Monday, December 17, 2012

Joe Scarborough's Comments on Newtown Tragedy


I rarely agree with conservative Republican Joe Scarborough but on this subject, I agree 100%.  It is time for this nation to stop glorifying violence in entertainment, easy access to assault rifles and take seriously mental health issues in this country.  We cannot have more tragedies like what happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  We just cannot.






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11 comments:

  1. I was in awe of Joe Scarborough this morning as I listened to him talk so passionately about this tragedy. Although I knew when I turned on the TV this morning that he would not blindly parrot any speech from the NRA, I had no idea that he would so forcefully break from his own history of Libertarian gun rights support. He said that this latest tragedy made him realize that things have changed and that something MUST be done about our 3 pronged problem of a violence celebrating popular culture, out of control access to military style weaponry and lax treatment of mentally disturbed adolescents.
    Perhaps today there really has been a sea change in the country’s will to finally address these overwhelming cultural problems. I pray that it may be so.

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    1. I too was in awe of Joe Scarborough this morning. I like Joe but have often disagreed with him but on this subject he said exactly what I was thinking. He hit every point pitch perfect. Now is the time to change the way this country looks at three things: the easy availability of military style assault weapons, the celebration of violence in our entertainment (movies, video games) and the mentally ill which have been largely ignored in our culture. There is no one easy answer but we must start with banning the ownership of military style assault rifles by civilians. We have failed as a culture when small children and their parents fear school as a combat zone. We have to change. As Joe said, the biggest threat to the safety of our children and us are not the foreign terrorists but the evil within our country.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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  2. I might have been more impressed with Joe had I not read this quote by Roger Ebert the day after Columbine first and had Joe included all of media (NEWS) and not just hollywood or video games. Even I played cowboys and indians and liked guns (and my sister's barbies).

    Roger Ebert on how the press reports mass killings

    Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that. "But what about 'Basketball Diaries'?" she asked. "Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?" The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

    The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."

    In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

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    1. I agree that the media of all kinds which shoves 24/7 "news" down our throats leads to more violence, copycat murders, arson, rape, etc. As much as possible, I have retreated to ignoring this media assault, though in a society such as ours, it is hard to retreat. Of course, we feel for the victims of the crimes, but we don't need to see and hear about it every waking minute of our lives. It leads to depression at a minimum and to exacerbation of cruelty and violence as well.

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    2. Of course you're right Sean. However, I do believe excessive violence in movies and video games dos desensitize 13 and 14 year old males to the results of real violence. I can enjoy a "Star Wars" movie without heads being loped off and blood gushing every other scene. I "get it" that conflict is a mainstay of movies but do I need to see the blood and gore? No and impressionable teenagers don't need to see it either. Yes, the news media also contributes to the glorification. I am so tired of hearing how "bright" and "smart" these shooters are. And they should not say their names but just refer to them as "shooters." Something has to be done now to change our culture of violence.

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  3. The best I can say is THANK YOU for dispassionate analysis and reporting. It's so lacking in today's news. I worked in the broadcast TV industry for 20+ years, and made my living by hoping the ratings would RISE! And the tagline "if it bleeds, it leads" has been literally true since the 70's. And now with the Internet, and all that entails, we have that exact phenomenon 24/7/internationally. And what separates today from "way back then" is the total immersion of the news media in looking for the worst possible event to lead with. UGH!!!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Thank you for your comment Jay.

      Ron

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  4. Since we cannot do anything about gun control it seems and there are so many assault weapons already out there, why can't we have ammunition control. Make ammunition sales illegal for all assault type weapons, and limit ammunition to hunting rifles.

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    1. We can do something, ban assault rifles. There is absolutely no need for individual citizens to possess weapons of mass destruction.

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  5. spouse and I watched this segment together tonight. sobering, for sure.

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    1. Something has to be done now Anne Marie. Little children shouldn't have to fear to go to school. That should be the one time in their lives that they are free from harm. We can do something about this.

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