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Does Media Violence Encourage Violent Behavior?

And, if so, what can or should California lawmakers do about it?

"Geweld" is Dutch for violence. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
"Geweld" is Dutch for violence. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

State Senator Loni Hancock has scheduled a hearing today before the Senate Public Safety Subcommittee on Gangs, Guns and Drugs on the impact of media violence on public safety.  

“The goal of this hearing is to provide legislators with the latest research on media violence and to present information regarding possible policy solutions from a constitutional perspective,” Hancock said.

She said the hearing is being held in direct response to issues brought up during the debate on gun safety legislation. 

“In our consideration of gun safety regulations during the last few months, questions were often raised about the relationship of mental health to gun violence, as well as repeated exposure to media violence on young people and marginalized individuals,” she explained.

The hearing will consist of two panels covering research and policy as they relate to media violence. Panel participants include:

  • Dr. Laramie Taylor, Associate Professor Communications, UC Davis, testifying on “Media Violence and Public Health.”
  • Dr. Derek Burrill, Associate Professor, UC Riverside, testifying on “Video Game Culture.”
  • Dr. Andrew J. Giammona, M.D., Medical Director & Director of Division of Mental Health and Child Development, Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland, testifying on “Media Violence Impact on Child Development.”
  • Mr. Ashutosh Bhagwat, J.D., Professor of Law, UC Davis, testifying on “Media Violence, Constitutional Law and the First Amendment.”
  • Ms. Colby Zintl, Vice President, Common Sense Media

Do you have an opinion? Share it in the comments below.

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