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Jody Becker Headshot

Letter From Hollywood -- Parents Own This One

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It's not just today; I often wonder why parents don't reject the glorification of the gun and violence culture more actively. Living in LA, Santa Monica especially, it is impossible not to acknowledge that I am living in the factory where it's made, with many of the creative, smart, often once idealistic people who write, produce and score the movies, TV and games that show and teach our children that violence is normal, okay, common, even fun, and most
disturbingly, survivable.

Nuts will get guns. So I think the time to rant about gun control has passed. I think now
people, and parents especially, need to push back against the culture creators.

Here's an insight:

My husband and I were guests at a dinner party at a gasp-worthy, exquisite home in one of LA's toniest neighborhoods, where the only toast made by the host, with a sardonic chuckle, was, "Here's to bad television." During the evening, talk turned to how so many of these people, all parents of kids younger than college age, had come to Los Angeles to broadcast the peace and love of their generation's revolution, but ended up making schlock television, schlock movies. Today, you could add video games to that list. Smart, nice, creative people make these products, and they rationalize it, because it is a way to earn a living -- a very good living.

I think this is a pocketbook question. If it bothers you that a person can walk into a school and kill twenty children and seven teachers with a gun, and traumatize countless others who will survive, with scars, try this: stop buying shooter video games, paying for tickets to movies that beam violence into our lives, and watching TV shows that make it seem like killing is completely normal. Parents own this one, every day. And today, especially.