Reacting to the Newtown school shooting which left 27 people dead, a group of community leaders in Southington is advocating a "buyback" system similar to the "gun buybacks" that have been circulating in some cities. This buyback doesn't target guns. It targets violent video games.
Each game brought in to be destroyed will net families a gift certificate to local restaurants or a bowling alley.
"We want to stop the violence in our community," said Charlie Cocuzza, board president of the chamber of commerce. "Those games can cost $60 or $70. So we want to give families a certificate to do something fun and family-oriented, something where they can spend a couple of hours together instead."The leaders of this coalition emphasizes they are not directly linking violent video games to the Sandy Hook School shooting, but they feel parents should "educate" their children about violent mediums, which video games are a part of. 'Families may determine that games based on shooting, stabbing or running down characters with cars aren't good for their children's mental well being', speakers said.
"We're not saying the use of video games causes people to become murderers, but there's evidence that it causes increases in aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and desensitization about actions of violence," said Susan Saucier, director of community services.
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This move comes a few weeks after the NRA issued a similar statement about the link between violent video games and real life violence.
"There exists in this country a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people," NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said. "Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse."