Howard Nemerov looks at the Los Angeles Times' argument that violence in movies are a therapeutic way of getting aggression off the public's chest. “A good deal of movie violence is designed as a way for us to experience it vicariously.” Video violence doesn't cause violence: helps reduce it. It's a myth that the billion-dollar entertainment industry contributes to killings.
However the presence guns -- even toy guns -- can cause unspeakable damage to the mind. PBS reports on how one mother has been coping with Second Amendment pollution in her home: "I blame George Washington for my son’s obsession with guns."
It all started when my husband took our preschooler to Mount Vernon, home to the "father of our country." They came home with a tricorner hat, a compass, and a cute little wooden popgun. That was last year. Today, our house is littered with toy slingshots, cannons, and guns—the result of a growing fascination with “good guys,” “bad guys,” and all of the banging and kabooming that goes on in between.
Until recently, I had become adept at making jokes about my son’s fascination with toy guns. I figured, this is probably just a phase; it will pass soon enough, right? Unfortunately, the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona have shed glaring new light on the gun play in my house. Can a fascination with guns go too far?
Sure it can. The basic problem is that the little kid has the wrong role model. That's why the modern mother should buy the Maisto Fresh Metal Tailwinds 1:97 Predator Drone for her son to play with. In that way the mother's child can shift his admiration from George Washington to Barack Obama. One product reviewer at the Amazon site wrote glowingly of the product:
You've had a busy play day - You've wiretapped Mom's cell phone and e-mail without a warrant, you've indefinitely detained your little brother Timmy in the linen closet without trial, and you've confiscated all the Super-Soakers from the neighborhood children (after all, why does any kid - besides you, of course - even NEED a Super-Soaker for self-defense? A regular water pistol should be enough). What do you do for an encore?
That's where the US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator from Maisto comes in.
Let's say that Dad has been labeled a terrorist in secret through your disposition matrix. Rather than just arrest him and go through the hassle of trying and convicting him in a court of law, and having to fool with all those terrorist-loving Constitutional protections, you can just use one of these flying death robots to assassinate him! Remember, due process and oversight are for sissies. Plus, you get the added bonus of taking out potential terrorists before they've even done anything - estimates have determined that you can kill up to 49 potential future terrorists of any age for every confirmed terrorist you kill, and with the innovative 'double-tap' option, you can even kill a few terrorist first responders, preventing them from committing terrorist acts like helping the wounded and rescuing survivors trapped in the rubble. Don't let Dad get away with anti-American activities! Show him who's boss, whether he's at a wedding, a funeral, or just having his morning coffee. Sow fear and carnage in your wake! Win a Nobel Peace Prize and be declared Time Magazine's Person of the Year - Twice!
This goes well with the Maisto Extraordinary Rendition playset, by the way - which gives you all the tools you need to kidnap the family pet and take him for interrogation at a neighbor's house, where the rules of the Geneva Convention may not apply. Loads of fun!
Perhaps the truth is that 'guns' were part and parcel of an obsolete image of masculinity. Back in the day men dreamed of joining the Foreign Legion to forget a woman and to fight their country's enemies with bolt-action rifles! Men were supposed to be straight and know how to shoot guns. How horrible that was. Today any remake of Beau Geste should cast the protagonists as metrosexual so they are less hateful. And what would be the use of guns now that the world has the US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator?
Bonus question: what is the connection between Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials and the Laurel and Hardy film clip below?