from renting or purchasing these games, at least in theory. However, since we live in a free society--relatively speaking--one is never going to be able to keep things out of the wrong hands. The criminals will always have guns and the kids will always have violent and sexually explicit.

Unless the parents step in. Therein lies the rub. Repsonsible parents don't need laws. Irresponsible parents will not obey laws. Mrs. "it takes a village" Clinton would love for the government to take over the role of parenting. Those of us who believe in the traditional family as the best way to raise children and who harbor a general mistrust of government will politely disagree. I like my liberty thank you very much.

This story won't go anywhere. Yet when the day comes when serious liberties are revoked, we will look back gleefully to the time of game censorship and the comparitavely docile Patriot Act. We will look back and go, how did this happen? When did we give the government the right to be invasive? "Evil will flourish when good men and women stand by and do nothing," as Edmunde Burke wisely said.

The example is, as was mentioned, absurd on purpose. No one is really going to get up in arms over GTA. Yet the point is still valid. Why is the federal government even worried about video games at all? Next thing you know, they'll be worried about steroids in baseball.

There seems to be no shortage of legislators willing to try to save us from ourselves. There seems to be no shortage of complacent citizens who will give up liberty for the illusion of safety.
There is a shortage of people who seem to care that the government no longer the republic the founders set up for us.

As T.S. Elliot said, "This is how the world win end... not with a bang but a whimper."

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