Gangster Squad

Hollywood is used to being a scapegoat for acts of violence. Automatically implicating movies in the wake of unimaginable acts of atrocity has proven to be an easy way of pursuing closure without actually having to investigate anything; if we blame the fictions put on our movie screens made by people we don’t know somewhere else, we don’t have to feel the responsibility to do anything more, or accept the notion that incomprehensible events can’t be pegged to a singular determining factor. In contrast to collective reactions to prior tragedies, assertions that movies are directly “responsible” for gun violence seem to carry significantly less weight in the current national conversation about gun control. However, entertainment media has been and will continue to be part of this conversation. As Scott Beggs pointed out last month in the wake of Newtown, if we’re going to have a comprehensive conversation about guns and gun violence, then movies should by all means be a part of it – that is, part of an ongoing, dynamic critical dialogue rather than an assumed singular scapegoat.


Reservoir dogs

The National Rifle Association is breaking its silence after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, promising a full news conference on Friday and “meaningful contributions to help make sure [something like Sandy Hook] never happens again.’’  The group has received a lot of public criticism for their staunch position on 2nd Amendment rights, but a former NRA political director is claiming that we might hear the same old speeches from the group. “When the emotions come down, I’m sure you’ll hear the NRA address this issue. It’ll be in January when legislation is introduced. They’ll testify at hearings. You’ll hear the same kind of arguments that I’d come up with,” said Richard Feldman, who worked on behalf of the group in the 1980s and remains an advocate for their cause. We’ve already gotten a hint of what one of those arguments will be: that it’s violent movies, not access to firearms that are doing the real damage. “If we’re going to have a conversation, then let’s have a comprehensive conversation,” an industry insider told Fox News.  “If we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let’s also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads. If you really want to stop incidents like this, passing one more law is not going to do a damn thing.”

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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