Matthew Sanders: America needs to curb its appetite for violent media

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  • davidctr ,
    Jan. 18, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Granted, America has an "appetite for violent media" and it can have an effect on people's behavior. Although, let's not blame media alone for "gun violence", let's blame (if you will) guns as well. Let's work things out. For example, now the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be free to research gun violence for first time in 17 years, to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. In addition, states need to act in contributing to reduce gun violence in the country. According to the New York Times, "State gun laws matter. Of the 10 states with the most restrictive laws, seven also have the lowest gun death rates, according to a study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Similarly, lax gun laws correlate to a high level of gun deaths." Furthermore, President Obama recently presented 23 executive actions (gun-control proposals. Indeed, media can have a negative and lasting impact in people's behavior, nevertheless, gun control needs to be properly, and effectively addressed, examples? many.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 18, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the quote at the beginning of the article. Assuming the Buddha was on to something, how does that truism inform the rest of this debate?

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Plenty of countries have violent media. Plenty of countries have extensive gun ownership. Canada, Norway, and Sweden all come to mind. They also have much lower crime rates.

    But you know what these countries don't have? The Death Penalty.

    Nothing says a violent society like a government that coldly executes its own people.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    "America needs to curb its appetite for violent media’

    Why not "America needs to curb its appetite for violence."

    War after war, with a short break in the 70's secret wars conducted during Reagans regime, than bush1 little break with Clinton.

    I watch all the violent movies and not once have I thought about perpetrating a violent act.
    This has much more to do with mentally unstable people and all to easy access to weapons, than the millions and millions who see the movies and never act "like them."

    If a mesurable percentage of people exposed to violent movies acted out because of them, we'd be in trouble but statistically that just isn't the case.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    It was mentioned that there is in esseence "hate speech" being used against the president. Hinting that it's the people on the right that have deep seated hatred and what has been suggested by some of the folks on the left as hidden racism.

    I'm sure if you looked you could find people that feel that way. I don't sense that this president has seen an increase of "hate speech" than other presidents. Especially from the media that has cuddled this president and refuse to question any policy. However, if you look back just one president the hatred of the media was at it's peak. They couldn't wait to paint President Bush as an evil tyrant and the whole world was going to hell because of his policies.

    The overwhelming majorityof Americans believe thatthe constitution 2nd Amendment is to protect citizens rights to protect itself from tyranny. It's a small minority group that feels otherwise.

    Ifyou really wanted tosave childrens lives. There are more effective ways. For example wecould save hundreds ofmillions ofchildrens lives bystopping most abortions.Why the president allows people to choose to kill the unborn and then claim heloves childrenis beyondme

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    [Many researchers remain baffled by precisely why numbers have dropped, but noted social scientist James Q. Wilson suggested in the Wall Street Journal that more severe sentencing, self-protective measures like alarm systems, moves to safer neighborhoods, improved police techniques, reduced lead in the atmosphere and reduced crack cocaine use contributed significantly to the drop.]

    Sounds contrived. Maybe people are just committing less crimes?

    Youth crime has especially dropped. As has teen pregnancy, teen sex rates, and teen drug use. Probably because of increased media use. You can't be out committing crimes if you're home on Xbox and Facebook most of the day. Sure there is potential to commit crimes online, but most kids aren't clever enough to do more than take nude pictures of themselves.

    I love it when old people complain about "kids these days" sitting in front of screens and not going "out" to do things. They then proceed to wax poetically about all the horrible activities they engaged in as kids and teens, things that we today would define as vandalism, bullying, etc., but its always followed with "But it was all harmless".

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:12 a.m.


    The difference is realism.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    We're sure carrying on as if this violence in film and television is something new. It's been there, relatively ignored, all along. Now it's the poster boy of trying to attract motivation away from gun control efforts, and that's kind of hypocritical because violence as entertainment is consumer driven. We want and pay for it. Art imitates life.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Jan. 18, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Will you start by censoring Road Runner and and other cartoons that show shooting, explosions and trying to kill others?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    Liberal, I think you are missing Mike's point.

    Shouldn't RESPONSIBLE gun owners welcome the proposed gun safety regulations? On the other hand, I can't even begin to count the number of threatening comments posted right here on DN. Then there was the clown who strutted into the Penney's store packing a handgun and assault type weapon the other day.

    Most concerning, though, are the strident voices shouting anger and even hatred against our President. All sorts of names and ugly epithets.

    Even our "leaders" in Congress set reason aside and shout at one another. Even some of our churches preach forms of what can only be described at hate.

    Our national problem is much larger than just violent movies and TV shows.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    Everyone forgets the core book of our nation: "The Holy Bible" is full of graphic violence and sex. Art from ages ago is also full of graphic violence, and sex.
    Our culture (ie Western Civilization) is incredibly violent (see history 101).
    So lets not pretend this is something new and blame the new guy on the block (media) when in fact violence in our society predates all of this.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Liberal Ted. I was not calling "responsible gun owners" A threat. You conveniently read that notion into what I said. I was pointing out the fact that some of the inflated retoric that was used prior to and during the civil war is the same today prompted in part by the gun control issue.

    If you believe in any public provided roads, police forces, fire departments and a whole plethora of other public accomodations then you are a socialist as well. What we have in the country is a democratic form socialism and capitalism. About 30% of our economy could be characterized as being socialist. If Obama said he was a socialist, then that is probably what he was talking about. your last sentance is libertarian hyperbole. No one that I know thinks to grant "government power to nurture us from craddle to grave". And the other that we are "free men to choose destiny" may be an ideal, but in fact there are always practical limitations to both freedom and destiny.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    @ Mike in Cedar City

    You stated, "The rising tide of ugly voices threatening a new civil war if any weapons legislation is passed is evidence of that..."

    I see where you are trying to go with this. But, to call people "ugly voices" and a "threat" who are responsible gun owners. Doesn't make sense. The Civil War that this country fought over, had nothing to do with gun control. It had to do with differences of opinions and viewpoints.

    The constitution allows it's people to arm and defend themselves against threats both foreign and domestic. If the amendment was meant to protect hunting, then why didn't they also state that land will be set aside for a hunting a reserve or mention hunting at all?

    This is why the country is stagnant. Two polarizing viewpoints. Neither side is gaining ground. One is to grant government power to nurture us from craddle to grave. The other viewpoint is that we ourselves are free men and can choose our own destiny and are not reliant on a ruler to dictate every step of our lives.

    Barack even called himself a socialists during meet his press.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    We read sacred books or listen to sacred music to gain a spiritual view. We watch brief advertisements that influence our behavior. A funny movie makes us laugh or a sad one makes us cry. From some we learn empathy for a particular group.

    But some would have us believe that violent movies watched over and over or dozens of hours (each week) of hyper violent and very realistic video games have zero effect on us?

    Violent media is unlikely to be the whole answer. But it is part of the answer.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    I appreciate the Deseret News publishing this piece. The LDS Church for years has encouraged its membership not to view R-rated movies. When this stance was a topic of debate, I remember many of my friends assuming that this counsel was geared exclusively towards sexually oriented content. They would steer clear of movies that included nudity, but thought nothing of watching a violent move. I suspect that the LDS Church's counsel was more inclusive than many thought.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    Art imitates life. We as a nation have been at war for over ten years.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 6:18 a.m.

    According to Hollywood and Robert Redford. Violent and sexual movies are entertainment protected by free speech in the constitution. However, they believe guns are not protected. They also believe guns whisper into peoples ears and make people commit murders with the weapon. Something Robert and Hollywood believe their violent "entertainment" does not do.

    What a bunch of hypocrites.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2013 4:49 a.m.

    We do seem to have a cultural propensity for violence. Historicaclly speaking, that is nothing new. Violent media is propbably aggravating that propensity. But there are other factors rammping up uncompromising hatred of our fellow countrymen. The rising tide of ugly voices threatening a new civil war if any weapons legislation is passed is evidence of that. The old spector of state rights and "nullification" has been raised again because the President has suggested a few executive actions to help reduce the level of weapons violence. Incredibly, they are even threatening his impeachment

    This intensifying attitude of hatred coupled with the unprecedented power of modern weaponry has created a dangerous situation that could make for deadly civil discord.