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Patch's Poll: Can Violent Movies and Video Games Influence Real Violence?

The question has come up once again after the Newtown school shootings.

Within a day after the rampage in Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 students and staff members dead, the news emerged that killer Adam Lanza spent hours playing "Call of Duty" and other first-person shooter video games.

Almost as quickly came statements from Hollywood and video-game enthusiasts that violent games and movies are clearly fiction and don't influence those who play or view them.

The same question arose after the , which happened during a showing of the "The Dark Knight Rises."

Quentin Tarantino, director of a number of violent movies including the new release "Django," told CNN.com this week:

"This has gone back all the way down to Shakespeare’s days — alright, when there’s violence in the street, the cry becomes 'blame the playmaker.' And you know, I actually think that’s a very facile argument to pin on something that’s a real life tragedy.”

Friday's devastation was likely the result of a very complex set of circumstances, but the question remains: Does violence in American art and culture have any influence in how people behave in real life?

Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Anthony M December 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
The video games that are mentioned are all adult rated. I am 31 and i was carded when i purchased black ops. Parents and Americans in general need to stop pointing the fingers and look in the mirror. You don't want your kids playing it, don't buy it. You don't want them watching it, lock the cable box like my parents did. Stop blaming other people and take an active roll in your child's life. Take a long look in the mirror.
Teacher/Parent December 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Great article by Lt Col Grossman http://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=569855499706580&id=171432776215523&refid=17
Anthony M December 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Again, don't buy them for your kids. end of story. rated adult for a reason.
WC Ryan December 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Rather than deferring to the stances of lay people-- we should listen to what Medical Societies say about the issue and heed their warnings. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association released a past joint statement, which said: “over 1000 studies…point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children...” and “…the conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children.”
mary lou miller December 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM
if a child has a physical illness no one hides it why then dont we admit that some of our children really are disturbed and seek help for them its out there if you look. of course its painful to admit but we have drs to help these children and adults dont laay this on our teachers they usually are the first ones to recognise the signs but of course its always not my child we have to wake up and smell the violence hopefully before it happens and it will happen again if we dont all give the teachers and the drs more input into our childrens development well meaning people dont cover up illnesses of any kind!!!!!!!!!!!

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