Sunday, January 06, 2013

Drawing the Line

Earlier this week, Harvey Levin of TMZ tweeted:

Actors' roles don't have to line up with their real values. The measure of actors is their ability to play a range of characters across the moral spectrum. If actors support gun control with the same visibility on their personal time, audiences know where they stand.

When he played MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson, like MacGyver, was a gun control advocate. Anderson went on to play the very-comfortable-with-guns Gen. Jack O'Neill on Stargate SG-1, but I believe the actor still supports gun control.

When we hear that killers watched violent movies, read violent books, or played violent video games, the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the material. But I watched violent movies and played violent video games growing up, and they soured me on mindless violence. I enjoy fiction and poetry about crime and have no desire to hurt real people. I find it cleverest when characters don't use violence to get what they want.

People inspired to real violence by fictitious violence cannot tell one from the other. Improving our relationships and ability to help them prevents violence more effectively than trying to control content.

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