Oh Joe, just leave already. You've got less than a month left as a Senator, can't you just fade quietly away?
But no, it is a dangerous thing to get between a camera and the moralizing Three Amigos of the Senate. With John McCain furiously trying to figure out how to now trash John Kerry for Secretary of State and Lindsey Graham trying to get over the embarassment of propositioning his BFFs on air, it's left to Holy Joe to wax philosophical on the tragic massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary school.
Does Lieberman look inward and examine the failure of the Senate to renew the assault weapons ban? Does he reflect on the budgetary cuts that have necessitated the elimination of programs to assist those with mental and developmental issues? Does he bemoan the stranglehold the NRA has on politicians to keep them from enacting legislation that could have protected those poor kids and educators? How about even a little whining about the ridiculous meme from Republicans that now is not the time to discuss gun control?
No, no, no! That would be taking personal responsibility for his part in this culture of violence and we can't have any of that.
Instead, the man with just weeks left in his seat thinks that Congress should go after Hollywood and video games for their culture of violence:
“The violence in the entertainment culture – particularly, with the extraordinary realism to video games, movies now, et cetera – does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent,” Lieberman insisted. “Doesn’t make everybody more violent, but it’s a causative factor in some cases.”
“We ought to ask the entertainment community, what are you going to do to tone that down,” Lieberman said of policymakers in Washington.
Wallace asked if he was advocating for a voluntary push or a legislative solution to violence in entertainment. “In our society, you always try to do it voluntarily,” Lieberman replied. “But, I think we’ve come to a point where you’ve got to say, if not, maybe there’s some things we can do to tone it down.”
Oh yeah, that's doable.
Look, as a parent, I do have an issue with the desensitization towards violence in the media as much as I do the negative body images for girls. I'm careful about what I let my children watch and games they play; we have discussions about these issues frequently. But it's important to remember that millions and millions of Americans watch these same movies, television shows and play these video games without feeling compelled to pick up an assault rifle in real life and kill others.
But if you have a gun in your possession, you are 4.5 times more likely to be shot than someone without a gun. That's a much easier statistic to wrap your head around, rather than the likelihood that some random vulnerable male will commit an act of violence at some point after being exposed to x amount of violent media images. And that would be a statistic that would be readily available to Joe Lieberman if the NRA didn't seek to suppress gun safety studies.
There are things that Congress can do (and have done in the past) to put reasonable limitations on gun ownership in this country. Tangible, workable legislation that may not end all gun violence, but could help limit some of these senseless mass slaughters. Advocating for some amorphous restriction on media is not one of them.
But that would mean that Holy Joe Lieberman look at his own culpability.
So just leave now, Joe. And let us find real solutions without you.