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Bad Press: Disbarred Ex-Lawyer Jack Thompson Returns, Is Still A Pathological Liar

Jack Thompson is much more than the pathological liar on a never ending quest to destroy video games. He’s also a disgraced ex-lawyer disbarred over ten years ago for no less than 31 charges of inappropriate conduct inside and out of the courtroom, for intimidating and harassing opposition, whose rambling court arguments have been described as bizarre and idiotic by the Florida court, and for coining the idea that teenagers can learn how to properly fire weapons by playing Doom, a game so primitive that you can’t look up and down in it.

But like Freddy Krueger’s sleazy uncle who sells used cars, Jack Thompson refuses to duck out of the public scope and just can’t stop lying. Unfortunately Florida’s least competent attorney has conned another newspaper into publishing his latest attempt to twist the death of children for his Quixotic quest, the Tallahasee Democrat, which we have linked in an archived form for your pleasure and their lack of advertising revenue.

Thompson, who was once scorned by a judge for faxing pornography to the court, has his sights still set on the Parkland school massacre that took the lives of seventeen students and staff members. He writes:

“Cruz’s own mother, now deceased, attributed his violence to his video games and withdrew them as temporary punishment. In “Call of Duty” you use smoke canisters to hide from your virtual reality targets — something Cruz did in reality. So video games don’t just increase the appetite to kill; they train teens to kill efficiently.”

Here we see Thompson’s master trick that I’ll refer to as “it makes sense as long as you don’t think about it.” Any child over the age of five could tell you what a smoke canister would do, but for someone of Thompson’s caliber this can only be the work of a trained killer, one trained on evil video games. Thompson likes to pepper in his conclusory statements with lies about video games that he passes off as just common fact, like the idea that games “increase the appetite to kill.”

He continues:

“The majority of video games 19 years after gamers Klebold and Harris authored Columbine, are sold to individuals whose ages are not verified.”

First, I take umbrage with Thompson’s use of the word “authored” in reference to the Columbine shooting, but this is another example of Thompson making unsubstantiated, ridiculously conclusory statements with no evidence to back himself up. The kind of conduct that would get one disbarred from the Florida bar association.

“All that is necessary for this dangerous fraud to stop is for states and the national government to apply deceptive trade practice laws that are already on the books to video game sales. This approach will be simple, constitutional and effective.”

I’ll explain this since, as a disbarred lawyer, Jack Thompson is not familiar with how the law works. We’ve already gone down this road of litigating video game sales to minors, and the fact that you have managed (without evidence) to argue that video game retailers are selling games to kids despite claiming otherwise, is irrelevant to everything. Deceptive trade practice laws have to do with lying about the features/functions of a product in order to con people into buying it, it has nothing to do with claiming that you don’t sell something but selling it anyway.

Here is the Federal Reserve’s definition of a “deceptive trade practice,” as per the Federal Trade Commission:

An act or practice is deceptive where
• a representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;
• a consumer’s interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and
• the misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.

And as I said, we’ve already gone down this road. Feel free to peruse the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association to read about how our supreme court held that a law barring minors from buying mature rated video games is unconstitutional. States do not have the right to determine which video games are too violent in the same way that they cannot decide which Grimm fairytales are too violent for children.

You also have to appreciate how the Tallahassee Democrat refers to Thompson as a “retired lawyer,” which is a fancy way of saying disbarred on dozens of charges of misconduct and fined $43 grand. The website also references Thompson’s involvement in a case surrounding a school shooting in Paducah, Kentucky. They left out the embarrassing details, like how he convinced the parents of three dead highschool girls to take part in a ridiculous lawsuit against two pornography websites, the film “The Basketball Diaries,” Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, claiming that all of the defendants had a hand in inspiring the 14 year old shooter. The lawsuit was dismissed at trial and then dismissed again by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Perhaps if video games were the impressive trainers that Jack Thompson has claimed they are for the past twenty years, he could have sat down with a copy of Phoenix Wright and learned how to be a proper attorney.

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