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Media and Violence

May 02, 1999

Re "Time Warner's Chief Blames Guns, Not Media," April 28: Yes, guns are a big problem in this country, and the issue will hopefully now be dealt with. But for Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin to say that violent movies and TV don't deserve blame angers me beyond belief. He is as irresponsible as any one of the National Rifle Assn. members trying to keep the guns out there. Mr. Levin, wake up and realize that parents today are not happy about the crap that you guys put out there, and more of this blood should be on your and Hollywood's hands than you would like to admit!

KAREN LINDSAY, San Francisco

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Aren't movie and television studios some of the largest purchasers of guns for use in their pictures? Perhaps Levin should be calling on his colleagues to apply some of their much-touted creativity to telling stories that give us drama and emotion with less violence and fewer guns.

LORI DORFMAN, Director, Berkeley Media Studies Group, Berkeley

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Your April 28 article on the Littleton tragedy references the film I produced with Ted Field in 1984, "Revenge of the Nerds," but your writer cannot have actually seen our film. After fraternity jocks trash the house of the nerds, our nerds' "revenge" is inspired by Gandhi: The two leading nerds descend on a football pep rally, seize the microphone and appeal to all those students, faculty and alumni who ever felt victimized by the school's caste system to join them in passive resistance. As the film ends, slowly but surely most of the hundreds of kids and adults present join the nerds' cause and nerds become the tolerant majority.

We fought hard to retain this ending and miraculously won the point when others wanted the nerds to blow up the jock fraternity. It is inaccurate to lump all filmmakers into the category of "violence sells, so damn the social consequences." Many of us care a great deal and find that positive messages are also very commercial.

PETER SAMUELSON, London

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As an actor in Hollywood for 29 years I have seen more gratuitous violence and cruelty than I care to say. It is time for a violence tax to be levied on this negative pablum that we continue to feed our children. I realize the necessity of conflict in drama, but there are human lives at stake, and it is time we were all responsible for one another. A violence tax would be felt by the pockets of the producers, and I guarantee you better and more enlightening entertainment.

JAMES DAUGHTON, Hollywood

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The senseless action that stole the lives of 13 innocent people has led the way to the knee-jerk reaction of banning the 2nd Amendment. What these bleeding hearts fail to understand is that the fault does not lie in the gun or the gun maker, instead the fault lies in the individuals themselves. There needs to be more individual accountabilty in our lives.

Let us not blame society, TV or the Internet. If we learn to pass the buck when it comes to our individual actions, where will that path lead us? Whatever the stage was in their lives, somewhere these two young men failed to learn the difference between what is right and wrong. They are to blame for this event. End of story. May God have mercy on their souls.

TED CORCORAN, Woodland Hills

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