Another win for intelligence! We did it!

The big meanies up in Utah decided to create a little thing called HB 353. What is HB 353, other than the worst nightmares of Satan, Hitler and John Lennon all rolled up into one? It’s a video game and movie bill brought about originally by Jack Thompson, in which stiffer fines to video game retailers and movie theaters that gave minors access to games or movies rated above their age level would be added. Also, it’s a giant leap in logic that doesn’t actually look for true accountability (i.e., most parents). So what’s the big hub-bub?

It breezed through the Utah House and Senate by wide margins and it was expected that Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah would back it as well. Not so.

“While protecting children from inappropriate materials is a laudable goal, the language of this bill is so broad that it likely will be struck down by the courts as an unconstitutional violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause and/or the First Amendment,” explained Huntsman. “The industries most affected by this new requirement indicated that rather than risk being held liable under this bill, they would likely choose to no longer issue age appropriate labels on goods and services.

“Therefore, the unintended consequence of the bill would be that parents and children would have no labels to guide them in determining the age appropriateness of the goods or service, thereby increasing children’s potential exposure to something they or their parents would have otherwise determined was inappropriate under the voluntary labeling system now being recognized and embraced by a significant majority of vendors.”

It’s a well known fact that I’m a bit of a major spelling and grammar nazi. Nonetheless, I’ve never been more happy to see sloppy writing. Well, that and some major lobbying by the video game industry. A big and hearty congratulations to everyone who helped knock the bill proposal down. You’ve earned it.