The Daily Gamecock

Media greatly favors communication of violence

Uplifting stories deserve to be showcased just as often

After seeing “Kick Ass 2” this weekend, I was sure of a few things. Guns are cool and everyone should have them, and if you don’t agree with someone, just beat them up! Right? Well, $13.3 million on opening weekend says that a lot of people saw this movie, and whether they approved of the excessive violence or not, they were bombarded with it for two hours and desensitized just a little more.

Movie plots these days take lives like the theater takes your money: more and more each time. This all may sound like soccer mom mumbo jumbo trying to keep you from the next Grand Theft Auto, but the glorification of violence and its effects don’t stay in the theater. That adrenaline rush remains in people’s minds and can plant something dangerous.
One plot line from “Kick Ass 2” is that fame is easily attained and easily lost. What we seem to remember longer than the daily blips of news and fame are almost exclusively tragedies, often senseless killings. No one wants to forget the dead, so their death and memories are showcased for years to come.

Collective memory may seem like the best way to memorialize a loss, but it’s also the easiest way to give lasting glory to the killer. How do you go out with a blaze of glory that’s sure to make a name for yourself in America? Walk into a movie theater, a hospital, or school, fully strapped with guns and ammo.

Our country remembers those who commit atrocities far more than those who lead quiet lives and behave well, and thereby we perpetuate the problem. And so the violence keeps happening, and the media continue to use these tragedies as jumping-off points to advance their agendas on gun laws and to attract viewers.

Last week at an elementary school in Georgia, a woman named Antoinette Tuff stopped a man with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammo from committing another national tragedy. Tuff simply talked to him, listening to what he had to say and in turn told him about her own life. “We all go through something in life,” she said.

She assured him that this didn’t have to be the end, that she loved him and that she would help him walk out alive, acting as his human shield if he laid down his weapons. Every child went home to their parent that day thanks to Tuff.

Somehow, this story doesn’t seem to take hold of the news. This uplifting incident somehow doesn’t grip people like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, but it should. Sandy Hook could have been repeated, but Tuff stepped in with real human affection and changed the course of events.

Action movies with lots of explosions have their place, but if they can showcase a disregard for human life, people like Tuff should be placed on an equally high pedestal to balance our humanity out.