Magazine article Variety

"There Are Too Many Guns in America; We Have Sold Our Soul to the Devil"

Magazine article Variety

"There Are Too Many Guns in America; We Have Sold Our Soul to the Devil"

Article excerpt

James Stern

James Stern, CEO of Endgame, has produced multiplefilms, including 2012's "hooper. "In 1999, Stern directed and produced "All the Rage, "a film about U.S. gun violence. The issue has been a particular concern to him ever since his roommate at Columbia U was shot dead as he was walking down the street. Stern spoke with Variety} RachelAbrams.

Is there a connection between media and real-life violence?

There's no question that there are too many guns in the country. I made a film about too many guns in the country 15 years ago when there were 75 million guns . . . now there are 300 million.

If you have a proliferation of guns and you have bipolar disorders that show up between the ages of 20 and 30, then you're going to have people who don't have criminal records who have access to weaponry - and that's a perfect storm for disaster.

I believe, from a layman's viewpoint, that (playing) violent videogames, which you can play day and night, is a different situation than going to a movie for two hours, which is a more communal experience.

There are so many problems, though. You can't put people away who haven't snapped yet. In the case of the kid in Aurora and Adam Lanza (at Newtown), they had no criminal records. So you have to go to the source, which to some degree is what kind of mental health (help) can they get.

If you sell your soul to the devil, the devil's going to come calling, which is what this country has done. If Adam Lanza was not playing violent videogames, would he have snapped? I don't know the answer to that, and no one does.

Is depiction of violence auto-matically glamorizing it?

Again, you're asking for an informed psychological opinion that it would take some sort of doctor to answer.

From a layman's standpoint, if you're playing a game alone and learning how to shoot in a simulated environment, it seems to me if you're bipolar or schizophrenic, that may push you over the edge more than something else. On the other hand, those kids (at Columbine) were dressing up like they were from "The Matrix."Aurora was the Joker from "The Dark Knight." So its hard to say.

If you're doing "Saving Private Ryan," which has horrific violence in it, it's contextualized to be very much about how the violence of war is detrimental. …

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