Portion control vs. a diet of violence

One of the interesting aspects of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed regulation involving sugary soft drinks – besides the fact many mochas and cappuccinos contain more calories than most colas – is it wouldn’t ban the sale of such drinks.

It would, however, regulate the volume of a fattening beverage a person could buy at one time. Evidently, a little bit of a sweetened soda isn’t necessarily bad; it’s when calories are piled on in bunches that they really add to the obesity problem.

That’s an important point to remember as film directors, movie companies and video game producers are brought into the discussion regarding acts of mass violence by mentally ill individuals.

One can of soda once a week might not result in a person packing on the pounds. But daily doses of quart-sized soft drinks can be bad for a person’s health. Likewise, a violence-laden show or video game might not have a deleterious effect. But a steady diet of productions featuring explosions, shootings, bombings, fisticuffs, sword fights can have a cumulative impact.

The same could be said of the amount of sexual images, themes, innuendos and jokes that are the focus of much entertainment media.

The First Amendment would prevent censorship of the content of TV shows, movies and first-person shooters. So what will be the result of efforts to curb the impact of violence in such works – a form of portion control?

It’s possible discussions to reduce gun violence in the United States will result in useful proposals that will reduce the liklihood another massacre will occur. But any new regulations must not infringe on the rights, the freedoms, of law-abiding Americans.