We’ve heard a lot this week about why the U.S. has the highest per-capita number of gun crimes, but I haven’t heard anything about our culture of violence.
Just look at the lineup of prime-time TV: 75 percent involves violent crime. How about popular movies and video games? Violent movies are often box-office hits, and video games offer opportunities to gun down enemies.
Of course, countries that have lower rates of mass shootings, armed robberies and murders also depict violence in media, but I wonder whether they are as popular as they are here.
In the ’50s, I was raised on Western shootouts on TV and cowboy films — but most of those took place in the 19th century. Or, if there were murders on a contemporary detective show, they were off screen or briefly shown.
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As we learned from the Roseburg, Ore., shooter’s motive — a desire for notoriety — we are a culture that worships fame for whatever reason. I hope that as the debate on gun control continues, it includes the influence of popular culture on crimes committed with guns and how the media covers murder.