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Tell Us: Does NRA Exploit Violent Movies to Sell Guns?

A gun industry analyst says NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre is hypocritical in his latest attack on violent movies.

Washington, DC — A report issued Jan. 2 by author and gun industry expert Tom Diaz shoots down National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s recent attack on violence in films and games.

Bloody Reel: How The National Rifle Association And The Gun Industry Exploit Violent Movies To Sell Guns...And More Guns, documents in detail how the NRA and the gun industry it represents have promoted the use of guns in movies and exploited many of the very movies LaPierre recently attacked as the cause of gun violence in America.  

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On Friday, December 21, 2012 LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s chief executive, blasted the movie industry in a press conference, pointing to what he called “blood-soaked films out there” and exclaiming, “Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”

“If violent movies are filthy pornography, Wayne LaPierre is the king of filthy porno,” said Diaz, author of two books on the gun industry. “For over 10 years, the NRA—through its National Firearms Museum, its websites, and its media outlets—has glorified the use of guns in some of the most brutally violent films ever made. The gun industry the NRA represents exploits violent movies for one reason: to sell guns.”

Do you agree? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bloody Reel describes two special exhibits on Hollywood guns that the NRA has mounted at its National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA. The report also recounts how former movie critic Stephen Hunter – who wrote the introduction to the NRA brochure for its current exhibit, “Hollywood Guns” – dismissed the effects of violence in movies in his own book, and suggested that violent movies head off violence.

“Wayne LaPierre obviously never visits his own porno-packed museum,” Diaz said.  “He also seems not to have a clue that of one his favorite scriveners has in the past scoffed at the violent-movies-make-them-do-it excuse the NRA is peddling as the cause of gun violence in America.”

Diaz is the author of the forthcoming The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It (The New Press, Spring 2013) and Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America (The New Press, 1999). 

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Tom Diaz is a lawyer, author, journalist, and was formerly Democratic Counsel to the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He worked for then-Rep. Charles E. Schumer. His principal brief covered issues related to terrorism and firearms.

Prior to his staff work for the Congress, Diaz studied and wrote about terrorism and transnational organized crime at the National Strategy Information Center in Washington, DC.  Before joining NSIC, he was assistant managing editor for news for six years at The Washington Times newspaper, where his earlier beats as a reporter included the Supreme Court and national security matters.

Most recently Diaz was senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy organization that studies the gun industry, its products, and their impact on crime, death, and injury in the United States.

Dynamo47 January 09, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Do video games exploit violence to sell their games?
tom blair January 09, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Does the federal government exploit violence to create more federal police forces (e.g. DHS)?
Tom Bartman January 09, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Reading this resulted in me going out and purchasing a gun.
monkeySEEmonkeyDO January 09, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Does the media exploit 1% of the population so the government can enforce gun regulations on the rest of the 99%?
Patti Bieber Kennedy January 09, 2013 at 05:15 PM
The NRA promotes responsible ownership and use of guns. It is the movie makers, the directors, actors, producers, and anyone else who can make a buck that exploit violent movies. Not the NRA.
Karen January 09, 2013 at 07:54 PM
This is ridiculous. The NRA is not a group that promotes violence in any way, it simply tries to protect Americans' right to own a gun. The NRA actually offers an array of safety classes which promote responsible handling and storage of guns. Spinning stories has become such an art form. Let's just stop making up conspiracy theories that have absolutely no basis in truth!
Wade Temple January 09, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Years back, when I was a member, they backed the thouht that everyone should carry a gun and that even full automatic weapons should be allowed to all who wanted one. When the constitution and bill of rights were written, only one shot guns were available. I wonder if the authors knew what is going on here today, how they would have written them..
Jonathan Gahman January 09, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Wade, when the Constitution was written all they had were quill pens; I guess that should nullify your right to Free Speech through any form of media other than the written or spoken word??
Local Yocal January 09, 2013 at 11:38 PM
As a gun owner I do not support the NRA. I do support the right to bear arms and defend it daily. There is balance in all without giving up the right.
Nathaniel Moran January 09, 2013 at 11:47 PM
If one thinks the NRA is opportunistic in any way then one one must understand that thay are fighting a propaganda war against the gun-grabbing liberals who are taking advantage of a terrible trajedy to take your rights away. They want to spend your money more freely and they want to take your gun rights away. The NRA may very well be opportunistic in their approach to swell the number of gun owners and card carrying, paying members so they can fight for a way of life that will not preserve itself. Be thankful they are out in front.
Robert Willi January 10, 2013 at 12:51 AM
I have not heard of anyone wanting to take anyone's rights to own a fire arm. So you're "gun grabbing liberals" argument is false and untrue. Right now anyone with any mental disability can purchase a hand gun at a gun show without a background check that would be preformed had he purchased it at a licensed gun store. Plus they want to reinstate the ban on assault rifles. This is even supported by NRA backed politicians who are standing up against the NRA even after they were told that the NRA wouldn't contribute to their campaigns if they would vote for the ban. Something needs to be done to allow the average citizen the right to own a gun but at the same time keep guns out of criminals hands. How this can be done I'll leave to our elected officials. One thing I do know is that nobody should own a extended clip unless their in Law Enforcement.
Karl January 10, 2013 at 04:20 AM
When the constitution was written, the regular folk had the same or better weaponry than the British. The 2nd amendment is not about hunting, it's about the ability to safeguard our rights and giving us a means to protect us from tyranny.
Karl January 10, 2013 at 04:23 AM
@ Robert: I'm thinking you've never been to a gun show, at least in PA. There's NO way anyone is buying a gun without a background check. When Obama's executive order is unleashed, let me know if you still think no one's wanting to take anyone's right to own a fire arm away.
Babs Ann January 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM
There has been gun violence in movies since the days when the boob tube was invented. When I was a kid we grew up with the Monroes, Bonanza and war movies and no one was driven to shooting up a school or mall. Want to know when kids became crazy when feminist insisted Woman should be equal to the men. When woman should throw away their aprons and get out of the kitchen and be productive. As if being a 'housewife' and 'mother' were not being productive. That is when kids became crazy, when MOMS went to work. This is a direct result from the decay of the family produced solely by the immoral left. That is correct. Hooray for you ! If Obama pushes gun control be executive order.he is asking for trouble. It will be the biggest mistake of his life. The consequences of such a Constitutional rape will be met with fury.
Babs Ann January 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM
And for the liberals who 'fight' for the rights of the mentally ill and convicts. Now would be a great time to stop it. The ACLU has gone above and below making it more difficult for Doctors, Judges and Community officials to do their jobs correctly . Leave it be so the sick, twisted and violent are where they should be and not out in society.
Marc Lombardi January 10, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I want to make sure I understand this before I have a stroke. Are you HONESTLY saying that the reason for increased violence in this country is because women stopped being stay-at-home housewives and joined the workforce? Because if that's the case, you're setting back women far worse than you're accusing liberals of setting back gun-owners. For the record, I'm a gun owner but I do not support the tactics and beliefs of the NRA.
Ridiculous January 10, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I have to agree with Marc Lombardi, below. Your belief that women wanting equality is the reason for violence is frankly ridiculous and insulting. Clearly, I assume since you deride feminists and women who want to provide for their families, have you ever worked outside the home? Exercised your right to vote? Bought land, or a house, or owned any property? Because all those things come from equality for women, too. I can't imagine that you've never voted, considering all of your blog posts on Patch are flaming right-wing screeds against "liberals".
Leanie Kennedy January 18, 2013 at 08:06 PM
So Barb, some may qualify your comments as sick and twisted? What shall society do with you?
Patti Bieber Kennedy January 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Leannie, I have to say that I think you have a point there. > Barb, what should we do with you and others like you? TotallyRidiculous, I agree with you and Marc Lombardi that Barb's comment stating that women wanting equality is the reason for this country's upsurge of violence. It is a ludicrous statement. Barb, I can't believe that you honestly believe that the fall of American society began with Women's Rights. You must not have ever been out of the house, because there are some wonderful things done and created by women since the Equal Rights Amendment was signed to include women in 1920. The ban on guns is due to the criminals ability to purchase or gain ownership of illegal guns for the sole purpose of doing violence. This is not a result of people who lawfully own and responsibly use their firearms. It is obvious that you have a computer, so you should use it to obtain more credible information to back up your opinions.

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