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
The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

This week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed multiple pro-gun bills, including House Bill 1721, House Bill 2323, and House Bill 2322. 

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Continuing to Fight in California

Friday, March 24, 2017

Continuing to Fight in California

We are excited to inform you of our new California specific webpage – Stand and Fight California.   On this page you will find State Legislation, Legal Updates, and How to Get Involved, among other California ...

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Tonight, Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 198 into law.

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

On Monday, March 27, the Texas Senate will convene after 2:00pm and is expected to take up and consider Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

More Firearms, More Firearms Owners, Fewer Fatal Accidents

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

More Firearms, More Firearms Owners, Fewer Fatal Accidents

The National Safety Council released the 2017 edition of its annual Injury Facts report this week, and it contains welcome news about firearm safety. 

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.