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TMCNet:  WOLF TAKES TO HOUSE FLOOR TO ADDRESS ROLE OF MEDIA VIOLENCE IN MASS SHOOTINGS

[February 26, 2013]

WOLF TAKES TO HOUSE FLOOR TO ADDRESS ROLE OF MEDIA VIOLENCE IN MASS SHOOTINGS

Feb 26, 2013 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- WOLF TAKES TO HOUSE FLOOR TO ADDRESS ROLE OF MEDIA VIOLENCE IN MASS SHOOTINGS Washington, D.C. (February 26, 2013) - Following a recent report that police found violent video games in the home of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA) today spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to stress the need to examine the role that violent media play in mass shootings.

According to the Hartford Courant http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/newtown-sandy-hook-school-shooting/hc-raising-adam-lanza-20130217,0,5614292,full.story, detectives are exploring whether Lanza might have been emulating a scenario from a video game during his rampage.

This new development in the Sandy Hook case comes in the wake of a National Science Foundation http://www.wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-releases-national-science-foundation-report-on-risk-factors-associated-with-mass-shootings/ report requested by Wolf, which revealed three main factors associated with recent mass shootings: exposure to violent media, access to guns and mental health.

Wolf, chairman of the CJS subcommittee, requested the report following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. It is the latest in a series of steps Wolf has taken to address mass violence, including a recent request http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-pushes-attorney-general-to-use-current-funding-for-bipartisan-programs-to-reduce-gun-violence/ that Attorney General Eric Holder use existing funds to improve the nation's background check system and create a national center for campus public safety. The campus safety initiative came at the request of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, a group made up of families and victims of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. To date, the Obama administration has failed to respond to either request.

"There needs to be a three-legged approach to this problem," Wolf said. "In a number of these tragic shootings, there has been a pattern of the shooters playing violent video games. Remember Columbine" Remember the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado " Wolf has long advocated for measures http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-cosponsors-mental-health-parity-bill/ that prevent health insurers from placing discriminatory restrictions on mental health and addiction treatments, and has repeatedly cosponsored http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-again-supports-warning-labels-on-violent-video-games/ legislation aimed at protecting http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-addresses-ftc-workshop-on-video-game-violence/ children from violent and sexually explicit video games http://wolf.house.gov/index.cfm'sectionid=34&parentid=6&sectiontree=&itemid=975 and Hollywood films. Last year, the House-passed FY 2013 CJS appropriations bill increased funding for the background check system to levels higher than those proposed by both the Senate and the White House to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and violent criminals. He also supported the Brady Bill.

Wolf said he plans to address the findings of the NSF report in hearings this Spring.

The full text of Wolf's floor speech is below.

Mr. Speaker, I continue to be concerned about the failure to discuss mental health issues and the impact of the violent media in the whole debate following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

There needs to be a three-legged approach to this problem.

It was disappointing that the President only addressed the issue of guns in his State of Union speech.

In a number of these tragic shootings, there has been a pattern of the shooters playing violent video games. Remember Columbine" Remember the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado Now comes a report from the Hartford Courant: "During a search of the Lanza home after the deadly school shootings, police found thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games.

And detectives working the scene of the massacre are exploring whether Adam Lanza might have been emulating the shooting range or a video-game scenario as he moved from room to room at Sandy Hook, spewing bullets, law enforcement sources have told The Courant.

Before he killed his mother and set off for Sandy Hook Elementary, Adam Lanza destroyed the hard drive on his computer, which probably kept some of the records of the games he played and who he played with. He also may have destroyed any chance to see if he had a manifesto or had written down anything indicating that he planned the shootings, or why he chose the elementary school." Soon after the Newtown shooting, I asked National Science Foundation to pull together experts from across the country to look at the impact of all three contributors to mass violence.

Earlier this month, NSF released its report, which supports my belief that rampage shootings are a result of multiple factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, and exposure to violent media, including violent video games.

The report draws on "reliable evidence and a stable of theories to explain youth violence that have emerged from decades of research, including research supported by the NSF, the National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council, and other federal agencies.

A copy of it can be found on my Web site at www.wolf.house.gov http://www.wolf.house.gov.

It is easy for the President to take on the NRA. Why hasn't he asked the entertainment industry to play a greater role in this debate" Common sense tells us that the level of violence on TV, in the movies and in many video games is a problem. One only has to read the piece from the Hartford Courant to understand that there is a problem.

-30- Jill Shatzen. Press Secretary, 202.225.5136

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