Guns: Human Psychology and More

I was surprised to read an editorial by Jann S. Wenner, the founding editor and publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine that was printed in the Los Angeles Times last week. It was a Perspective on Gun Control that essentially blamed guns for everything and adamantly denied that music, video games, or films served as a trigger for violence. Said Wenner: “It is patent insanity to think that art causes violence.”

Of course “art: – although I would hardly call those absurdly violent video games “art” – does not cause violence. But is Mr. Wenner trying to suggest that human beings are merely robots who are affected by nothing?

Music, videos, TV, video games, films, books, newspapers, TV news shows, entertainment shows and the people we meet and talk with all have an impact on how we view the world and ourselves. It is absurd to suggest otherwise. If a piece of music or a scene from a movie can bring a tear to the eye – then surely it can elicit other emotions as well.

Absolutely everything we see, hear, taste, smell and touch affects us.

How we process that information and react to it is what makes us individuals. A person with a violent disposition processes his input in an entirely different way from someone of a different nature. A child pornographer, for example, sees a school yard full of innocent children playing differently from a schoolteacher or a parent. And the child pornographer would be gratified by a video of child porn whereas the parent would be appalled. Violence, lewdness or any other vice comes from people who are prone to such acts.

Magazines such as Rolling Stone and newspapers use headlines and pictures to elicit an effect on the reader. Film makers design ad campaigns including video box covers to grab attention. If they didn’t think they were affecting the readers or viewers, then why not just put the title on a black box or the name of the newspaper or magazine over rows and rows of unheadlined text.

The Democrats are standing around congratulating themselves for pulling off another coup – more anti-gun statutes. I find it hard to abide anything that moral cripple Bill Clinton has to say about anything. And the Republicans are hanging their heads knowing they’ve been pushed to the brink by having to support a cause they believe is inherently wrong. Meanwhile, California’s own legislative hypocrites Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein vote for any anti-gun bill they can get their hands on, secure in the knowledge that they have their own guns and carry permits tucked neatly in their Gucci purses.

Actress Sharon Stone last week felt the need to “make a statement” by giving up her guns to the police. Parents and Democrats everywhere can now rest assured that Stone won’t be gunning down large numbers of high school students any time soon. But I sure hope she isn’t one of those Hollywood liberal hypocrites who speak out against gun ownership as they hide behind the security of their armed bodyguards.

Even TV Evangelist and author Reverend Robert Schuller of California’s Crystal Cathedral understands the concept of good and evil as it relates to human choice. People do evil things if it is in their makeup to do those things and people react to the world about them in numerous different ways.

You certainly cannot censor the world in trying to corral the bad apples. But by the same token, you cannot act as if people live in some kind of void unaffected by the data they receive. (original post approx 1999)


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