QUESTION: This week Rep. Diane Franklin, District 123, proposed a bill that would increase the sales tax on violent video games rated teen or mature. She did this in response to the recent mass shootings. Do you think this is an effective way to curb violent incidents in America? Or is this a useless gesture?

QUESTION: This week Rep. Diane Franklin, District 123, proposed a bill that would increase the sales tax on violent video games rated teen or mature. She did this in response to the recent mass shootings. Do you think this is an effective way to curb violent incidents in America? Or is this a useless gesture?

Any effort to decrease violence is good

Everything possible should be done to decrease the violence in this country. People can shout all they want when they complain that their freedoms are being infringed upon. One person's right to freedom ends when they infringe upon another person's right to a safe community in which to live and raise children. Rep. Franklin's effort to put a dent in the sale of violent videos is laudable. I believe any thinking person would admit viewing these videos runs the risk of influencing impressionable children or mentally unstable people.
While combating violence in this country needs to be a multi-pronged effort, I believe the first effort should be made in providing better and more accessible mental health resources.

Joyce Everhart Hoff
Gravois Mills

Not everything needs an immediate tax hike

When I first read the story I immediately thought: Why are we doing this?  Why do we need to tax another group of people for what one person has done and we have no definite proof that a video game was the cause nor the link to the mass shootings. I don't think every action requires a new tax hike.
All it does is punish a portion of the state population that will more than likely not go out and commit a crime as a mass shooting.  If Rep. Diane Franklin wants to truly do something that would have an effect in a "future " mass shooting we should be focused on the lack of mental health resources we have in this state. Doesn't require a new tax, just a reworking of laws that will help not hinder family members,  to have the ability and access to mental health treatment for the members that so desperately need it.

Nancy Steward
Linn Creek

Tax hike should go to mental health

The only way this suggestion will do anything to address the gun violence problem is if the funds collected are used to identify persons with mental problems and to provide treatment.
Based on past experience, it would likely be used protest any real measures to stop the carnage.

Francis Carr
Sunrise Beach

Video aren’t a proven cause of violence

What good is that going to do? Yes, let's charge innocent people more money while the problem continues. I've never pulled a gun on anyone and I have played violent video games.
Since we're on the subject, I want to know, is all cigarette tax going to cancer research? Is the tax on alcohol going to a cure for alcoholism? Are all taxes on vehicle ownership given to fund anger management programs to cure road rage? Let's get real people!

Holly Danner
from Facebook

Far too many reasons to not tax games

In my opinion, this bill is not worth the paper it is written on! Young people of today don't grasp the value of money like the children of previous generations did. Their parents will give it to them, or their friends will, or maybe Grandma will. It's available free and easy selling crack, and meth in the gas stations and on the street corners. The point is, we are raising a lazy, entitled generation of children and young adults, who think that the world is their oyster. This world is actually hard and difficult when you have to work and pay your own way through life.
Rep. Franklin is very naive and short-sighted if she thinks that this bill will curb the sale of violent video games or help stop these tragic shooting incidents. There is a whole multitude of reasons for the uptick in violence in America.  On a short list I could put: easy access to guns with large capacity magazines, poor care for the mentally ill, workplace stress, poverty, school bullying and illicit drug deals.  I would dare say that this bill would be like putting out a fire with a water pistol!
 My friends, this all has to be taken care of and monitored by parents, grandparents, clergy, teachers, and other role models. Our mortal lives are only once given to us. Having said that, we also must realize that we can be gone in an instant. The  most precious treasure in our lives should be our children and our loved ones. We must nurture our children on sound ideas, moral teachings, and a house full of love. With that foundation, we can teach them the difference between the real world and what is on a video game and the consequences of poor behavior.
I am also of the opinion that this nation is getting too far away from the standards and values that our founders intended.  We will be blessed as a nation, as families, and as individuals if we conduct ourselves in a more sober manner and remember our Father in Heaven, who created us.

James Hall

Step back from too many video games

Where I do believe certain video games do play a certain role, however more important  than just the type of game would definitely be the CRAZY amount of time that society allows their children to spend with any game at all. Children need activity and responsibilities, not sitting hours on end staring at a TV screen. That means helping around the house, earning their keep, helping others within the house, completing typical household chores.
Society needs to take few steps back from all this technology, and really look at what changed everyone, I know we need it, but we don't have to abuse it, or let it take control of our children and personal lives.
Its crazy to think raising the tax on these, or any games will prevent, and or change anything, except generate additional (TAX) dollars for the state to use where?
 Now if they agreed that all extra tax dollars collected from video games, guns, and or other related items, would be used to start a specialized gun education program for all children starting in the 2nd grade, continuing through high school, now I would agree that would be a great reason to raise and collect the higher taxes just for that reason. Take from the bad, apply to the good, call it the "Robin Hood Tax." Sure seems like a no brainer, but unfortunately were talking about politics, and that's all about books and bills, and absolutely no thought, and or consideration for common sense.

Dan Gibbs

Parents need to teach right from wrong

This tax will do no good, it needs to start in the home. If parents play an active part in raising their children and teaching truth from fiction there wouldn't be near the problem. My children are now 31 and 27, my husband and I took the time to teach them right from wrong and they are both very successful young men. Today most parents want to be their child's friend.

Tina McCormack
from Facebook

Games desensitize children

I watched children play video games that blew up cows with fiery arrows, they blew up every thing in sight that was not even part of the game and then laughed for hours doing so... Grand theft auto was awful and banned due to the sexual content for kids.... It tends to make lazy people lazier and I personally think that all games do for any one is side track YOU from reality. It is proven it desensitized people to violent acts and makes it more of a joke! I'm sorry to say that as a responsible adult I failed to realize it till damage was done. It was a great baby sitter and I took advantage of it. I wish that this crazy worlds attitude on technology would change but as long as it makes money it will just get worse.

Rebecca Gardner Zimmerly
from Facebook

Tax is another reason to get money

Just another attempt from the government to line its pockets with a new tax.  At what point does the government get the message?  Taxpayers are tired of new taxes, no matter what name/guise/reason.  We are taxed to death (sales tax, fuel tax, use tax, excise tax, the list is endless).  What Rep. Franklin needs to do is focus on solving the problem, not just lining the government coffers (this is similar to the other Sin taxes (Cigarette, Alcohol, etc.)) that have been tried before.   When I see kids driving cars that I can’t afford, or cars with stereos that cost thousands of dollars, I’m just speculating here but, I seriously doubt it will even slow the sales of violent video games a percent.
As this is an opinion column, I’ll express mine.  The problem with these games is complete lack of parental involvement.  How many parents spend hours playing these games with their kids?  Or watching whilst they play?  Or discussing the fact that these games are make believe and not how real life works?  How many parents take their kids away from these games to do something positive & constructive?   
Our government stands prepared to rape our constitutional rights, again,  while no one wants to talk about a solution that might actually solve the problem.  No one wants to admit that perhaps some parents have failed to be parents in that they allow their children to be babysat by technology.  Be it the television, computer (social media), video games (with violence far exceeding any R rated movie I’ve ever seen) instead of spending time with them.  Time is the one thing parents can give their children that will help solve a lot of the issues today.  And again, this is all  opinion, and I’ve no doubt that a lot of subconsciously guilty people will lash out saying I’m not being fair, that they have no time, they have to work 80 hours a week to pay for their million dollar home, their 4 cars, boat, analyst fees, etc. etc.  I’ve raised 2 children who would have never played today’s games.  I also know how I was raised and today’s computer games would have never crossed the threshold of my parents’ home.  I also grew up with a variety of guns, both long and hand.  And hours of gun safety taught to me by my father.  Taking a gun to school would have resulted in a severe butt warming from my father upon my arrival home.  Not child abuse, but proper parenting.
I think the tax is a joke.  But then, I think today’s government is also a joke, a very bad one.

Scott Hagan
Lake Ozark

Tax is a distraction from real problems

I think the lawmakers need to take a step back and look at the real problem. Its not the video games. My husband grew up on video games. Most of them are violent. He somehow managed to graduate high school, college, has a good job and is a great father, regardless of the fact that he played (and still plays) these "evil" video games. And never has he had the urge to kill anyone because of them. This is just another distraction.

Nicki Wright Roam
from Facebook