Effects of Film Violence

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America will never forget the atrocity that is Sandy Hook. Once known as a peaceful school, Sandy Hook Elementary is now known as the site of another school shooting, one which resulted in a young adult slaughtering twenty children and six adult staff members (Chaney and Robertson 74). The perpetrator, Adam Lanza, shocked the small town of Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. He acted on his frustrations; murdering his own mother and slaughtering innocent children and civilians. Bewildered, the nation began the attempt to search for clues explaining the perpetrator’s motives. As typical, investigators concluded that Lanza was another troubled young mind; he had a variant of Down syndrome which socially alienated him, and his single mother, an active gun enthusiast, seemed to only make matters worse by allowing Lanza to preoccupy himself with shooting range practice and video games.
But incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are predictable; they are not a random act of brutality because such violence is a learned behavior. Americans glorify violence and this attitude is illustrated through the tolerance of violence portrayed through the media. And although distinguishing between violence as pure entertainment and violence as social criticism is important, good intentions can still lead to terrible outcomes. The effect of viewing violent films has been insufficiently considered, yet plays a significant role in encouraging aggressive behavior.
In 1922 the Motion Picture Producers and Distributers of America (M.P.P.D.A.) was created in response to national protest by several parent groups who feared that films suggested provocative messages to children, which would cause negative influences. Fearful that the...

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...gulations on the film industry. However the decision to view violent media is made by the individual. Blaming film production companies for the violence inspired by films is like accusing tobacco companies for lung cancer. The effects of viewing violent media are detrimental, but in order to reduce the problem individuals need to take action.
Finding other forms of stimulation to satisfy one’s sense such as exercise and family activities instead of watching a film is a healthier alternative. Limiting the amount of time exposed to violent films, will in effect lower the risk of negative effects. Understanding media literacy will lead individuals to recognize the problems associated with media violence and “how the effects process works”(Potter 186). Above all, we need to guide one another, children especially and educate ourselves on the subject matter together.

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