(Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
After meeting with gun control advocates and the NRA, the White House will sit down with entertainment executives to discuss violence on the screen and in video games. Yet the one group that appears absent at the table are the parents of school children.
"Today, as the Vice President meets to discuss gun control, I can't help but wonder why parents' groups haven't been invited to the table?" Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee President Penny Nance said in a written statement.
Legislators and those supportive of gun control have been making the case that the movie and video game industry must be evaluated and looked at to determine if violence on the screen is a contributing factor when young men and women commit violent acts.
Following a meeting with the NRA and leading retailers such as Wal-Mart, Vice President Joe Biden sat down with entertainment executives for over two hours Thursday night to engage in a dialogue over gun violence.
However, outside of a joint public statement, none of the executives attending such as Comcast Vice President David Cohen or Motion Picture Association of America CEO and former Sen. Christopher Dodd would comment on the discussions.
"The entertainment community appreciates being included in the dialogue around the administration's efforts to confront the complex challenge of gun violence in America," said a statement from the Directors Guild of America, Independent Film & Television Alliance, Motion Picture Assn. of America, National Assn. of Broadcasters, National Assn. of Theatre Owners, and National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.
"This industry has a long-standing commitment to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families,'' the group added. "We welcome the opportunity to share that history and look forward to doing our part to seek meaningful solutions."
But of all the groups sitting at the White House table, it appears no one representing parents have not been asked to participate, according to Nance.
"As the President of the nation's largest public policy women's organization, I would be happy to represent over 500,000 women worried about the security of their most precious possession, their children and the ability to protect them," she said.
Nance also told The Christian Post on Thursday that until the White House seeks input from parents, they will not be able to identify solutions on how parents can recognize the warning signs some children who are prone to violent behavior may exhibit.
"Parents are on the front lines every day. I know my husband and I are with our two school aged children," said Nance. "Parents can do more than anyone to help contribute to this issue but first and foremost, we have to be at the table."
Nance said to her knowledge, no organizations representing parents have been included in the White House meeting. "It's sad," she said.
After Biden met with the NRA on Thursday, representatives attending on behalf of gun owners said the talks appeared to be little more than a photo opportunity, with both sides in disagreement over how to handle the issue.
"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," read a statement from the NRA on Thursday evening. "While claiming that no policy proposals would be "prejudged," this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners – honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans."
NRA President David Keene said much of the discussion focused on plans to limit gun sales and restrict rifle magazine capacity. "The vice president made it clear, made it explicitly clear, that the president had already made up his mind on those issues," Keene said after the meeting. "We made it clear that we disagree with them."
Biden will be meeting with representatives of the video game industry Friday to examine what role they are having in promoting gun violence among children and teens.