We’ve actually got two quotes from two different editorials (one published the 26th and one published the 27th).
The WaPo board has some tips on how we can deal with the ATF Fast and Furious issue (H/T Uncle):
Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau.
That’s right! The way to solve the problem of the government ignoring the law is to pass more laws! None of these suggestions would have helped; the ignoring straw purchases was the whole point to Fast and Furious; closing the so-called “gun show loophole” wouldn’t have stopped straw purchases; the AWB had nothing to do with anything, and its reinstatement is just more wishing on the part of the WaPo; the ATF knew these people were purchasing dozens of long guns at a time, because they WATCHED THEM ON VIDEO make the purchases; and while the bureau hasn’t had a permanent leader, it’s had an acting director, and is ultimately responsible to Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice.
The California law is different because it dealt only with reasonable limitations on minors’ access to extremely violent games that even the video game industry acknowledges are inappropriate. The rights of minors are often justifiably curtailed in ways that would violate the Constitution if applied to adults. Take, for example, prohibitions against selling alcohol and tobacco products to juveniles. The California law did nothing to infringe on the rights of adults to purchase violent video games, and manufacturers remained free to create and market these videos. They could even sell them to minors — as long as a parent or legal guardian approved.
While it doesn’t surprise me that the WaPo would come down on the side of more government meddling than less, it’s a bit disingenuous of them to equate playing a video game with alcohol and tobacco. Both of those products have proven negative health effects, while gaming has no proven effects (IIRC, Scalia points this out in the opinion).
If realistic violence in video games causes kids to turn into violent maniacs, then where is the violence? The violent and property crime rates have been steadily dropping since the 90s; I’m sure that any minute now, all of us who grew up playing (and continue to play) violent games will snap, but until that happens, the WaPo’s argument is ridiculous.
Hopefully no one actually pays the Washington Post for their quality editorials; they’d not be getting good value for their money.