Jack Thompson Wants to Destroy Your Freedom!

Jack ThompsonAnti-freedom advocate Jack Thompson discusses his distrust of the market, advocates government, and becomes the first guest to hang up on Free Talk Live! Here’s the archive.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Here’s a good snippet from the interview that I transcribed:

Ian Bernard: You’re involved in lawsuits with game manufacturers, gaming companies like Take2 Interactive.. that sort of thing. The people that produce games like Grand Theft Auto. You posited before that you’re really only for the restriction of sales to minors. So my question is: Why are you suing the game manufacturers is you’re not against the content itself?

Jack Thompson: Because a minor bought that particular game and killed two cops.

Bernard: And that’s the fault of the game manufacturers?

Thompson: Sure.

Bernard: Why should they have to pay for that?

Thompson: Because they… well you want me to answer the question? The Federal Trade Commission found in their study after Columbine that the video game industry is aggressively marketing these adult-rated products to children. And yet they say they aren’t, so they’re engaged in fraudulent activities which is resulting in the marketing of what science is now proving are dangerous materials because kids literally process these games in a different part of the brain. Harvard and Indiana University and Michigan State have found, and therefore it’s a product that not only harms the minor consumers of it but also the individuals who get in their way.

Bernard: Well my personal experience… I’ve played thousands of hours of video games. [crosstalk]

Thompson: So your statistical example of one person. How old are you? [crosstalk]

Bernard: And every other gamer that I’ve ever encountered.

Thompson: How old are you?

Bernard: Every single one… just because there’s some crazy kids out there… [crosstalk]

Thompson: You haven’t met them in jail, you haven’t sat with them in jail cells and sat with the families [crosstalk]

Bernard: Jack, there’s always been some crazy kids. There will always have… [crosstalk]

Thompson: Listen, you wanna talk over me, you do your own show.

Bernard: You know Jack, I’m trying to break in because you won’t pause… [phone hangs up]

  1. He’s a personal enemy of mine, as a gamer. Video games seem to be his primary target for restriction.

  2. This guy is just another statist A$$hat, like the millions of others out there. When are people going to take a stand against this crap?

  3. I just heard an internet gambling debate on CNBC. First of all, is this woman Liz Clayman or whatever the dumbest person on TV or what? One time she said that shareholders having control over CEO pay was akin to socialism, probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard on TV, and that’s saying a lot. Today there was the pro legalized gambling guy who says “it should be regulated and taxed so that a portion can go to help people with problems.” The anti-freedom guy said “old ladies are going to lose their social security checks IF it is legal” (as if they can’t now). No one made the point that NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO TELL ME WHETHER OR NOT I CAN WASTE MY MONEY BY GAMBLING ONLINE. Also, 1) It should not be “regulated and taxed,” people who have a problem.. it’s THEIR problem, and 2) if you want to stop old ladies from losing their SS checks, STOP GIVING THEM TO THEM. These same shiftless layabouts are responsible for the national debt, leaving a fat bill to me and my kids. It makes me sick.

  4. The “tax and regulate” argument is often made by libertarians to make it easier for the statists to accept… because, after all, it’s better for an activity to be taxed and regulated than for it to be banned entirely.

  5. When is the government going to stop trying to protect me from myself?

    Just because gamers process the information in a different part of thier brain, this makes the games dangerous?

    Does this mean the state should be sued if a person loses thier life savings on state lotteries? Where does the liability end?

  6. An interesting statistic I read- young kids are more likely to die by accidently putting a plastic grocery bag over their heads than being shot. So, maybe instead of worrying about gun manufactures, video game designers and hollywood stunt artists, we should be going after the evil grocers that are corrupting and killing our nation’s youth. (sarcasm if you didn’t pick it up)

  7. These type of issues are a big reason why we are thought of as whackos and are still a fringe third-party.

    Most of the voters will not take the time to think through these issues. All they hear is that some kids shot people because of a video and that is good enough for them. We will never win an arguement about these type of issues using the free market as our answer to the problem. I thought Ian and Mark did a terrible job of counteracting Jack. A better way would have been to bring up that it is the job of the parent to decide what is appropriate for their own children and that the free market can provide tools such as ratings to help the parents make decisions about this. A better tack would have been that you were infringing on parent’s rights.

    I believe we should be using the angle that parents need to be more personally responsible for their children, not the gov’t. By doing this it becomes more of an adult/parent rights issue instead of “for the kids.”

  8. Terry, good point. The vast majority of people usually don’t think through an issue and how the free market can help solve the problems related to the issue. However, the parent’s rights arguement also goes nowhere with the majority of parents. The majority of parents think that they and a few of their friends are good parents but that many parents are bad and will not raise their children correctly. Therefore, the government has to step in and help raise their kids.

    And to answer the_1_habman, their are people taking a stand. See http://www.nhfree.com

  9. Being a gamer I find it is great to be able to sit at home at the end of a hard day and kill things in a game, it is part of the reason I can deal with the idiots I work with. Wired did a video game issue a few months back and they did an article “Those darn kids and their darn new technology” first it was novels they attacked as poison, then the waltz, then movies, then the telephone, then comic books, then rock and roll and now games are there next target.
    Most who bash video games probably have never even picked up a controller.
    I have been playing since about 6 years old and now i’m 30 and there is a whole generation like me who are representitives should listen to but we don’t have the $100,000 to get there attention we spent it all on games and created on of the largest industries in America and now the ones in charge just want to scare thoose who don’t know whats going on.
    And yes M games are for adults but that is the resposibility of the parents not the government

  10. Send the permalink — /2006/05/24/jack-thompson-wants-to-destroy-your-freedom/ — to all your gamer friends and friends of friends!

    I sent it to one just now. I can’t get him to see that the war in Iraq is futile, but this hits him where he lives.

  11. And the Hildabeast made the same grumbling noises recently… “for the children”. Bullshit. Codswallop. Hooey, even. It’s about control, pure and simple: Americans are childlike hairless apes, and both parties want to make sure we don’t bloody our noses or poke our eyes out.

  12. A little less freedom here, a little less freedom there. Keep this and soon there will be no individual freedom.

    I am not into playing video games but if you are, go for it.

    Too many lawyers, too many government bureaucrats trying to protect me from myself.

    When seat belt laws were first passed, we were promised a ticket would be written only if seat belts was a secondary offense. Now in Colorado, it need be the only offense. The real agenda is more money in the bloated coffers, not my safety. I ride a motorcycle. When will bikes be banned? My bet is it will happen within the next 20 years along with firearms which is actually a constitutional guarantee.