Jamie Foxx is one of a bevy of Hollywood celebrities who appear in a new video urging Washington to come up with a plan to end gun violence. Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Will Ferrell join Foxx in pleading: “For the children of Sandy Hook, we demand a plan.”
But of course, like liberals everywhere, they’re talking about more controls over you and me — not what they do in their own lives. Or even more significantly, the on-screen violence that pays many of them so well. A majority of the films that received a Best Picture nomination this year are replete with bloodshed. Take gun violence out of Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Argo, and Lincoln and there wouldn’t be much a movie left. Hey, murder and mayhem sell.
The ultra-violent flick Django Unchained has already raked in more than $129 million at the box office. Foxx plays a revenge-seeking ex-slave.
While hosting Saturday Night Live last month, Foxx bragged about all the bloodshed in the Quentin Tarantino-directed movie.
“I kill all the white people in the movie,” he boasted. “How great is that?”
That’s actually a bit of an exaggeration. Django doesn’t kill all the white people — just a whole bunch of them.
And, of course, all of the violence in Django Unchained and others like it is portrayed with as much realism as possible, which these days means very realistically indeed.
But movies are just one source of the mindless violence that permeates our society these days. Cable television has always been known for pushing the borders of sex and violence. Now, broadcast TV is following suit. “The Following,” a new series on Fox Television, literally wallows in blood as star Kevin Bacon tries to stop a serial killer and his cult of followers.
I’ve seen estimates that by the time the average teenage male reaches high school, he has witnessed more than 10,000 killings on TV and in the movies. If he’s a fan of ultra-violent video games — as was the case for Adam Lanza, the deranged shooter in Newtown, Conn. — that number is no doubt considerably higher.
Michael Medved pointed out in his syndicated column: “The fact that violent entertainment doesn’t influence everybody doesn’t mean that it fails to influence anybody. The habits of prolific mass murderers — including the insane shooters at Columbine, Aurora and, apparently, Newtown — reveal a taste for brutal diversion.”
Yet don’t anyone dare suggest there could be some sort of relationship with a fascination for on-screen violence and the fantasies of a mentally unstable young man. The Entertainment Merchants Association, which represents video game makers and other parts of the home entertainment industry, sent an open letter to Vice President Joe Biden warning him against even investigating any possible relationship between movies, video games, and real-life violence.
And former Senator Chris Dodd, who is now the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, has been quoted as saying: “What we don’t want to get involved with is content regulation. We’re vehemently opposed to that.”
Of course they are. And, as a matter of fact, so am I. The only thing worse than the present situation would be to give some committee in Washington the power to dictate what we are allowed to see. I’d hate to see what would happen to Personal Liberty Digest [where this column originally appeared] if that were ever allowed to occur.
It should come as no surprise that there is nothing in President Barack Obama’s latest gun control proposals that will do anything to change the culture of violence that pervades Hollywood today.
Interestingly enough, even with all of the publicity and the emotional outpouring that followed the terrible tragedy in Newtown, most Americans do not believe that more gun control is the answer. In a new Gallup survey, when asked to identify “the most important problem” facing the country, responders rated “gun control” No. 6.
What were the five issues that were of much more concern to a majority of Americans? You won’t be surprised to learn that the economy was in first place, followed by the federal budget deficit, dissatisfaction with government, unemployment, and lack of money.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found similar results. “Enacting stricter gun-control laws” ranked fourth on a list of priorities that the public wants Washington to address. No surprise what was No. 1: It was the economy again. “Reducing federal spending” came in second. No. 3 was “restructuring the federal tax system.”
But none of this matters to the zealots in the White House and their liberal allies. Remember what Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said three years ago: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.... the opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
That is precisely why we are seeing such an aggressive push on gun control today by the Obama Administration and their friends. Remember: When promoters talk about additional gun control measures, what they’re really talking about are more measures to control you and other law-abiding Americans. Virtually none of the 23 executive orders promulgated by Obama will have any effect on deranged people who obtain weapons and then attack innocents in schools, theaters and other “gun-free” places.
That said, I’m not too worried about horribly restrictive new gun control measures being passed by Congress. In fact, it won’t surprise me if one of our best allies on this issue turns out to be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s why:
There are 34 seats in the U.S. Senate that will be decided in 2014. Of those, 14 are held by Republicans, 20 by Democrats. But get this: Many of the latter seats are in bright red States. In fact, Obama lost seven of those 20 States in November’s election.
That’s why Ted Cruz, the newly elected Senator from Texas, made this interesting observation: “There have got to be some Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014 who are very, very nervous right now that President Obama is picking this fight. The citizens of their states are not interested in the federal government banning gun ownership for law-abiding citizens.”
Yes, I’m sure we’ll see a slew of new gun-control legislation being submitted in the new Congress. Most of it will have three things in common:
• One, it will be ineffective.
• Two, it will be unconstitutional.
• And three, I’m happy to say, it won’t get approved.
Yes, this is one battle we can win — despite all of the hype, hoopla and emotional rhetoric the left will use against us. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should relax one iota. Eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty.
So until next time, keep some powder dry ... and your Congressmen on notice.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears weekly. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.