by Michael Pick on April 22, 2013
This week’s Mind the Gap: Does watching violent movies inspire violence in the real world?
I’m sure it does, to some individuals out there, but is it the sole reason and catalyst? Nope.
What’s that famous saying: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I think that smart arse conclusion, can be applied here. Films certainly inspire people in many ways and violence in films can be as appealing to one person as much as sex is to another. However I think it’s a small part of a bigger problem when it comes to discussing the actions of a minority of people.
What about those 99 % of people who haven’t felt the urge to re-enact any violent scenes they may have seen in the same movies time and time again? What about those who choose not to?
The WP moderator used Mark Chapman as an example of someone inspired to kill John Lennon, because he read Catcher in the Rye – but that was one person, and where he got that urge is beyond me,
unless he was an angry little man like that infuriating Holden Caulfield . But maybe thats another catalyst – plenty of texts are filled with gratuitous violence, which can be even more alarming when you have to envision it in your head, were they responsible for violence in the real world? or did the real world inspire those stories to be written?
The more you see it the more you’ll become used to it. If you remember the guy who killed cinema goers whilst dressed up as the Joker inspired by (Heath Ledger’s reprisal) people were, understandably, concerned about the film; he turned out to have an infatuation with superheroes…he also had a history of mental illness. The same way people are concerned about computer gaming encouraging violence and criminal activities, I honestly do think the line is blurred when the sole purpose is to simulate violent acts over and over. The more you see something, the more you learn how to habituate to it.
What we really want to know, we can’t . There is simply no right or wrong answer. We’re seriously clutching at straws if we scapegoat films as the reason for violence in the real world, but it’s not necessarily not one. I just don’t know what all of them are…