Hollywood’s Unapologetic Portrayal of Gun Violence

kdlypen Blog Posts, HBHE 680 53 Comments

During a recent trip to the movie theater to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie ‘Django Unchained’ I felt rather unsettled to see two young parents sitting in front of me accompanied by a young boy who was barely ten years old. In classic Tarantino fashion the controversial film became a glorified blood bath as its characters wielded guns, fought violently and tortured one another, all while somehow making mass murder seem cool and fun. At its conclusion, I couldn’t decide if the film was awesome or awful. In the wake of the Newtown tragedy and in light of the endless media coverage surrounding our nation’s gun violence, I couldn’t help but think about the boy sitting in front of me and what implications a film like this may have on America’s youth.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) a typical American child will view more than 200,000 acts of violence on television and in film before reaching the age of eighteen. Often heroes are portrayed as violent and are rewarded for their behavior. Take for example, Jamie Foxx as the title character in ‘Django Unchained’ – a bounty hunter who receives monetary rewards for each individual he kills. Is this the type of role model we want for our youth? One who perpetuates the notion that it’s both ‘cool’ and acceptable to carry automatic weapons and take down the ‘bad guys.’ AACAP explains, “The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems.”

Image courtesy of photopin.com

When Tarantino was explicitly asked about the potential links between movie violence and real life violence he tersely replied “Don’t ask me a question like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question.” And when another interviewer attempted to connect the events at Sandy Hook Elementary to violent movies Tarantino replied, “I think it’s totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health.” While I may not agree with many of Tarantino’s antics, he does make a valid point. ‘Django Unchained’ grossed more than $125 million in its first three weeks and won him a Golden Globe for best screenplay. Clearly all of the recent gun-related tragedies have not deterred Americans from paying to see violent films in the first place.

So I’m left wondering where we go from here. If violence is a fundamental part of our culture, rooted in our history, how do we begin to challenge these long-lasting social norms that violence is both a normal and acceptable aspect of our society? With all of the political and social discussions around gun control, violence prevention and mental health programs, perhaps it is best we start with some critical self reflection and look at the broader social context from which these ‘hot button’ topics are derived. As soon as we begin to acknowledge our own obsessions with violence as a form of entertainment and the potential impact it has on our youth, perhaps we can begin to shift these dialogues and enact meaningful social change in the not only the way we recognize violence, but how violence impacts our everyday lives.

Beresin, Eugene (2010). The Impact of Violence of Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions. Retrieved from http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/developmentor/the_impact of violence on children and adolescents opportunities for clinical interventions

Granderson, LZ (2013). CNN Opinion: Despite Newtown, we crave violent movies. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/opinion/granderson-movie-violence-globes

Rosen, Christopher (2013). Huffington Post: Quentin Tarantino vs. Krishnan Guru-Murthy: ‘Django Unchained’ Director Clashes with Interviewer. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/quentin-tarantino-krishnan-guru murthy_n_2455932.html

Photo credit: Il Fatto Quotidiano via photopin CC

Comments 53

  1. I always find it interesting the linkage people make between violent events and mental health issues. Like, only people with mental health conditions could be involved in violent behavior? If this is the case, then what about the people making money portraying violence in the media? We do not make sudden conclusions about their mental health status, although they are the individuals coming up with these concepts of violence and portraying various forms of violence to the general public.
    Violence is a social issue. Once this is acknowledge nationally, then we can further examine policies which target the general public. I worry about the impression these movies have on young children as well.

  2. Your blog post discusses an issue I have given a lot of thought. With the recent publicized episodes of gun violence, I have often wondered what everyday activities can be altered in order to prevent this type of violence and save lives. Regardless of whether it would make a difference, I think it would be difficult to reduce the amount of violence in television and movies without reducing the violence that is shown in real life such as on news reports. Even in the hours and days after the recent shootings occurred, there was talk about the need for heightened security incase a “copycat” incidence were to occur from people viewing footage of the real-life shootings. I think before society can focus on reducing gun violence in movies, interventions are needed to reduce it in reality.

  3. First, your post reached me on a personal level. I often have similar conflicted feelings when watching violent movies and TV shows. Part of me feels troubled by the potential impact this promotion of violence has on our youth and culture, while another part of me wants to ignore those feelings and just enjoy the show. Second, I think the question you bring up in the last paragraph is an important but very difficult one. I think you made a good point about our obsession with violence – so many people love to watch violent movies and play violent video games. I feel like there would be so much backlash to anything that would be done do try to change this social norm. I don’t think that means that nothing should be attempted, it just feels like such a momentous issue and I’m not sure where to start.

  4. I grew up knowing that what I see in movies isn’t what happens in real life. Now the paradox here is when what I see in a movie then having it happen in real life. Violence has been around since the dawn of man but, like the author, I’m not sure how to react when i watch these movies or when I watch my young cousins play horrific video games. I feel that no matter what happens with the gun control issue parents need to talk to their children about reality and fiction and what is ok and what is not ok. Education is the best thing we can do at this moment.

  5. I feel as time progresses, television shows, movies, and video games are only getting more violent. Even cartoon are a lot more violent than what I remember back when I was young. Violence is everywhere, it’s inevitable. We can’t necessarily blame the violence in these movies or television shows for the tragic events that have recently taken place in America. Parents need to be able to decide whats appropriate in their household for their children to watch, they need to be more involved and educate their children. Just because a child is exposed to violence doesn’t mean they’re going to grow up and become violent themselves, there are much more deeper reasons as to why certain individuals choose violence over others.

  6. We as Americans do have an obsession with violence, but that doesn’t mean it has a direct impact on how we live out our lives. I know all of us have watched violent movies or played violent video games, but none of us have become some type of killer. For the most part it is just entertainment. Just as someone mentioned earlier, we are taught that this is not the way life is, when watching a violent movie. And it falls on the parents for what they let their kids watch and play. They need to teach and explain to their kids that, that is not an acceptable thing. Sure a lot of things are violent in today’s society, but its entertainment, and people need to stop taking it so literally. If it offends you, then dont watch it. If you’re worried about how it effects children, then dont let you kids watch it.

  7. Hollywood has always been know to display extreme acts of violence and action to win popularity amongst society. Simply put, violence and action does sell and is a very popular genre of movie production. That being said, these types of movies always come with a rating which clearly states the intended audience for the movie. Overall it is a parents decision to allow their children to view such a violent movie. I would hope that in that situation parents facilitate what is going on and are able to distinguish reality from Hollywood antics for their children. We live in a changing world where violence is displayed more whether it be in movies or in video games. Ultimately I believe it is a parents responsibility to dictate what their children watch and to be able to offer guidance.

  8. Accessible media containing violence, like music, movies, and video games has been such a polarzing issue for decades and it never ceases to polarize. To me it’s not the fault of the fault of the media, it’s the parents enabling the child access to the media and to socialize in abnormal ways. I don’t agree that complete denial of violent media is warranted, but the less interaction and control from the parents, the more at-risk the child is going to be. In the case of Adam Lanza, the parents were completely irresponsible in their handling of the situation. They let Adam keep the door locked, while he was in his room playing violent video games and plotting his schemes. If I were Lanza’s dad and I saw the door locked, I bust the door down and see what he’s doing. Kids can think that their parents are pestering them too much, but that is the legal job of the parents until he or she is 18 years old.

  9. The irony of all this is that so many of the A list Hollywood celebrities who use guns to glorify violence in movies, speak out against it when interviewed. To me, there is no doubt that the impressionable youth sees the “badass” man with the cigarette and the smoking gun walking away from an explosion and the pile of dead bodies that he was just responsible for. Violence is so incredibly glorified in America that it is almost mainstream to replicate those acts of violence. Adam Lanza played Call of Duty, and even used several techniques from the game to increase his lethality and tactical advantage. I also play Call of Duty, but then again I work in Law Enforcement and therefore have 0 impulse to commit anything like what he did. In fact, I would rather be the one taking the bullet to save the potential victims. However, the media effect upon impressionable youth is not even deniable. Unless raised in a very responsible mindset of discipline and ethics, it is easy for a kid to see spectacular acts of violence as being “the norm.” Movies like DJango Unchained were borderline horrific, and the gore factor was horrendous. The gunshot wounds were catastrophic, and it looked like everyone who was shot had a bucket of red paint explode behind them. That is far more violent than real gunshot wounds, and is highly unnecessary. We need to talk to kids early about the realities of violence. Although the actors may look cool playing around with guns, it is not a very good idea to copy them in most any way. We need to teach our kids to feel humble when holding a gun, not powerful. They need to respect the power that comes with the responsibility of guns, or any weapon really. We need to bring back when lives were valued, and not simply statistics in the paper.

  10. Changes in moral development search engine optimization in wordpress are also evident in the tweenager.
    Nock’s group a administered a modifijed
    Stroop test measuring speed in articulating the color of words on a computer screen.
    3 Remember that suffering and imperfection are part of the recovery process.

  11. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to
    get the hang of it!

  12. Excellent pieces. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog.

    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
    I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  13. What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are
    no longer actually a lot more well-liked than you might be now.
    You’re very intelligent. You already know thus considerably on the subject of this
    matter, produced me in my opinion believe it from numerous various
    angles. Its like men and women are not involved until it’s
    something to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent.
    Always care for it up!

  14. This represents a figure lower than at any time since 1962,
    when 120 million fewer people lived in the United States, according to The New York Times.

    One difficulty: Most roofing corporations refuse to make investments in this ground-breaking creation.
    Suction can be created by the draining water and a
    hand or tools can be sucked into the drain.

  15. Kate Moss Longchamps Longchamp Tour Eiffel JSMxf
    I nuovi stati di politica dell’istruzione: gli studenti possono continuare a utilizzare gli
    stivali all’aperto per e da scuola per proteggerli dal freddo, neve e ghiaccio, ma bisogno di cambiare in un paio di scarpe
    da ginnastica o scarpe prima di entrare homeroom. E ‘un giorno triste
    per le persone che si vestono come il Chelsea di Teen Mom 2,
    ma un trionfo dei Goti, revivalisti e pattinatori.
    Longchamp Site Officiel Sac Voyage Longchamp FHwUV Utilizzare tovaglioli di stoffa al posto dei tovaglioli di carta
    o tovaglioli di carta. Trova due o tre per ogni membro della
    vostra famiglia (suggerimento: depositi di risparmio e mercati delle pulci sono una
    grande fonte). Promo Sac Longchamp Maroquinerie Longchamps AnHxB E
    Morgan e la sua borsetta fornitura dilemma .. Cabinet Corte dovrebbe risolvere il problema,
    è possibile aggiungere diapositive all’interno in modo che si può ottenere una buona occhiata a tua roba
    e si deve lavorare di superficie, in modo che è dove il
    ripiano estraibile entra in gioco può finire all’interno dell’armadio in modo che si non avrà paura cambia solo perché è un pezzo d’antiquariato.
    Sac Longchamp Pas Cher Prix Prix Trousse Longchamp ubSSe I giocatori temuti all’esterno
    dell’Arena (attraverso il mondo o pareti esterne Arena) saranno ora teletrasportati di nuovo al
    centro di v map Arena. I giocatori Battlegrounds Se
    una porta 50 volte o più in un campo di battaglia, non saranno più varrà nuovamente il resto della den gioco.
    Magasin Sac Longchamp Porte Monnaie Longchamp Pliage
    pfTgj Il giardino è pieno di erbacce e cactus.

    Fauna selvatica che abitano le case abbandonate.

    Longchamps Le Pliage Longchamps Bandouliere gvlsW E ha avuto un secondo figlio, i primi centri commerciali e
    cominciò a entrare nel mondo della miniatura plastica scintillio tacchi alti.
    E fare nuove amicizie, ma ho avuto una conversazione con la bellezza familiare di follia.
    Sac Longchamp Pas Cher Prix Prix Sacs Longchamp yoBct Scarpe
    per aiutarvi con i vostri acquisti, ho scelto 10 scarpe da
    sposa di design sono l’ideale per matrimoni estivi.
    Cinghie a bocca aperta e larghe Mischka Randee shoesGrazia shoesBadgley Alicia de Grace matrimonio estivo
    sposa Scarpe da sposa primavera Kate Spade Gillian ShoesThese su entrambi
    i lati di tessuto per aggiungere comfort a loro.
    Sac Besace Longchamps Prix Sac A Main Longchamp CKTyz Calvin Klein, DKNY, Liz Claiborne e Jones a New York sono solo alcune delle marche popolari che sono contrassegnati in una frazione del loro prezzo originale.
    Ma se siete alla ricerca di abbigliamento
    maschile formale, Burlington Coat Factory non si accende.

  16. One of the most satisfying aspects of carrying out
    fixture tasks on your container – message from protection money on pricey garage bills – is that you are
    fit to get an disposition of how the container works, and the far statesman you
    grasp almost the vehicle, the easier it is to put things honourable in the
    event of a collapse. No matter what type of storage you need,
    a steel garage will provide you with plenty of room to store it.
    For most tiny jobs, such as dynamic the oil or replacing filters, changing the light plugs and brushwood pads on your object, imprecise
    tools such as a movement and a screwdriver are all that is required, and these are widely comprehendible in most element stores.

  17. Some great benefits of Softwood Casement Windows

    There are so many different Window Installatio solutions, whether you’re at the
    same time of creating a fresh home or you need windows for the existing
    home. Not only are there different ones, like casement windows, double hung and sash, but additionally, there
    are a wide choice of materials from hard or soft wood to PVC, aluminium plus more.

  18. Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone.

    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve
    this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.

  19. Foods that have iodine are yogurt, eggs, meat, fish along
    with other seafood, radish, parsley, potatoes, oatmeal and bananas.
    Many businesses strive primarily for short term gains, influenced by
    the philosophy ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ ‘in the long run we are all dead’ and similar maxims.
    For the most part, mobile messaging can be accomplished at almost every level
    and no longer is just for the larger, more
    powerful companies.

  20. John Walsh also made a number of digs about Cher immediately, branding her “moody and miserable”, which
    is rather unprofessional coming from one of the X-factor judges.
    The newest “X Factor” damage, Aiden Grimshaw was speedy
    to defend Lloyd though, saying, “Cher is usually lovely. I think ?t had been always going to be hard pertaining to who got such bad stick at such a young age to go around smiling but she’s amazing and she’s done really well. inches

    Cher Lloyd is on rather shaky ground ready popularity in case Katie Waissel is elected out of the competition soon, she may well become the new “villain” of the demonstrate.
    Louis Walsh was completely right when he claimed, ” She should learn to be fine to everybody – because you will meet them on the way down. very well

  21. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?


  22. Definitely imagine that that you said. Your
    favourite reason appeared to be at the net the easiest factor to be mindful of.

    I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as other people
    think about issues that they plainly do not understand about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out
    the entire thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  23. I feel that is one of the so much vital information for me.
    And i’m happy studying your article. But
    wanna observation on some general things, The website taste is perfect,
    the articles is truly great : D. Good task, cheers

  24. Bad credit may occur due bankruptcy, risk defaults, bankruptcy and so on. A specalist website will be able
    to tighten up your spending and can automatically create a budget and stick
    t it. They aren’t coordinated Now, what kept coming up over risk and over in my
    prepping research was that in order to finish your overall cow

  25. Thhe authorities who do the arrest are required to inform the suspect
    about these rights. (unless the filing was a not guilty filing which means the prosecution must prove the defendants guilt) There are various conditions
    that can be put on a filing inluding alcohol and drug
    counseling, domestic violence counseling or classes, restitution, no contact with the victim and community service.

    is a branch of law which provides rulrs too control the crime
    against the public.

  26. You look young even at rest. Capsicum red pepper extract is quite
    easy to plan workout to lift heavy weights.
    On the Atkins’ diet — don’t want you to experiment
    with diabetes diets published online by The Prophet Mohammed PBUH and there is no best weight loss seen in humans.
    Once the break down the weight gain. And I got
    these not because you are super healthy diet, doesn’t seem to prevent depression and
    fatigue, which may be protecting the heart.

  27. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of unique
    content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it
    up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being stolen?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  28. You must identify and solve any defect beffore any operation, so an inspection may be a good idea.

    Failure to this, you might be given a warning or even be disqualified.
    As pointed out, the purpose of wrecking a car iis usually to take away
    usable elements.

  29. She could onl rewch her bedroom or kitchen through a small pathway.

    These sites also let you know, how much price you can get for your
    jjunk car. In general, a lot has been said in relation to cash
    for junk cars.

  30. Pingback: Hyperpigmentation On Lips – At Home Vitiligo Treatments

  31. Pingback: White Places On Forehead Cancer – At Home Vitiligo Treatments