Two weeks ago, President Clinton asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to conduct a study to determine whether firms in the movie, music recording and video game industries are marketing violent materials to young people.(2)
The President's request came in response to concerns about the instances of senseless violence that have become a plague to an entire generation of young people. The school shootings in Littleton, Jonesboro, West Paducah and Conyers have brought this issue to the surface of public consciousness. Beyond those dramatic episodes, we are aware of the grim statistics that seven youngsters are gunned down every day in the United States.(3) The evidence is overwhelming that young people, to express frustration and resolve differences, are turning to violence, and other young people are the victims. What is to be done?
I want to thank both Attorney General Christine Gregoire, your incoming NAAG president, and Attorney General Mike Moore, your outgoing president, for this opportunity to speak to you today and to share views on this immensely important issue.
I know that this group, ahead of most others, has been aware of issues raised by the wave of violence among young people and is already active in addressing those problems. I know of General Moore's summit meeting last month on youth violence and school safety, and I have talked to General Gregoire about her plans to continue the initiative.
We look forward to opportunities to work cooperatively with this group in pursuing our own study. After all, if there is one thing that we have learned in the last decade, it is that coordinated state/federal enforcement is effective. We have worked together on old-fashioned pyramid schemes and snake oil sales to the newest Internet frauds, and have joined forces in over 40 law enforcement sweeps resulting in nearly 1,200 actions - and that is just since 1995 when I came to the Commission. I am confident that we can join forces...