Inspiration for mass shooters?

Bill Maher on Hollywood’s share of responsibility

Bill Maher is hardly a 2nd Amendment advocate, and neither he nor I advocate censorship, but Maher does a good job of exposing the hypocrisy of the Hollywood left.

My gripe with TV and Movie violence is the lack of consequences. I remember an early John Wayne movie, “Red River” or maybe “Stagecoach” in which the Duke, after trying to avoid confrontation, has to shoot and kill a bad guy. The guy’s mother literally runs out into the street and cries over the body. You don’t see that in today’s movies.

When the good guy gets wounded, he walks it off, and in next week’s bedroom scene, there’s not even a scar. It’s almost like video games where when you get killed you just put in another quarter. No consequences.

13 thoughts on “Inspiration for mass shooters?

  1. “Inspiration for mass shooters?”

    Your memory is selective.
    The body count in popular entertainment was massive in the “good old days” – especially on Saturday morning kids’ TV and Saturday matinee Westerns. And it was far more sanitized then (“Ow, you got me!”) than it is now. I doubt that the estimate of violent acts seen by kids that Mahr quoted has gotten higher and I suspect much lower. The entertainment my grandsons watch is far less violent than what I grew up with.

    And, I will add again, any “analysis” that shifts the blame to movies or games completely ignores the fact that popular culture is world-wide. Everybody sees the same stuff at the same time, but daily mass shootings are a uniquely American thing for obvious reasons – it is easy for just about anybody to get their hands on a gun.

    So, nice try. But no sale.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did you watch the video? Where is he wrong?

      But do show me the 50s or 60s movie that has a total body count equal to the peak 5 minutes of a John Wyck movie.

      You simply want guns banned, and you won’t admit there are any other factors involved.


      1. Where is he wrong?

        He is wrong in the idea that seeing violent entertainment is an inspiration for mass shooters. The evidence could not be more clear on that point. Every other country has the SAME entertainment but does not have the constant deluge of gun deaths and mass shootings.

        Your challenge was too easy. . .

        John Wyck had a total body count of 84.

        The Wild Bunch (1969) – 145
        The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) – 126
        A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – 109

        And, if you do not remember the 1950s TV entertainment based on killing people provided by Hopalong Cassidy, The Cisco Kid, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, etc., etc., etc. I cannot help you.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Bill Maher makes a fair point: Why does corporate social responsibility which applies in so many aspects of film making not extend to depictions of gun violence?

    I can think of a number of possible answers, but the one I’d study if I could is the hypothesis that Hollywood and the elites of our society who associate with Hollywood fundamentally believe that violence is a legitimate means to an end.

    Put another way, movies don’t create mass shooters directly, but mass shooters in movies reflect the values of the social elite who create the movies.

    Proof of the hypothesis might indicate our elite are sick or pathological, which would be consistent with other cultural observations these days, such as drag-queen story hour.

    As an aside, I have noticed a number of striking dissimilarities between older TV shows and newer ones. One is that the older shows seem to me to have been better at storytelling.


      1. There isn’t. But there is glamorization of the use of guns to solve personal problems, and trivialization of the consequences.

        People are not unnamed characters in a movie or video game who just disappear after being shot, they have families and years of life taken away or forever changed.

        Shooting someone is a big deal, with real consequences, Movies and games that trivialize that affect young minds which lack perspective


  3. I agree with Don, movies are way more violent than they need to be. Movie makers have access to way more special effects than they did in the days of John Wayne and people expect those special effects now or they just don’t go to see the movie. And Paul is right, all these same movies are seen in other countries and those countries don’t have the same level of mass shootings we have.

    I’ve tried to think of an analogy but it’s Sunday morning and my brain is still in weekend mode. The best I can think of is kids playing with matches. All kids play with matches at some point. It’s dangerous but most kids survive. The kids who don’t survive are kids who play with matches while sitting in a garage full of gas cans. That’s our kids. They are seeing gun-play movies in places that have easy access to guns. Our kids walk out of the movie theaters and see a gun shop across the street. Kids in other countries don’t.

    The matches/movies are dangerous. But it’s the gasoline/guns that gets them killed. We need to do better with both.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. America is a violent country. We favor violence over sex. Show a bit too much sexual activity in a movie and the rating increases to R or X. Show people getting blown to pieces and it could be as low as PG-13.

    John Wayne was a hero who killed a lot of folks. Clint Eastwood’s movies from the 60’s forward were bloodbaths. Charles Bronson’s vigilante movies legendary for violence. Rambo? Terminator? Kids loved them and their heroes.

    Yet at the same time, European movies like “Dear John” or “I Am Curious Yellow” were either banned or limited showings. People were arrested for acting in “Oh, Calcutta”, a series of slapstick vignettes with some nudity. “Hair”…same thing.

    I recall visiting Sweden in the 60’s and 70’s where I was born, and the TV had plenty of skin bared , but little violence.

    Hollywood is a business. It sells what Americans want to see. And that seems to favor action and violence. If such themes didn’t sell tickets, we would not have nearly so many killings on the screen.

    Meanwhile, we have 400 million guns through the land and debate why we have so many mass shootings, street violence and suicides. It must be 1) Hollywood, 2) Video games, 3) Democrats, 4) Republicans, 5) Blacks and Hispanics, 6) Anything except being awash in guns and ammunition available with few restraints to any nutjob with a grievance.

    But it could not possibly be the cause. The 2nd Amendment was written by God Almighty himself. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Direct comparisons with other countries are problematic.

      Consider that in much of Africa, Central Asia and the middle east full automatic firearms are readily available and inexpensive.


      1. Are you really saying we are better than African and Central Asian countries? As a positive point? Countries where woman are often second class citizens. Where honor killings are tacitly supported by authorities. Where democratic institutions are ignored. That are in constant turmoil with rebel insurgencies.

        Fine. You made your point. Can we compare ourselves to the industrial West now?

        Liked by 2 people

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