Do violent films contribute to school violence?

Comments

Tom Garrett 1 year, 11 months ago

One thing that I recently read in Nancy Reagan's book "My Turn" was that both she and Ronald Reagan felt that the violence in films had gone too far while he was in office. What she would say about it today is anyone's guess.

In light of recent event, people are once again saying that the violence in films and games foster violence in children and others.

Some people say that any such claim is nonsense, that if you could jump in the family time machine you go back to Roman times, and watch people being butchered in the Colosseum.

Other people say that the difference is that in order to attend the blood and guts shows back then you had to live in Rome or one of the other few cities that had arenas, and you had to choose to go to them, but today, you have only to turn on the TV set in your living room and the blood and guts pour out of the screen. They also complain there isn't much else to watch.

At the moment, so I am told, not being a TV watcher or movie goer anymore, some of the current titles are, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Bullet to the Head, and Mean Streets. Of course, they could all be programs about saintly old ladies who spend their lives taking care of the poor and sick in their neighborhoods, but it doesn't sound like it.

So, the inevitable question.

Do you believe that movies, TV programs, and violent games are part of the cause of school violence, and if you do, what do we do about it?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, I do believe that movies, and TV programs are a problem.
Parents that let thier kids watch them are unfit parents. So called cartoons should be monitered too. Some are very violent.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe that movies, tv and violent games have desensitized our society to violence and death. I do agree with Pat about cartoons; although because they are animated and don't look like real life I am not certain they are quite as much a threat as the movies and tv. To be realistic, I doubt that anybody really believes that the Road Runner can get blown up and thrown off a cliff and smashed by a falling piano in the middle of the desert, and then be back up running around after Wile E. Coyote.

However, when you have these bloody, gory movies and tv shows depicting real people, I think that the lines get blurred between reality and the movies. And when kids play video games depicting shooting and stalking and torture; assault rifles and explosions, and kids can design an avatar in their likeness so that they are right there on the screen holding a monster weapon or throwing a body off a building, their sense of reality gets skewed.

To answer your question Tom...I am not certain at this point that there is anything that can be done about it without major radical change.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 11 months ago

movies, tv and computer games, but try to buy a cap pistol anywhere.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 11 months ago

Oh Pat, that is classic!!! Did you happen to hear about the 5 year old girl who was suspended from kindergarten for telling her little friend about her bubblegum shooter? And the 2 five year old boys suspended for making "guns" with their fingers and playing shoot'em up. Our society is cracked!!!

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree with both of you. Our society IS cracked!!!

Remember the string about the poor deaf kid whose name sign happened to look a little like he was making a gun, so the school district suspended him? How idiotic can we get?

I'll tell you what, I stopped watching movies about the time they started showing bullets going through people and blood and guts coming out the other side. In the first place it was disgusting, and in the second place it doesn't happen.

Hollywood--meaning TV too--will do anything for a buck. That includes corrupting two entire generations of Americans in my lifetime.

Of course, if this were a democracy we could stop all this. All we would have to do is set up a system where we vote for people, and they go to a legislature somewhere and make laws that we need. I know it's a novel idea, but we could try it.

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John Naughton 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't post much but I thought I'd share a quick thought. I grew up with Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and all the "good" cowboys. Whenever there was a gunfight "BANG" the bad guy would politely fall over. No blood, no gaping holes, no pain. After a couple tours in Vietnam with the US Marines, '65-'69, the topic of violence in movies came up and my thought process was, as I see it now, way off the mark. I remember saying that perhaps this was a good thing. Perhaps if people actually saw blood, guts and gore, they would understand what a bullet can actually do to the human body thus, movie violence may actually be a deterrent. Boy was I naive...

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 11 months ago

No John, not naive. Those were much different times. For Heaven's sake, Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in twin beds and could not mention "pregnancy", Mary "Richards" and Rhoda were the wildest single girls, and, lest we forget, does anybody really think that "The Honeymooners" could ever be successful today? My goodness, Jackie Gleason and his "one of these days Alice, one of these days...pow...straight to the moon" would be sent straight to domestic violence awareness classes.

The truly sad thing that I believe, is that our society has become so lax, immoral and without a good moral foundation, I am not certain it can ever find it's way back.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, We aren't idiotic. It is the people we elect that are idiotic. They can't come up with any good ideas or laws so they spend thier time when they can spare it from traveling or whatever to make stupid laws.

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John Lemon 1 year, 10 months ago

When a person becomes "desensitized" as regards a particular thing, a loss of perception follows. So with realistic scenes of violence. Our minds have been trained to expect that when a violent action occurs certain reactions will follow - blood, screams, gore, etc. To the extent that media allows people to reduce perceptions of real horror, the possibilities of a person committing horrific acts will increase. How to stop or reduce it? It would seem that we are back to basic values and parenting skills, aren't we?

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks, John. That's an interesting insight. I could understand why someone might say that. I've never been in or anywhere near combat, but when I used to see the guys in the area hospital on Okinawa in the 60's I remember thinking something like that. Lolly and I used to volunteer over there. It was bad!

One of the saddest things I've ever read was in one of John Masters' nonfiction books. I think it was Bugles and A Tiger, a book about the time he was a Major in the British Army fighting in Burma. They had to evacuate their position. No choice. They took all their wounded, but the doctor had 11 patients that he was just keeping doped up until they died. None of them had any chance of living, none at all. One of them had nothing in his torso below his heart and lungs. How he was alive no one knew. There was only one thing to do. They could not move them or leave them for the Japanese. He did it himself. The way he talks about it is hard to read. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to do it.

Kim, you made me smile. "Boom! Zoom!" How I used to love that crazy program. And you're right; they'd be in court over it today. What I don't understand is why we allow Hollywood to drive our morals downhill.

John, I'm reading a book (famous last words) about someone who became a psychiatrist. He says is that one reason he didn't choose surgery as a specialty was that he didn't think he could ever get to the point where the "brown, wet lump" he was cutting on was no longer a human being. Ever read the autobiography that Michael Creighton, the science fiction author, wrote about his younger days? He was trained as a doctor, and expected to be one, but when he got to his internship in some large Boston hospital he discovered something he didn't know: the sight of blood made him throw up. He said that he gave up the idea of being a doctor because he doubted that he was instilling confidence in his 8th floor patients by drawing blood samples and then hanging out the window and puking into the street. :-)

I agree. I blame the media for a lot of this violence. You only have to read trial records and see how many crooks, having few good ideas of their own, take a plot in some book and actually try it out. Same things goes for dumb-adze kids trying to emulate the dumb-adze things they see superheroes doing.

How do we stop it? Finding some way of electing honest congressmen wouldn't hurt. And finding parents who draw the line in the right place wouldn't hurt either.

You know what troubles me? I look at all the trash movies and programs and I think, "Why would they make this crap if no one wants to see it?"

That's a worrisome thought.

Pat, you said something before that kind of intrigued me. "...try to buy a cap pistol anywhere."

Can we? Can we buy them? I suppose the answer is no.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

I tried to find one several years ago and couldn't. I never see them in the stores. There are guns that shoot balls.

My boys had cap guns and graduated to real guns. Have been deer, elk, turkey and antelope hunting and have never drawn a gun on a person. It is the person that kills, the gun is the insturment they use. A baseball bat will accomplish the same thing. How many people have been stabbed to death? Did the knife do it or the person holding it? How many people have been choked to death? None of this is reported over and over. I don't see anyone trying to out law any of the above except guns and now tobacco and food that will cause you to be obese.

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