It was something you would see in movies like “Die Hard” or “Terminator,” only this time it was Sacramento City College, where last week a man with a gun went on a rampage.
Three years ago, the location was Colorado, where the deranged gunman, James Holmes, shot 70 people and killed 12. Holmes was dressed in tactical clothing and used tear gas. That is the epitome of a Hollywood scene.
Yet, Hollywood and liberals take no ownership. They automatically point to the elimination of guns as the answer. True enough, our country has lots of guns. But the use of those guns may be attributable to the graphic images pushed down our throats.
Californians have politics, or more specifically politicians, who purport strong opposition to guns. These same politicians receive an exorbitant amount of campaign funding from Hollywood, home of the aforementioned movies. Hollywood generates billions of dollars from images of death, guns and the constant flow of violence.
And yet, liberals posit they are against guns while they profit immensely from those guns. The expressed and implied images for guns and violence, contrasted with verbal statements so resoundingly against guns, are a patent contradiction. After the SCC shooting, a Sacramento psychologist stated, “The human mind is strong in many ways, but the daily barrage of graphic images on television can have a detrimental effect.”
Let’s be clear: our society is constantly bombarded with contradictory messages. Analogous to the messages from conservative Christians, who claim God hates gay people even though the Bible clearly presents Jesus as a loving and accepting figure, a man who would never make that despicable statement.
Forgive the digression. The point is our society in all its glory is highly susceptible to the images we see on TV, in movies and media. Hollywood, or as the right calls them, “liberal elites,” bear some responsibility.
One may surmise it’s easy to paint the Southerner with 12 shotguns as truly harmful, but often, he uses those weapons to hunt animals or for target practice (obviously with the exception of certain disturbing incidents). Right-wing conservatives don’t make movies.
Read any texts on marketing and advertising. They are clear blueprints on coercing and manipulating people to buy products, to vote for certain things, or to persuade public discourse on certain matters.
Hollywood has tapped into this marketing on a remarkable scale. Steven Spielberg is literally worth billions. Not to pick on liberals, but if a group is strongly opposed to a position, it must demonstrate principles consistent with that opposition.
Here, the contradiction is clear and must be reconciled. The movie ratings system, designed to protect young audiences from images of graphic violence, sex and general bad behavior, is not sufficient to address the psychological damage Hollywood images create. Advocating for gun control is not sufficient.
Hollywood must take some ownership at the expense of profit margins. Many strong-willed people walk away from a movie shocked by the devastation they have seen and heard. One cannot underscore how important this issue is. Movies and television have an impact unlike any industry in this world.
Use that power accordingly.