During a closed-doors gun legislation meeting with 20 religious representatives, United States Vice President Joe Biden said that "there's no legal reason why" the government couldn't tax media companies that broadcast violent images and produce violent video games, Politico reports.
One of the representatives in attendance was Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham expressed to Biden that the government should consider taxing companies that broadcast violent images and develop violent video games.
In response, Biden "floated the idea that media and entertainment that portray violence should be subject to a special tax, with the proceeds going to help victims and their families," another participant executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly Rabbi Julie Schonfeld told Politico.
According to Sister Marjorie Clark, a member of a Catholic social justice organization called Network, Biden had also said in response that there was "no restriction on the ability to" tax companies that broadcast and develop violent media, and that "there's no legal reason why they couldn't."
The Vice President went on to say at that there needs to be a comprehensive scientific study to look at the impact that violent video games and movies have on children, Clark told Politico.
In a Presidential Memorandum on Jan. 16, President Barack Obama called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct further research into the relationship between video games, media images and violence. The President also called for Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC conduct new research on the subject.
A week later, during a "fireside hangout" on reducing gun violence in the United States, Biden reiterated the need for significant research on the effects of violent media and said that citizens, lawmakers and special interest groups shouldn't "be afraid of the facts."
Following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama asked Biden to form a task force to examine how to decrease violence in America. Polygon reported that the process included 22 different meetings with 220 different organizations.