Hollywood Blames Guns, Americans Blame Hollywood

Ever since the horrific shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, liberals have been on the warpath against so-called “assault weapons.” Never mind that the semi-automatic rifles they have on their hit list are used in fewer murders than hammers and clubs; never mind that handguns are used in the vast majority of killings in this country. Never mind, either, that the state with the lowest rate of gun murder is New Hampshire, which has virtually no gun laws, and the municipality with the highest rate of gun murder is Chicago, which has a bevy of them. Forget all this and remember the party line:  guns are the problem, not people.

But the American public disagrees, and does so strongly. Unlike liberal Hollywood, Americans largely blame individuals for their actions. A new poll from NBC/Wall Street Journal, for example, shows that Americans blame the following problems in American life more than the presence of guns with regard to shootings:

  • “Parents not paying enough attention to what is going on in their children’s lives” (83%);
  • “Lack of effective treatment for mental illness” (82%);
  • “The amount of media coverage of mass shootings” (67%);
  • “Movies, television programs, and video games that portray violence and violent behavior” (62%).

“Assault and military-style firearms being legal to purchase … the availability of high capacity ammunition clips” clocked in at 59%.

In other words, Hollywood’s concept of human nature is directly at odds with that of the American public. They  don’t see people as mechanistic tools in the hands of instruments of war. They  see them as individual actors shaped by their environment, their personal choices, and their biology. Which is accurate.

But that hasn’t stopped the Democrats and Hollywood from casting their ire at guns rather than parents who fail to control their children, or lack of effective mental illness treatments, or, for that matter, violent games produced by the entertainment industry itself. More specifically, Democrats and Hollywood hate the National Rifle Association, which they see as the root of all evil. Even though the NRA is an interest group that receives no public funding, writes no legislation, and is not subject to the voting public, the left trots out the NRA as the organization most responsible for tragedies like Sandy Hook.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show called the NRA “either an elaborate, avant-garde, Joaquin Phoenix-style joke, or a false flag operation run by Michael Moore in an attempt to discredit responsible gun owners.” David Boreanaz, star of Bones, said the NRA is “repugnant and cowardly.” Olivia Wilde of House labeled them “disgusting.” And Zach Braff, he of the supremely irritating face, criticized a recent NRA ad as an “SNL skit.”

But once again, Hollywood is out of touch. The American public blames Hollywood itself more than it blames the NRA for shooting incidents. According to that same NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, NRA approval clocked in at 41% after Sandy Hook. Hollywood? A paltry 24%. Perhaps that’s because the NRA stands up for its principles, while Hollywood hypocritically earns cash from lurid depictions of gun violence while standing on the side, condemning gun violence. Or perhaps it’s because Hollywood is filled with leftists convinced of their own moral rectitude, even as they cash their checks on the basis of exploiting moral degradation.

In any case, it’s clear that the culture gap between Hollywood and the rest of America is growing, not shrinking. And Hollywood implicitly knows that. That’s why despite their repeated protestations dating back to the 1960s that they will get film and television violence under control, they continue to produce violent content. They know intrinsically that the American people don’t see violence as an evil in and of itself; they know that violence is a tool to be used rarely and with great care, but a tool nonetheless. Hollywood makes the narrative distinction between good and evil on a regular basis, even though those who populate Hollywood pretend to believe in moral relativism.

In the end, Hollywood is destined to lose the fight against guns, because the American people don’t buy in. But that won’t stop Hollywood from mouthing of about guns, even as they buy Glocks by the case, fake blood by the barrel, and blanks by the ton.

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  • UCSPanther

    The problems that cause crime and violence run a lot deeper than entertainment media.

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      Too true. Human life is becoming more and more devalued with each passing day. Some see contradiction in the western left's surrender to dhimmitude, but not me. It is a logical progression, tempered with the observation made by Churchill about hungry alligators.

    • patron

      Maybe 60 years ago. Today I would say drugs fuel the majority of crime and mental illness.

      No one wants to address it because they are either on drugs themselves, dismiss the number of Americans who are druggie scumbags and the problems they create, or find it's it's an insurmountable problem unworthy of the political risk.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Clear thinking Americans see things for what they are. As such, when leftists go postal they are exposed for who they are – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/03/leftists-go-p

    Adina kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/


    sean penn?

    I boycott any movie or project he is involved with – though I will endorse "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"..

    The people can vote with their pocket books.

    • Questions

      What about "Sweet and Lowdown," "I Am Sam" or (Clint Eastwood-directed) "Mystic River?" Look, I don't agree with Penn on most things either, but he's a great actor, far more so than your average hack back in the "golden" days.

      • JCS

        Penn can't touch Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and many others from the golden days of which you so obviously disapprove.
        Plus none of them were dictator cozying anti-American nuts like Penn is with his worship of Hugo Chavez. He can be Obama's official representative at Chavez's hopefully soon to happen funeral.

  • RedWhiteAndJew

    Assault and military-style firearms being legal to purchase … the availability of high capacity ammunition clips” clocked in at 59%.

    This alarmingly high number just goes to show how easily the media can manipulate the public. The MSM doesn't even need to lie overtly, as they do whenever they use the term "assault rifle" to refer to any weapon not capable of selective fire. (Note the use of the term "military-style." Perhaps the MSM Mandarins have sensed that the public has grown numb to the fiction of "assault weapons.")

    The MSM need only not disclose facts. Regardless whether you imagine the Second Amendment is about muskets or the National Guard, or you grasp its actual meaning, the fact remains that rifles account for far fewer deaths than those where blunt objects (hammers, skillets, copies of Audacity of Hope, etc.), knives, or fists are used. As they say, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

    For some odd reason, the focus has shifted away from handguns, which are far and away the murder's tool of choice, and to rifles. True, there have been a few recent horrific incidents where evil men targeted people in victim disarmament zones, and chose to include black rifles in their arsenal. However, the murderer of 32 at Virginia Tech used only handguns. Loughner used only a handgun. The Columbine killers were armed with firearms which used handgun ammunition (9mm) and shotguns (thankfully, they were lousy explosive-makers). There is now some question whether Lanza even used in his murder spree, the AR-15 he stole from his mother.

    The media focus on Loughner, besides the sideshow attempt to tie him to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin) seemed to be on the high capacity magazine he used in his Glock handgun. James Holmes was armed with many weapons, but most of the media focus dwelt upon his AR-15, Beta magazine, and sizable cache of ammunition at his apartment.

    The spin from the media and politicians, is that "assault weapons" (again, a fiction) are capable of dealing death to a great number in a short time, yet the greatest number die at the hands of handgun wielders. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm the last to call for a ban on handguns, and I am an advocate for CCW (and I practice same), but if the body count is at least ten times greater for deaths involving handguns, why the sudden shift in focus from them (handguns were the firearms whipping boy for many decades, as the name of organizations like Handgun Control, Inc. can attest), to black rifles and the normally-sized magazines for same?

    I say, look no farther then the mentality, rife in the current administration, which labels certain "undesirables," such as devout Christians, "militia members" ("the whole people," in George Mason's immortal words), and pro-life people, as major domestic terror threats. We have an administration where the people who are the problem, are those who "bitterly cling to their guns and religion." We have a president who, in his earlier incarnation as a state senator, said that people should not be allowed to own guns, period.

    Modern rifles, such as the much maligned AR-15, are the only weapons which are this nation's credible "liberty teeth," as George Washington put it. For an administration bent on re-making America, these teeth need to be extracted as soon as possible; and a fawning media are all too happy to stoke the narrative. If it bleeds, it leads…provided it bleeds the right way.

    • wsk

      "Audacity of Hope" ! Love it!!!

  • Asher

    Hollywood makes money off of violent films and videos, and yet blames the weapons they advocate in their movies. Movies like Assasins creed 3, American psycho, Natural Born Killers,( that show how to plan attacks and violence,) just to name a few are not productive or a good influence on the minds of young teens… Yet those who are law abiding citizens should have to give up their rights to defend themselves from intruders, or attackers….Totally backwards!


      It's not just current movies, it's violent video games.

      Did the Lanza guy play FPS First Person Shooter video games???

      • RedWhiteAndJew

        I believe I read he was an avid gamer, though I don't recall the nature the games he enjoyed.

    • Questions

      Maybe you can get a little more up to date. In any event, violence is integral to plotting. It's not "hypocrisy" to depict violence in a movie while (a few actors anyway) denouncing, off camera, gun rampages.

      • RedWhiteAndJew

        There is a big difference between depicting violence, and making violence, nay the glorification of violence, the subject of the movie.

        Tarantino does the latter, then doubles down.

  • cathy

    New Mexico teen accused of killing family ‘involved heavily’ with violent video games, sheriff says
    Published January 22, 2013

    The New Mexico teenager accused of killing his parents and three younger siblings was ‘involved heavily’ with violent video games prior the shooting, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said. ….

    The sheriff said Nehemiah Griego got excited when he had the chance to discuss his penchant for violent video games with investigators. One of the games he mentioned was “Modern Warfare,” Houston said.

    • UCSPanther

      I wouldn't blame video games. Lots of people of my generation played stuff like Quake and Doom and we haven't slaughtered our families because of it.

      The kid in this case was showing signs of serious mental problems, probably was not adequately treated, and now we have another case that is eerily reminiscent of the Daniel Petric case.

  • Moishe Pupick

    W., 01/24/13

    I remember that a few years ago, Sean Penn left 1 or 2 of his handguns (loaded?) in plain view inside his car in Berkeley, California. I don't recall that he was arrested for this irresponsible act. It turned out that Penn had a concealed-carry handgun permit issued by some Marin County, California, law enforcement agency. Penn could afford to pay a private investigator to do a "threat assessment" for him to present to the licensing authority. Ordinary mortals cannot afford this required investigation, but the Hollywod elite can. I wonder how many L.A. County gun-grabbing celebrities themselves have concealed-carry permits. The files of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department could likely provide some interesting data on hypocrisy.

  • popseal

    Advertisers spend $$millions$$ using repeating adds to change the buying habits of the public. To think or deny that showing constant violence through pop culture's various media doesn't affect the behavior of demented or disturbed minds is stupid at best and the result of industry bridery of politicians at worst.

    • EarlyBird

      So well put. It's just crazy to suggest that being awash in violent images has no affect.

  • EarlyBird

    How can Hollywood take credit for "raising awareness" about things like racism ("A Raisin in the Sun" among many others) or AIDS ("Philadelphia," among others) and then turn around and say that their relentless depictions of gratiutious and meaningless violence have no affect? It's incredibly hypocritical and blind.

    There is a hyper-violent movie out right now with Sly Stallone called, of all things, "A Bullet to the Head." Oh, thanks for making beautiful things, Hollywood, you "artists"!

    • Western Canadian

      Hollywood cannot claim to ‘raise awareness’ of much of anything, except for a hard left perspective on any subject….. Awareness about aids?? No, the PC load of drivel about aids, not the truth. Current movies dealing with race are more likely to lie, and drive black hatred of whites ever higher. The current hollyweird take on race would echo the duke lacross team railroading.