Like mental illness, film is just another scapegoat for people who don't dare take personal or collective responsibility, just another name to throw under the bus; while statistically people with mental illness are four times more likely to be the victim of violence, than the perpetrator (1).
Rather than blame bad parenting (sometimes by bad people), lack of supervision, love, and attention, which fosters poor self-worth, poor self-esteem and leads to school yard bullying, and even being a victim of bullying; a general decrease in compassion and caring in society; and the increase of greed, poverty, hate, intolerance and anxieties in the nation, which trickles down to the youth; increasingly easy access to guns with very little real regulation from state to state and across the country; not to mention the glorification of war and violence in the world...but no, you're right, it's easier to blame Hollywood, and video games. It's the coward's way out.
So, why are we even addressing it then?
After a "light gun debate" with The Father the past Friday, we awoke today to the following message (we made a second Facebook account for extended family to keep in contact with us after Christmas, and don't check it often because it tends to cause anxiety):
We started to reply to the message, and thought: You know what. THIS is our blog entry. This is all we really have to say about it.
So, here you go, Dad. We're putting it here. This entry is your requested blog entry, what follows was our response. We'll just leave it here for you to read.
We could talk about gun violence in the movies...
Or maybe how we were watching a Looney Tunes cartoon from the 60's (that been syndicated over and over) staring Foghorn Leghorn on TV last Friday. He kept shooting the bill off of two ducks, and it would twist it around in a funny fashion. He tried to trick them into shooting each other in the face. Then tried to lock them in a TNT shed and "kill them", yet they never bled or died. Sure is funny, violence that doesn't produce blood, hey? Never too early to start them on the humour of guns and violence, is it.
Oh, don't be silly. (we can hear you, Dad)
It's just as logical; or are you saying a child is smart enough to tell the difference between cartoon violence and real violence, but an adult is not smart enough to respect the difference between graphic movie/video violence and real violence - and that now all of sudden that's the problem.
...Or we could write about the violence in the Bible, and how killing people who simply didn't believe in the same God were glorified by being considered righteous for doing so. Violence as "old as time itself". And even after that, in the Crusades.
...Or mass genocide and violence in ALL of History, including and not limited to the "settlement" of the United States.
...Or compare the exposure to violent video games and violent movies in every other developed country, and juxtapose their violent gun crimes to the USA; where, according to FBI statics on violent deaths in the USA, guns are responsible for more homicides than all other means of killing people combined. And in some states, up to 75%. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports - 2011: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20)
You know who else glorifies guns and violence? America, government and the media.
(...as an afterthought...)
Or we could just say: I'm (we're) part of the problem, you're part of the problem, the population of the world is part of the problem - and it's not sin (as you are fond of saying, Dad), the concept of sin isn't new. There is just as much sin now, there are just more people. The problem is people only caring about themselves, it's the lack of compassion for other people and their lives, it's people only watching out for themselves the "screw everyone else, I'm getting mine" attitude - being so self-absorbed, so wrapped up in ones own needs, that they put the needs (and safety) of others, below their own.
</end FB message>
Our stance on guns isn't secret.
We also tend to be pro-responsibility; and for us, responsibility triumphs.
There needs to be regulation, the Constitution says so; and not just regulation, but regulation done well. Of course the Supreme Court ruled to change the meanings/interpretations of the words 'regulated' and 'militia' (2)(3)(4), to better the agenda of the NRA. And we could fight all day, every day to the grave, arguing about what it really means.
So we digress.
There is no question in a rational persons mind that there should be regulation. Why shouldn't there be? Cars are regulated by speed limit and traffic laws; Knives and blades are regulated by type and length of blade, and some of the laws are absurd. For Example, the crime of simply carrying a box cutter, in the State of Virginia, is punishable by a year in jail and a $2,500 fine(5) (see notation in resources). The laws vary from state-to-state; Drugs are regulated, prescription vs. non-prescription, alcohol, tobacco - and in growing variation from state-to-state. All most people want is a little rationality.
Back to the point.
It's not Hollywood, it's not video games...it's not Foghorn Leghorn, it's not Bugs Bunny (maybe Yosemite Sam a little though *winks*).
(P.S. Love you Daddy)
An Afternoon Ditty on Gun Control
A Mental Illness Rant
Guns, Guns, and Freedomhttp://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com/2012/07/guns-guns-gunsand-freedom_20.html
Sources and Citation for this entry:
(1) Mentally ill 'at high risk of being victim of violence, BBC Health, February 27, 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17182626(2) Supreme Court to Define ‘Well Regulated Militia’?, factcheck.org, December 20, 2007, http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/supreme-court-to-define-well-regulated-militia/
(3) United States: Gun Ownership and the Supreme Court - Library of Congress, August 8, 2012, http://loc.gov/law/help/second-amendment.php