NRA official says Hollywood shares blame for Newtown massacre
A National Rifle Assn. official said Friday that Hollywood and video game companies are partly responsible for celebrating violence in popular culture.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, made his remarks as the gun lobbying organization addressed last week’s massacre of 20 school children and six educators in Newtown, Pa. Rather than call for stricter gun laws, LaPierre spent much of his speech recommending that every school in America have armed guards.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
The head lobbyist for the NRA also said Hollywood and video game companies must share the blame for gun violence.
“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse.
“And here’s one: It’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?” LaPierre said in his prepared remarks, which were interrupted twice by hecklers, one of whom held a sign reading, “NRA Killing Our Kids.”
LaPierre also attacked the media for not assigning some responsibility to itself and entertainment companies.
“Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ that are aired like propaganda loops on ‘Splatterdays’ and every day and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it entertainment.
“But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.
“A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
Chris Dodd, head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, issued a statement on Thursday saying that the movie studios wanted to express “our sympathy as well as our horror and outrage at this senseless act of violence. Thus, I have reached out to the administration to express our support for the president’s efforts in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. Those of us in the motion picture and television industry want to do our part to help America heal. We stand ready to be part of the national conversation.”
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