Can Filmmakers Be Blamed for Violent Crimes?

30 Jul

Linked In Hollywood has discussed violence in the media from various perspectives. Yet, the argument over excessive film violence seems to divide some consumers and producers. Can filmmakers really be blamed for violent crimes in America? In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre, Harry Weinstein has called for a “summit” among filmmakers to discuss how viewers are influenced by graphic movies.[1] However, gallop polls on current gun laws, crime rate, environmental and family involvement paints quite a different picture.  In this article I’ve provided research on what may contribute to the increase and decrease in violence in America.  Please watch video below.

According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor it states:

In the past 20 years, for instance, the murder rate in the United States has dropped by almost half, from 9.8 per 100,000 people in 1991 to 5.0 in 2009. Meanwhile, robberies were down 10 percent in 2010 from the year before and 8 percent in 2009.[2].

A series of Gallop polls taken in 2006 showed public fear decreasing. However, as crime continued to decline, school bullying was on the rise. In an article in Education Week Research Center: Violence in Safety it states:

“In 2007, 21 percent of students said they had been bullied by being made fun of; 18 percent reported being the subject of rumors; 11 percent said they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; 6 percent said they were threatened with harm; 5 percent said they were excluded from activities intentionally; 4 percent said someone tried to make them do something they did not want to do; and 4 percent said their property was destroyed (U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, 2010).[3]

Although, some believe viewing excessive violence (in the media) can influence children and young adults to act violently;  the truth is there is no evidence to show any long-term effects. Actually, parent’s involvement in what children watch, family interaction and a Child’s environment can be more harmful than their exposure to video games, television and film media.

“… The US surgeon generals’ report only suggests possible short-term effects.  There is no strong evidence on the long term effects of media violence.[4]

One survivor of the Aurora, Colorado shooting has filed a civil lawsuit against the movie theater, Warner Brothers and University of Colorado, claiming they are responsible for the massacre in Colorado. Yet, the alleged shooter James Holmes was able to attain his huge arsenal that killed 12 and wounded 58 with ease. Some weapons in his possession were illegal and banned eight years ago.

Legislation now before Congress would once again make illegal, if not the guns themselves, at least the high-capacity magazines that allow bullets to be fired rapidly without stopping to reload.[5]

Should armed guards be used to guard movie theaters? Should films be censored even more in Hollywood? What are your thoughts?

51 Responses to “Can Filmmakers Be Blamed for Violent Crimes?”

  1. Comic Relief July 30, 2012 at 9:04 AM #

    This article is so unbelievably
    Out of this world,
    Beyond belief,
    Sorry, I just can’t stop saying it.

    Though it doesn’t sound like a real resolution to the problems addressed in the article, but I would support giving the MPAA greater powers to keep minors out of films that are excessively violent. Yes, I’m scared for the action/adventure and horror genres; but I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an X rating for violence.

    • Open Book July 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM #

      CR-I’ll pay u later.

  2. Comic Relief July 30, 2012 at 9:33 AM #

    I can’t wait for the discussion.

  3. Open Book July 30, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

    Thank u CR!

    I think what’s alarming about the gunman in Colorado. How did he get access to weapons banned eight years ago? Who sold these weapons to him? Shouldn’t they track this person down or better yet banned guns still out in circulation? According to reports this gunman used high capacity magazines that allow bullets to be fired without stopping to reload. I mean if someone is purchasing this kind of arsenal NOT one person asked what the hell are u doing or call the police?

    • littlebells July 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM #


      Great topic and i agree with CR’s sentimemts. Unfortunately there is a lot of contraband that is sold under the radar, and when it comes to guns, its not uncommon for serial numbers to be scratched off. Looks like this will be a great discussion!

      • Open Book July 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM #

        Thanks LB for weighing in on this topic. What do u think about New Jersey? Do u think how they are trying to crack down on illegal guns being sold is good? Do u think this is another band-aid on a horrible disease scenario?

  4. Comic Relief July 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

    “….track this person down…”

    It’s too bad we aren’t thinking about locking these people up.

    • littlebells July 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM #


      I agree but its also like putting a bandaid on a deadly disease. The ATF is constantly working on international and national illegal transfer of weapons. Add to that all law.enforcement working on it in their respective areas…we can start getting the “little guy” but until we get the “big man” the problem won’t go away…and well thats just hee tip of the iceberg.

      • littlebells July 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM #

        “The” not hee.

        • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 7:51 PM #

          I agree with you LB.

          • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

            Hi Ozzie!!!

            • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:41 PM #

              Hi LB! 🙂

  5. Open Book July 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM #


    I mention in my article that the murder rate in the US has dropped by half from 1991 to 2009. What do u think has contributed to this decrease?

  6. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 6:16 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Welcome to our discussion. Please feel free to jump in. To start things off please watch this interview.

    • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 7:04 PM #

      Hi OB!

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

        Hi LB-

        How are u?

        • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 7:38 PM #

          I’m good! I’m having a hard time listening to the.videos on my phone at the moment. How are you?

          • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:43 PM #

            No problem. I’m finished posting videos for now.

    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

      He makes an interesting point. Are people making these films just because they can?

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

        It’s cheaper to make horror and violent films. However, to make a film that has violence and it serves no purpose then these films are doing it for the cheap shock value. For example to make a film about slavery in America but then refrain from showing the violent acts committed during that period then it becomes a question of authenticity. Does that make sense?

        • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

          I meant to also say a filmmaker choosing to make a blood bath film and fails to make a point, then they are using it for cheap thrills. Very much like reality TV.

          • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

            Yes, it does make sense. For me, I think it should only be used when it helps to story but shouldn’t distraact from the film either. I didn’t know that they are cheaper to make though!

            • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

              Well they use to be cheaper before CGI.

        • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

          Yes, very well put. I also think showing the consequences of violent actions are also very important. I have not forgotten your earlier question about NJ and what they are doing. I haven’t honestly had time to read up on it. I will though. 🙂

          • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

            Yes! I applaud u for saying that. Far too often in American films excessive sex or violence the consequences rarely are shown. That’s why I like British gangster films because they always show what the results are of such violent crimes.

            • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

              Hmm, I never looked at them that way but now you mention it, I think you’re right. All the British gangster films I’ve seen aren’t glamorous. They are very gritty.

              • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:57 PM #

                Ooooo! Hand raised up high!! I have a ton of films that demonstrate this. I will send u a list. LOL!!

  7. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

    I believe the story is the most important. If CGI, over producing, sex and violence gets in the way of telling the story then it’s excessive IMO. I mean violence should not be the main event but used to enhance the overall narrative.

    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

      I agree with you too on that.

    • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

      I agree OB. Also we can’t control those who have an inclination towards violence. Two people may see the same violent film. One may walk away unaffected and the other may be completely enthralled and stew over everything.

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:18 PM #

        This is very true LB. I also believe people have different responses to books as well. We don’t always respond the same way to certain books.

  8. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:22 PM #

    Bullying has become a major problem. Why do u think people bully?

    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:02 PM #

      To make themselves feel superior. Often the bully is being bullied themselves in some way. By doing it to someone else, I guess they could get a feeling of being in control too.

      • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

        Yes Ozzie that is very true. I…ugh…I see society working on improving kindness and such, but I don’t know how long it will last.

  9. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

    In my article some researchers believe a child’s environment can be more harmful and the cause for violence. Here’s some information on why people bully.

    Domestic Violence:The high rate of domestic violence means that many young people grow up expecting that violence is an acceptable way to get what one wants.

    Institutional Causes: If the institution at which the bullying takes place – whether the home, the school, or the workplace – does not have high standards for the way people treat each other, then bullying may be more likely and/or prevalent and have an influence on why people bully.

    Social Issues: The fact that one gets more social recognition for negative behaviors than for positive ones can also contribute to reasons why people bully. Situation comedies and reality television, as well as real life situations in schools, for example, show that acting out is more likely to get noticed than behaving oneself civilly and courteously.

    Family Issues: Families that are not warm and loving and in which feelings are not shared are more likely to have children who bully, either within the family home or in other locations in which the children meet others.

    For more information:

    • littlebells July 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM #


      …sigh…I will email you.

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

        O.k. will look out for it.

  10. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

    Is Ozzie at the Olympics?

    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM #

      LOL! I wish. I’m just very tired and in slow mode again!

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

        Ah! Oz…I’m sorry. But u know I think even in your slow mode u can run circles around me with your POV and comments.

        • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

          I don’t about tonight though. I’m fighting to keep my brain from switching off and making a continuous “duuhhhhh” noise, lol!

          • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

            Ahhh! I will take it easy on u tonight Oz!

            • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM #

              Lol, thank you! My olympic reply has pretty much fried the last of my working brain cells. It’s having to work extra hard because I’ve only been half listening to what’s going on (to busy watching the actual games), making it extra tough for me to remember!

              • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 9:02 PM #

                U did an excellent job!

  11. ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

    Hi all!

    Interesting article OB! I really don’t know how to stop this from happening again. I really would like to say common sense however some individuals have none at all!

    • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

      lol! Thanks Ozzie! ITA not everyone is operating with a full deck. That’s why communities need to be more involved in protecting there safety IMO.

  12. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 7:56 PM #


    Off topic: One more Q about the Olympics. What do u think of Romney’s comment about London not being well equipped to handle the Olympics?

    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 8:36 PM #

      I find it funny that he wants to be president and yet has no talent in foreign relations. The UK is the USA’s closest and strongest ally, he really doesn’t want to be burning bridges especially as he could be president and may need us at some point. Apart from Vietnam, we’ve joined US forces in every war since then I think.

      As for the actual security, I agree that the security firm used messed up massively but as it’s a private company, there was nothing the goverment could do to make changes. So they brought in their own security to top the numbers up, the army, lol! They are more than capable of doing the job.

      If he’s talking about empty seating, again its not really the goverments fault. That’s down to tickets not being sold abroad so are thrown away (cheaper than sending them back), dignitaries and olympic officials/ family of the athlets not attending because they’ve seen what they’ve wanted to see. Other seats have been bought by sponsers of the games but they haven’t shown up either. So again it’s down to private firms that the goverment have no control.

      If he meant the facilitaries and transportation, well those are doing just fine!

      • Open Book July 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

        Thanks Ozzie for the wonderful and objectivity u maintained in your answer. I for one cannot be that kind to Romney. He is such an opportunist given all eyes are on him at the moment to put a plug in for his pals to host the winter Olympics and down London in the process. He’s given me another reason not to vote for him.

  13. Open Book July 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM #


    Thanks for joining us for this discussion. If u have any comments or questions feel free to leave them. I will come back later and answer them.


    • ozzie20 July 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM #

      Night OB and LB! Despite being tired I’ve had fun! 🙂

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