The shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., have stirred up a slew of gun-control sentiment in Hollywood.
But an actor who stars in perhaps the most gun-heavy movie of the season says that an abundance of firearms in this country isn’t necessarily the problem, and that reducing them isn’t automatically the answer.
“I don’t think it’s about more gun control,” said Samuel L. Jackson, who stars as a conniving house slave in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming revenge fantasy “Django Unchained.” “I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”
Parents and role models who emphasize that value, he said, will accomplish more than legislators reducing the number of firearms.
Tarantino’s movie features numerous scenes of gun violence, including two major shootouts in the final section involving Jamie Foxx’s title character. Jackson’s character, Stephen, figures prominently in both scenes, though he’s a lot more likely to use his scheming mind as a weapon.
Jackson waved aside the idea that on-screen violence has an influence on someone who decides to behave violently in real life.
“I don’t think movies or video games have anything to do with it,” he said in an interview with The Times for an upcoming article about him. (Jackson has appeared in a public-service announcement calling for a reduction of violence in the inner city.)
On Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she had introduced a bill to again ban assault weapons following the shooting that killed more than two dozen people, most of them children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Activists have also called for closing the “gun show loophole,” under which people can purchase guns without a background check.
Jackson acknowledged that restrictions of this sort could reduce the amount of firearm-related violence. “We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns,” he said.
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