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TK's MORNING BUZZ: After Curbing Violent Video Games, Wal-Mart and Kmart Should Take the Next Logical Step: Stop Selling Guns

8 Sep, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The announcement that the nation's two biggest mass merchant chains, Wal-Mart and Kmart, will tighten restrictions on violent and other "mature" video games deserves kudos.

While I'm a staunch opponent of censorship of any kind, I also don't believe any material of an excessively violent or sexual nature should be readily available to children. Video games that, according to the Kmart press release announcing the move, "may include imagery of intense violence, language or mature sexual themes" aren't exactly suited for 10-year-olds.

And yet, there's a certain amount of hypocrisy in the Two Marts' move.

Many of the same stores that are now going to restrict access to video games that show cartoon guns killing cartoon characters continue to sell real guns that can kill real people.

Wal-Mart and Kmart will undoubtedly reap tons of goodwill for their bold stand against violent video games. With kids bringing guns to classrooms, and school shootings no longer once-in-a-lifetime occurrences, the two big chains have certainly struck a chord with concerned families across America.

On behalf of the home entertainment industry, let me now ask Wal-Mart and Kmart to take the next logical step: stop selling real guns, especially since the gun departments in at least two Wal-Marts I've been in are just across the aisle from the toy departments.

There are some who blame the rash of school shootings we've suffered through on violent video games, movies and song lyrics.

I disagree. I happen to believe access to real guns had something to do with it.

Comments? Contact TK directly at: TKArnold@aol.com

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