Johanns pushes study of how TV, movie violence affects kids

Sen. Mike Johanns

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Johanns wants federal agencies to study the dangers facing children exposed to violence in movies, television shows and video games.

The Nebraska Republican introduced legislation Thursday with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., directing the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Health and Human Services to work with the National Academy of Sciences to investigate whether violent movies and video games desensitize children to the consequences of real-life violence.

“In order to have an honest discussion about violence and how to best prevent it in the future, we need to examine the underlying causes of these actions,” Johanns said. “Our kids are routinely exposed to movies, television and video games that glorify violence and allow them to simulate violent acts.”

Washington is grappling with how to respond in the wake of last month’s shooting deaths of 20 students in Connecticut.

President Barack Obama has proposed new restrictions on military-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines, but Johanns said during his weekly conference call that he sees little chance of any new gun restrictions moving through Congress.

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