Apparently October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and, in observation of this event, Marin County in California has created an oddly unrelated program. On Saturdays during October, Marin County will accept trade-ins of toy guns and violent videogames in exchange for ice cream. I'll give you a moment to let all of that sink in.
The program is headed by District Attorney Ed Berberian, who led a gun buyback program in California two years ago. For a state in such financial disaster, it was definitely a good idea to spend so much money they had to increase the budget to handle all of the buybacks. That same clear, concise thinking is what has led to this buyback program.
Thankfully they have learned from their prior mistakes and will not be offering their own money, or I suppose your own money, as it was paid out of tax money. Either way, this time their attempted buyback program will not affect the ailing state's bottom line. Unfortunately Ben & Jerry's has gotten involved with this crazy concept, donating ice cream for anyone who turns in a toy gun or videogame.
Development and community relations manager for the Center for Domestic Peace, Marla Hedlund, said in defense of this program,
Children reflect the culture they live in. This is really all about having a conversation with our community and our children about the culture of violence. We're trying to inspire people to become part of the movement to create peace in a violence-free environment.
As we know domestic violence incidents almost always have children present and these children develop over time imprinted images of the family violence. These children then carry those experiences into their adult lives and often repeat the pattern of violence in their own family units.
The issue here is that time after time, studies have found that playing videogames does not increase your chances of being violent. In fact, for many people it decreases those chances, as it becomes an outlet for any aggressions collected throughout a normal day. Also, California has had a rough history with banning videogame sales. After a cost of $1.8 million for a failed court case, at least they aren't putting up their own cash this time around.