I do not believe that violence in films and on television leads to violence in real life. More important factors like socio-economic conditions and an absence of morals are largely responsible.
But Hollywood has much to answer for when it comes to their astonishing disconnect from reality on guns. How is it possible that an industry whose biggest money makers are ultra-violent action movies can be so unaware that their advocacy for strict gun control is the biggest fraud going?
Hollywood declared war on American gun culture in 2013 with a public service announcement calling for stricter gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Now the industry is back on the attack in the wake of the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Stars including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and the cast of ABC’s “Modern Family” support this month’s March for Our Lives rally for stricter gun legislation.
Yet a study by the Parents Television Council shows that portrayals of gun violence on television have increased dramatically in recent years, even in shows deemed appropriate for children.
The entertainment industry’s love of gunplay and hatred for firearms muddles, if not negates, Hollywood’s role in a constructive conversation on the Second Amendment.
That 2013 public service announcements looks tame by current standards. Celebrities routinely dub the National Rifle Association a terrorist organization. Prominent actors such as Sally Field and Michael Keaton have blamed the NRA, Second Amendment advocates and Republicans for the 17 deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
Nonetheless, stars defend their gun-soaked content. Jennifer Lawrence deflected blame from her industry’s handiwork during the New York City premiere of her R-rated spy thriller “Red Sparrow.”
“I think the problem is guns, not the entertainment industry,” the Academy Award winner told the press.
The truth is, it’s neither guns nor the entertainment industry. But when simpleminded dolts follow the group and spout the same tired talking points about guns, it’s impossible to take them seriously.
Another issue entirely is the way violence is portrayed today compared to 50 years ago.
Thomas Krannawitter, a former professor and author of the right-leaning 2017 satire “Save the Swamp,” said Hollywood violence today is markedly different from what our parents and grandparents grew up watching.
“The violence [back then] was in the service of justice, very often the good guy who came to save the day using a gun,” said Mr. Krannawitter, president of Speakeasy Ideas, a Colorado-based group promoting right-of-center values. “Now, Hollywood very often just wants to sensationalize using the grossest forms of violence.”
It’s the age of the anti-hero — killing both good guys and bad guys in the most nauseating way imaginable. Some films, like the John Wick franchise, are so violent and the killing so indiscriminate that it becomes comical to watch.
Hollywood hypocrisy on guns is not surprising, nor is their inability to come to grips with it. But even the average movie fan is wondering how the biggest purveyors of gun violence can sleep at night if they truly believe guns are the problem.