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©Samuel L. Jackson / AP
© Samuel L. Jackson / AP
Samuel L. Jackson: Violent movies are not to blame for school shooting


Samuel L. Jackson has waded into the debate over U.S. gun control laws by saying violent movies should not be blamed for atrocities such as the Connecticut school shooting.

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He tells the Los Angeles Times, "I don't think movies or video games have anything to do with it. ... I don't think it's about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This (shooting) is about people who aren't taught the value of life. ... We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns."

A slew of stars, including Cher and Cyndi Lauper, spoke out in the aftermath of the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday to urge politicians to tighten firearms laws to prevent another shooting rampage. The shooter, named as Adam Lanza, 20, was reported to have turned his weapon on himself after killing 20 young children and seven adults, including his own mother.

"24" star Dennis Haysbert has also addressed the subject of violence in movies, insisting films simply reflect what is going on in the world. Haysbert, whose new release, "LUV," features a young boy who is taught how to shoot, believes action needs to start with the politicians in Washington, D.C., and their dealings with officials from the National Rifle Association before another tragedy occurs.

He tells WENN, "What we have to do is we have to really seriously deal with the gun culture we're saddled with. It's the culture in which we live. It starts with the congressmen. We need to enact some strong legislation and stop taking the money from the NRA and lining their pockets with it. This has always happened. How many tragedies do we have to endure? Whether it's the theater in Colorado or Columbine also in Colorado -- and Newtown, Connecticut, has some of the most stringent gun laws in America. But yet we still have a tragedy like this. I mean, come on, kids 5 to 10 years old! Really?! If this doesn't shake up Washington and shake up state legislation across the country, I don't know what will."

Dec 18, 2012 8:54AM
We need both....tighten up gun control laws to prevent nuts from getting access to guns and need to revisit the constitutional rights that crazy people have to be nuts.    Maybe, we should consider limiting rights of nutjobs for the common good of the republic.   No guns for nuts and possibly coersed institutionalization.    Sounds draconian but no more so than a nut shooting up a movie theatre or kindergarten class.    If limiting the rights of nut jobs and deranged crazies is not part of the discussion then why bother.  
Dec 18, 2012 8:48AM
Most of the States where anyone can carry a gun are safer than where they don't. Also the society has made the kids do what ever the hell they want, because if you spank a kid to correct a tantrum you are looked as a crazy violent person endangering the kid. My generation was a generation of spanking, and we were corrected and almost with a look of my parents I knew what was coming. I do agree with what he is saying, because I grew up with guns available in my house and never touche them. The values and education start at home. I we do not correct our kids, it doesn't matter what you want to do, they will find a way of doing whatever.
Dec 18, 2012 8:41AM
It is true that there probably isn't a single cause for the gun violence we have seen over years.  Personally, I do think that repeated exposure to violent images, such as in movies and video games, has desensitized us to the violence.  Such depictions not only glorify violence but in so many ways have portrayed more benevolent sentiments and feelings as weak, childish, nerdy, boring, etc.  The mindset of the 50's, when there wasn't all this violence, is seen now as naive and old-fashioned.  Imagine seeing Gene Kelly dancing on-screen today -- he'd be called a sissy.  Just this past weekend, I saw a sale display with a young teen attired in dark combat fatigues with a helmet and goggle-like visor.  He held a toy rifle in his hands, not unlike the AR 15 rifle used in the Conn. killings.  This display is what passes for cool, adventure, strength, being a man.  Combine these depictions with under-parenting from adults too busy with their jobs, lack of respect for elders and authority, and lack of respect for others and for human life, and you have a recipe for what we see occurring today.  You have to change the culture of violence -- just eliminating legal firearms isn't sufficient.
Dec 18, 2012 8:31AM
Well of course good ole Samuel Jackson doesn't think violence in films leads to violence in society. He's one of the bigger purveyors of the product, or did he forget about his role as a "reformed" hit man in that pop icon of murder and mayhem "Pulp Fiction". To which I say BULLSH*T. The FACT ole Sammy is that the average kid will have witnesses more than 15,000 simulated human killings by the time he reaches 18. And add to that the wholesale slaughter of the Gulf and Iraq Wars, coupled with endless vicarious "gaming experiences" of hyper-violent video games and what do you get? An entire generation of people stupified by violence to the point where it becomes meaningless, to the point WHERE IT BECOMES ACCEPTED AND CONDONED. The term is called the TRIVIALIZING OF VIOLENCE and if you don't think it sinks in and desensitizes kids and the world at large, think again.
Dec 18, 2012 8:10AM
Myherat goes out to those in Conn. who lost loved ones due to the ignorance of one person's parents who did not obtain the proper help for their child. His parnets knew what he was capable of and still had weapons within reach of this sick individual. We as a society are quick to blame something handy (movies, video games, etc...), but lack the ability to see that if our children were taught that life is sacred, that one can not use weapons without there being a consequence, and that common sense should be used if our children are in need of help. I grew up around guns, no one I know got shot and no one has ever been shot becasue there was a gun tere. The gun has to have a user, the usr needs to be fully aware that a certain responsibility comes with owning one!!! Let's stop blaming and start fixing the problem with irresponsible parents and the illnesses that vcause thi sort of thing to occur!!
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