Shooting awakens debate on effects of violence in the media

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  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Let's see. A recent study done by the University of British Columbia confirms that viewing fast-food advertising on TV and other media has a direct impact on childhood obesity rates. And Superbowl ads can run $3-$4million for a 30-second spot (why pay that much if there was no evidence that it--a 30-SECOND commercial--will influence consumers).

    But no one wants to believe that viewing repeated violence on TV and in the movies has any impact on people at all.


    Now, before you jump to conclusions, I am NOT saying any of this is the reason that Holmes did what he did. But we live in an increasingly nihilistic society that has witnessed a cascading erosion of all of our social institutions--family, schools, government,etc. And we are surprised when something like this happens? No, gun control is not the answer to this problem.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 22, 2012 10:46 p.m.

    Can someone tell me please, why it is legal for a private citizen to buy or own an assault rifle such as the AR-15? What legitimate purpose can such a gun serve, outside of the military and law enforcement? Don't tell me that American's have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and this sort of weapon therefore cannot be regulated. There are many weapons that we as individuals are not allowed to own - tanks, explosive devices, anti-aircraft missiles, etc. We need to get more sensible about letting anyone go out and buy weapons like this.

  • Vegas Las Vegas, NV
    July 22, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    After the shootings in Columbine, Roger Ebert was interviewed by a CNN employee regarding violence in movies and its influence on youth. Part of his reply was:

    "In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.”

    Great response!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 22, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    Clearly the perpetrator has deep psychological issues.

    Family and home environment are key factors in a child's development. Does the child grow up feeling secure and safe? What is the atmosphere like in the home, what behavior and attitudes do the parent(s) model? Children are also born with unique and individual personalities and traits that determine how they respond to their environment. So, it is often difficult to come to clear conclusions. Sometimes it seems obvious why people commit violent acts. Other times not.

    Exposure to violence does result in desensitization. Children should be protected from exposure to violence. During adolescence, peer influence takes over and parents have less control.

    I think it is important to have a discussion on violence. I also think it is important to discuss the role of guns and the influence of the gun lobby in American society and whether it is prudent to enact some limits.

  • liahona Westbank, BC
    July 22, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    What annoys me the most is parent bringing their young children to see these violent movies. I've gone to late shows and see parents with very young children in attendance. Children should be in bed at this hour. Parents are being irresponsible when they don't hire a babysitter, and they're selfish as well.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 22, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    Do you honestly believe that James Holmes went on this horrific rampage because he was not taught proper values at home? Or because he watched too much violence on TV or in the movies?


    What about the hundreds of millions of people around the world who come from homes that don't teach "values", and who watch huge quantities of violence on TV and in movies -- but who do NOT go on shooting rampages?

    Scientifically, the alleged causal connection between lack of "values" at home or violence in the media just does not hold up.

    Do not try to make sense of, or find a rational explanation for, an insane, irrational act. And certainly do not try to constrain our freedoms even more in some naive attempt to close the barn doors although the horses have already escaped!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Oh Pendergast. Values can and should be taught everywhere my friend. A sprinkling of values in the midst of the writing, reading and logic is value added teaching. Even in our places of employment we can and should cease upon opportunities to reinforce values in our society. It is the fear of promoting values that has resulted in a valueless society in many quarters.

  • Pendergast SLC, UT
    July 22, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    per Wayne Rout 5:26 a.m. July 22, 2012

    Violent entertainment is big business. Will the corporations regulate themselves or will the bottom line trump reason & common sense?

    p.s. values should be taught at home. reading, writing, logic/critical thinking should be taught at school

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    July 22, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    How is it that people can say "Guns don't kill people. People kill people" and now start to say "Guns don't kill people. Movies kill people?"

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 22, 2012 5:26 a.m.

    Movies, TV and video games are lowing the standards and values of this country. Failure to teach positive values in the schools as well as the demographics of the population are also factors. We are watching the decline of this country and I fear that the end is closer than any of us suspect.