GUNS in SOCIETY
Gun Use in Film and Television Dramas and it Impacts on Our Society
The Impact of Gun
The impact of gun use on our society in film and television dramas has become a growing concern. Kids in our society are always led to the television and when a gun is used in the film or television drama it exposes them to violence and increases the chances of them being involved in violent behavior (Fiske).
Research has proven that by the time the average U.S child begins elementary school he or she will have seen 8,000 murders and 10,000 acts of violence on television with most being guns.. Moreover, research has depicted the use of guns in film and television dramas to have a detrimental effect on young children and young adults especially those who come from a violent neighborhood.
Therefore, it is prudent to admit that gun use in film and television dramas has a negative impact such as mass shooting, fear, threat and violence on our society.
Effects of Mass Media
One of the notable changes in recent years is how television and mass media has saturated our daily lives in the society. To some extent, film and television dramas have had a massive impact on our society by infiltrating the valves and behavior of our children through exhibiting scenes which depict gun use (Williams). . There are several studies beginning from 1950s that have depicted the relationship between the exposure to violence in media and aggression in real life.
In 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a report stating that media violence is a risk factor in mass shootings in schools. The results of a study released in March 2002, that studied 700 male and female youths over a seventeen year period showed a definite relationship between TV viewing habits and acts of crime and aggression late in life.
In 2003, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also released a report indicating that there is a significant causal factor in aggression and violence. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a 2007 report on violent programming on television and claimed that there is a “strong evidence” that exposure to violence through the media can increase aggressive behavior in children. These reports and others based on scientific reviews, literature and studies are all indications that violence in general guns use in film and television shows increase the risk of youths exemplifying that behavior in real life if it is shown by their idol actor and thus shall impact negativity on our society.
Use of Guns in Film and Television Dramas
The use of guns has reached dangerous proportions since almost every film and television dramas nowadays have scenes showing the use of guns. It seems to be a tread because most often than not when you turn on a film or a television drama there is a gun scene. Although most television series and movies are rated to warn viewers about the content of the film or the tv show, scientific research have shown that violence especially in PG-13 have escalated for decades.
According to a CNN report, a new study shows that, 94% of most popular movies since 1985 contain at least one violent scene, and half of those involve a gun. The report clearly states that R-rated films contain more violence but PG-13 films in recent years contain more violence than R-rated films.
A new review report published by the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics by Bushman and his colleague Daniel Romer of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania examined gun violence in films and how those scenes are shown in some specific MPAA ratings. They studied 945 films that were sampled from 30 top-grossing films from 1950-2012. Train coders identified 17,695 violent sequence. Those violence segments were subsequently coded for the use of guns. According to the report since 2009, violence in PG-13 films have increase more than R-rated films. The researchers identified PG-13 films as having more gun violence. This research is an indication that youths who are movie watches are at risk to exposure to gun violence.
More gun violence are seen in films and television dramas in PG - 13 than those rated - R films (CNN).
. Some Violent TV Series and Movies
- Sons of Anarchy (FX).
- The Following (Fox).
- Boardwalk (Empire).
- The walking Dead (AMC).
- Dexter (Showtime).
- Criminal Minds (CBS).
- Breaking Bad.
- Gun violence in PG - 13 movies has tripled - CNN - CNN.com https://www.cnn.com > health > gun-viol....
The use of guns is distorting because what viewers see is what they replicate in real life thus impacting negatively on our society. The negative impact could be in the form of mass shooting, as witnessed recently in our schools or through murder in the society.
How often do people watch film and Television dramas
It should be a worry to the society because the use of guns in film and television dramas can be termed as propagating violence as its viewers are more likely to imitate the actions which could impact negatively in our society. For instance, a 1994 murder case is an example of how gun violence in films and television dramas can have negative impact on the individuals and the society.
Nathan Martinez 17 at time of the incident had watched the “Natural Born Killers” for at least half dozen times shot his stepmother and half sister. Martinez, who later have shaved head and wore granny sunglasses like Mickey Knox, the main character of the movie, allegedly, told a friend “It’s nothing like the movies”.
Effects of guns on behavior
It should be noted that there is no single factor that can change a person’s behavior from non-violent to violent all of a sudden. However, through prolonged exposure to the use of guns in film and television dramas, a person’s behavior could change because it is a risk factor.
Children and the youth are the likeliest victims because of their addiction to films and television dramas which depict aggressive and violent behaviors through the use of guns (Croteau).
Therefore, there is need to address the issue of guns in films and television dramas because of the impact it has on the society.
Effects of gun use in film and television Dramas on our society
The use of guns in film and television dramas have both short and long-term effects on our society. The short-term effect could be in the form of arousal by the gun scenes and later on mimicking the aggressive behaviors from the videos which could cause harm to the society.
In most films, the actor who uses much force often gets away or is never harmed. A viewer may copy that behavior and assume he or she will get away from the law hence having a negative impact on the society.
Thus, the impact of gun use in film and television dramas poses a challenge in the control of social behavior thereby posing a challenge to our society.
The impact of gun use in film and television dramas have on our society cannot be underestimated. Most viewers, especially children and youth, tend to mimic the behavior of their favorite actors and thus contribute to them developing an aggressive behavior which poses a negative impact to the society (Croteau).
It is thus prudent for the federal government to enact laws which could regulate the display of such negative contents in a bid to create sanity and shape the behavior of our young people for the benefit of our society.
. Anderson, Craig A., Arlin J. Benjamin Jr, and Bruce D. Bartholow. “Does the gun pull the trigger? Automatic priming effects of weapon pictures and weapon names.” Psychological science (1998): 308-314.
. Bushman, Brad J., and Craig A. Anderson. “Media violence and the American public: Scientific facts versus media misinformation.” American Pyschologist 56.6-7 (2001): 477.
. Brad J. Bushman, Ph. D, “The Weapons Effect”,
. Brad J. Bushman, Patrick E.Jamieson, IIana Weitz and Daniel Romer “Gun Violence Trends in Movies”, Pediatrics; originally published online November 11, 2013
. Croteau, David, and William Hoynes. Media/society: Industries, images, and audiences. Sage Publications, 2013.
. Coker TR, et al. Media violence exposure and physical aggression in fifth-grade children. Acad Pediatric. 2015; (15) 1:82-88
. Federal Communications Commission. “In the matter of violence television programing and its impact on children. 2007. https://app.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-50A1.pdf (apps.fcc.gov).
. Fiske, John. Television culture. Routledge, 2010.
. Gentile D. Media Violence and Children: A complete Guide for Parents and Professionals. Westport, CT: Praeger; 2014.
. Police Seize Suspect Obsessed by a Movie, 1994. https://mobile.nytimes.com
.Williams, Raymond. Television: Technology and cultural form. Routledge, 2004.