Gun Violence Also Pretty Widespread in Films

November 11, 2013


According to a new study by Ohio State University and Annenberg Public Policy Center, extraordinary levels of gun violence aren't just rising in our news reports and places where people congregate; it's also getting pretty tough not to get shot in a film.

Examining 945 movies, including the top 30 at the box office every year from 1950 to 2012, researchers reportedly came the conclusion that gun violence in films has more than doubled in the last sixty years. What's more, now PG-13 films outpace rated-R fare in terms of dudes getting shot--not all that much of a shock considering how often PG-13 box office hits like Taken, Inception, and Skyfall play more like slightly toned down R-rated films than anything nearing PG.

While the correlation between seeing gun violence and committing it remains a topic of frequent debate, authors of the paper are calling for the MPAA to change their ratings rules regarding firearms in the wake of... let's see, there was that shooting at Bryant Park a couple days ago, and that one in the Texas house party--oh, and there was just this four-person murder suicide in Brooklyn. So in the wake of any one or all of those.

Said the researchers: "Even if youth do not use guns, these findings suggest that they are exposed to increasing gun violence in top-selling films. By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns."

The MPAA, which remains quite averse to allowing boy and girl swimsuit areas in PG-13 films, has not yet responded to the plea to treat guns with the same sense of dread and fear.

Notably, while PG-13 gun fatalities have risen "considerably" since 1985, apparently they've dropped in PG and G-rated films, as Bambi and Old Yeller continue to really fuck up the old numbers.

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