Comments about ‘In our opinion: Excessively violent entertainment and its impact on culture’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Casa Grande, AZ

You can use your free speech and purchasing power to limit movies with violence. It's even ok with me if you try to regulate them.

But it won't keep us from talking about gun regulation when you try to change the subject.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Yet somehow Tarantino doesn't grasp the connection between a culture that produced the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy in Connecticut and his own contributions to it. "

Wouldn't it be appropriate to then cite the research that proves this "connection?"

You can't - because it doesn't exist. Anecdotes and personal feelings aren't the same thing as valid, reliable, replicable research.

Yes, I am turned off by gratuitous movie violence. That's not the same, however, as proving a causal link between depictions of violence in films and violent behavior.

Salt Lake City, UT

Guns don't kill people, but fictional guns do?

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

I have found the silence by Hollywood stars on this issue to be rather deafening. Such stars frequently come out in loud voice supporting a variety of "liberal" issues but are notably silent on this one.

To Blue, simply go to Google Scholar where you will find multiple articles evidencing the connection between violence and the media. I was particularly impressed by the meta-analysis on the link between violent video games and actual violence.

Miami, FL

Studies have shown that excessive media coverage about a shooting, including naming the suspects/perpetrators, dramatizing the events and repeating the numbers lead to more shootings.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

and "Saving Private Ryan" is probably OK with you because it's based in reality?

We've been at war for over ten years, and your blaming fictional movies?

@ atl134 - Excellent Observation!

Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?

joliet, IL

I'm glad this article was written. How anyone could deny the connection between violent movies, TV, games, etc is beyond me. And @Blue--the connection between violence in movies and TV and its negative effect on people has been proven in a number of studies. That is not conjecture---it's fact.

Columbus, OH

They have violent films and video games in other countries, but nowhere near the number of gun murders. They have mental illness in other countries, but still little to no mass shootings. Two things come to mind that separate us from them: gun control and universal access to health care.

I don't like violent movies or video games. And I'm sure they play a role, but it's not a leading role. I'm much more interested in looking at a culture where Dad reinforces these violent messages by tying a kid's manhood into a gun.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Lets just use statistics.
How many millions of people have seen Tarantino's films either at the movies or on video?
How many of those have committed murder directly because of one or more of his films, either by confession or even inuendo?

How many people own guns in America?
How many of those have directly used a gun to kill or murder?

I think you'll find owning a gun statistically far more dangerous than watching fictional violence on film.

Eugene, OR

Based on this logic, we might as well crack down on both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The bloodshed and body count there makes anything Tarantino has done look like a Disney movie in comparison.

Moving on from Sandy Hook is going to require that Americans have a honest discussion about how both guns and mental illness are thought of in our society. Anything else is just making excuses and beating around the bush.

Salt Lake City, UT

[Movies, video games, and any entertainment glamorizing extreme human suffering certainly aren't helping the efforts to create a safer society.]

Like the Bible? There was a study out of BYU a few years ago that demonstrated a connection between exposing people to violent passages from the bible and increased aggression. It tried to cover its tracks by adding unscientific excuses about "the good parts making up for the bad".

Human being are violent and aggressive by nature. Only a few generations ago most young men would hunt and kill, both for sport and pleasure. Certainly evolution made it fun to kill, as individuals who hunt for fun and survival will probably have a surplus of food and skill.

Most people don't hunt these days, but they're still genetically designed to take pleasure in violence. Some people play sports and inflict usually minor, although not always, violence on one another. Some still go hunting for sport (there are cheaper ways to get meat).

I play violent video games and watch violent movies for fun. I refuse to give up my real guns or my fake guns because some lunatic couldn't handle life.

one old man
Ogden, UT

The solution to gun violence must include serious examination of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of societal factors.

It will not be easy.

It can be done.

It must be done.

And the extremists on both sides must be willing to listen to the other side and then do some very serious thinking before speaking again.

Cedar Hills, UT

What - Hollywood too violent? Hollywood promoting and glorifying murder and making millions in the process? Nah - not Hollywood. Sean Penn and Matt Damaon and the other far left crowd are all about a gun-less America and non-violence. American Gangsters with Sean Penn is just a fun light hearted little movie. Yes do what I say and not what I do ...the Hollywood motto. The Bourne Sage with Matt Damon is all about promoting peace. Liberalism and hypocrisy are kissen cousins. The only people that the lefties want to be gun-less is the 9-5 middle class of people in this country - the hunters and those that actually obey the law because that is how Communism works. Disarm the masses and empower big brother government and life will be bliss.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

patriot said: What - Hollywood too violent? Hollywood promoting and glorifying murder and making millions in the process? Nah - not Hollywood. = Fictional reality for entertainment

What - Republican president too violent? Republican president and a vice president who happens to own a defense business promoting and glorifying war for as long as possible and making millions in the process? Nah - not the republicans.= Reality

The commies are coming, the red menace is us, oh no mr. bill - what are, things people thought in the 60's Alec?

Omaha, NE

The fact is, violent crime in the US is at all time lows. Sandy Hook and Webster NY are statistical anomalies whose significance is magnified by the news media. We're still safer at home in the US than we ever have been. The right thing to do is nothing.

And if I may make an observation, why is no one horrified when Obama drops bombs on dozens of innocent children and lies and says they are militants? We should be far, far more concerned about our culture of militarism than our culture of domestic gun ownership. One or two lone gunmen is an isolated tragedy. A whole country that doesn't care about the slaughter of muslim children is barbaric.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

We have an entire industry built on influencing people’s behaviors. It’s called advertising. Those professionals study and analyze these things to the molecular level. They clearly believe that there is a connection between their short advertisements and human behavior. But, we posit that there is absolutely no relationship between much longer films or video games played for endless hours? There is a disconnect here.

I am not saying that any movie or video game turns a non-violent kid into a maniac. Also, there are clearly other issues that need to be part of the violence discussion. But excessive violence in entertainment also needs to be a part.

When I was a kid (millennia ago) guns were more common in American households and almost nobody locked them up. Yet we had few mass killings (at least that I recall). What has changed in America? I think how violence is portrayed is part (the “hero” is often extremely violent). I think the availability of mental health and specifically housing programs is also at play.

None of this says there should not be a conversation about guns. But they are the means, not the motive.

Kearns, UT

There is a way to keep people like Tarantino from making these type of movies. That is to vote with your feet. Don't go to his movies. They are trash and frankly stupid. The only one of his movies I've seen is Pulp Fiction. That was so bad, from a violence standpoint, and just the absurd stupidity of the movie made me decide that I'm not going to waste my money any more.

He gets no money, he makes no movies.

I recommend Les Miserables. 5 out of 4 stars for that one. Lincoln also. 6 out of 4 stars.

Kearns, UT

atl134, actually holographic bullets can kill when the safety protocols on the Holo Deck are disengaged.


A glaring problem being overlooked is young white males. All these horrific attacks were committed by young, white, suburban males.


A 2009 survey by Republican pollster Frank Luntz found 85 percent of all gun owners and 69 percent of NRA members supporting mandatory background checks at gun shows. Though the NRA has opposed efforts to prevent anyone on the FBIs terrorist watch list from purchasing a gun, 86 percent of gun owners and 82 percent of NRA members said that those on the list should be banned from purchasing guns.

A CBS/New York Times poll in January 2011 found 63 percent of respondents favoring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, almost unchanged from the 67 percent that favored such a ban in March 2000 (and even a majority of gun owners favored an assault weapons ban). A detailed CNN poll on guns in 2008 found two-thirds of Americans believing the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to own guns, but also found 86 percent supporting waiting periods, 79 percent supporting registration of guns with local government, and 51 percent even supporting limits on the number of guns a person can own, an idea that is rarely suggested anywhere.

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