Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre placed blame on movies, video games and music videos including films such as American Psycho and Natural Born Killers and a free online game called “Kindergarten Killers“.
LaPierre also targeted the media adding, “Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
Following the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles for Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained was cancelled. The film, which contains tons of gun violence, became a talking point with Tarantino commenting on the influence movies have saying, “This has gone back all the way down to Shakespeare’s days – alright, when there’s violence in the street, the cry becomes ‘blame the playmaker.’ And you know, I actually think that’s a very facile argument to pin on something that’s a real life tragedy.”
Co-stars Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz also weighed in.
Waltz said, “What I consider the really significant and dangerous aspect is the sensationalization of it, and movies don’t sensationalize, they just tell. Who is it who sensationalizes it? It’s the media. So we have to keep these a little bit apart, and look at them separately, and not just meddle everything up and point fingers at the opposite side. I find that very important. And I would also consider gun control indispensable. Rigorous gun control! Because a gun that you can’t have, you don’t use.”
“Here’s the thing – even if you get rid of all of the guns, I think that symptom will still be there,” Foxx told CNN. “So it will be a knife, it will be something, it will be their bare hands – but we have to, one, get the guns off the street … and then address the problem of the person, how do we reach out to that person, how do we make that person feel like, you don’t have to do this.”
Fellow Django co-star Samuel L. Jackson also added some thoughts to the conversation telling the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life… I don’t think movies or video games have anything to do with it.”
I bring this up because I would like to know where you stand on the matter. Personally, the influence movies may or may not have, I believe, has a lot to do with a child’s upbringing.
There is something to the question of “How do we reach out to that person?” and “This is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.” Yes, movie violence can have an effect, but I have to believe that effect is partially determined by a child’s upbringing, the people around them and the mental stability of the person in question. Again, people are looking for black-and-white answers to complex moral questions where none exist.
I don’t think gun control means the complete stamping out of guns altogether, just as much as I don’t believe it means arming our elementary teachers with guns to protect themselves. Something needs to be done — limited access to specific gun sellers, close the gun show loophole, etc. But, also, let’s pay closer attention to those around us in an attempt to help prevent situations such as what happened at Sandy Hook, in Aurora, Colorado and a Portland shopping mall as well as the instances of gun violence that don’t make national headlines.
Featured below is an edited version of the video embedded above (via Vulture) in which a YouTube user has taken snippets from films that correspond with the celebrity asking for gun control. I’d love to read your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.