Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Is There A Child Psychologist In The House

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox (left) recently had the opportunity to chat with Pennsylvania Congressman, and child psychologist, Tim Murphy, whose home district includes the city of Pittsburgh, host to the 2004 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits.

Cox: Congressman Murphy, you were elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 after serving six years in the Pennsylvania State Senate. What made you decide to enter political life after spending nearly a quarter-century as a child psychologist?

Rep. Murphy: After many years of working with families to solve their individual problems, I realized that I wanted to help on a much broader scale. And in working with various elected officials, I realized that there was a need for people with my background. I felt I had something to offer and was fortunate to have an opportunity to do so.

Cox: You were elected vice-president of the 2003 freshman class. What exactly does that position involve?

Rep. Murphy: I am lucky to be part of a very active freshman class. My job as vice-president is to assist and coordinate communication among our members. It has been a very positive experience.

Cox: You're also an award-winning author, so let's talk for a while about your book The Angry Child. You write that by the time the average child turns 18 years old, he will have spent 11,000 hours in school, and more than 15,000 hours watching television. I would add in hours spent surfing the Internet or playing video games and ask: What is the impact of Hollywood-produced violence on kids in America?

Rep. Murphy: Children are influenced by the violence they see on television. When you combine watching television, listening to music and playing video games, it increases the likelihood of aggression. It also makes children more likely to accept aggression as a normal reaction and makes them believe that aggressive responses happen more frequently than they actually do.

Cox: You draw important distinctions between a child's viewing a tv show or movie and playing video games. What exactly should parents be aware of regarding video games?

Rep. Murphy: Watching television may shape attitudes and serve as a model for children's behavior, but playing video games actually allows them to rehearse such behavior over and over. Video game playing increases the likelihood that children will act out.

Cox: In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress required that new televisions be equipped with a v-chip to allow parents to block out objectionable material, and you say that was a step in the right direction. You also write "parents--not the federal government--are the best gatekeepers for their kids." Would you elaborate?

Rep. Murphy: Parents need to be constantly aware of what their children are watching and how they are reacting. Some children can watch violence on television and not have any negative reaction, while others are more easily influenced. Above all, parents should always be vigilant so they can guide their children. Parents must speak up and tell children what is wrong--children will listen.

Cox: Last year marked the centennial of NRA's involvement with teaching the country's youth about gun safety, respect and responsibility toward firearms, marksmanship and enjoyment of the shooting sports. A tiny but shrill minority in this country call this an extremist agenda. What are your thoughts on kids, firearms and the shooting sports?

Rep. Murphy: Interaction between parents and their children can have a very positive influence on their lives. Such activity, whether it is playing baseball or a shooting sport, can help instill important life lessons of morality, safety and respect. The key here is parental involvement. Parents can serve as important mentors and role models for children in sports.

Cox: Pennsylvania has a proud, freedom-loving tradition, and it trails only California--a state with roughly three times the population--in number of NRA members. The Second Amendment and the hunting heritage have always been important to Pennsylvanians. Is there any advice you'd like to pass along on how best to protect the liberties we enjoy as Americans?

Rep. Murphy: We are very excited to host the NRA Annual Meetings this coming April. Pennsylvania has many patriotic citizens who believe strongly in protecting our Constitution and the rights of our citizens. The best way to protect our freedoms is to actively participate in our political process. Silence on any issue increases the chance that rights can be taken away.

Cox: As our nation fights the terrorist threat both at home and abroad, there are calls in some quarters that liberties must be sacrificed in the name of security. We all know what that famous Pennsylvanian Ben Franklin had to say on that score, but what are your thoughts?

Rep. Murphy: We must take extra measures to find the terrorists who are abusing our freedom. We must make sure that law enforcement has the tools it needs to effectively pursue these criminals. However, we must be constantly vigilant in our zeal and make sure that we do not stomp on the very freedoms we are trying to protect.

Cox: Finally, Congressman, the question I've been dying to ask you: Have you found that your years as a child psychologist prepared you for political life in Washington, D.C.?

Rep. Murphy: Well, as a psychologist I was trained to bring people together to solve conflicts. I learned that there was no value in taking controversial stances that are adversarial, antagonistic and acrimonious. I learned that by bringing people together you could come up with solutions. And dealing with families taught me that patience and communication are key tools in obtaining long-term results.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Politics
TRENDING NOW
First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

We recently reported on claims that “gun safety advocates” in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have given a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran an untenable choice: custody of his grandson or his constitutional ...

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

Just as many in the Democratic Party are seeking to moderate their message in order to once again compete as a national political party, some high-profile Democrats are urging the party to lurch further left ...

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

Friday, August 18, 2017

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

A California state court issued an important ruling in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Gentry v. Becerra, holding DOJ accountable for its historical mismanagement and misuse of DROS (dealer record of sale) account funds.

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, August 18, 2017

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

The 2016 compilation of legislative policies of the ABA includes a raft of gun control proposals. In it, the ABA advocates for outmoded gun control measures, such as limits on the sale and possession of ...

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

News  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously held that the state was within its authority to prohibit cities and counties from routinely destroying firearms obtained through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. State law holds that ...

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

At the request of Public Health, Seattle & King County, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has released a “first draft” of a new statewide regulatory scheme targeting lead and lead exposure in the workplace. ...

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

Justice Department to End ‘Operation Choke Point’

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Choke Point

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Choke Point

Current Justice Department leadership and Boyd should be commended for their forceful statement on this matter. This unequivocal repudiation of Operation Choke Point should make a return to such political persecution unpalatable for all but ...

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Award-winning journalist John Stossel published a report this week that provides a timely reminder that – nearly a decade after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller – law abiding gun ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.