Magazine article Variety

"The Solution Is to Allow Students, Teachers, Principals and Staff to Be Able to Defend Their Kids If, God Forbid, the Need Ever Arose"

Magazine article Variety

"The Solution Is to Allow Students, Teachers, Principals and Staff to Be Able to Defend Their Kids If, God Forbid, the Need Ever Arose"

Article excerpt

Mike Hammond

Mike Hammond Lc kgts/ative counsel for the Gun Owners of America. The group was the first pro-gun organization to comment after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Hammond spoke with Variety's Rachel Abrams.

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

Yes, and there's even more of a connection between media and real-life violence. Columbine received a huge amount of media attention I think because many in the media thought that it would be a vehicle for achieving significant gun control. But the net effect was that it created a series of ricochet killings that continue today.

Do you remember what Adam Lanza was wearing? He was wearing black, basically the same outfit as the killer in (a December mall shooting in Oregon), who was wearing the same as the killer in Aurora, Colo.

I think it's reasonably clear that these killings occur because individuals look at media coverage of previous shooters and determine that this is the way they can get their 15 minutes of fame.

Is one form of media more dangerous than others?

I think the most dangerous thing is the spiraling coverage of the killings. I predict there are at least 10, maybe a lot more, young white males, probably 15 to 25 years of age, sitting out there watching the coverage of Newtown and using it as a basis to plan their own 15 minutes of fame.

Is it possible for Hollywood to show violence that would deter people?

I don't think it's any more possible to regulate Hollywood than it is to regulate guns. Probably both would take more political effort than Washington has the wherewithal to achieve.

Why does "liberal Hollywood* make so much violent content?

I'll answer that with one with one word: Hypocrisy.

Is Sandy Hook a mentalhealth issue, media issue, gun issue or something else?

We think it's a gun issue, but probably in a different sense than you do. We think that when federal law advertised the fact that Lanza could walk into school, shoot up a kindergarten, get his name on the evening news and not risk the possibility that anyone was going to fire back, that pretty much guaranteed the result.

When some in the media talk about violence in America, they're talking guns. …

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