I got carded trying to buy a video game at Best Buy during lunch today. I was buying two games for my PSP and a cordless phone at the time. The counter person insisted that I show my ID. I refused, eventually leaving all my purchases at the counter and leaving the store without buying anything.
First of all, I'm 33 years old. And I probably look older. But that's not the point.
Remember incidents like this the next time some group of concerned parents says "We only want warning labels." Rating systems and warning labels become de facto censorship when retail chains take it upon themselves to refuse to sell video games rated "M" or movies rated "R" or music labeled "Explicit" to minors.
Most of us civil libertarians oppose government regulation of content because we don't want people telling us what we can and can't consume, content-wise. We begrudgingly accept warning labels so that parents can make appropriate choices for their kids. But it becomes censorship when retail chains are forced (or even when they voluntarily agree) to refuse sales to people because the rating system says it's inappropriate. That's the job of a parent, not a retail chain.
Say whatever you want about Best Buy, Wal-Mart or any other chain that caves to the censorship lobby. They're within their rights to do this. But I'm also within my rights to leave my purchases on the counter and refuse to buy when confronted with such situations.
Warning labels are censorship. Period. That's no longer a slippery slope argument. It's a fact. Parents aren't making the decisions here. Retail chains and censors are.