October 9, 2017

No One Glorifies ‘Gun Violence’ More Than Hollywood

Jimmy Kimmel’s assertion about “dirty business as usual” is quite apropos when it’s applied to his industry.

“We pray for the victims and for their families and friends, and we wonder why, even though there’s probably no way to ever know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings…” —Jimmy Kimmel

Late-night comedian turned progressive propagandist Jimmy Kimmel may not know why people like Stephen Paddock commit heinous acts, but he is certain who’s to blame for them. Kimmel says we should blame “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip,” adding they should all “be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”

The gun lobby runs the country? According to OpenSecrets.org, since 1998, the largest amount of money donated to clients advocating for gun rights — not just the NRA, but the other seven gun rights organizations who also received donations — was just under $15.3 million for the year 2013. This year they’ve been given $5.7 million to protect the nation’s Second Amendment rights.

McConnell and Ryan? When the Senate majority leader was running for re-election in 2014, the NRA gave McConnell $9,900 — or about 0.03% of the $31 million raised by his campaign. In 2016, Ryan received $5,950, which amounted to the same 0.03% of the $20 million raised by the House speaker’s campaign.

Nonetheless, Kimmel and a large number of other Hollywood celebrities love to rail about the undue influence the NRA and anyone else who supports the Second Amendment have on the nation’s “culture of violence.” Or as Kimmel piously referred to it during his second monologue on the subject, our “dirty business as usual.”

Kimmel’s assertion about “dirty business as usual” is quite apropos when it’s applied to a far more deserving entity: Hollywood itself, and the decades it has spent glorifying violence to make money.

How influential is Hollywood in promoting violence? A December 2013 study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed gun violence in PG-13-rated films more than tripled since the PG-13 rating’s 1985 introduction.

Moreover, three-quarters of the same celebrities who signed or supported a letter saying they’d had enough of “unnecessary gun violence” following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino have no problem promoting violence in their own movies. Celebrities like Jamie Foxx, who starred in “Law Abiding Citizen,” described by IMDb as a movie with “strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language,” as well as “Django Unchained,” another highly violent movie directed by cop-basher Quentin Tarantino, whose entire career has been dedicated to the production of ultra-violent movies. Celebrities like Jessica Alba, who stars in “Machete Kills,” and Liam Neeson, who starred in the extremely violent “Taken” — and its two equally violent sequels, “Taken 2” and “Taken 3.”

The same Liam Neeson Kimmel welcomed as a guest on his Sept. 27 show. Or perhaps we could note Anthony Anderson, who played a role in the incredibly violent movie “The Departed.” Anderson was Kimmel’s guest on Oct. 2 — the night Kimmel preached about “gun violence” after Las Vegas.

And not just movies. Hollywood has also produced a plethora of violent and gory TV programs such as “American Horror Story,” “The Walking Dead,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Hannibal.” One of them, “Dexter,” goes so far as to humanize a serial killer turned vigilante “showcasing all manner of bloody vengeance over the course of its eight seasons of mayhem,” as columnist Robert Yaniz Jr. explains.

Other progressive-dominated entertainment venues are no better. The music business produces innumerable songs promoting violence or anti-police agendas, and there is no shortage of violent video games available for public, often adolescent, consumption.

Is there any correlation between violent entertainment and actual violence? “There is now consensus that exposure to media violence is linked to actual violent behavior — a link found by many scholars to be on par with the correlation of exposure to secondhand smoke and the risk of lung cancer,” The New York Times reported in 2013. “In a meta-analysis of 217 studies published between 1957 and 1990, the psychologists George Comstock and Haejung Paik found that the short-term effect of exposure to media violence on actual physical violence against a person was moderate to large in strength.”

No doubt, but it is unlikely to engender anything resembling a paradigm shift among the nation’s cultural purveyors. In a column for the Federalist, Brad Slager explains that Hollywood studios are “profit-driven, and they create a cultural product of gun-steeped content for the direct purpose of generating revenues. The industry touts guns, lovingly displays firearms, and glorifies the violence the weaponry can deliver. All of this for the singular purpose of turning a profit.”

Regardless, progressives believe gun violence in America is supported by conservatives with pro-Second Amendment “obsessions.” And when you get to the unhinged part of the leftist spectrum, you get columns by the likes of by SFGate’s Mark Morford, who insists that white men with guns “are America’s real terrorists,” and that “the NRA is America’s truest terrorist organization, akin to a death cult, one fueled by — and openly promoting — only the most fearful aspects of the human psyche. It’s a calculated message, it’s intentional, and it’s destroying us from within.”

Unfortunately for Morford and his fellow travelers, actual statistics — as opposed to hysterical, racist narrative — reveal a decidedly different picture. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), firearm-related homicides fell from seven for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 Americans by 2013. In 2012, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report revealed the number of firearms privately owned by Americans rose from about 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013. AWR Hawkins connected the stats from the two trends, revealing an inconvenient truth: the gun homicide rate decreased by 49% while gun ownership increased by 56%.

Are the trends related? Correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, but it certainly implies law-abiding gun owners aren’t the problem. Part of the trend is likely due to better policing. And while there are countless stories about gun owners preventing violence, it also stands to reason that many stories of what didn’t happen go completely unreported — even as every gun death requires a report to be filed.

One thing is certain: gun sales skyrocketed during the Obama administration, reaching more 52,600 per day, according to the FBI, prompting CNN’s Aaron Smith to assert the former president was “the greatest gun salesman in America.” Again, no correlation implying causation, but progressives might reflect on the distinct possibility that their constant threats to water down or eviscerate the Second Amendment is achieving exactly the opposite of what they desire.

And as Slager aptly notes, progressives might be better off taking on a Hollywood entertainment industry “that relies on guns for corporate earnings” — and glorifies guns in the process.

In the meantime, sources close to “Jimmy Kimmel Live” say the comedian, in response to ostensible Trump supporters who don’t like his criticism, has decided to increase security. He’s putting “highly-trained, off-duty police officers” at the entrances to his show.

Most police officers are required to carry guns both on duty and off duty.

Most celebrity progressives are immune to their “protection for me but not for thee” hypocrisy.

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