Quentin Tarantino: Violence in film didn’t cause the Sandy Hook tragedy

Quentin Tarantino

Oh, where to begin on this topic. Nothing I could ever say would be adequate or add in any meaningful way to the discussion of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. I think most of us can willingly admit to shedding more than a few tears in regard to the 20 children and 6 adults who lost their lives at the hands of a sick gunman (whom I refuse to dignify by typing his name), and the tragedy has also stirred up a massive political debate in regards to the readily available access to firearms in this country as well as mental health issues. To state the obvious, there are no easy answers here as to why this happened, and I think the best thing to do is to continue to honor the victims instead of immediately falling into a left-right hate debate. That’s easier said than done, I know.

The day after the shootings, a press junket was held for Django Unchained, which is (of course) Quentin Tarantino’s revenge movie on the subject of black slavery in the United States. Naturally, the subject of the Sandy Hook massacre came up, and Quentin stated his opinion that violence in film has absolutely nothing to do with anything that happens in real life. Django himself, Jamie Foxx, respectfully disagrees with QT’s opinion. Here are the details:

Jamie Foxx

Don’t blame Quentin Tarantino for Friday’s tragic Newtown, Conn., shooting.

The Django Unchained director is tired of having to defend his use of violence in film.

“I just think, you know, there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers,” he said Saturday at a press junket, per the BBC. “It’s a Western. Give me a break.”

Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx, however, disagrees with Tarantino. “We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence,” the actor said. “It does.”

Christoph Waltz, another actor in the flick, said that the “media’s responsibility is greater than the storyteller is because… Django is violent, but it’s not inspiring violence.”

Kerry Washington added, “I do think that it’s important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect it to the wrongs, the injustices, the social ills.”

[From E! Online]

Okay, Tarantino sounds a little punchy here because he probably went into the junket wary of precisely this type of question. Yes, he was asked to defend his work in the context of last Friday’s tragedy, and it must have been a very uncomfortable situation for him to withstand such scrutiny. What QT says does make some sense even if he didn’t exactly phrase his answer in the most sensitive way. I mean, I grew up on violent films, and I remember the height of HBO when Commando, Terminator, and the Death Wish movies would essentially play on repeat during the entirety of summer vacation, and my parents let me freely watch this stuff. Lots of other people my age grew up the same way, and the vast majority of us are (mostly) well-adjusted adults now.

Certainly, the argument can be made that violence in movies (as well as music, video games, etc.) can influence unstable minds and provoke them to imitation. Right now, all thoughts should be with the victims of the shooting as well as their suffering families. Throughout the media and social media outlets, however, so many people are quick to point the blame at something, anything, that could possibly be held accountable for one sick man’s actions. Personally, I’d like to hold his mother responsible for at least providing the weapons used for mass slaughter, but that’s kind of a no-brainer at this point. Overall, it’s just a terribly sad situation with no easy solution for future preventative measures coming anytime soon.

Quentin Tarantino

Kerry Washington

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN

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206 Responses to “Quentin Tarantino: Violence in film didn’t cause the Sandy Hook tragedy”

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  1. teehee says:

    Well lets conduct the experiment.

    Lets have all the sesame street muppets beating each other up and shooting each other, and see what happens to the toddlers who watch it.

    I grew up loving Schwarzennegger films, still love em– but you cant act as though media isnt an influence or at the very least a SYMPTIOM of a society and its well being. It represent values- compare the bollywood films to the hollywood ones- they convey very different values and weights.

    Of course it goes a lot deeper than what film you watch, but the combination of a sick society atmosphere plus soul robbing entertainment is obviously not healthy for anyone.

    • Veruca says:

      Well stated!

    • Feebee says:

      They already do similar types of experiments on children younger than toddlers. Not with guns but with puppets displaying mean behaviour. So far preliminary results appear to indicate the babies then reach for the puppets who didn’t display such behaviour.

      It could mean nothing, but it could also be something. Humans from an early age are innately good. Too much can go wrong and it’s not just violent films.

    • LAK says:

      Bollywood is such a bad example to give because some of the most revered bollywood films are super violent. SHOLAY, SHAKTI, DON ,THE BANDIT QUEEN to name afew. The 60s and 70s was particularly awash with violent bollywood films. The majority of Amitabh Bachban’s film career pre-first retirement is violent thrillers.something as cute as SEETA AUR GEETA managed to have several violent beating scenes.

      Don’t let the love stories fool you into thinking that Bollywood doesn’t make violent films.

    • OutstandingWoldCitizen says:

      So using your logic Bollywood films influence their audiences not to kill, rape (a woman was gang raped on a bus in Delhi – the bus driver joined in to) etc. but inspire them to choreograph large elaborate dance battles to solve their conflicts? Priceless.

      QT should not have his feet held to the fire for directing a movie about slavery, subject matter most Americans still are uncomfortable watching even though not real. Might I add real and legal violence some time ago.

      Anyway, your opinion is well intentioned I’m sure but completely off the mark. How do you explain other countries – first worlders I might add – do not have the same amount of gun violence as we do here in the states? Even our neighbors to the north aka Canada don’t have this level of violence. Mind you they have strict guns laws; we should have the same standards here. That said, the NRA and gun lobbyist have muddied the waters with fear and has perverted the second amendment to turn the debate from gun control to movies, video games, music, losing your rights, Obama is gonna take your guns etc. or whatever scare tactic distractive argument they can spin.

      One gun nut said we need assault weapons in case of riots and flash mobs – I guess he hates dancers and would hate every Bollywood movie as well. Then you read an article like this http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregion/in-newtown-conn-a-stiff-resistance-to-gun-restrictions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and you see how the town has to take some of responsibility.

      The townspeople were apprehensive and downright rage filled b/c they did not want to stop shooting at all times of the day at their makeshift gun ranges conveniently located in thier backyards. Because the legitamate gun range had a long wait list.

      Unfortunately the poster child for change has to be the deaths of children. Anyone remember how the American government and the huge blood products industry handled the AIDS crisis? They didn’t until Ryan White.

      • teehee says:

        No thats not what I said. I said moreso that cultures will be reflected in what their media glorifes and focuses on. Bollywood has violence and so does their society, but I dont think they have the same number and scale of school shootings.
        american culture is disentigrating, and at the same time films have been portraying that problems are solved with aggression and violence and macho– whoever has the most and biggest guns and can explode the loudest, saves the say. Add this to the fact that families are breaking apart daster than ever, values are all but non existent (at least not in any sense of unity or identity) there are increasing strains on the ‘dream’, our future is heading fast towards total upheaval (climate change, population explosion), and the most important fact, that nobody cares anymore and everyone is desensitized and detached, with their face glued to their cell phone, which can never replace a persons face and voice and touch– and thats a good recipe for disaster. Problems + culture that says violence solves it, rather than talking, thinking, creating a constructive solution could well equal a higher potential to use violence as a ‘solution’. Feelings are still mocked and ignored and repressed in favor of serving the wheels of the machine, of having to shut up to be PC. People are exploited and lied to and cast aside as enemies when they refuse to play along. America is very, very sick right now and there isnt much substance in the media or culture that children access anymore to show them where to set their sights to and what to have hope in.

        Those ‘attackers’ actually commit suicide. They are really looking for a way OUT. They feel hopelessness and powerlessness, they feel lost and angry and confused.
        Maybe the shift needs to be away from criminalizing them to seeing that they are too victims. They need(ed) help but nothing could help them and sought an escape– they killed themselves but not before taking others with them, who they probably felt had more of a chance than they ever did. it says a lot about the state of their environment, when they become that desparate and have to resort to such a drastic means, to get anyone to pay attention.

      • Kloops says:

        Well said OWC. Gun control NOW. Of course there are contributing factors and of course there will still be violent crimes but there is NO REASON civilians should have automatic and semi-automatic weapons. It’s insane.

      • LAK says:

        @teehee – “at the same time films have been portraying that problems are solved with aggression and violence and macho– whoever has the most and biggest guns and can explode the loudest, saves the say”

        Blaming any film industry is just wrong. Plain and simple. They all churn out violent films. To be more specific to your example, American films are distributed worldwide. I don’t see an epidemic of people going on the rampage worldwide because of it.

        The guy in Norway had a very specific reason for his rampage.

        Ditto Dumblane in Scotland.

        They didn’t blame their actions on films.

        Someone who is determined to carry out violence will be able to do so whether they have guns or not.

        The difference is we aren’t making it easier for them to do it by allowing anyone to be able to have an arsenal of weapons.

      • teehee says:

        Again just read my argument and while I point to the influence of films, I am not blaming the problems on the films. I am saying that the films cant be neglected but that the true issue is a society in which people feel detached and alone, and which at the same time, and largely in films, worships guns and even considers them a god given right. I am sayng the combination of the two is a bad thing.

  2. Maria says:

    People killed people way before movies were invented, basically since day one of mankind.

    also movies dont build guns and sell them.

    without movies and without guns people killed people. thats just the sad thruth.

    • Ann says:

      People may have killed people in years past, but they didn’t stroll into elementary schools and casually execute a classroom full of 6 year olds. Sorry, that excuse just doesn’t wash.

      • Amelia says:

        I think it’s a little sensationalist to assume that movies/violent video games are to blame for tragedies such as Sandy Hook. I can see why it’s a popular leap to make, though. Becuase it *does* makes sense – violence breeds violence, seeing violence being glamorised on the big screen could influence X, Y and Z . . .
        But, I’m sure that vast majority of us have seen violent films in our time and have never felt the urge to go out and cause injury to others.
        Although I suppose it is that 1% we have to watch out for; it’s the 1% that kills and we’ve got to protect the many from the few.
        From what we’re being told over here in the UK it would seem that most media outlets are reporting the gunman as being mentally unstable. Personally, I think vetting people who apply for possession of a firearm and their families for mental illnesses would be a better way to go about things rather than pointing fingers at the film industry.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I dont think its movies either. I think its an abundance of unnecessary weapons coupled with a culture of selfishness, superiority, and ownership. It’s hard to explain but as the world has gotten bigger and developed and thirst for instant gratification, I think there are some who really cant handle things that don’t go their way. What else would make you think you have the right to take the life of someone else? IDK it’s far reaching, but there is something to be said for the way the Amish live their life.

      • Erinn says:

        Mental illness, and the worlds inability to properly take care of the mentally ill is the reason people waltz into elementary schools and shoot. It’s not the violence in movies and video games causing it.

      • Vibius says:

        If you honestly believe this, you need to google the “Bath School Disaster”. In 1927 a school trustee set off multiple bombs killing 38 elementary school children, 2 teachers and 4 adults (plus the scumbag).

        This is a complicated issue and going after red herrings is the worst thing people can do right now.

      • littlestar says:

        Erinn, I agee with you wholeheartedly. I am so sick of people saying they won’t acknowledge the shooter of this horrific tragedy. Guess what people? You are just ignoring the problem then! Violence in movies and video games is a miniscule part of the problem. As Bedhead said, she watched violent movies and grew up normal. Do you think the shooter was normal? No. He must have had a mental illness (and of course this is speculation because nothing has been confirmed) to commit such a horrible crime. Does someone in their right mind just decide to kill children? I don’t think so. So by ignoring the shooter, you are IGNORING THE PROBLEM. It’s more than violence, it’s more than guns, it’s the lack of suitable healthcare for the mentally ill, the lack of health insurance to get help if you are mentally ill, the lack of compassion and empathy from people for those who are sick. Maybe one of the reasons why Canada doesn’t have as horrible of gun crimes is because we have access to UNIVERSAL health care.

        Perhaps many won’t agree with me, but we need to find some kind of compassion for those who are mentally ill and commit crimes. If the media and the people keep labeling them as “evil”, those with true mental illness will be even more afraid to get help, and so will their families. What was wrong with this young man, and what drove him to do what he did? How could we have prevented it, how could we have helped him?

        Maybe because I have family members who suffer from mental illness, this touches a nerve with me. But we have to stop saying video games are the problem and start helping those with real mental illness.

      • Franklymydear1 says:

        Granted they were bombs but… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

      • Franklymydear1 says:

        Granted they were bombs but… I’d look up the Bath School Disaster if I were you.

      • Franklymydear1 says:

        @littlestar sorry about my prior comments they weren’t intended for you. The argument that violence is caused solely by movies seems rediciulous and it does get me really upset. I really appreciate your points they are very valid! Once again, sorry!

      • Franklymydear1 says:

        @littlestar sorry about my prior comments they weren’t intended for you (I’m new to commenting on this site and still getting used to it). The argument that violence is caused solely by movies seems rediciulous and it does get me really upset. I really appreciate your points they are entirely valid! Once again, sorry if this has offended you in anyway!

    • SandyStrange says:

      Also, not to forget, the worst school massacre in the US happened in 1927. When Movies were in their infancy and tv/video games were a far off dream. Some people are just mentally ill/unstable or just don’t give a damn.

  3. Mew says:

    The gunman indeed was sick – he had serious mental health problems that were not taken care off, despite his mother saying she tried to get help for him. This is the REAL tragedy that’s going around; lack of mental health help.

    Sure, some sick person can take a model from a movie, music, game or ANYTHING else, but the key word here is sick person. Normal person, which most of us are, don’t turn into a mindless killer just by watching an action movie. And a sick person will kill with or without a model, if that’s the person’s destination.

    The shooting was a tragedy, it really was. It’s also a tragedy that every single day over 20 000 children die around the world. Every. Single. Day.

    Who sheds tears for them?

    It should be time to start taking actions about the real problems.

    • lisa2 says:

      great post.

      I think people need to understand that a sick mind as you say will be triggered by anything. They don’t need to watch a film or a TV show or video game. I don’t ever hear people complaining about the slasher movies. I watched movies with guns and violence and knew that it was fantasy. If people actual think that taking gun violence out of films is going to solve this problem you are very wrong.

      I do think we need stronger gun laws, but I think our focus is as always on the wrong thing. Mental Health is the problem. and sad to say we can’t know what makes that mind snap.

      • Diana says:

        @stellalovejoydiver I’m with you. Censorship is a very dangerous road and guns do make you paranoid. As a person looking at this situation from the outside (I live in Colombia)and having read and listened to a lot of opinions my conclusion on the perception of the United States is that it is a very paranoid country. Wars, school shootings, mass murders, they are becoming more and more usual. This year alone there have been two high profile shootings and it seems no one finds the underlying causes for this kind of incidents. As a south american it is very common to hear people say you americans virtually rule the world, what do you have to protect yoursefl from? of course it is not as simple as that but the comnon opinion is that as a country with so much power over everyone else the fact that you have become a nation filled with fear is not congruent.

    • stellalovejoydiver says:

      Artistic freedom and freedom of expression are too important democratic values to be restricted by the fear of some sicko interpreting it wrong. Where would it stop and where would it end, are we going to blame Catcher in the Rye for the shooting of Lennon, Taxi Driver for the attempted assassination of Reagan etc?

      • orange says:

        So, artistic freedom to make filthy, violent, racist movies like this should be protected, but the 2nd Amendment right, to protect yourself from those who would do you harm (including an increasingly tyrannical government) shouldn’t? No offense but what kind of bizarro world do you live in that freaking MOVIES are more important than protecting yourself?

        And the last thing we need is more laws. There are 30,000 gun laws on the books, why not enforce some of them before we make new ones? If you REALLY want something to blame, blame psychiatric medications. The media will NEVER tell you this but almost all of these shootings are done by people on SSRIs and other psychiatric meds. Check out SSRI Stories, see for yourself.

      • Erinn says:


        Not sure if you’re blaming SSRI’s for this or what. However, are you saying they’re the cause or the common link? I’ve been on them for depression. Personally, I’d say it’s the common link. There’s a reason these people are on SSRI’s, not some magical pill causing people to commit violent crimes.

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        @orange: I never wrote that movies are more important than protecting yourselves neither did I wrote something about laws, no offense but in what bizarro world do you live in that they don´t teach you how to read and analyse a text properly?
        I was referring to censoring movies out of fear of triggering sick people.

        Just because this movie isn´t conform with your beliefs, doesn´t make it filhy and racist.

        But I do believe that artistic freedom and freedom of expression, which allows you to state your opinion here, among other civil rights are equally important as(if not more than) the right to bear a gun. These rights make a democracy. Free press critizes the government, the right to vote is to control a government etc.

        Guns not only make you feel safer, they also make you feel more paranoid.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “Artistic freedom and freedom of expression are too important democratic values to be restricted by the fear of some sicko interpreting it wrong.”

        Thank you so much for saying this.
        Totally got the point of your post and nowhere did you even mention guns in your original post.

        Knee-jerk reactions + bad reading comprehension=contributing nothing of value to the conversation.

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        @ orange: My first impression of you based on your first comments was that I have mistaken you for a right-wing nutjob, I´m sorry, I see now, also with your comments below it is more complex than that.

        I feel for you dealing with being raped and if carrying a gun makes you feel safer than I really can´t judge you, because thankfully I never been in that situation. I do think that guns can make you become more paranoid, for example in the case of Trayvon Martin, when you shoot first before reasoning or trying to disolve the situation non-violently.
        Also the state is not only a potential tyrann, it also protects and cares for you in certain ways.
        If you are familiar with Hobbes, Rousseau, any other political philosopher, the war of all against all, therefore installing a state in order to solve conflicts and regulate human interactions, if it wasn´t for the state and its legal system, then the right of strongest would rule and the POS who did this to you would never be charged.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        I agree that artistic freedom and freedom of expression should not be targeted for this or any other tragedies. I also think that we can keep our second amendment rights intact while still restricting ammunition sales, but not ban guns. Still, it’s a ridiculous argument to say that the 2nd keeps us from becoming an imperialist country–all over the world civilized, democratic nations have banned assault weapons and there is no fear of imperialism. The government fearing the people is not what keeps us free.

        We really need to look at mental illness. As someone who works in neurological research, we DO need to take a closer look at SSRI’s. Last year a doc I work with started taking her patients off them or referring them elsewhere due to a huge spike in suicidal thoughts-only discovered after a voluntary, anonymous survey.

        I was on SSRIs for anxiety until February of 2011 when I snapped and cut my arm open after a fight with my boyfriend. I’m not talking wrist slitting–I cut a huge gash in myself and needed 12 stitches. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I was definitely out of my mind and became incredibly remorseful and quit all drugs I was on. My boyfriend and I separated, but came back together and had a lot of work to do to become as strong as we are today. He was traumatized as well, and it took me time to really get that. I learned coping mechanisms, and feel much better today because I can simply handle my emotions and think them through.

        People who massacre others have mental illnesses, or else they would be serial killers. Their illnesses are much greater than mine and we need to look at that, and why this is happening, and what we can do to solve it.

        Reforming the way we handle people with severe mental problems is harry and scary, so it’s easier to point the finger at guns, games, and movies. We need to set up research to find these people and prevent them from doing harm before the damage is done. Censorship and restriction of the freedoms of the sane are not answers, they are bandages.

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        @ orange: My first impression of you based on your first comments was that I have mistaken you for a right-wing nutjob, I´m sorry, I see now, also with your comments below it is more complex than that.

        I feel for you dealing with being raped and if carrying a gun makes you feel safer than I really can´t judge you, because thankfully I never been in that situation. I do think that guns can make you become more paranoid, for example in the case of Trayvon Martin, when you shoot first before reasoning or trying to disolve the situation non-violently.
        Also the state is not only a potential tyrann, it also protects and cares for you in certain ways.
        If you are familiar with Hobbes, Rousseau, any other political philosopher, the war of all against all, therefore installing a state in order to solve conflicts and regulate human interactions, if it wasn´t for the state and its legal system, then the right of strongest would rule and the POS who did this to you would never be charged.
        I´m German btw, and in general we have a natural trust in the state, sometimes it is referred as the Father State, so I am prob a lot more idealistic, whereas I always get the impression that Americans have a natural mistrust in the state.

        I don´t think that the movie is intended to be racist, you are entitled to your opinion, but I think QT wanted to show the crimes against African-American committed during slavery in all their brutality. It would be racist, if the overall statement was they deserved to be treated like this because they are animals, second class people etc.

        I liked Catcher in the Rye when I read it in my teens, but bad taste doesn´t legitimate censorship(not saying you said this just in general), also see the slippery slope argument, if you start forbidden this, it might open the door to more censorship.

      • VanillaDeeLite says:

        WELL SAID Stellalovejoydiver!!!!

  4. Zimmerman says:

    If my son sees a Ben 10 episode, which I no longer allow, he immediately starts imitating the monsters on the show. Guess what I don’t even have to do a study, I already have my answer. Has Quentin forgotten the Batman/Aurora shooting? Seriously, he must think we’re all fools..

  5. Post-It's says:

    All of these films are shown across the world and yet other countries don’t have this problem of people commiting mass shootings.

    • Naye in VA says:

      We have terrible gun control laws and we refuse to bend or change them. We jump all over everything else that may be offensive, or mildly harmful, or even just different, but we refuse to make any changes towards something that has proven time and time again to be considerably harmful, dangerous, and unnecessary.

      • orange says:

        Who are you to decide for anyone that guns are unnecessary? You do not have that right and you certainly cannot speak for everyone. I have multiple guns, I have concealed carry and I use it. I was raped and when violence happens to YOU, you might understand why some of us are so determined to protect ourselves. If you want to trust your safety to others, then that is your right but for you to think you have the right to make that choice for others is arrogant and disgusting.

        Let me tell you from personal experience, there is nothing worse than the feeling you get when you know without a doubt that you are about to be a victim and there is NOTHING you can do to stop it because you don’t have something to defend yourself with. People always like to say “Well if you had a gun he could have KILLED you!!!” and I say “Yeah but at least I would’ve had a chance and better to die fighting than cower and beg like a worm”. And living with the aftermath a lot of times I wish he had just killed me because in many ways you are ruined afterwards…mentally and emotionally. If you think a knife, or pepper spray is enough to deter a bigger, stronger assailant then I’m here to burst that bubble as well. Because it isn’t. I know guns aren’t for everyone and I am not trying to force anyone to buy them, I just want my Second Amendment rights to be respected because I know from personal experience how important they truly are.

        Oh also, if you think our government is so benevolent and caring that we won’t ever end up with a leader like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin or Mao (all instituted gun control) then you are delusional. We are already almost as bad as the USSR, as soon as people start “disappearing” and the TSA moves it’s checkpoints to highways and restricts travel (which IS coming you mark my words) we’ll be right there in tyranny like they were. And you think we should GIVE UP the only thing that might save us? Wow.

      • Amelia says:

        “Oh also, if you think our government is so benevolent and caring that we won’t ever end up with a leader like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin or Mao (all instituted gun control) then you are delusional. We are already almost as bad as the USSR…”
        Orange, Gun control and dictatorships are not mutually exclusive. Private ownership of guns (with the exception of shooting rifles in the countryside) is illegal here in the UK and we have no checkpoints on our motorways.

      • Naye in VA says:

        I just want you to imagine being the parent of child who is mowed down by bullets while running for their life. Ive been choked until I passed out and I was sure I was dead, and by the grace of God i wasn’t and other people were able to come to my aid AFTER the fact, but I wouldn’t trade a gun for my personal protection on the life of my child. I’m sorry what happened to you, but i would lay down my life every time for my kid.

      • LAK says:

        Orange – whilst i understand that an extremely violent act against your person has driven you to an extremely violent solution or conclusion, i must point out that many countries worldwide, have banned guns or restrict their access to the general population.

        Britain moved to ban all guns to the population after we had our own rampage through a school in the town of Dunblane in 1996.

        And we are not living in some kind of totalitarian communist state as a result of it.

        America is the only country in the world, where the civilians are armed to the teeth, and have repeat rampages.

        If rampaging is a uniquely American trait, why make it easier by giving everybody access to guns?

        Being armed to the teeth is never going to solve anything except make a murderer of you whether that was your intention or not.

        I apologise if my comment seems cold given your personal situation, and who knows how i would have reacted in similar circumstances but meeting violence with violence will never solve anything.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      Thank you!!! I was just going to post the same thing. Movies, music and video games are seen around the world, yet all those other people exposed to the same violence we are don’t have a gun violence problem. And those other countries don’t have religion in their (public state funded) schools, so Mike Huckabee can’t blame that, either.

      • orange says:

        Amelia, I’m sorry but your country is an Orwellian nightmare of epic proportions. You are not even legally allowed to defend yourself or your family if someone breaks into your house, you just have to hope they won’t rape or murder you. And you cannot tell me that there is zero gun crime even though guns are banned, because criminals don’t obey laws, that’s why they are criminals! Just because your government hasn’t started rounding you up yet doesn’t mean they WON’T one day. I’d rather not take the chance, personally. But hey, if you think it works for you, then good for you. I just don’t want it here. Once you scrap one part of the Bill of Rights, the rest is in jeopardy and that’s a very dangerous precedent to set.

      • Amelia says:

        Orange, I give you props for not drinking the Kool-aid, but I think you’ve had a bit too much conspiracy crack for one day . . .

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        @ orange:
        “I’m sorry but your country is an Orwellian nightmare of epic proportions”
        bahaha, says the one who lives in a country with the Patriot Act and the NDAA.

        “Once you scrap one part of the Bill of Rights, the rest is in jeopardy and that’s a very dangerous precedent to set.”
        But that is what happened by passing the Patriot Act and the NDAA, but hey as long as they don´t touch the right to have a gun, everthing is cool.

      • Xeria says:

        @ orange
        A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined.

        Among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.

      • Issa says:

        @orange are you serious? As a person that has lived in several European countries with gun control, I felt much safer there than here. Actually didn’t even lock my doors or windows most of the time. Guess in your world a gun makes everything better and makes you feel safer. A very false belief. Gun violence is more prevalent in homes of gun-owners. You’re more likely to be a victim of gun violence if you have them in your home. A country with little violence and a country that protects me from madmen armed to take down an army is actually where I do feel safe.

      • bluhare says:

        Orange, you talk about Britain being Orwellian??? Ever heard of the Patriot Act?

        And go read British newspapers and see how many murders they have. You have to get up close and personal with a knife. SO much easier to kill someone with a gun.

    • marie says:

      and that statement is completely assinine. what about the “mentally deranged” man that went on a massive stabbing spree, hurting 22 children in China? or the man in Norway who went on a massive shooting spree killing 77 people? Do not act as if mentally ill is mutually exclusive to the US, it happens everywhere. Do I think the movies or video games had anything to do with it, no but I do believe that it desensitizes a person as others stated. I believe the common denominator in all of these senseless killings are mentally unstable people.. but I will agree that we as a country need to look over our gun laws and figure a way to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable.

      • normades says:

        Yes the devil is in the details here. Crazy people exsist everywhere but the difference is that the guy in Norway had a mass arsenal of semi-automatic weapons. 77 dead. Guy in China had a knife. 22 kids went to the hospital, but made it back home alive.

      • Lady D says:

        The kindergarten class in Dunblane Scotland.

      • Naye in VA says:

        Well orange i am someone who has been around many useless and unecessary guns, has lost someone to useless, and unnecessary guns, and the parent of a small child who couldnt imagine losing her to senseless and unnecessary violence like this. I understand your situation sucked, but I have also been at deaths door, with hands around my throat counting down the seconds to death, and have considered a gun for my own protection, but it is without a doubt a fact the MORE GUNS breeds MORE GUN DEATHS. I may let handguns slide, but assault rifles will NEVER be okay, and gun regulation in this country is necessary.

    • Trillion says:

      When I travelled to Japan I was shocked (even as an American) at the violence in their popular culture. Yet they do not have this public shooting rampage problem. I haven’t vetted the source for this, but I read that we’ve had over 30 school shootings in this country since V Tech. Mind-numbingly depressing.

      • DreamyK says:

        This is a great reference to these massacres and addresses the gender, location, weapon used, location, number of victims, if the weapon was purchased legally and so on.

        I am for reinstating the ban on semiautomatic weaponry to civilians and would also like to see a ban on high capacity magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. I also believe we should hold the manufacturers of these murderous semiautomatic weapons responsible by publicly calling them out. I’m heartened to see Dick’s Sporting goods pull the semiautomatic weapons off their shelves, to see the State of California as well as the Teachers retirement fund demand that their stock portfolio have no connection to any gun manufacturer whatsoever. It’s a good start. Too late for all those beautiful babies, though. :(


    • littlestar says:

      The United States also has horrible access to health care. It’s sickening that an insurance company can deny a person because of pre-existing conditions. So those with a diagnosed mental illness have little chance of getting health insurance and getting the help they need.

      • teehee says:

        Good to point that out. I grew up in the US till 25, and now live in germany, and I “feel” taken care of. I feel accepted, acknowledged, and that the sysytem wants to take care of me. I have no choice BUT to be insured, and pay nothing out of pocket, ever; I have an amazing health plan but I also have retirement funds paid for me while I study, I have social care as well.
        I have the feeling that this country cares abotu more than just its profits, and the feeling that ‘bigbusiness’ isnt just out to get me for every last dollar.
        Hence I dont feel so cheated and betrayed, so neglected and so jeopardized.
        I easily see the connection between such a selfish atmosphere in the US which is part of the market model, coupled with other problems in life like true mental illness or failure in school, lack of friends, poverty, debt, rejection, etc and the easy access to guns to lead up to the truly abandoned and neglected people of society hitting bottom and having no other place to go but ‘out’. often it doesnt seem this way because people who can do this also have a lot of anger, so its hard to think of them as suffering also, but if you dig around in their past, you can find something causing their pain. It doesnt excuse how they deal with it (or not) but it does shed some light on the true SOURCE of the problems- ie, the human aspect and the lack of it in our modern culture.

  6. MrsB says:

    I do hope that as a country we can come together and find some answers together, and it doesn’t dissolve into a left-right thing. As far as violent movies…my now 5 year old boy loves Transformers. I let him watch the old cartoons a few times and was shocked at how he started running around “shooting” at people and talking about killing bad guys. All he wanted to do was fight people,so no more violent shows for him at all. Can’t tell me that they have NO effect. It’s ingrained at a very young age in this country and I do believe it desensitizes kids.

  7. Minty says:

    Violence in movies and TV does have a negative effect on viewers. People can get riled up from violent scenes. Go to your nearest theater and watch an action movie where the hero kills the evil villain. Notice how many people cheer the hero on and get excited by the carnage. Children are even more susceptible. I’m talking about increased aggression, NOT the desire to commit mass murder. Notice, too, how fans at soccer, football, or baseball games can sometimes get violent because of traditional team rivalries, and sports events are far less brutal than TV shows and movies.

    There have been decades of studies which show that aggressive behavior increases right after viewing violent entertainment. The ancient Greeks understood this cause and effect. That was why they didn’t show violence in their plays – it was described by the characters, not acted out onstage.

  8. Realistico says:

    Tell that to the ‘humanitarians’ Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who like trotting guns in most of their movies. They are also proud to tell the world that they have guns in their houses. Isn’t Angelina also collecting knives with Maddox just like she did with her mother? [insert Adam Lanza and mother]. Oh and don’t forget that gun necklace Brad gave her for her birthday. SMH.

  9. Seagulls says:

    Whether or not movie violence causes violence I’m not sure, but I’m tired of the inescapability of it. I really hate violent movies; do you know how comparatively few movies there are sans violence?

    And while I don’t think movie violence causes acts of violence in normal adults, I think all the violence in video games and movies normalizes a level of violent images. Humans are creatures capable of terrible violence, but we’ve generally strived to get past the violence when we can. Violent movies and games glorify what we as a species should be trying to minimize.

    • Ann says:

      I agree. Look at the best selling video games – Halo, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed. It does desensitize people (boys especially) to violence.

      We have young kids, and even watching tv for a family show or sports event can be trying. They know young kids are watching, yet they put on ads for violent tv shows and movies-showing shootings and carnage in the commercials- to the point where I have to keep the remote in hand so I can change the channel. Don’t get me started on the ads for erectile dysfunction, but that’s for another post.

      • orange says:

        The military allows their service members, on DUTY, to play violent first person shooter video games. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will.

      • LAK says:

        Orange – the military is a group of trained killers who need to keep up their skills. by definition, they should be desensitised to killing so they can be more effective in the field.

    • LAK says:

      whatever happened to parental control for children or personal responsibility and exercise in choice for adults.

      I don’t like violent films so i don’t watch them, no matter the prestige of production and crew involved. ditto videogames.

      And i don’t allow any children in my charge to watch or play anything violent.

      Blaming the film/gaming industry is lazy especially when it is upto the consumers NOT to participate.

      And on the flip side, if we are going to blame the Film/gaming industry, they are responding to market demand, and it is the PUBLIC who are responding by buying these products. the same reason the porno industry exists and thrives.

  10. flor says:

    I think the biggest problem is that we are looking for answers on the outside. We desperately need somebody to blame for all that it’s happening in the world. Wedo not just deserve the answers, we need them.
    But we are looking in the wrong place. You cannot blame movies for perpetuating violence because you might as well blame a football game result going wrong or a literary character not having a happy ending. I am using an hyperbole to make my point but, what I think is that, of course we can blame the media for perpetuating and sensationalizing the information. They have to inform, yes, but, sometimes, they make you doubt their intentions, to be honest.
    But the real question is: what are WE doing to stop these kind of things to happen? We are doing nothing and it’s understandable. When things like 9/11 happen, when you have your husband/child/neighbour dying at war, it makes all of us hyper sensitive and vulnerable. I believe that the level of violence we find on the internet is also a product of that. We do not talk anymore, we attack.
    We have invited violence for dinner. We have invited violence to stay in our guest room. We put a barrier between us and the human beings in front of us. There is no place for understanding in our society anymore, a place for thinking. There has to be some major revolution. Some kind of revolution of consciousness. I do not want to seem like a preacher and say that love is the answer but there HAS to be a change.

  11. gekkca says:

    I pulled out Bowling for Columbine yesterday and watched it in light of all that’s happened. It still rings true. I follow Michael Moore on Twitter and he’s had lots to say. TV shows, violent movies and music don’t make people kill people. I live in Canada, watch the same movies and listen to the same music. Statistics show that murders here are amazingly low compared to the US. I understand the idea of the right to bear arms, but who needs a collection of semi-automatics?The simple fact is if you make those guns harder to get, there won’t be such horrible killings. Gets down off soapbox….

    • gekkca says:

      Also, the deinstitutionalization of mental health also plays a big part. People are just not getting the help they need. Don’t even get me started about health care…

      • MSL says:

        Thank you for finally saying that! Mental illness is very hard to get treatment for nowadays and it seems like no one cares to fix that! People hate “crazy” people and are scared of them instead of trying to help them. People don’t want to get treatment because of the stigma involved. I’ was treated for depression in high school and someone called me a freak after they found out.

    • orange says:

      Who are you to decide what I, or anyone else NEEDS? I don’t tell you what you need, so why would you think you have the right to dictate to others? If I told you that you don’t need an abortion if you wanted one, you would lose your mind and tell me to mind my business, keep my laws off your body, etc…but you think it’s OK to push YOUR opinions and morality onto ME because you dislike guns and/or cannot conceive of a reason someone would want so-called automatic/assault weapons?

      And if you don’t think movies and violent media play a part in this, you are deluded. Because YOU can control yourself after watching those things, everyone else can? But because I am a responsible gun owner, I have to be punished because someone else cannot control themselves? Where is the logic there? You might want to check out SSRI Stories and see what all of these shooting have in common…guns will be blamed because the government does not want an armed populace that is capable of countering their increasingly tyrannical stranglehold over every aspect of our lives. They will NEVER EVER touch the drugs or the pharmaceutical industry because of all the kickbacks, cronyism and $$$ that they make off of it. Besides, they WANT a stupid, drugged up population of easily controlled citizens. Why wouldn’t they? Makes it that much easier to loot the country!

      Besides, you’re Canadian and you hate it when the US tries to tell you what to do, so why would you think you have the right to comment on the way we handle our affairs? If you woke up tomorrow and your government was totalitarian, what would you do? What COULD you do? Ask them nicely to change it back? I’m sure they’d listen and get right on it, because you asked them nicely. I’m sorry but what world do some of you people live in? Do you really think the government has your best interests at heart, do you think that someone like Pol Pot, Mao, Hitler or Stalin couldn’t come to power here, and they wouldn’t murder their own citizens?

      • gekkca says:

        Orange, I am not being told what to do by the US and am perfectly happy where I am thank you. Just as you are able to proudly carry your gun, I am allowed to have an opinion. I don’t see the need for a semi-automatic weapon. I have two beautiful little kids and would hate to imagine the thought of them having to stare down the barrel of one of those. You have the right to protect yourself, that is true, I just don’t understand the need for such destructive weapons. Just makes it easier when someone else likes that snaps. And I think we can all have an intelligent debate about this without tearing into someone who does not share your views. This was a horrible tragedy and people are just trying to make sense of it.

      • Gia says:

        It’s pretty obvious and incredibly sad that you obviously NEED to be told that you do not NEED semi automtic weapons and automatic weapons at your disposal. America is fed on fear and you all need protection from yourselves. Not by firearms, but by laws. Do you think your heavy artillary means freedom? You are just one sheep in the hurd being manipulated by fear.

      • Trillion says:

        Orange you’re not making your arguments very well here at all today. You come off sounding very reactionary and unbalanced, putting words into people’s mouths, and running the ball completely off the field with comparisons. If you don’t want to come across this way, I suggest a more measured approach. If you do want to come across this way, then bravo.

      • Hmmm says:


        Your posts seem very angry, confrontational and aggressive to me. And kinda wacky. Therefore, not terribly persuasive.

    • normades says:

      @gekka: That is a great movie which is sadly even more relevant today.

      I agree with you 100%. Availability of guns just makes these horrific crimes easier to commit. Sure, if some crazy person really wants a gun, they will find one. But at least if they’re less available (or less deadly), it will slow them down a bit before they go into action or the body count would be smaller.

      Guns kill people. Period. And the bigger the gun, the more people killed. Tighter controls and outlawing semi-automatic weapons won’t solve everything, but it’s a BIG step in the right direction to protect this society at large.

      @orange: Sorry, you don’t need a semi-automatic weapon. The killer’s mom didn’t need one either.

    • OutstandingWoldCitizen says:

      As rude as this suggestion might be but I feel it is appropriate: please ignore orange today. She is riled up. Some of her points are good, she has my sympathies for having gone through that horrible trauma but most of her posts are hinging on irrational. Do not encourage her to respond.

      PS – If you have Netflix I recommend Murder by Proxy. Enlightening. I put Columbine back in my queue.

  12. logan says:

    Violence in movies, t.v., video games, in the home, bullying, easy access to guns it ALL plays a part in todays society. When I was younger, (40 years ago)my parents wouldn’t let us watch the nightly news. They didn’t want us to be exposed to all the negative news and violence. We always had guns in the house (country girl, dad and brother hunted). But they were always locked up and we were taught gun safty. Saw my brother get his butt swatted once for not checking to see if a gun was loaded before he put it away. He was 14. This is a different world we live in today and I myself am afraid where it is headed. Alot of violence in music. I know you can’t keep our kids under lock and key, but as responsible parents we need to police what they watch, listen to , games they play, friends they hang out with and most importantly don’t be afraid to say NO. No you can’t see that movie, no you can’t watch that t.v. show, no you can’t play that game, no you can’t hang out with that person. Guide our kids. Parent our kids. Love our kids. You never know who will influence them if we don’t.

    • Jenny says:

      Just stating my personal viewpoint, but I was raised on violent movies and video games; I cheered when the bad guy died; to this day i enjoy playing games like modern warfare, etc.; and yet I have grown up to be an extremely compassionate, kind and gentle person. I think, at least in part, this is attributable to the fact that I was taught the difference between fiction and reality and to empathize with others by putting myself in their shoes.
      Kids are not stupid; they understand more than many people may think.If you take the time to explain and discuss these sorts of things, I think the world would be a better place.
      Not saying this takes the place of all other measures, but I think it is an effective solution that is often overlooked.

      PS- @Orange, you sound like another Trayvon Martin (the list goes on) tragedy waiting to happen. I seriously hope you live no where near me!

      • Issa says:

        Do you have PD or a mental disorder? How we may perceive and analyze violence isn’t the same way certain people interpret violence. As individuals we can say a lot about ourselves but it’s not how other people think or interpret the same environment. We can pass laws based on well I won’t do that, and I have never done that, and I’m not affected by it. If that was the case no law in the history of mankind of have been implemented. We can’t predict the how entertainment violence affects others based on our views and experiences.

  13. Nya says:

    I don’t think violence in entertainment is completely to blame but you can NOT deny that it desensitizes us. Considering 99% of this violence is carried out by men, do you really think that playing Call of Duty where they virtual blow people to pieces, or watching Tarantino movies (is he even capable of making a movie that doesn’t involve blood?) definitely changes the way people react to this sort of violence.

  14. Nya says:

    Congratulations on being racist.

    • orange says:

      That whole story and all you took away from it was “THAT’S RACIST”? Good God. And to think you people vote, and live in the same country as I, and thereby affect my life! Terrifying, almost as terrifying as actually being raped. I wasn’t so lucky because I didn’t have a handgun when I was raped. However I have rectified that oversight and I won’t be a victim again. I’m sure those gangbangers just wanted to talk about how society is so racist and unfair to label them and judge them based on how they look (how they LOOK, not their race). I certainly hope next time you see some of them that you engage them in a lengthy conversation on the subject, especially at night in a dark alley. Then come back here and tell us how it went!

      • Nya says:

        guess what, I have been sexually assaulted, by a wealthy white man. And I will never touch a gun because they are killing machines. In my opinion, anyone who owns a gun, outside of law enforcement or the military, or in order to hunt their own food, has mental issues.

      • aims says:

        Thank you!

      • Cassie says:

        I bet you say the same to every single person who is harmful in any way not just because of fire weapons.
        I bet you will smile when a a criminal or someone you know uses a knife to cut you if your opposition to fire weapons is strong enough.

      • G says:


        You think that disturbed kid would get into a school and kill 26 people with a knife?

      • VanillaDeeLite says:

        Nya I think the statistics on white on black rape/assault are much lower than black on white crime. It’s sad and there are a lot of issues as to why that happens but that is a fact. And please don’t be so judgemental, this woman shared her story, a frightening situation that must have shook her ot her core. You see just race, everything revolves around just race for you and that is sad.

      • Chordy says:

        @ VanillaDeeLIte: I don’t understand. Do you want us to

        a. Be scared of black people? or

        2. Not see race?

      • Belle says:

        Yes, only those that hold power over the people should have guns. Makes perfect sense. Do you even know why the 2nd Amendment was established? You should do some research before making such ignorant, naive remarks.

        The 2nd Amendment protects the 1st Amendment. Period. You may not like our constitution, but that doesn’t mean you can change it… or that those who DO believe in it have ‘mental’ issues.

      • Ange says:

        Oh for goodnes sake, your government has a little thing called nuclear weapons these days, I hardly think the populace having guns is going to balance that particular power.

      • Belle says:

        So you are suggesting our government is already too powerful, so no one should bother with those silly little freedoms that so many fought and died for?

        I for one, am thankful that throughout history, there have been those who were brave enough and committed enough to NOT take the path of least resistance.

      • Ange says:

        Kate (the newer..) up thread said it better than I could. I will only add that children are dying for your ‘freedom’ (that you have just as much of without guns) and the fact that you think that’s acceptable tells me all I need to know about you.

      • Belle says:

        Ange, if you are referring to me… if I chose to judge you by your own standard, then your cruel (and untrue) comments would tell me all I need to know about you. I have shed more than my share of tears over the death of those children (and adults). I have young children. Knee jerk, emotional reactions leading to worthless regulations may make you feel better, but they will solve NOTHING. Making nasty comments to someone you don’t even know may make you feel better as well, but again, it doesn’t solve anything or prevent future horrible acts. There are many existing gun laws on the books that don’t even make sense, or aren’t enforced properly. People who react and attack others the way you have done leave little room for logical, meaningful discussions that examine the various reasons something so horrible can happen (hint: it isn’t just about guns).
        btw… I don’t even own a gun.

      • Ange says:

        Gun control isn’t a ‘worthless regulation’ it’s a viable solution to a problem that’s out of control. Here in Australia we had an horrific massacre a while back that led to a slew of gun regulation that took things like automatic guns out of the hands of people who didn’t need them (hint: pretty much everyone). Our government would not tolerate another such incident and we haven’t had one since. I feel no less free because I don’t have guns. In face I have MORE freedom; freedom from fear is a powerful thing. If you somehow think an armed populace is a good thing when that populace seems determined to shoot each other before any dictator real or imagined can manage it then again, I don’t know what to say you. I care about those kids too, enough I be completely flabbergasted that anyone at this point can seriously still be advocating for guns. Violence is a complex issue but stopping the means to violence is not.

      • Phil E Stein says:

        Totally agree, Ange. The American military would wipe the floor with the NRA.

      • UghInsomnia says:

        I own a few guns and I am of sound mind. I’ve been target shooting since I was a child, and I am no more prone to violence than any other person. I’m also a stay at home mom with two young children whose husband works late hours, and although I could never take joy from violence, I would not hesitate to do whatever it takes to protect my children in the event of a home invasion. The average police response time is 6 minutes, and that’s 6 minutes too long when it’s an emergency. You can trash me all day long, and I understand to a certain extent, but it won’t change my mind.

      • Hmmm says:


        Have you ever thought of getting therapy for that rape issue? I don’t think guns are much of a therapeutic substitute.

    • Jonny says:

      Your’re a pig plan and simple. Nothing racist about her story. You and people like you are the problem with this country. It’s not the government I’m afraid of, it’s people like you that put them there that scare me.

    • delia says:

      @nya How ugly of you to make inappropriate, insulting accusations of racism. You don’t think that women and men of color also carry concealed, esp. after dark, on public transportation in Chicago? If you don’t, then you’re ignorant of the geographically large, socially complex, racially and ethnically charged, potentially violent, potentially deadly, landscape that one must often negotiate there.

      You’ve lived with the bangers in the neighborhood that she’s talking about? You’ve routinely ridden the El there? You’ve been a woman alone in an El car at night there? You’ve been threatened and/or attacked by bangers there? Yeah, sure you have.

      She described them as Mexican because, Rogers Park, (which of course you know is the name of that neighborhood), is primarily Mexican banger turf. Not Puerto Rican, not Honduran, not African American, not Russian, not Vietnamese, not skinhead, not other white gangs. That is not racist. It’s not a guess. It’s an accurate description.

      She didn’t start blowing people away. She was approached by strange men and she clicked off the safety of her handgun. The four, (as in four to one), men recognized that one small click instantly, backed off completely and exited the car at the next stop. IMO, they weren’t just being friendly and she wasn’t just being a panicky white girl from the burbs.

      I’m from Chicago and I’ve taken public transportation all over it since I was a child in the 60′s. I’m still alive. Your credentials for your nasty judgement?

    • Nina W says:

      Never mind.

  15. mln76 says:

    Our society is sick. It comes at all sides. Since the Reagan years when the psych wards were literally emptied for tax cuts we’ve treated mental health as either a criminal issue or homeless issue or psychotropic with little intervention til its too late.
    A whole bunch of 2nd amendment loyalists value the gun above all else. I don’t believe taking everyone’s gun away is the solution but why are there more limits on driving a car than gun ownership. There is no good reason for a civilian to have semi automatic weaponry that’s meant to take down terrorists in Afghanistan it’s not protecting anyone.
    And yes the media,and pop culture’s fascination with violence feeds the violence in our youth at the same time that its a symptom of the problem. QT is brilliant and his work is entertaining yet disturbing we should be disturbed instead its become just part of life that is the real problem.

    • Flim says:

      There are stronger checks for gun ownership than for a driver’s license. For guns: background check, at least 18 yrs old, can’t be a felon, etc. To drive, you need to be sixteen and pass a test.

      • mln76 says:

        If you have any number of medical conditions you can’t drive a car. Vehicles are subject to yearly inspections,registrations and insurance.
        You can’t privately sell a car without notifying the DMV and changing the title.If you are found to be a dangerous driver your vehicle can be confiscated. Nice Try.

    • Flim says:

      Min76: I read your response, and was about to compliment you on making good points that I hadn’t considered. But then I read “Nice Try.” Dampens the conversation a bit, doesn’t it?

  16. lem says:

    To me, there is a huge difference between QT’s films, all of which are rated R and not marketed/geared towards children, and the cartoons/movies/video games that are geared towards children. As it has already been stated, a stable ADULT isn’t going to watch a QT film and go shoot up his neighborhood. I know it’s hard in today’s world, but shelter your children from the faux-violence in hollywood until you know they’re mentally mature enough to not replicate the behavior. It’s hard, but that’s no excuse not to parent your children.

    But this shooter wasn’t a child and he wasn’t mentally stable, therefore to me the whole “it’s hollywood’s fault” is kind of a irrelevant argument. The issues seem to be mental health services, gun control, and dealing with the fact that terrible things happen in this world and sometimes, no matter what we do, we cannot prevent them.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree – there’s a reason that shows, games, and movies have age ratings on them. Me, I can watch a QT movie or play a violent game (not that I want to) and as an adult I’m not going to be affected – 5 year old kid would be.
      It’s up to parents to be aware and vigilant of what their kids are watching and doing.
      Beyond that, I think there needs to be a focus on mental health issues AND gun control – greater coordination, background checks, etc. The Aurora and VT murderers both had serious warning signs documented by professionals- somehow they should have been flagged and not allowed to buy the weapons they did. Nothing is 100% preventable, but it would help to try to keep weapons away from those who are seriously struggling with mental illness.

      The whole situation is just devastating. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain these families are going through, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

  17. Erinn says:

    There is nothing wrong with guns in the hands of responsible gun owners. I was taught from childhood that there are rules associated with firearms. There are things you just don’t do. You assume every gun is loaded. They are not toys. You do not point them at anything you don’t want to take the chance of killing.

    Responsible gun ownership can protect a family, and I sure as hell will have firearms in my home. However, I have enough common sense to lock them up and keep them away from my children.

    Everyone is going to jump on this violent movie, music and game bandwagon and start bashing gun owners. I get it if you’re not comfortable with guns. But outlawing them is not going to change anything. The people that shouldn’t have them, will still have them, and still be able to have acquire more.

    The problem is the insufficient help for the mentally ill. How many of these shootings were committed by a mentally sound person? How many of these people had a record of mental illness? How many times do we hear that they were being treated?

    Clearly, the world is dropping the ball with mental health, and it’s scary. Maybe we should all focus on fixing the underlying problems before banning the tools from the people who DO use them, and store them properly. The world would be a much better place if there was some real focus on helping those with mental illness, because clearly, it’s not enough as is.

    Make more gun rules, outlaw them altogether. Do you think criminals will suddenly start following the rules and give up their firearms?

    • Lady D says:

      Canada had a billion dollar snafu when they started the gun registry. Legal gun owners registered their weapons. The criminals did not. So much for the gun registry.

      • Mia 4S says:

        Hey at least we are trying! ;-) Not our best try, but we are always trying. Look I’m not going to start preaching Canadian gun controls; the simple truth is yes we have a lot of guns, yes our deaths per 100,000 are far far far lower, and yes if the USA inacted Canadian restrictions tomorrow the NRA would lose their minds. But yes is also true that better access to mental health care, and overall culture likely play a role. However we are watching the same movies and TV you are, often with a less restrictive ratings system. There are much more important places to focus efforts than Hollywood.

      • Erinn says:

        I’m aware of the laws, Lady D, I’m Canadian. I know we got a letter in the mail years and years ago saying they ‘lost’ the paperwork from my dads gun registry because they apparently didn’t keep hard copies.

        And I agree, Mia.

    • Ange says:

      After the Port Arthur massacre here in Australia our government instituted a buy back scheme and the toughest gun control laws going around. Have a look at our gun violence stats sometime and tell me it doesn’t work.

  18. lily says:

    I think violence in films and games do have a dangerous effect on people, especially when they suffered from mental illness or simply when they spend too much time playing and watching it. But first USA seriously needs a stricter gun control and better healthcare system. If people want to protect themselves, a pistol could be understandable. But why the hell they have to own a rifle??? This kind of gun is designed to use in combat, not in everyday life.

    • Erinn says:

      Well, we own rifles to hunt. Though I’m not sure how practical they’d be in a large city environment.

      When it comes down to it though, we don’t have a long gun registry, but I do believe we have a handgun registry, and you need to have two courses to legally obtain a handgun. I think they’re considered more dangerous due to the ability to conceal them easily.

      • normades says:

        I can understand owning a rifle to hunt deer, but the weapon used in the Sandyhook tragedy is not useful for hunting, only killing.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I’m glad you feel safer walking around with a concealed weapon, Orange. However, this fact combined with your fanaticism makes me quite nervous for the safety of myself and the general public.

      • normades says:

        “The primary weapon used on the Sandy Hook school victims was not a handgun but rather a long gun, a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle, a formidable killing machine eschewed by most hunters, unwieldy for self-defense, similar to weapons used by our soldiers in Afghanistan and the weapon of choice of the Beltway snipers. The 26 victims inside the school, Carver announced, were dead from three to eleven wounds each.”

        The right to protect my children is more important to me than your right to hunt feral hogs. You scare me with your “god given right” to own guns. Your priorities are seriously screwed.

        And yes, I had a boyfriend that hunted and did so with respect. I wish you respected human life and tragedy as much.

      • mimifarrow says:

        @Orange: I live on 20 rural acres that butts up against both BLM land and a national forest. There is a pack of 80 wild hogs that run through this mountain, along with black bear, mountain lion and bobcats. Oh, and a whole lot of guerrilla growers that roam the area during the summer months, too. You know what I have by my bed? An old double barrel shotgun and an old .38 in my nightstand drawer. I do not “need” an assault rifle to feel safe. Furthermore, our founding fathers had no clue what an automatic weapon could do when unleashed upon the unsuspecting public, so it’s only logical that we need to bring the laws up to date.

      • Mia 4S says:

        ” I have the God given right to protect myself from anyone wishing to do me harm, whether animal or human,”

        I’m pretty sure that right was human-given. God’s got “thou shall not kill” on the big list. The nuances came later. Humans are flawed (yes, even your founding fathers). What’s the point if we cannot grow, change, and self-examine? Protect yourself? Absolutely! With an Uzi though? There could be room for compromise on this issue.

  19. Nicolette says:

    Just want to say how heartbreaking this is. Whatever the contributing factors were, it is an unimaginable horror. What a world we live in. My son who is in fourth grade came home from school yesterday telling me they had a new type of drill during the day. It is called a “lock down” drill he said. I asked what they had them do and he told me that the teacher shut the classroom lights, pulled the shades, locked the door, and had them stand against the wall so if someone tried to look in the room, it would appear empty. They were told they would have to keep quiet, not make a sound.

    While part of me was glad to hear that the school was putting such a drill in place (God forbid they ever need to use it) it also made me sick to my stomach that our schools have to even consider the possibility of such an atrocity happening. And trying to explain to him how important that drill is, and why they are doing it, in a way not to scare him? It’s beyond words. He knows something bad happened in a school in Connecticut. He knows a “bad man” came in and did something terrible.

    Today they were asked to wear the color green, and they will hold a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost. These are children, and if we as adults can’t wrap our heads around what happened, how do we explain any of it to our kids?

    • normades says:

      Dear god that’s awful. What is this world coming to?
      May prayers go out to everyone suffering and courage to all other parents for our children’s sake.

      • Amelia says:

        +1 on all accounts.
        Nicolette, I hope your son isn’t too scared.
        I’m not a parent yet so I can’t imagine how scary this must be for parents all over the States right now.

    • truthSF says:

      My daughter’s school also have them wearing green today.

    • Riana says:

      One little girl survived the tragedy by plainf dead so the gun man already assumed she was and moved on. It saddens me to think how many parents will attempt to teach their children the same thing to keep them safe. Horrible.

    • Ann says:

      Lock down drills are pretty standard procedure these days, sadly. My kids have them every year, just like fire drills.

      Our kids’ schools have had actual lockdowns (and we live in a quiet suburb) not due to an intruder, but due to a criminal on the loose in the area. After a domestic assault, the boyfriend ran away from cops near a school complex and he was armed. Schools get an automatic lockdown alert in such cases – better safe than sorry.

      Sad, but necessary in this crazy world.

    • gekkca says:

      My daughter’s school has had lockdown drills since she started four years ago. I live in Montreal where there were two shootings, not in primary schools, but at the college and university level. It is a reality in our world and so horrible. We had to deal with night terrors afterwards in the beginning, but now she knows it is just like a fire drill. Sad but true. And necessary, one never knows.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m 22. We had lockdown drills when I was in 7th grade. We actually had to practice one once because some girl was threatening to cut people with scissors and was lighting a lighter or something insane like that. This is in a small, rural town in NS. I’m not sure why more schools don’t have these, considering we did like…9 years ago and have not had any major tragedies in our area to spur such things.

      • gekkca says:

        Which one Erinn? I am from Cape Breton. We never had them, but I graduated the year that the McDonald’s shooting happened so I am not sure if anything was ever implemented at that time. Scary stuff, but I’d rather they be prepared…

    • Diana says:

      I can’t tell you how sad and heart breaking it is that children have to go trough this kind of things to prepare for the worst. It makes me think of the poem on the shooting episode on One Tree Hill “…What happened to us that we now send our children into the world like we send young men to war…”

  20. evyn says:

    Typical bs after a tragedy: right-wingers wanting more prayer in school & the public blaming the movies. The problem starts at home. If you don’t teach your children empathy and respect for others, then this could be the outcome. I have always watched violent movies, but have NEVER had the desire to just kill someone. NEVER!

  21. evyn says:

    Typical bs after a tragedy: right-wingers wanting more prayer in school & the public blaming the movies. The problem starts at home. If you don’t teach your children empathy and respect for others, then this could be the outcome. I have always watched violent movies, but have NEVER had the desire to just kill someone.

    • truthful says:

      Well what do you do when your chld cannot be taught that??

      every child is not the same, they learn differently.

      and all medications do not work, if fact some can trigger other symptoms.

      if a child is not exposed to that type of environment???

      • evyn says:

        It’s not calculus. Even a toddler can understand that when mommy says no, it means no. You can teach them your upset, sad, or disappointed face just ad easily as your happy face. And for heaven’s sake, be the adult. Children don’t run the house!

      • L says:

        Except if your kid is mentally ill.

        You can’t spank, time out, or discipline a mental illness out of someone. (although I’ve met plenty of people that think that all mental illness is just a crutch) Many, if not all, of these shooters are mentally ill.

        Parenting for being ‘fresh’ is one thing. Parenting for a mentally ill person is totally different.

      • truthful says:

        Its obvious you are not talking about children w/mental disorders.


        you are in the dark if you think its just about “teach them” “you run the house”…its about chemical imbalances in the brain, its about those kids that no one wants to talk about because they still have not found a MED that works, to help the child cope normally or even think normally.

        its much bigger than putting the iron hand down, trust me.

    • orange says:

      Typical bs after a tragedy: Name calling and blaming the “other team” for the whole thing. Stay classy!

      • evyn says:

        A good parent would get there child counseling if they sensed any form of mental illness. However, most people with mental illness are more inclined to hurt themselves. Eating disorders are considered an illness, but anorexics don’t committ mass murder. That “person” had a disorder that does not make you homicidal, but was nurtured in a home that advocated it. Unfortunately, we will never know the entire history of what went on in that family, but sadly we have to deal with the aftermath.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      @Evyn not every child or person can be taught empathy , that’s where the personality disorders come in. This isn’t a perfect world. I do agree with you it starts at home but you have to keep in mind you can’t control how the brain works if it’s not “wired” right.

      • evyn says:

        I agree with you, too. We are not all wired the same, but it is a part of parenting to raise our children properly so they do not become society’s problem. There is no shame in getting counseling for a child, but most parents just get the pills to “control” them. The quick fix to a festering problem.

      • L says:

        Remember that schizophrenia generally doesn’t manifest until a person is in their late teens or early 20′s-even if they’ve been fine up til then. And at that point they are a adult. A mentally ill adult who doesn’t have alot of grasp on reality, let alone morality.

        And if counseling doesn’t work? And the drugs don’t work? Then what?

        I raise my eyebrows that tells anyone who is raising a mentally ill child that they either a) need to be a better disciplinarian b) get their kid into counseling as if that’s a magic bullet c) do whatever they can. Without defining what that means.

        A mentally ill child requires a totally different parenting skill set that requires alot of adaptation and help from your local community/schools/mental health rep. And even then it doesn’t always work. Oh and teaching your kid to not be a burden? Please. Many people who are mentally ill don’t get that concept.

      • MSL says:

        The sad thing is there is a lot of shame in getting your kids counseling or anyone going to counseling because it suggests to others that you or your child is “crazy.” I wish the stigma was taken away so it wasn’t such a shameful thing.

  22. lambchops says:

    Societal sickness has many causes and violence in the media is indeed a part of the problem. Hollywood just wants to wash its hands because violence sells, but they are part of the problem, too.

    • truthful says:

      I agree

    • evyn says:

      You are so right. People would rather ignore the problem than be embarrassed. Luckily, my parents didn’t feel that way. When they adopted my brother, he was three years old and had been physically abused by his mother. He had been so neglected that he did not know how to feed himself and was not potty trained yet. His biggest problems were the temper tantrums, when he would bite and punch people and kick the walls. My parents had to get him a counselor just so they could enroll him in school. He went to counseling twice a week until he was twelve years old. My other siblings and I were never embarrassed by him. Not even when he attended a “special needs” grade school that had behavioral counselors on staff and he had to ride the “short bus.” Sure, the kids in the neighborhood made fun of us, and him, but we didn’t care. He attended a regular middle- and high school and the teasing did eventually stop once he started playing sports and getting good grades. He also graduated college with honors and served in the Air Force. Now, he is a husband and father of three well-behaved children and he has never raised a hand to them. As proud as I am of my brother, I know that if he had not received that help, he would have been jailed as a violent criminal before he turned 18.

  23. Mac says:

    It seems absurd to suggest that a film had any influence on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

    The fact of the matter is that the killer, who suffered from Asperger syndrome, became incensed by his mother’s constant praise of the young children she used to teach.

    A person prone to such irrational hatred with such low regard for human life is already a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

    • Ann says:

      No. The fact of the matter is that his mother was NOT a teacher. That was erroneously reported as the media rushed to write the story, and has since been debunked.

      Asperger’s is a red herring. It is a mild form of autism, and not associated with violence. It is a learning disability, not a mental illness. People with it can be brilliant, but have poor social skills. One of the most famous people believed to have Aspergers is Bill Gates, for example.

      It appears likely that the killer had some other condition as well, some form of mental illness. There is a lot we don’t know, and we need to wait for the story to proerly unfold. But your “facts” are wrong.

  24. truthful says:

    hmmm, I wrote a paper about this for my juvenile justice class…A+

    I agree that violence in film, games, etc CAN influence the mind of teens and some adults.

    the number of murders committed due to violence in film and video games (copycat) is astounding.

    especially if that mind is not balanced.

    but this subject, just makes me too sad to even think about it now.

    of course parents/guardians have to be more responsible in exposing their children to certain things.

    • mimifarrow says:

      Good job on your paper. I think we are all saddened by yet another atrocious attack on innocent women & children, but the time to have this conversation is now. There’s already been quite a few documented copycat situations based on Sandyhook alone. :(

  25. MJsinAustin says:

    bs. these lonely little boys watch violent films, play violent video games – and become “numb” to violence. They idolize these bad guys in movies and emulate them. To say that violence in movies has no effect on young impressionable minds is burying your head in the sand.

    For crying out loud, Saw desperately seeking susan in high school (dating myself) and 2 days later my best friend was running away to Vegas to be a showgirl. If a crappy Madonna movie can have an effect on an impressionable young mind, then unfortunately Quinten Tarentino’s crappy violent movies most likely do as well.

  26. Amelia says:

    Any citation from the Daily Fail automatically renders an argument invalid. They live to fearmonger.

  27. littlemissnaughty says:

    I won’t lie, I’ve stopped watching the news for now, it’s so horrifying and when I think about those children … I just can’t.

    As for Tarrantino and his bs comment … ugh. I think Foxx said it best.

    Having said that, I hate this whole discussion. “It’s the guns!” “No, it’s video games.” “It’s films.” “He had a mental health problem.”

    Why do most people try to pin it on one factor? If we do that, we’ll never get anywhere. Most likely, it’s a combination of all those things or at least a combination. And not just in the US. As if there haven’t been shootings like this in Europe. We live in societies that are fast-paced to the point of insanity and if you can’t keep up, you lose and if you’re predisposition d to that kind of thinking, you get angry as f*ck.
    If you’re bullied as a teenager these days, you go on the internet or turn on the TV and your brain is flooded with so much violent imagery that it will most likely inspire some fantasies (and some will act on them, not just by shooting someone).
    Every day there’s violence on the news, in movies, and just about everywhere you look so how does that not have an effect on all of us?
    And we really don’t pay all that much attention to the “quiet” and “strange” kids/people, do we? We’re too focused on ourselves, on school, on shopping, on these frickin’ social networking sites and whatnot. And then we’re all surprised if one of those quiet people had issues that were exacerbated by the fact that our society fetishizes violence like it’s nothing but entertainment and then whoops! got their hands on a gun.

    I certainly don’t have the answer but maybe we start by paying a little more attention to other people. Especially kids. Because they always seem to be the ones who lose, one way or another.

    • Hmmm says:

      Well stated. I think it is a confluence of factors. It’s a combination of immature minds, disinhibiting cultural behaviour and a flood of violent images, wanting to go down immortalised as a celebrity badass, and relatively easy access to weapons of massive destruction.

      I also understand that the mother would take the kids to a shooting range as a ‘family activity’ and used to like to proudly show off her guns.

    • Issa says:

      Its definitely a combination of many factors. Think when horrible things like this happen, we retreat into our minds and to try to find simple answers. Maybe its the only way we can comprehend such tragedies and to find instant answers.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Absolutely. And I do understand the impulse but this keeps happening and at some point, we should really try to not go for the “simple” answers anymore because they’re complete bs. Germany has very strict gun laws, this still happened. The conclusion can’t be “Oh so it’s not the gun laws.”
      You can outlaw certain things but then you’re still left with a whole host of other problems. Really, the only thing I can think of is pay attention to your kid, to your friends, and to people around you in general. And maybe reach out once in a while to those who look like they’re alone.

      I have to admit though, hearing that guns are part of “family activities” … that just doesn’t fit with my image of family activities but I didn’t grow up in a culture that celebrates guns. It’s just a different mind-set. I think about 90% of people I know have never seen or touched a gun.

  28. Vivian says:

    I cried so much reading about these senseless and tragic news. For me, It does come down to 3 key factors that should not be ignored: mental illness (the person not being diagnosed or being help or to out right denial by family etc.), they were somehow exposed to violence via media (there’s been enough cases to show some links that past tragedies have influenced unstable people to do the similar) and the most imprtant fact remains that these unstable people have easy access to guns- most case being that they took it / stole from family members or friends. True that unstable people will stll kill without guns but the damage can be minimized; example, an unstable man in China also attacked elementary school children but they all survived because he used a knife.

  29. aims says:

    I keep hearing, its my “right to have a gun.” Fine, but it was the right of these people to live.

  30. garvels says:

    I agree with the person who said the mother is the one responsible for glorifying guns to her mentally unstable son. How could anyone with an ounce of common sense take their disturbed son to target practice with an automatic weapon!!My heart goes out to the poor little victims of Sandy Hook.

    I am so sick and tired of seeing photos of the wacko and hearing his name and life story. I want to hear about the victims not the monster who murdered them. The media should refer to the killer as the killer and never mention his name or show his face.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I agree with most of what you said here but where I’m confused is that I think this killer (not using his name) showed no signs of obvious mental health issues? All the reports I’ve heard have been conflicting-some saying he had a form of autism, others saying he was normal, just shy and introverted. I’ve stopped reading about the tragedy so maybe I’m not 100% up-to-date so feel free to correct. But as far as I know, he wasn’t torturing kittens etc.

      So if we accept that he had no obvious signs of mental illness then wasn’t his mother correct in having him learn how to use a firearm that she kept in her house (under lock-and-key)? I mean, if I had a gun in my house, I would make sure that all adult family members know how to use it properly, for safety reasons. Too easy to shoot or get shot accidentally.

      So I don’t know…thinking out loud, but I’m not sure that she did the wrong thing here…I just don’t know. Maybe people who own guns can weigh in on how they handle that kind of a thing.

      • garvels says:

        I had heard that he was not able to feel pain and would burn himself in order to attempt to feel something.I saw an interview this past weekend with one of his mother’s friends. Her friend also had a child with autism and the mother was discussing, how unlike her friend’s child,her child was getting worse and was not able to feel pain or bond with anyone.

        I think we will have to wait until all of the information is in on the subject to gain a better understanding of the killer’s disposition. I do think that mental health professionals need to be given more latitude in working with law enforcement,if they see signs of potential psychotic behavior. The Aurora case,Tuscon case,Virginia Tech case all involved psychotic individuals. The Tuscon case did not involve automatic weapons and he killed 8 people with a handgun. So I do not think gun control is the answer. I do think there should be guidelines or perhaps laws in place for homes housing mentally unstable individuals with regards to firearms. I think by passing an assault weapons ban will give people a false sense of security and will not solve the problem.

        School security also needs to be addressed. We need to evaluate all entry and exit points into the school and find ways to prevent someone like this from entering the school. Constructing Man traps,bullet proof glass at entry points and plain clothes officers would help secure the schools and protect our children. My daughter’s school has a plain clothes armed officer with a secure entry point and buzz in system. Measures like this would give more time for the local police to respond to school threats.

        I guess what I am attempting to say is that people need to be more thoughtful in evaluating these potential threats to our society before blaming the tragedy on one cause.

  31. BooBooLaRue says:

    QT is just a prick. Thank you Jamie Foxx for standing up to him.

  32. Jayna says:

    I think video games have become so violent and people sit huddled over their keyboards playing them hour after hour and are becoming desensitized to violence.

    Our gun laws haven been a joke and I’m embarrassed. People fighting against bans on assault weapons boggles my mind. The elected officials haven’t fought it based on principle. Bull. It’s all because of the NRA’s power that this has continued on.

  33. Cassie says:

    Every site I go there are people saying “Guns kill people”, here is not different.
    People ignore Personal Responsibility and Human History all the time. People forget that Humans created guns for their own purposes and Humans kill with guns using their own explanations.
    Guns do not go around killing, there are people behind them. If you want to put the blame in something/someone, blame Humanity!

    People usually forget or ignore the existance of all the different kinds of weapons available everywhere beside fire weapons.
    If I wanted to kill sobebody I can find in my own house different things to use as weapon. A person can use imagination or just act to figure out how a nice kitchen knife can fit inside of a head or how it looks once inside of the neck. Sorry. I’m talking about the “white weapons” but at home you can find letal chemicals too.

    • Gia says:

      Well, when you can throw 800 knives a minute (the rate of fire for the weapon used in the massacre), we’ll talk.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        +1 Exactly.

        Cars can kill people but who has ever killed 26 people with a car? Or a knife for that matter?
        Hell, you can kill someone with a pillow but not 26 people. This is such a bs argument.

  34. G says:

    Not so complicated.

    An affordable health care system that is responsive to the mentally ill and a ban on assault weapons would go a long way to reduce these tradgedies.

    Unfortunately US politics seem unable to come to grips with both of these issues.

  35. The Original Denise says:

    Of course he would say that! Hollywood always walks and talks away from events and tragedies like this and then they keep on producing the same violent, inane gun-blasting nonsense. They are never to blame or responsible for shaping opinions or anything. These idiots really live in their own alternate universe. May those poor children RIP and I wish the media would leave the families to grieve in peace.

  36. Jayna says:

    Who needs high-powered assault weapons, magazine clips? It’s not about owning a handgun or rifle for hunting or protection. Thank you, Former Congressman, Republican Joe Scarborough, from the Morning Joe TV show, for what you stated on your show and how you finally came around. People need to view what he stated yesterday.

  37. Mia 4S says:

    Somehow I don’t think there are many people who conceal and carry bushmasters. You can defend yourself just fine with a small capacity magazine. I’m an outsider to this American obsession I admit, but it seems like an all or nothing solution is not the only way? Get rid of the mass killing tools. Restrict or monitor the mass purchase of ammo maybe? Try to minimize the death tolls at the very least! Also is it wrong that I find the whole we must have guns to “defend against a possible dictator” notion hilarious against a government with precision bombing capability and complete air and sea superiority? This isn’t 1776.

    Good luck my American friends, you have my compassion and my pity for the social battle yet to come. Just please do something other than condemn movies that the rest of the world watches too. Oh and stop saying you are shocked this happened. Grossly sad and devastated sure, but shocked? Come on.

  38. L says:

    Your stats are all wrong. And the Mail did not get those from the english government

    According to the offical Home Office of Stats, there were 657 total homicides in England/Wales in 2009. The total homicde level in England/Wales has been dropping steadily since 2000. 41 of them involved firearms in 2009. In England & Wales, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is .1

    Compare this to the US, where in the same year there were 15,000 homicides. 9,000 of which involved a firearm. The annual rate of firearm homicide in the US per 100,000 population is 3.0. Or 3 TIMES more than England/Wales

    So NO. The US is much more violent that England/Wales.

  39. L says:

    Also, There has been studies that have shown this is related to more lax gun control. So NO. Look at Arizona where you don’t need a permit to have a gun. And the deep south where gun laws are more lax. They have a higher rate of gun related deaths. Surprise surprise.


  40. blonde on the dock says:

    I would say tougher gun laws would be a start.

  41. Memphis says:

    From talking to people around me I think part of the problem is that when people see/hear *semi-automatic* they think fully automatic. And it’s just not.

    A semi-automatic, or self-loading, firearm (which no one calls it because it’s not as scary sounding I guess) is one trigger pull- one bullet.

    NOT one pull and a spray of bullets.

    Just because a gun looks scary doesn’t mean it performs any different than my handgun.

    The blame lies squarely with the sick, mentally ill bast*rds that commit these crimes- not their weapon.

  42. Noneya says:

    Hi Orange,

    Just wanted to say Zoya is one of my all time fave books! LOVE IT SO MUCH!

  43. Kaboom says:

    Billions of people watch violent movies. Hundreds of millions own firearms. A handful of insane folks go on rampage shootings. You do the math.

  44. VanillaDeeLite says:

    I bet Nya doesn’t drive a car, doesn’t cut her food, doesn’t hammer in her nails to hang up pictures etc because those too are “killing machines”

    peace out, this is a horrible tragedy.

  45. Isa says:

    Can I just say that people seem to assume that she didn’t have them locked up but it’s entirely possible that he stole the key and broke into the safe. Of course she may have not had them locked up but I just wanted to point the other possibility.
    Makes me want to switch our gun safe to a combination lock.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I saw people on the Today show who knew her who said the gun absolutely WAS locked up. But there’s been so much contradictory information out there so who knows?
      Still, how hard would it be for him to find the key?

      This is the really difficult part about this situation-to me it *seems* that she did everything right. As far as him being mentally unstable..it’s so hard to judge because I know people who would be considered mentally unstable by any doctor’s assessment. However, do I think they are capable of shooting 20 kids? No, not in a million years. I doubt she ever thought her son capable of such an atrocity. That being said, this kid clearly didn’t get the help he needed. I just don’t know..keep asking myself how we could have prevented this and I really don’t have a definitive answer but I know that mass shootings cannot be the new normal. As a country, we’re better than this. And the mental health issue is a huge factor in this and one that we need to urgently address.

  46. Feebee says:

    Such a complicated issue and many factors leading to such crimes. The fact that it happens in the United States over and over again, yet is a rare thing anywhere else in the world cannot be overlooked.

    1) Mental health. There is not enough support. This opens another can of worms, the broken American health system and reliance on expensive insurance.
    2) Gun control. Semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilised society. I understand the self-protection aspect. Two totally different issues.
    3) Like the bible before it, the Constitution of the US is taken as GOSPEL. Both have a lot of good in them. The constitution was appropriate for the times in which it was written. Most still applies, but not all.
    4) Money in politics. The Gun Lobby (but not only them) has been allowed to run rampant financing “their” candidates to do their bidding in Congress. It’s a disgusting practice. Words cannot accurately describe my disgust.
    5) Entertainment and the media. No, single violent movies don’t influence but a steady diet of anything can have a toll. It’s how society evolves. Think of what was acceptable 40 years ago even in swear words on tv or film. The relentless search for “answers” within the news media. The focus on the criminal. The validation (if that was a motivating factor) by way of the attention.
    6) Societal attitudes.
    - All rights and no responsibility? Free speech means no penalty when you’re offensive.
    - The rights of criminals (okay, they are important) but they seemingly outweight those of the victim time and time again.
    - The Bushmaster weapon advertised as a “Man’s man weapon in an era of depleting testosterone” (ABC News). I mean WTF is that?? Are some men so insecure this is what they need to hear?
    - Did Big Tobacco ever argue cigarettes don’t kill people, people do? How long did it take to realise cigarettes (another legal product) kill people but we’re supposed to roll over with guns don’t kill people? A smoker can’t have a cigarette in public but now in all 50 states they can have a loaded weapon on their person.
    - Today everyone likes fast, easy answers. Kinda like a gun. It’s the fastest, easiest, most detatched way of killing humans.

    Until we look at this as the jigsaw it is it’ll never get better.

    • Anoni Mus says:

      Great post. This problem is so complex that it has to be tackled on several fronts. You have listed several important factors that have to be addressed.

      Regarding violence in films, music and videogames, my opinion is that with freedom of expression comes responsibility.

      So often violence in the media is just there for the sake of violence… for tittillation or morbid fascination or what not. And visual media especially, can be a very powerful tool. It is a sad reflection of society that it is so often used in a negative way.

  47. Jen says:

    I think that people has had enough violence for the moment opening this violence movie on Christmas Day dose not help. Quentin Tarantino go f… yourself.

  48. Cassie says:

    A bomb or a couple of bombs? Explosives?
    If you search on internet there are sites with info about these stuff.
    It’s terrifying to think it’s not only easy to buy a gun but also to buy anything that can kill over 10 people in one place.

    Let’s start with the paranoia of attacks happening everywhere and with all kinds of weapons available.

  49. Amy C says:

    Having watched a movie that has gun in it never really made me or would make anyone to out and get a gun really. Though I do believe you have to limit the amount of time you spend in some things as an adult

  50. bluhare says:

    Orange: Britain had slightly less than 10,000 firearm OFFENSES, not murders. OK, that’s a lot. But what’s the population? Over 50 million. What’s our firearm offense rate?

  51. BB says:

    I don’t think it’s gun control or mental illness or movies and video games…I think it’s discipiline! Or maybe I should say the lack there of. These kids have absolutely no sense of consciquence for doing something/anything wrong. We’ve let ours kids down completely by NOT disciplining them both at home and at school. We all want to listen to some therapist tell us what to do with our kids and put them in a time-out or only have positive reinforcements rather than relying on our own parental instincts. Sometimes a kid needs their ass whipped…and I bet you anything these shooters would have benefited from tough love early on in their lives!!!!!

  52. Jayna says:

    How sick. The Bushmaster military-style assault rifle sales actually jumped after the massacre. It has a high-capacity magazine of 79 rounds. It has been used in three recent mass shootings. Good ol’ America. How sick. It runs out and buys more. Gunmakers have been slightly modifying some of these assault rifles for years to get around the definition so they won’t be banned in certain states.

    Again, there is no need in this country to be selling these type of assault weapons to the average citizen.

  53. Confused says:

    I don’t care what anyone who reads this site thinks of the 2nd amendment or the state of mental health care in the US. This site has too many comments from Brangeloonies, Twihards, people who think it’s awesome to sell upskirt photos of a woman getting out of a car in a long dress, and people who obsessively search for a “baby bump” in every woman who may have eaten a meal ever, for me to take them seriously. I like the posts, but the comments blow.

  54. Dee Cee says:

    Insane.. stupid, rude man..

  55. Kate (newer one) says:

    I keep seeing people claiming that gun control doesn’t work in the UK, because we may have fewer deaths due to firearms, but we live in a more violent society overall. This baffles me.

    The US had an overall homicide rate in 2009 of 5.0 per 100,000 people, while the UK’s rate for that year was 1.2.

    US. 1.2 million violent incidents nationwide in 2011, as announced by the FBI on October 2012. This includes everything from homicides to robberies, assault and theft. With a population of 311.59 million people, the violent crime rate is of 385/100K.

    9,717 violent incidents in 2011 in England and Wales as announced by the Crime Survey for England and Wales. Again, this includes everything from homicides to robberies, assault and theft. With a population of 56.01 million people, the violent crime rate is of 70/100K.

    Anyone who tries to claim the USA is safer than the UK once you remove the stats for firearms crime is either dishonest or misinformed. Guns don’t lower or deter crime. They enable it. They mean any whackjob or criminal can threaten someone’s life.

    My child has 36 times less chance of being shot dead than a child born in the USA. Looking at the faces of those tiny kids last week, I can hardly bear to imagine what their parents are going through. Not one of the arguments for guns make any sense to me – you can’t pretend that an individually armed population could repel the US army. Recent successful uprisings, in the former Soviet states, relied on overwhelming numbers defying the governments and taking to the streets – not weaponry.

    The thing that most weirds me out is that the second Amendment is taken so out of context. Right to bear arms is in the context of a militia – an army, or police body, able to defend the USA from external aggression or any future colonisation. Nobody’s arguing against arming your own military. And as for claiming that you should trust everyone’s individual opinions more than a democratically elected government#s mandate – yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well in Somalia, really. A stable, developed world democracy shouldn’t really claim that it’s okay for tens of thousands to die every year, avoidably, just in case a military dictatorship seizes power one day, and the juggernaut that is the US military machine would be stopped by a bunch of unaffiliated individuals all toting their home weapons. It just isn’t a logical position on so many levels.

    I wouldn’t even argue that farmers and hunters shouldn’t have licensed shotguns, if they have a clean psych history and no criminal past – ours have them, and for the most part without difficulty. But why does the average Joe or Joanna need something that kills people with brutal efficiency? We don’t here, and it’s a far safer country as a result.

  56. Nina W says:

    One thing violent media does is de-sensitize people to violence and that is not a good thing. Also Hollywood often glamorizes violence and puts it out as a “solution” to problems. I would never leap to blaming the media but it’s not completely without influence and children particularly are vulnerable.

  57. Phil E Stein says:

    Change your constitution. It’s as out of date and redundant as the Bible.

  58. Nan209 says:

    I’m ALWAYS careful not to follow the herd since they maybe running over the cliff. Here is where instead of following I stop and watch and see where it’s heading.

    People through out history have done terrible things to each other. I remember reading Chaucer, Shakespeare, Beowulf, Greek plays, the Bible, WW I and II, Vietnam accounts (and lived with it’s results in my family)…people do devastating things to each other and our art has often reflected that reality. Do I think it goes to far, sometimes, but I choose not to watch or read the ones that truly offend me (vote w/ your feet). But if we go down this path – where do we end up? Book burnings, banning football and MMA, only watching G movies? I’m an adult I make those decisions for myself and as a parent I take that responsibility for myself.

  59. Paige says:

    I just read they’re debating whether teachers should carry guns. WTF?

  60. Paige says:

    I just read they are considering teachers have guns. I think that’s ridiculous.

  61. Jessica says:

    Maybe violence in entertainment could contribute to the problem but then again i have been dealing with mental illness since i was very young and love his movies and have watched tons of gory movies with violence over the years yet i have never even entertained the thought of shooting children or anyone for that matter, just because you have mental illness doesnt mean you lack a conscience and dont know the difference between right and wrong or the difference between reality and entertainment, i guess it matters how disturbed the person is and if they are that bad they were going to commit a violent act anyway with or without a violent movie or video game.