Why we should ban guns from films


Here’s a radical proposal: Let’s ban guns from being shown in movies and television.

But not for the reasons you think.

I’m not suggesting this because real handguns and automatic weapons are a threat to humans everywhere, though that is true. Nor is it because the casual, often comedic presentation of gun violence in films and TV shows tends to anesthetize young viewers to violence and its effects. Or that it warps their perception of reality so that it seems like a natural segue to move immediately from an argument to, say, lethal gunplay. The science isn’t all in on that last one, but I’d wager on the side of the empiricists.

No, I believe we should ban guns from movies and television for another reason altogether:

Because they’re always the most boring and predictable dramatic choice you can make.

And I say this, in spite of the fact that big-budget action films attract a mass audience that is entertained by extended exchanges of automatic weapon fire, in which hardly anyone ever gets hit. (Except when those automatic weapons are being fired by the hero – who can make every bullet in a machine-gun burst strike a different enemy.)

This commentary continues on my website.

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