What, if anything, should be done about violence in movies?
July 26th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

What, if anything, should be done about violence in movies?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

That horrific massacre in a Colorado movie theater has revived the debate of whether violent films contribute to real-life violence.

Director Peter Bogdanovich talked to the Hollywood Reporter about how movie violence is way over the line.

"Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It's almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It's all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy."

And Bogdanovich knows violence. His first film, 1968’s "Targets," showed a sniper killing movie-goers at a drive-in.

But he now says there are other ways to talk about violence without showing people getting blown up. Bodganovich believes there's been a "general numbing of the audiences" because there's just too much murder and killing on our screens.

He says people have become insensitive to it and that there's a general lack of respect of life.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports how Warner Bros. Studios, which put out "The Dark Knight Rises," has a decades-long history of violent movies.

Starting with gangster films in the 1930s - Warner Bros., which shares a parent company with CNN - is also responsible for films such as "Bonnie and Clyde," "A Clockwork Orange," "Dirty Harry," "Natural Born Killers" and "The Matrix."

There have been alleged copycat crimes after the release of several of these violent Warner Bros. films.

As for the aftermath of the Aurora tragedy, background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado have spiked more than 40%.

And in multiple theaters around the country, screenings of the same "Batman" film have been accompanied by panic, evacuation and gunshots being fired.

Here’s my question to you: What, if anything, should be done about violence in movies?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

How about putting back some boundaries? Enforcing ratings and curfews? No good comes of little kids watching R or PG-13 movies at 2am. The outcome of this tragedy might still have been 12 killed, but they would not be children placed at risk by their parents and enabled by the movie theaters.

D. in St. Paul, Minnesota:
No one actually gets hurt in the movie, Jack. It’s all fake. Now… psycho little idiots who shoot up theatres? Different story. What a deliberate question though. That's like finding a way to blame 9-11 on the plane... not the terrorists.

Dave in New Hampshire:
It's not just movies, Jack. Video games now are way over the top. All this violence that we're shoving down the throats of our youths has to have an effect on their minds. The other part to this dilemma is the news and the coverage of war. Do we really need to show video from helicopter gunships killing combatants over and over and over? How many times do we need to show the simulation of the killing of bin Laden?

Violent movies should be required to show at least five minutes of interviews with victims of violence (including hospital footage), with the doctors and family who care for them, and with the loved ones who survive those that died. In this way, people would be reminded that violence is not entertaining but has tragic, painful and life-altering consequences and costs.

While watching a movie, a madman starts killing people. Was it the movie that caused it? No. The movie was just the venue he chose. He could have picked a McDonald's and the people would have been just as dead. Movies do not kill people, Jack, idiots kill people.

C. in Massachusetts:
Don't go to see them.

David in Tampa, Florida:
It you take out the gun violence, the NRA gets PO'ed. If you substitute sex for violence more people will go, after all sex sells, but the Christian right will get PO'ed. If you replace sex and violence with intellect and art, everybody gets PO'ed and stays home. Maybe that is why I don't go to movies anymore.

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Filed under: On Jack's radar
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Jim in Denver, CO

    If we are going to blame movies & Hollywood for the recent event in Colorado then we need to go to the root cause and blame the NRA and its lobbyists for all it does to stop sensible gun laws and their enforcement. Also, we need to blame drug companies too for drug abuse in movies, etc. etc. etc.
    Hollywood is a reflection of society, not the other way around. We need to look at ourselves first and then take sensible actions to try to fix some of our problems.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  2. RickFromDetroit

    Raise the price of a theater ticket to $50 bucks so we can hire security guards and install metal detectors at the movie theaters. It works at the airports, courtrooms, and various other government buildings, and it should keep the NRA happy.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. Steve,NY

    Violance in movies should be eliminated. It would be interesting to have a poll on violance.
    I think, if you do, you will find the Liberals who are against owning guns will support violance in movies. The conservatives who promote gun ownership will be against violance in the movies.
    If you analyse this blog, you'll find this to be true. Hollywood loves violance who are mostly Democrats/Liberals.
    Doesn't say much about the integrity of the Democrats/Liberals and out Liberal president, does it?
    You can't have it both ways.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Bob in Ohio

    Freedom of speech extends to the movies as well as individuals. A return to the days of TV and movie censorship should be unacceptable to everyone. An updated ratings system for visual media ought to be top priority so adults can make informed choices about what their minor children watch.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Loren, Chicago

    Is it a problem? The problem is not in the movies, the problem is in the home, the failure of parents to do their jobs of teaching their children the difference between right and wrong, the failure to instill values that respect life, and to understand the difference between reality and fantasy. Movies are a fantasy, and while there is violence in the world, the movies aren't the cause, or even a contributory factor. It is time we stop trying to shift blame from ourselves, and take responsibility for our actions, our place in the world.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  6. Pete in Florida

    Nothing. Our fellow citizens LOVE violence – in the movies, on tv, in real-life – as long as it's not being done to them. Our leaders LOVE violence, especially the Republicans and conservatives (it's SEX that they hate, lol). A gun in every hand, and as much ammo as you can carry. GOP loves poverty, low wages, minimal education and health care, and LOTS of guns – it benefits the wealthy elite when they keep the lower classes occupied with guns, drugs, religion, NASCAR, footbal, violent tv and movies, and oh yeah, slaughtering each other with their weapons.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  7. Gary in San Jose, California

    Nothing. We need to encourage people to take personal responsibility for their actions and not accept weak excuses like the movie made me do it. It's just a movie and most of us get it. We need to deal with the nut cases directly and not burden the majority in order to coddle the minority crazies.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  8. John from Alabama

    Jack: Nothing will be done about violence in movies, except a rating scheme that warns the public about violence in movies. Nothing will be done to ban assault rifles in America, because Congress is a afraid of the NRA, Grover Norquist, and common sense. Congress acts very cowardly. Being a statesmen is in the past. We are doomed to do-nothing thinking, and small minds with no character or goals.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Doug Ericson

    I don't like the gory stuff so I don't watch it. I don't like graphic medical depictions either, so I turn the channel on those immeadiately. I don't go to the movies because they suck, for the most part, and you can't smoke in the theatres anymore. The last decent movie I saw, I watched at home on cable. It was a British gangster film called, ": RocknRolla ". The movie was on the tongue and cheek side, and rang enough bells to keep me interested for most of the film. Kids should be spared much of the violence, but I don't know how you are going to do that when 3 year olds can dial it up on their computers. As long as there is a market for it, the film makers will keep producing it. Doug, Peppeell, MA.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  10. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    There has been a movie rating system in place for decades. Just enforce the age restrictions in the rating system. If adults want to watch movies containing violence, it is their prerogative.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Mel - Houston

    Why not address mental illness on a national level before you start to control the moral content of movies. Personally I like movies like "October Sky" but they aren't many of them.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Brad, Portland, OR

    People always want explanations for why things happen, even if no explanation exists.

    Blaming movies or video games or rock and roll music is an easy out for people looking for simple explanations in a complex world. But no scientific study has ever found a link between those things and violent behavior in the real world.

    Maybe the reason this happened was a mentally ill person failed his oral exam in grad school, and was angry at the world.

    Or maybe there was some other reason. Or maybe there was no reason.

    People need to accept the fact that sometimes bad things happen and we'll never know why.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  13. Richard Texas

    The movie had nothing to do with this lunatic twisting off and killing people Jack. That was simply the location he chose. You can not blame the movie industry any more then you can blame the media for showing the aftermath day in and day out for a week. Your still talking about it. Look at all the people that did not twist off and kill people simply because they saw a movie with violence. Sometimes bad people do bad things Jack. We can not change out lives to accommodate the lunatic. Instead we remove the lunatics from society so they can do no more harm.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Thinkforyourself, OK

    BOYCOTT Hoolyganwood.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Dave - Phx

    Nothing, perhaps CNN should stop showing violent war footage with giant patriotic backgrounds insinuating its a great thing.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  16. Rich

    Lets see. A group of people go to a movie theater to watch a PG-13 movie. While watching it a mad man starts killing them. Was it the movie that caused it? Hell no it wasn't. The movie was just the venue he chose. He could have picked a McDonalds and the people would have been just as dead. Movies do not kill people Jack idiots kill people. There has been more violence talked about in the last 5 days by the media then any amount of violence that occurs during the movie. Maybe the media should be rated and censored.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  17. ImALibertarian

    Movies depicting violence should be reserved for people who can tell the difference between make believe and reality.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  18. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    We drop bombs on innocent people in other countries to fire up a political base Jack. Who gives a crap about movies?

    July 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  19. Phyllis G

    What, if anything, should be done about violence in movies?

    Let them know they are digging their own graves, as Violence leads to the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20: 14-15)
    Love leads to the Street of Gold (Rev. 21: 21).

    July 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  20. Thinks2010

    Violent movies should be required to show at least five minutes of interviews with victims of violence (including hospital footage), with the doctors and family who care for them, and with the loved ones who survive those that died. In this way, people would be reminded that violence is not entertaining but has tragic, painful and life-altering consequences and costs.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  21. Name* Ed from California

    I don't know if its the movies as much as it's the delusions, or the voices in the head of a few nuts out there. We desperately need extended services, which our country use to provide to help our seemingly increasing meantally ill. All of this is really the fault of unnecessary government budget cuts. Now, we are all starting to pay for it in the most horrable way.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  22. Gigi Oregon

    We can not legislate common sense in a Democracy. So "we" must choose what we want to put into our minds.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  23. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    We are so hell bent on being politically correct and public perceptions but allow violence to run rampant in movies that our children are watching. We know for a fact that children are extremely vulnerable and easily influenced and persuaded and we expose them to unending violence in movies and video games. What should be done is we should allow Hollywood and game producers to publish as much violence as they wish but we should restrict those products to adults who are 21 years of age and older only. Let's get politically correct with the exposure of violence to our children our future.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  24. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    No one actually gets hurt in the movie Jack. Its all fake. Now, psycho little idiots who shoot up theatres? Different story. What a deliberate question though. That's like finding a way to blame 9-11 on the plane... not the terrorists.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  25. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Nothing. It is an outlet for what most Americans would like to do to improve their lives. It is curious that if the movies protray violence, and if you hate what you're seeing, you call it sex and violence. If you like it, you call it romance and adventure. It makes money--and in the end that is what really matters for the movie industry.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  26. calaurore9

    Don't go to see them.

    C. in Ma.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Gary H. Boyd

    . Like it or not, we live in a violent society and that's often reflected in what Hollywood puts out. It's also about money and big box office receipts for movies like the Dark Knight Rises are powerful incentivies for film makers. What can be done about it you ask. Not a damn thing Jack, not a damn thing.

    Gary in Scottsdfale, Arizona

    July 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  28. Pete in Georgia

    The entire world has evolved into such emptiness of morals and decency that the entertainment industry is only supplying what a market bankrupt of values craves.
    This is what happens when you stop going to church.
    And.......................smirking at the last statement is proof of where we're at.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  29. pat in michigan

    Nothing should be or will be done about violence in movies. Face it. There are a few things that will always be around. Drugs ,Rock and Roll ,Porn and violence in movies . All are pressure relief valves for a society that is very tough to deal with.
    I am not saying it is right . It just is what it is.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  30. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Violence started a long time ago with cartoons like Popeye and Mickey Mouse. This is a big seller to a sick society and the more we get of it, the more we have to have it. Just watch some of the cartoons today and see what little minds are taught.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  31. Ken in California

    Can't do nothing Jack. Money is the root of evil here. It transcends morality, and conscience. One has to look at our public servants in Washington, where money influences them.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  32. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    About as much as will be done controlling guns.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  33. David, Tampa

    It you take out the gun violence the NRA gets PO'ed, if you substitute sex for violence more people will go, after all sex sells, but the Christian right will get PO'ed, if you replace sex and violence with intellect and art everybody gets PO'ed and stays home. Maybe that is why I don't go to movies any more; all the good stuff is on TCM.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  34. Jenna Roseville CA

    What, if anything, should be done about violence in movies?

    Forget about movies, how about violence and sex on television?

    Roseville CA

    July 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  35. David Gerstenfeld

    Violence has progressed in all media starting with silent films & cartoons. It's like the story of putting a frog in hot water & it will jump out. Put the same frog in cold water & heat it up & it gets used to it & dies. We have become frogs, & violence on tv, in video games & movies is the norm. Censorship isn't the answer. Movies today are nowhere near as violent as one day watching CNN news from around the world.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  36. Annie, Atlanta

    Seriously? How about getting military grade weaponry off our streets first?

    July 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  37. Daniel Eigler

    The problem isn't Violence in movies; it’s a disproportionate coverage of violence in television and the news. Americans in general are under the utterly false impression that crime and violence in the country is at an all-time high, while in reality it's currently at a 40 year low. Perhaps if people didn't have the idiot box on in the background 24 hours a day, they might realize that every single instance of violence that occurs in this country of 310 million people with a landmass nearly the size of the entire continent of Europe, isn't all happening in their back yard.

    Daniel Eigler
    Miami, FL

    July 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  38. Sandstone

    "Now you've really opened the gate wide, Jack. From the bit's and pieces I taken any notice of in movies this century, there's nothing but 'sex and violence' but more in war-game style, to help sell more computer games. The graphics have to be more than real, they have to be interactive as well. The protagonist is beyond the beyond and then some!"

    July 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  39. Robert from Canada

    Movies have always been violent to a certain perspective of when they were made. The Godfather was considered violent when it cam out, now it is probably considered tame by today's movies. The problem in the US is the availability of high powered weapons with large ammunition magazines.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  40. Harlow

    We can start by making every movie that has a gun fired in it "R" rated. Same for any movie that has anyone smoking a cigarette. Perhaps exceptions can be made for pure documentaries. Something else that hasn't been mentioned much is Batman's philosophy of guns. He doesn't like them, doesn't use them, and fights crime using alternative means. I dare say that Bruce Wayne is not a card carrying NRA member.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  41. David Doherty

    It's not just movie's Jack, video games now are way over the top. If we're to believe that all this violence that we're shoving down the throats of are youths is not have an effect on their minds, we need to take off the rose colored glasses and get a grip. Theres another part to this dilemma, it's called the news and the coverage of war. Do we really need to show video from helicopter gunships killing combatants over and over and over? How many times do we need to show the simulation of the killing of Bin Laden, I'm willing to bet you can't find a single person in this country that hasn't seen it at least 3 times!
    Dave from NH.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  42. Ed in Harrisburg

    Blaming the movies for violence is ridiculous. The real blame belongs with the NRA mafia and their supporters whose opposition to civilized gun control laws with their twisted views of the Second Amendment suggesting that individual citizens have the "right" to bear AK47's and other assault weapons. They are the violent ones and the terrorists. Police and law enforcement want these guns off the street and the NRA mafia lobbys for guns for the criminals. It's time to shut down this lobby for unorganized crime.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  43. Marja Hartzell Oforji

    To begin with, take away all f-words. As foreigner it`s impossible to watch the films with such a primitive kind of language. We don`t use them at all. The other day I had to stop watching a relative good film with the famous actor Tom ..... because of the language, even if I would have wanted to see it. The problem mostly isn`t the violence ( if children don`t watch alone), it`s that parents are not there to explain and comfort, or don`t have any limits of what is allowed to see, what not. And there are those who don`t even care or understand, how seeing violence can make some people at last totally numb. if they see it in reality, so that they don`t react at all, don`t even help the victim. The real problem America has, is that you don`t take mental illness seriously and don`t see to that the healthcare insurance covers those costs also. And there should be possibility to go to psychiatric care and place to hospital for everyone that needs it. Our healthcare insurance covers all illnesses in Sweden, even psychiatric ones. That`s the reason for why people don`t go around and shoot each other. We don`t have any idiotic weapon law either.
    I` m writing from Stockholm, Sweden.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  44. Rich

    Jack your barking up the wrong tree. Warner Brothers also did a whole lot of good wholesome movies as well but you do not mention even one of them. How about all the violence you and Wolf talk about for hours on end. I know your show lasts about half a second but your part of the CNN news team and that is just about all you guys talk about 24 hours a day, DEATH and VIOLENCE,. You guys are complicit when it comes to showing violence hour after hour. Perhaps we need to remove Wolf and you from the Air.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  45. Sean from Thousand Oaks, CA

    While I do think that violence in media is often over-the-top, it is rather lazy to blame mass shootings and murder on them. It had to take a lot more than a violent movie to precipitate madness in a man who dyes his hair orange, says he's the Joker and runs into a movie theater with guns-a-blazing. What we should be focusing on is the lack of care avaliable for the mentally ill in this country.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  46. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Speaking of copycat crimes, aren't bankers doing the same sort of thing? Aren't breweries and liquor producers doing the same sort of advertising with the promise of a relaxed happy go lucky life when you imbibe in their spirits? Meanwhile banking regulators are thwarted by the same people who illegally profit (the latest being the LIBOR scandal) from the lack of regulations. And of course breweries and liquor producers are off the hook when it comes to the carnage thats caused by their products. Not to mention pharmaceutical companies who push a pill for every known and imaginable physical and emotional problem. Bring up the question about insensitivity and general lack of respect for human life those corporations have in the same breath when you speak about movie producers and studios. Stop putting the responsibility and blame squarely on the shoulders of the consumer because those shoulders are numb from the weight flawed priorities.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  47. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    The old cowboy and indian movies were violent also. It's not the movies, it's the sick nature of the current generation who want to blame everyone else for their failures. Who was really responsible for failing the test? It is also the decline of moral values perpetrated by liberalism. Churches are now considered passe and church attendees are considered stupid.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  48. Soldier4Christ

    As Far As I Am Concerned Any Concerned & Responsible Parent Should Stop Their Children From Going To See Any Of Theat! It Is Just Too Mch For The Young Impressionable Mind To Handle! Especially The Christian Should Know Better Than Supporting Such TRASH!

    July 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  49. Soldier4God

    Christians Just Should Stop Supporting Such Movies 7 End Their CHildren Being Allowed To Watch Any Of That!

    July 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  50. David - Augusta, Georgia

    There is something down with violence in movies. It is called a R rating! If parents take their kids to R movies then they are entrusted with the knowledge that there are scenes not sutiable for children.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  51. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Well, what we should not do but have no control over it to prevent. and that is the formation of a "super" committee to submit recommendations for THE war against violence, in this country it could happen and be perfectly logical !

    July 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  52. Mike

    I am soooooo sick and tired of filmmakers and artists being expected to be the "responsible" ones in society. You don't want anyone touching your guns? Fine....leave entertainment alone. Guns and violence were around long before Hollywood was even thought of. Not to mention if you take away the movies, then you better start closing down the churches for all those extremists who kill in the name of God and Jesus.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  53. Mike

    I watch plenty of violent movies, used to play violent video games, served as a grunt in Afghanistan, and shoot my "evil" assault rifles regularly at the range, compete in defense pistol competitions. All my friends are pretty much the same. None of us are a threat to society. Peoples own twisted insanity cannot be helped. Most of the worlds senseless killing took place before electricity even was harnessed for use by man.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  54. jay

    how is this movies fault? lets look at individuals who can't keep their wits together. People go crazy, it happens and batman had nothing to do with it. This guy is a coward who chose to isolate himself from the rest of the world. We keep trying to blame society when this guy is just plain nuts. Don't get mad at the movies for providing entertainment, millions of people enjoy action packed movies and don't go home and shoot up the neighborhood. This man was weak, nothing more, nothing less.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  55. chris

    nothign we should not let these sycko's ruin the fun we enjoy in these movies we want and enjoy them

    July 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  56. Rusty

    The movie industry is like a plague on America. It constantly promotes violence, drugs, sex, profanity and more. Many of the big name stars have lifestyles that are terrible. I rarely ever go to a movie anymore. There are so much better ways to spend my money and stimulate my mind.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  57. Gary

    Jack, getting rid of violence in the movies and on TV means no more Elmer Fudd shooting Daffy Duck with his shotgun.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  58. All those kittens

    Oh just stop it already Cafferty. You should be asking what we should do with voilent people ... not movies.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  59. Cary

    The problem with society is people no longer want to take responsibility for their actions. I'm sure his lawyer will prepare a "the bad movie made him do it" defense. The problem is society has changed and it's not films and video games changing it. Kids are growing up spoiled, self important Nihilist. They want it all and they want it now without working for it. Notice most of the shooters are young. They see little hope for the future and most feel they'll be dead by 30. They get tattoos and weird piercings and have major hearing loss by 30. We're facing a future with a country of fat 70 and 80 year olds that can't hear, can't walk, covered in faded tattoos that ruined their health and didn't prepare for retirement. Thinking the future will be bleak is a self fulfilling prophecy.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  60. jen-seattle wa.

    they should show why its justified to sink the arctic floating oil drill from a foreign corporation who is trying to accomodate the consumption malfunction m.p.g. auto imporTS inside u.s. market without "OiL spill containment nets "cuz exxon ,b.p. and a bunch of ships from international maritime organzition members from china who keep spilling oil and abusing u.s. court system and refusing to fix the National contingency plan enhancements for rough weather oil spill response before they allow any drillling in n.hemisphers,forcing obama to give back $4 billion he accepted as permission of royal dutch shell to begin drilling for oil in ocean that is closest to the arctic winds and moves the equipment out of area with a breeze for 9 months straight

    July 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  61. Jeremy (Madison, Alabama)

    When Americans stop paying to see violent films, Hollywood will stop making them. Violent films are not a cause of real violence, they are a symptom. Popular films reflect the culture around them.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  62. BobZemko

    Hasn't every generation since the advent of movies and television had this same issue?

    July 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  63. Rick

    I think if we had less violence on the big screen, on TV, and especially in video games we may see less violence in real life. That I think would have more of a beneficial effect than stricter gun control. After all folks, law abiding citizens will follow the law, criminals won't. That is why we call them criminals!!

    July 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  64. Eric IN Newhall


    I am no more likely to go on a killing spreee after watching violent movies than I am to start speaking in iambic pentameter after reading Shakepeare...

    July 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  65. billy

    just get bettor stories totell..most degenerates are subjected to the negative side effects of the fuedallandlords.if they had bettor dialogue that would be great but Convincing Hollywood to put Silencors on Weapons used in high volume theaters would alleviate noise pollution,but could take a while considering Evil nature of hollywood

    July 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  66. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    You won't solve the problem of domestic violence and domestic terrorism by stomping out violence in the movies. Besides, it would make the movies less enjoyable if the violence aspect is removed.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  67. Janell

    There has been violence all throughout history. I don't remember movies being the reason people killed each other hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, back then, they entertained themselves by actually killing each other and watching in masses. At least now, it's somewhat limited to "make-believe" on a big screen. Sure, you can take away all the guns in the world but again, people will find a way to kill each other if that's what they want to do. People like to blame their problems on anything besides themselves. Take away movies, guns, music, drugs, etc.....it's not going to solve the problem. Plus, tragedies like this just seem to happen more often because of the speed of technology. Something happens and everyone knows within seconds. It's not happening more than it was before, we just have easier access to more of these stories outside of our own little box of a neighborhood.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  68. dkeeber

    While it might be nice to create legislation to ban this sort of thing, it wouldn't work. The solution, I believe, while challenging is for the power of the marketplace to influence the studios, television news programs and so on. We need to all vote with our boots and our wallets. By not attending such films, by turning off the stations that present graphic images, and by following those actions with calls and letters to the stations and studios expressing our reason for boycotting their products, we stand the best chance of making the change we would like to see. Just cause it's there, doesn't mean we need to buy it. Parents need to be engaged with their children and explain why they are not providing access, followed by demonstrating their beliefs with their own actions. For myself, I have found that by not seeing these sorts of images, I don't get stressed up and also find I appreciate images and products that are in better taste. This is purely a habit we develop, either for or against, based on choice.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  69. Rosane Rosanadana

    I'd LOVE to see more violins in movies! What?

    July 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  70. bethtexas

    Thanks for jumping on the blame-fiction bandwagon, Jacky boy. Every time some nutcase goes postal we have the same, tired crapola from deep thinkers like Jack. Ban this! Ban that! That will save American society and the world in general. Nope. Try again.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    Jeez Jack! D'ya think!?

    Of course there's a connection between screen violence and real life atrocities.
    But there's money to be made so Hollywood has made the ACLU our tool.
    The uninhibited pursuit of money is the real root cause.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  72. randy

    The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  73. Alex from California

    Films do not spread violence, people do. Films tend to teach that violence is not okay. I thought "LA Confidential" was awesome, but that film actually taught me how messed up violence is. There will be movies that do not assure that violence is not okay. Having said that, directors generally don't want to encourage a maniac to commit murder and other harm. It's people's interpretation of what is okay that has to change.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  74. Terry

    I guess it is another area the government is going to have to step in and censor Hollywood as they will not do what is right themselves. Parenting went out the window several years ago for the most part so you cannot count on parents to screen what their kids watch. Where are the Hollywood do gooders, Sean Penn, Brad Pitts, Tom Cruise, Gorgeous George Clooney, and many others? Do they not have any kind of influence on the studios? Oh, I guess they are against any kind of cencorship. A fine group of folks, they are! I think it is a sign of the times, and it is ugly.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  75. Ralph Nelson

    I'm more concerned about sex in cartoons produced by Rupert Murdoch for kids. Cerberus Capital owns a big slug of arms manufacturers. Frankly, what are we going to do if ALEC, Big Business, and Koch Brothers install a line of stooge Presidents? Thirty years from now we might need those guns to restore our democracy. Already they are taking the vote away from students, elderly, minorities. I've changed my mine on this issue as a result.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  76. Traci in Texas

    The violence in theaters is not the only issue. It is in our commercials, sitcoms and night time favorite shows such as CSI series and all the SciFi series TV programs out there. What are we going to do about those? Our children are growing up with the notion that it is ok to go after someone with a baseball bat at the age of 2. Now that mine are grown, they actually think that this violence is FUNNY! Even growing up myself, bugs bunny and tom and Jerry cartoons have this delusion that this is ok. We have gone beyond the point of damage control. My question to this is "What are we going to do now?"

    July 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  77. Marilyn

    How about putting back some boundaries? Enforcing ratings AND curfews? No good comes of little kids watching R or P-13 movies at 2am. The outcome of this tragedy might still have been 12 killed, but they would not be children placed at risk by their parents and enabled by the movie theaters.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  78. jo an

    Stop going to see them!! I check every film before I go, for violence. I will see films about murder if it is not show cased for SPECIAL EFFECTS.. I consider violence PORN!! Pure and Simple....VIOLENCE servers the same purpose!! WAKE up parents...who would take a 6 year old to see that Bat Man film, at midnight!!

    July 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  79. Mary, Chicago

    It's the over the top video game violence and graphic depictions that are contributing to these mass shootings. With movies you go to the theatre once or twice to watch the movie and you don't interact with it. With video games you insert yourself into the roles and act out the killings over and over and over. If you have been exposed to this from a young age by the time you're a teen you're immune to what should be considered disgusting and unnatural-brutal mass carnage.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  80. hypatia

    Do nothing. The filmmakers are not the issue and all such 'calls' are merely smokescreens. And maybe so-called 'pundits' should stop trying to get traction out of this tired old debate.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  81. bob

    It has nothing to do with violent movies. There has always been violence in movies, cartoons....

    It is because in the US we do not like each other or trust each other and are constantly bombarded by the media that we shouldn't trust anyone and that scary people are out to get us and that our government wants to enslave us. Even though corporations have already enslaved us.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  82. Donaldo in ATL

    Truthfully Jack, I think the days at the theatre are coming to an end. In the future, movies will be available on-line, or pay for view, it won't be long like theatres will pass, as our society becomes more & more restrictive of personal liberties. We are already seeing this in the works......sad but probably true.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  83. Jimmy in San Francisco

    Violence in movies is chorographed – it isn't really violence. In fact it's also boring and predictable. When 20 vietnamese guys chase after Sylvester Stalone – or when the wispy ghosts chase after Harry Potter we KNOW that Stalone and Potter are going to be okay.

    If instead they made a movie where there was only one bad guy chasing the star – and both stars nursed their wounds over the length of the entire movie – the violence would seem real – but no one would want to see the movie.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  84. Jeff In Minnesota

    A "whack job" is a "whack job." It's not violence in movies or video games or the ease of buying guns that causes these "whack jobs" to go over the edge. It is a multitude of everything in their lives that cause them to do what they do. What pushed the "whack job" in Norway and John Holmes over the edge are different as will be the triggers that push the next "whack job" over the edge. Society wants answers for something that has no answers. It's time to move on and fix things we actually can fix.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  85. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, if we took violence and sex out of the movies, what would be the point in going? Without those two things I could stay home and watch my own life.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  86. ibgubu

    "It takes a village to raise a child." The problem isn't violence in movies or video games that has lead to the "the guy went postal." When I was young, I am 56, I didn't have to keep my parents from seeing me doing something wrong, I had to keep my entire neighborhood and community from seeing me because if some one saw me they would be right there to stop me. My parents would know because everyone looked out for one another. Everyone looked out for foolish children doing something really stupid and they would speak up. Today, however, when you see a child doing something that you "know" they should not be doing you have to worry that the parent will come knocking on your door to chastize you if you try to tell a child who is not yours that what they are doing is wrong. I lived in the inner city for a number of years, in the hood. there were addicts walking the streets turning tricks and men driving up and down the boulevard looking for them. my neighbors 12 year old daughter was waliking to the corner store in a dress that was much to tight and much to revealing for a girl of her age when men started stopping to ask her for a "date." I informed the mother of what I had seen, and suggested that she try to dress her 12 year old girl more appropriately. she became incensed and outraged, "who are you to tell me how my daughter should dress. She can dress anyway she wants, and if any man touches her I will kill him." I point6ed out to her that killing a man after he rapes her daughter would do little to help her forget and get over her emotional and physical trauma, but she was not moved. It does not matter how violent the movies are. Parents need to put limits on what children watch. Parents need to make sure that there children act like children. Parents need to pperform there parental duties to insure that there children are taught morals and ethics, and they need to listen to others because there is very little a person can do without help, and raising a child to be a productive functioning member of society is perhaps one of the most difficult things to accomplish in todays crazy fast paced world.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  87. Jay G

    Was there violent in the Wild West, long before there were movies? How about in Northern Ireland? How about in the Sub-Saharan Continent?

    The overreaction to these types of events would be hilarious if it wasn't always connected to a sad event. Stuff happens. There are crazies out there. Violent movies don't make people violent. Almost every man (and probably women, although I'm not one so can't testify to that) has violent tendencies at times. It's built into us a race for survival instincts. We control these tendencies because of the laws in place, but sometimes people snap.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Jay G

    So apparently it's violent movies that are causing the Civil War in Syria. *roll eyes*

    July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  89. DaliGirlNYC

    how about we STOP blaming the violence in movie and/or video games and instead start to blame the lack of individual responsibility? THAT is the cultural flaw of our time! violence has always been a part of every generation's social, cultural and entertainment day-to-day: dating back to ancient times... there is violence in classic literature and art. what we have lost is personal responsibility. the attitude of "the TV made me do it" only reinforces my veiw on this. Do i enjoy watching volient movies or playing violent video games? sure. but i KNOW both those mediums are works of fiction that do not reflect my personal view of life, death or even the violence that i would tolerate in real life: i have an understanding of ethics and live a code of ethics that would prevent me from ever even contemplating re-ennacting such violence towards anyone, let alone random strangers in a movie theater! ... so, to the return personal responsibility ADD ethics to our social fabric! even a basic understand of what is right and wrong (and please do NOT confuse this with good/evil - that is a morality issue, not an ethical one) would being to re-instate a major chunk of what is actually wrong with our culture... much more so than continuing to argue about the content of the movies we watch...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  90. dave

    censor them. obama is going to sign the un small arms treaty soon and the second amendment will die. free speech will be next. and the citizens of the u.s. do nothing about and live under the illusion that they work for the government. do any of you now realize this country is losing its freedom?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  91. eodanon

    Violent crime has been on a steady decline for the last two decades. It has nothing to do with movies, video games, television, books, pamphlets, religion or any other fear mongering issue that the press wants to drag out of the closet and into the spotlight every single time an incident like this occurs.

    Go back to sleep Jack, you're about 15 years out of touch.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Andrew in Clearwater Florida

    Isn't this why we have those annoying ratings, Jack? If you're too young to handle it, we rate it R. If you're old enough to handle it, you know its a movie being SHOT ON VIDEO TAPE! Or do you not know this! Don't nanny us old folks above 14 years of age too much, Jack! After all, we can handle it; we're grownups. Aren't we? It's a BATMAN comic book character, for goodness sake!

    July 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Jay

    Video games don't create violence. I think the most dangerous thing that affects people towards violence are biased news organizations and their manipulative articles.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  94. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Whenever this question is asked, there will be those who bring up censorship and that is where the debate ends. We live in a violent country in which a young man can walk into a movie theater, tell everyone that "I am the Joker" and kill anyone in his sight. This is not going to change, no matter who says what.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  95. PJ

    Bet they'll go after movies but leave guns on the street.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Jim Driks

    Nothing. Movie making is a business, and that business makes movies where they believe they can sell substantial numbers of tickets. You want to stop violence in movies? Quit buying tickets to SEE violent movies. You want to stop porn? Stop buying porn. You want to stop pretty much anything in the free market? Don't support those sellers with whom you hold disagreements. May or may not "stop" it, but you wont see/buy anymore of it.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  97. Gordon

    If we end violence in movies, the next likely target will be sex. Then we will have absolutely no reason to watch them.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  98. John, Sussex County, De

    The first amendment implications of government censorship doom any attempt to legislate any sort of speech, including violent movies. Having said that, the financial "kiss of death" to any movie is an "X" rating..The industry, through the Motion Picture Association, needs to police itself. Graphic, explicit, gratuitous violence should receive the same treatment as graphic, explicit gratuitous sex. If Bogdanovich thinks that the violence is pornographic, it is time for him and the rest of the industry to step to the plate. The government can't and the masses won't.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  99. PiedType

    Violence in movies, as in video games, doesn't affect normal, stable minds. The real problem is too many guns being too available to too many sick and criminal minds.

    Susan R

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  100. Chris

    Its not only the movies but the glorification the media gives it, media is always showing and talking about it and this I believe makes people want to go out to do these things for their 15 min of fame

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  101. Joe Snoopy

    Don't let people like Cain, who had irresponsible parents,
    ,watch violent movies Sin was lurking at Cain's door and mastered him.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  102. Jaydee

    Sure, violence in movies, music, video games causes violent behavior all around us. I mean, all $162 million worth of tickets that were sold over the weekend, all of those people, including me, are no going to go on a violent rampage. Just like all 500 million people who bought Marilyn Manson's albums in the 90s shot up schools. Just like all the millions who bought the game Manhunt went on a murderous rage and killed their friend with a claw hammer.

    What? That didn't happen? They were single events? So, statistically, there are overwhelmingly more people who watch violence that don't commit acts? I would never have thought...

    People are stupid if they believe violence in fiction causes violent behavior. The only people it can affect are the people who already had a low mental ability to begin with. I think most of us are smart enough to know better. If the writer of this article is so affected by violent movies, games, or music that it makes them feel like commiting violence, then they can just leave it alone and leave it for the rest of us who are smart enough to separate reality from the virtual.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  103. Hannah D

    I do not think there is anything that can be done about violence in movies. Any law would be too subjective. The only things that could possibly decrease violence in movies is studios or the MPAA monitoring the amount of violence in their movies, or people no longer going to see obviously over the top violent movies.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  104. daniel

    i say we leave the movies alone they are excitement its like saying we gota take violence out of comic books and taking any of the good stuff out of movies would make them boring people pay to see that stuff so they can have a good scare or nice heart racing movie taking all of it out would cause hollywood to lose money and no one wants to do a boring movie i wouldnt pay to see a movie that didnt have some scarey parts or gun shootouts and i will say " I will not let the shooting in aurora scare me from going to see the batman movie or any other movie "

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Luke Kledzik

    Nothing will change. Violence in the movies has an effect on our brains and makes the movie more thrilling. Some would say the movies would become duller.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  106. James

    Nothing should be done about it. Did Adolf Hitler watch violent movies? what about Black Beard? Our culture tries to pin the blame on this or that but the fact is humans do horrible things. Millions if not billions watch these movies and play these games and don't go on a shooting rampage.Why don't we get rid of violence on the streets before worrying about whats on the screen.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  107. John Antilety

    "Any pile of stunted growth unaware that entertainment is just that and nothing more, deserves to doom themselves to some dank cell, somewhere, for having been so stupid!! Movies, books, T.V., music – They're all just entertainment, not guidebooks for damning yourself!" – JTHM

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  108. Deb in MT

    If we American people were really as opposed to violent movies as we claim to be, those movies would wither and die; instead, we must be titilated by violence since we support those movies whole-heartedly.

    The magical marketplace of capitalism has spoken–we are inherently a violent, blood-thirsty people.

    Too bad, really, as we have so many other good qualities that are ignored in the blockbusters, like: a generous and forgiving nature; a sense of fair play; a willingness to work together for the common good; open-mindedness; and, Dutch apple pie.

    Even our once intelligent humor has been overwhelmed by slapstick, explosions, and potty jokes. Somehow, we've come to value both violence and stupidity, and I don't know why.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  109. kami

    This is an easy one.....Sue them ,but knowing how powerful they are , running everything in this country, you wont have a chance of winning...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Kevin in Aurora, IL

    There is nothing wrong with violence in movies or video games. How about stricter gun laws and better parenting.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  111. Lee Wyman

    A guy shoots up a movie theater with heavy weapons while wearing protective gear and you all want to blame movies? How about asking why it's so easy to get such weapons and gear and there are no substantial measures to make sure these things are no longer available to the public and are destroyed whenever taken from criminals? Actually discuss this tragic in depth and examine everything. But I guess that's too hard for the short attentiin span 24 hour newscycle.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  112. Grant henry

    There isn't anything to do, because there is no correlation. Look at the comic books children read in japan and you will see things that are unbelievably more violent and gory in childrens comics there than anything in America gets even close to. And yet Japanese children are famous for how reserved and obedient they are. Blaming a violent movie for violent actions is just silly.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Joycene Harwood

    Alfred Hitchcock showed a few drops of blood in a shower during Psycho and women wouldn't take a shower alone in their house for years. What can we do about so much violence in movies these days? Get better directors and writers!

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  114. Carol in NH

    If people wouldn't go to violent movies, Hollywood would stop making them. We can cause the change with our feet and our wallets.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  115. John Keida

    Easy Jack! Rate each movie on a scale of 1 – 10 in violence and force the patrons to watch an equal number of minutes of negative political campaign ads. A rating of 10 means you have to watch 10 minutes of political ads. At the end of the movie, take any remaining patrons to a mental health facility.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  116. KShabman

    We already have studies showing that 2 y/o children react more violently after watching violent cartoons. Anecdotallly, just look at the reactions of our teenagers who laugh at intensely violently movies. Studies need to be done on how passive-aggressive people go to violent films to vicariously indulge and vent their hostile, pent-up emotions. Monkey see, monkey do.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Steve, Nashville Tn.

    There is far too much mental illness going untreated and unnoticed. Guns and movies have been around for 100 years. These mass shootings by children are not a result of anything except diluted family values. The anger and lack of compassion does not just come up because of a movie.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  118. Joe in Los Angeles

    I am willing to go along with more gun control, if we can have some movie gun control. Would Hollywood go along with not having guns, bombs and violence in their movies, video games, and television? This is an issue the media is not covering. I think the movie shooting suspect was imitating a violent movie, was he not?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Andrew Young

    What has happened is not so much violence in movies but the glorifying of violence. The recent Batman series is unique because for one of the first times, the villain is seen as the most memorable character. It is the Joker who is made to be memorable. I had to walk out of the Dark Knight because of some of the sequences where families have guns held to them. Kids and parents. It was too far. My family thought I was nuts for bringing it up. But I could tell what they were doing is glorifying villains. Film makers have been pushing too much gritt and the rejection of good morals. They should focus more on pushing the innovation of how stories can be told in the theater. Not trying to shock people by putting such immoral and obscene content.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  120. John in North Carolina

    Movie's have nothing to do with it.Millions of people watch so called violent movies every single day. Out of those millions there is one nut job that takes it and abuses it .Because of racing movies kids go street race.should we ban automotive related movies? NO! Ban the crazy people.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  121. mev186

    Jack, Movies and television are no more responsible for violence than Catcher in the Rye is responsible for John Lennon's death. People who are mentally unstable will take anything and twist them into their own warped worldview. With free speech comers an inherent risk. We as a society need to decide if freedom is worth sacrificing a little safety. I for one, feel that freedom is worth the risk.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  122. thachipsta

    People don't acknowledge that all humans are not sane. We act like Crazy doesn't exist. Sure, there is too much violence in the movies. Some movies I refuse to see because they are just sick to me. Does that mean, they should stop? No. People are free to watch what they want. Funny thing, is the stance against human sexuality and sex in movies is worse, and what real harm does it cause? The same as Violence. The crazy people will continue to be crazy and not have regard for human life. PS> flick thru your 100 plus cable channels and see how many Law and Order variations are on at the same time. Not condemning it, but there is a market that the viewers created. I'd love to see more Morgan Freeman's Through the wormhole type programming, and less brainless shows personally.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Damien, New York, NY

    Violent movies are a reflection of the violence which is inherent in human beings. To say that movies or videogames are the cause of violence is total nonsense. The human impulse towards violence has existed long before the advent of violent media and the argument could be made that violent media allows for a safety valve for inherent biological urges that would otherwise manifest in a way which would be incompatible with the society in which we currently live. Banning violent media is not the answer, teaching people from childhood to understand and master the undercurrent of violence within all of us is.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Joe in Dallas

    Jack, grow up. You live off of getting people rilled up about issues, even that can lead to violence. There's violence in the movies, boxing, martial arts, out on the streets, but worst of all, in many hoseholds. The freedom of choice to pay to watch something is unchangeable, however, we have to stop raising all these fruit cakes. Maybe a course needs to be offerde in school about overcoming rejection, failure, etc., before kids grow up to depend on shrinks, and drugs.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Billy

    Guns make people kill, cars make people drive drunk and spoons make people fat.

    St Petersburg, fla

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  126. oddjob2234

    Every time something bad happens, people who think problems through a millimeter deep come out of the woodwork and start pointing at secondary influences, immediately trying to deflect blame away from the individual criminal and onto the rest of society.

    Shortsighted, misguided suggestions for theft of natural rights immediately follow in the wake of such bleats. They should be soundly rejected.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  127. Mark

    Violent people are going to commit acts regardless of what they see in a movie.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  128. Jo

    Nothing needs to be done, it's about money when Hollywood stops making money on this stuff they will quit making it.
    Life is a very cheap thing. We make more everyday

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  129. Greg, Gainesville, FL

    Jack, I don't get how the news can show the violence that happens in the Middle East every day and then be shocked when 12 people are murdered in a violent act. I know what we see on TV in the MIddle East is not what we would expect to happen here in the US but come on. Not addressing the real violence that we read about every day in far off places is like ignoring the elephant in the room when looking for reasons that something like this might happen. I don't think its just the guns and the laws and the movies/video games.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  130. Kelly Rodgers from Dallas Tx

    Blaming the movies and video games for the violence and murders that occur in our country is like claiming its the cops fault I was speeding in my car. When does responsibility for ones actions become ones own problem, not somebody else's.
    It must be your fault Jack, I'm over weight.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  131. jaitre

    About as much as should be done about my own imagination. Just because I can imagine things in my mind doesn't mean I have to do them. Ratings let us know who "should" be able to handle seeing certain things. If we ignore the ratings and allow our kids to see violent images then we should not be surprised if they can not handle it properly. If as adults we cannot handle seeing these images properly then it's not the movie's fault, there's just something off balance with YOU and theres nothing that the film industry can do about that.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  132. Bora Ileri in New Hampshire

    We limit drinking age to 21. Why not do the same on violence exposure on movies.
    I know a eight year old child who would not play games or watch movies unless it has violence in it. He has no problem getting to them.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  133. RW, Texas

    Jack,.. since I'm not directing my answer towards only Hollywood movies, this probably won't get posted on your answers section,..Either way,..It's not just "the movies" that bring about violent behavior.. Have you seen ALOT of the VERY bloody and violent video games that kids play today online.... Geez... Most of them are quite a bit more violent than ANY movie, mainly because the player can actually play the games from the shooters point of view.. and learn how to use the different types of weapons of all sizes available.. If we need to ban anything, look into the video games...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  134. Natalie, OH

    Unfortunate as it is, people crave death and carnage. It may seem like we've come a long way from the games of the Colosseum, but if that were true we would find better solutions to our problems than war, hunting, murder...and the list goes on. If anything, violent movies quench the thirst of that cruel that human tendency.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  135. markustt

    Bogdanovich opinion is suspect. He was once a successful filmmaker but Hollywood has turned its back on him. So his criticism towards the industry could be derived by personal anger. Interestingly, his most noted work in the last 20 years has been as an actor on The Sopranos, a show that was criticized for being too violent.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  136. Christine

    Cut out the senseless violence in film and video games and we will have less violence in this country. Most of us know that but MONEY in Hollywood always takes control of the politics and policy change. Very sad – and greedy.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  137. Nate in Salem, Oregon

    Nothing should be done about violence in movies and video games. Sanjay Gupta recently spoke about how in our modern era the major world powers and developing nations actually have the lowest levels of criminal violence and war in recorded history. Most studies show that human beings can distinguish between fantasy and real world violence. Just because we are becoming used to what is on the screen, doesn't mean we are harden to real violence when it occurs. The real problem isn't fantasy violence, its the very real guns getting in the hands of already sick and dangerous people who shouldn't have them. 99.99% of us do not rig our homes to blow up, purchase a small armory of weapons and ammo or go into a dark movie theater and use that armory on innocent people. That is the violence we need protection from, not the make-believe violence.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  138. Frank Nardo Cape Coral FL

    Trying to connect violent acts by a very few people to violence in movies is really reaching, violence in movies goes back to silent films, so are all killings attributed to movies, I think we need to address the causes of mental illiness before we attack the film industry

    July 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  139. Dan Zaccaro

    The vast majority of us know the difference between fantasy and reality; to say that violence in movies influences people to become violent is nothing but an insult to the public´s intelligence. If you watch a movie and then feel like wanting to rob or kill someone there was something wrong with you in the first place.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  140. Dominick Romeo

    What should be done about violence in movies today? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You said Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It's almost pornographic. You think this is the reason for theses Columbine slaughters? I ask you this; What films did the Spartans watch before going on there slaughters? What pornographic did Hitler watch before he short out to annihilate all of the Jews? None. We forget that above all we are animals and we need laws as a society, that are already on the books to be enforced, for the ones that can't control themselves, who chose to snuff out lives in a fit rage of or a mental in balance...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  141. Eric

    Nothing unless your willing to change society into the black & white version of "Pleasantville" or return to burning DVD's similar to book burning's because of their suggestive passages and ideas.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  142. DaleW in MA

    It's simple, simply don't patronize them! Even the Hollywood bozos will take notice when the gate receipts dry up.
    Maybe the more socialist countries overseas can just tell us they don't want to import such crap, and the Hollywood jellybean counters will take notice.
    Adding a premium fee like they do for 3D might at least raise some much needed revenue.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  143. Sell

    I do not think it is the movies. It seems that the media is part of the problem by repeating over and over. Analyzing all the facts down to what his nickname was. So instead of 15 minutes of fame they have hours and hours of fame and it is broken down so it is easy for the copy cat. And then the media asks if it is a national security threat, so they give ideas to the terrorists to.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  144. michaelannb

    What should be done about violence in movies? Nothing, if you're talking about prohibiting content. Movies will stay violent as long as people pay to see them. If we stop going, Hollywood will look for more profitable themes.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  145. Tere in Roswell New Mexico

    Jack, It's not the movie that makes a person so violent. It is their State of mind. The world we live in today will never be the same. So i say make more security jobs in all public places that have vulnerabilities. Job Creation where it is needed in this over populated World were living in. Take cares.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  146. Michael Buser

    I have been watching violent, R rated movies since I was a little kid and I think I turned out fine. Violent movies are not the problem.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  147. Sean, VA

    Jack, it's the same argument as with violence in video games. Attempting to shield everyone from violence won't stop the next guy that loses it from causing harm.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  148. kevin

    It's not the movies thats to blame for the actions of poeple. People don't fear the consequences of their actions. We as a country have made jail a place to go and get three squares a day, a place to sleep, and no stress like paying bills. Instead everyone else can pick up the tab for their life while they watch cable tv and think up the next crime to commit so that they can continue down the easy road. We need to punish people not reward them.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  149. Jon from PA

    Nothing should be done.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  150. Al Banes

    My wife and I have discussed the heinous act in Aurora. I am a hunter and black powder and archery enthusiast. But the availability of deranged video games glorifying wanton murder as well as Hollywood films of the same ilk should be on the table for regulation and eventual censor in the same vein as drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and yes even some firearms. I could ask,"Where is the parenting and mentoring?", but that is a moot point.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  151. Lucy

    Of course violence shown repeatedly has a negative effect on the people who see it just like seeing the same ad for toothpaste influences what you use to brush your teeth. Media exposure is a form of advertising and the marketers have known for a long time that repeated exposure alters behavior. Who loves this violent stuff anyway? The very demographic from which these mass murders are drawn: young impressionable males. We want to control sexual content but shrug our shoulders at violence? Pleazzzzz. . . Lucy in Dayton

    July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  152. T. Ford

    I think what you are doing is exactly what needs to be done. We need to talk about it! Enough science has been conducted centered on the subject. That information needs to be shared. Americans are overwhelmed just keeping up with the pace of our society that moves so quickly that we have problems sparing cognitive energy to look at and solve societal problems. The amount of mass murders over the last five years in this country can no longer be ignored. WE NEED TO DISCUSS THIS PROBLEM, FIND SOLUTIONS, AND IMPLEMENT THEM.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  153. William miller, Vancouver, Wa

    A few days before the shootings in Colorado my two year old grandson kept closing the front door. My wife told him to leave it open because it was too warm and he said, "No gramma people are shooting people". I realize it is just a phase he is going through and I a few years he will be sufficiently desensitized and his concerns will go away.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  154. Stephanie, Kentucky

    Bravo! We have to back track to get to the root of our violent society. Our entertainment has been corrupt for quite some time now. I never saw such graphically violent movies, yet alone video "games" where I could kill people. You hit the nail on the head. We no longer value life and we are letting are children learn not to as well. Violence needs to be eliminated from mainstream entertainment and ANY so-called games that are violent. Really? What exactly is a child learning when they are killed or kill another character? Someone please tell me the great lesson they are learning?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  155. Justin

    I think it's ridiculous to blame movies for the irresponsibility of the people that watch them. People today simply lack the moral compass that tells them "hey, killing people is wrong". People need to take responsibility for their own actions instead of censoring every questionable piece of content because we can't control our own impulses. What about suggestive music lyrics? Or violence in video games? The point is that people must understand that the problem isn't with the suggestive material in popular media, but in the population's inability to recognize negative influences and not imitating them

    July 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  156. Michelle Stevenson-omar

    Thank you Jack for addressing this issue. Of course when we stimulate the human mind, especially young human minds, with violence and killings, we are asking for trouble in our society. Why does Hollywood believe that we have the need to be fed such brain numbing movies that wound the soul? It is the diversity between good versus evil that stimualtes the interest in us to even see such movies. But in our truth as humans, I believe we truly yearn for the good, not the evil. So,some people are sensitive to dark energies and in the case of James Holmes, his Mother was a psychiatric nurse, and I believe that he was exposed to such energies as a result. I really believe this guy was a victim of"spiritual abduction" which is not to take away the horrific truth about what happened to the victims and their families for which we pray, but this truly type of dark energy exists and is exaserbated by violence in movies. Come on Hollywood and news media, let's give energy to the good in this world!! Why do we see only mainly accounts of killings and violence in both movies and news media? People will still go to the movies and watch the news if "good" was the theme, even in times of turmoil, (finding the good amongst the evil) and the world will be a better place for certain.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  157. Carl Stoyan

    If companies make a profit showing violence then double or triple that profit when the news corp they own reports the herrendous copy cat crimes, why would they stop it? Good citizenship? Wake up and cash that fat paycheque Jack.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  158. Max

    Nothing needs toto be changedis with violent movies excepthave for thethe ticket prices. Humans have become desensitized to violence from many forums, not just movies. The thing we forget is that even the news shows lots of coverage on violence.

    Movies have to be paid for per episode of violence. The media has become embedded with so much violence continually being streamed to us. Research has shown very strong correlation that movies do not lead to violence. When we turn on the news, read the paper and go on the web, so much coverage is on violence. Perhaps there needs to be less violence on the new

    July 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  159. Perkins in Berryville, VA

    if we blame movies and music for real events of the day then what do we give the blame of the nazis and Jonestown to? Mozart and Disco
    If someone has hatefully thoughts in their head then no amount of happy thoughts will change that.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  160. NVme83

    People are inherently violent. Movies reflect life. People will always be violent creatures. This kid didn't kill people in a movie theater because of movie violence, he did it because a movie theater is the perfect spot for a massacre - like fish in a barrel. Stop being such pussies about movies and video games, and take a good look at your species' history - we've actually tamed a great deal since our beginning.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  161. Kim

    Violence has been a part of motion pictures since the beginning. What has changed is the audience and the almost addictive need to be shown everything in graphic detail, whether it's violence or sex. In my father, Robert Newton's, roll as Bill Sykes in David Lean's 1949 version of Oliver Twist there is a graphic and horrible murder by my father's character of actress Kay Walsh's character Nancy. The audience never sees the actual murder, only Bill Syke's horribly frightened dog repeatedly scratching at the door as the murder takes place inside. The audience is left to imagine horror. Bring back imagination in film making!

    July 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  162. mark

    Stop having wars and backing them with your slanted news

    July 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  163. RED - Dayton, OH

    I believe there is a direct link between violence in movies and related media and the increase in violence in our everyday lives, and I hold parents responsible. So many of them have failed to teach their children strong morals, respect, open mindedness, manners, responsibility, and the difference between right and wrong.

    Until parents step up to the plate and say to their kids, No, you can't watch this (violent) movie, or, No, you can't play this (violent) video game, or, No, you can't listen to this CD (that advocates murder and rape), the movie, television, and recording industries will continue to raise our kids and shape our culture. Given the current trend, we have much to worry about ...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  164. joe musich

    Well which came first chicken or egg well you know the rest. So here it is do movies reflect or create violence of the world ? Seems to be an easy answer. Seems to be violence is in the nature of the species and that many films are covering the storied question of how our species should deal with our internal and on going dilemma.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  165. mhunter

    People have been killing people since before we had electricity. It has nothing to do with the media we consume... Stop looking for scape goats... billions of people have watched violent movies and played violent games. How many of those people have ever taken a life?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  166. Dustin Goldsen

    The most common mistake made by people who misuse statistics is confusing correlation with cause and effect. Saying that violent movies cause violent actions is like saying that people who carry umbrellas cause the rain. It's the other way around. Art reflects society. The reason for the shooting in the film is because we have shooting in the streets.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  167. Ann C

    Let's look at this globally....countries throughout the world sees the same movies but they don't kill like Americans do. So why aren't other countires killing thousands each year, these movies are not having an affect on others. There must be something else. Japan had 11 murders in 1 year we had over 12,000. Americans need to face the facts...we are a violent society and anybody can get any kind of weapon and ammo and your mental state does not matter. the second amendment does not mean any gun, any person anytime.... assault weapons, only should be for the militairy and police departments. We need to look at our society and decide who we want to be.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  168. Mary K. (Hodges-Nees) from East Lansing, MI

    As attractive as it may seem to ban violence in films, it will never happen: by law such a "censorship" would be a violation of the First Amendment, the right to free speech. Of course, people could request that there be older ratings for such films .violent movies

    The most potent way to influence movie content is to affect the box office: if movies don't make money, the won't be made.

    In the meantime, parents need to carefully watch and enforce movie ratings so that young people cannot get access to violent movies.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  169. Susan from Ca

    Why not show the bad guys getting back ten fold what they gave? That might be a deterrent.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  170. Nobody N. Particular

    Art imitates life, not the other way around. Violence is in our movies more because we are becoming more aware of how much influence violence has in our daily lives. From the news channels and papers who believe in the old adage, "if it bleeds, it leads"; to the fear-mongering our elect officials shove down our throats every time they want more money for the DEA, FBI, and the military. The world is no more violent than it was 2000 years ago, we've just become more accustom to it in our lives because its all around us. BTW, evil is born from the hearts of men, so the true source of our sorrow is ourselves.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  171. Kate in Denver, CO

    Stop the demand! Stop watching as individuals, families, friends and especially children! We deserve to experience awe as humans in sunsets and rainbows, not from violence in TV or movies. Try a few days/week/month away from violence on TV and in movies and see how you feel......better?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  172. marybeth, massachusetts

    So now you're blaming Hollywood for the level of violence in this country?

    I don't think anything should be done. It is the right of Hollywood movie producers to make movies that are as violent and gory as possible if they think it will sell tickets and they can make a profit. That's just pure capitalism, and you like capitalism, don't you, Jack?

    What you neglected to mention in your piece is where personal responsibility fits in. If you don't like violent movies, then the solution is very simple: don't go to see them. If everyone who is offended by violence didn't buy tickets to those kinds of movies (or watch violent tv shows), then capitalism will have spoken and Hollywood would change to meet the demands of the market for less violent or non-violent movies and tv shows.

    And this shooting, tragic as it is, could have happened ANYWHERE. Holmes chose a multiplex for his venue of violence and death, but he could just as easily have walked into a school (Columbine, VA Tech anyone?), a McDonald's (there was a mass shooting at a McDonald's in San Luis Obesipo in 1984), a military base (Fort Hood), a daycare center, a library, a supermarket (former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot and several people killed at an Arizona supermarket where she was appearing to meet constituents), an employer, a gas station. To write that a Batman movie caused this is ridiculous–Holmes chose a place where there would be lots of ordinary, innocent people and where he could do a lot of damage.

    Yes, movies are violent and no I don't like them. But I'm an adult and I don't go to them if they're violent. If there's a violent movie like Goodfellas on tv, I change the channel. If my only options are between different kinds of violence–a movie like Goodfellas, watching footage of the war in Afghanistan on CNN, watching old footage of WWII on the History Channel, watching a medical show with gory footage of surgery, I can turn the tv off and read a book. Some older tv shows and movies hinted at violence but didn't show it. The orignal Star Trek series was one, Highlander the series was another. They didn't insult the intelligence of the viewer and didn't have graphic violence depicted. Viewers knew what happened without having to see it happen. Jack, even cartoons are violent. You can't change Hollywood, but you can turn off the tv or decide not to see a violent movie.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  173. PandoraDoggl

    Always something has to be done... How about parents raise their kids right, and we'll go from there.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  174. Baa Weet

    nothing should be done.sex,and violence in movies is entertaining fantasy,and fun.Its a break from the reality of our boring lives,and the doom,and gloom all around us.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  175. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    I am more interested in the time machine you used to think of this subject. Here in the future people get their violence from video games. Most people find violence in entertainment to be cathartic in dealing with daily stresses. I find it to be a moral degredation that has lowered our social values. But, with the first amendment nothing should be done.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  176. Dee

    There is no room for censorship – we are only discussing this because a young man who is very disturbed killed all those people at a movie that had violence in it. Censorship should be left to parents as if you don't want your children seeing violent movies or playing games, then don't allow them to do it. If you don't want to see it, don't do it.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  177. Dominick Romeo

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING should be done. You said Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It's almost pornographic. You think this is the reason for theses Columbine slaughters? I ask you this; What films did the Spartans watch before going on there slaughters? What porno's did Hitler watch before he sort out to annihilate all of the Jews? None. We are experiencing more violence with guns not because there are more violent movies but because there are more guns, and the laws that we have already on the books are not being enforced, allowing for the ones that can't control themselves, who choose to snuff out the lives of others, in a fit rage of or a mental in-balance, to continue to get theses weapons of mass distraction, with relative ease...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  178. happa54

    You have to put some of the blame on Hollywood. The "power of suggestion" theory works on our kids minds through these violent movies. If you look at all of these horrific shootings, the suspects look just like the characters out of the movies they watch....tactical military outfits, weapons, etc. It was once said that movies can teach a person how to pull off a perfect crime. Like they say "the new generation of kids have become numb to violence"...it's in everything you see on TV. The movie industry and it's talent are so caught up in making the almighty dollar that I don't think it's ever going to change for the better.....only gets worse

    July 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  179. Bill, Bloomington Il

    I say nothing Jack. We should let all children go to violent films as happened in Aurora Colorado.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  180. ex-pat

    These violent movies (and games) are shown in most all of the "civilized" countries in the world, but the reaction is always worse here in the States. Surely there must be a corellation between the percentage of guns and ammo ( and types ) that are readily available here, compared to these other countries with MUCH less reactions.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  181. Arriba

    I've seen plenty of fictional murder and mayhem on TV and read it in novels. But the difference is knowing fiction from reality. Perhaps it's because I way old enough to fiction from reality it doesn't bother me much though I must admit that the movies who's roots were in comic books don't interest me much. Too much on the special effects and not enough plot. I prefer my fictional murder and mayhem to have a plot to it and to keep one's interest till the end as to who done it.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  182. Christina in Alexandria, VA

    For one thing, enforce the age limits on violent movies. What was a 9-year-old girl doing at the Batman movie in the first place?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  183. Dominick Romeo, CA.

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING should be done. You think this is the reason for theses Columbine slaughters? I ask you this; What films did the Spartans watch before going on there slaughters? What porno's did Hitler watch before he sort out to annihilate all of the Jews? None. We are experiencing more violence with guns not because there are more violent movies but because there are more guns, and our laws are not being enforced, allowing for the ones that can't control themselves in a fit rage of or a mental in-balance, to continue to get theses weapons of mass distraction, with relative ease...

    July 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  184. Stephanie, Kentucky

    When we are constantly enundated with violence, yes, we are a violent society. Bring back imagination to the theater as another post stated. No, movies aren't to blame, guns aren't to blame, video games aren't to blame. But put them all together and it can be disasterous for some. Do we not realize there are WAY more crazies out there than this one??? Why just keep things the way they are and say we're desensitized? THAT is a scapegoat. I don't think anyone believes viiolent movies, games, or guns are to blame, but they most certainly are CONTRIBUTING factors to violence in society. Why not address the whole picture instead of just gun control?

    July 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm |