Questions Hollywood ties to school violence

To the Editor:

Many thanks to Joe Pisani for his timely piece on violence in entertainment having a negative impact on children.

The entertainment industry claims that what people see on TV or at the movies has no impact on behavior. They say this to avoid accepting any moral culpability for senseless acts of violence that seem to be happening every day.

Every year, advertisers, including political advertisers, spend billions on TV ads trying to influence behavior. If Hollywood apologists like Chris Dodd are correct, all of these advertisers would have wasted their money, since what people see on TV does not influence our behavior. Obviously, that is not the case.

Perhaps Chris Dodd could travel to Newtown and explain to folks why violent video games, TV shows, and movies have no influence on young minds, and even if they did, that is the price of having the First Amendment.

Shortly after the Sandy Hook massacre occurred, President Obama said that everything would be on the table, including assault weapons, mental health issues, and violence in entertainment and video games. But when his executive orders came out, not a word about what Pope John Paul II referred to as ‘the culture of death.’

The President surrounded himself with children, proclaiming himself their guardian, yet did nothing to protect them from the harmful effects of violent entertainment.

A week or so after the President’s press conference, Senator Diane Feinstein of California held a press conference announcing her gun ban legislation. Once again, nothing was said about violent entertainment. Why? The irony is that, when the news program I was watching went to commercial break, the ad was for a new movie called – get this – ‘A Bullet to the Head!’

Yup, Hollywood is sure on board with ending violence.

Some months ago in a letter to the Stratford Star, I wondered what Harvey Weinstein got for his thirty-thousand dollar a plate fundraiser for President Obama. Now, we know. President Obama gave lip service to the problem of violent entertainment, but when actual policy recommendations were made, they were made with Hollywood campaign contributions in mind.

Finally, I should note two odd occurrences related to Sandy Hook. WICC reported that the Ct. State Police said it would be a violation of state law to discuss the mental state of the killer. How can we be passing laws in response to Sandy Hook, dealing with mental health, if we don’t yet know the roll of mental health in the massacre?

At the time the story broke, NBC reported that the assault rifle was not used in the killer’s murderous spree. If this turns out to be true, should lawmakers consider this, when deciding what gun laws to pass? People would be wise to remember the words of the President’s first Chief of Staff: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Jerry Cunningham

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