Long live movie violence? Film critic Betsy Sharkey, in the wake of several tragic shooting sprees and the calls in Washington to study the effects of cultural works on the national psyche, takes the stance that Hollywood need not tone back its depictions of violence.
Movies are our cautionary tales, fictional reminders of the true nature of humanity’s baser basic instincts. And moviemakers — by that I mean every name above and below the title, for it takes a village — are the seers, the interpreters, the illusionists, the entertainers.
They are not the instigators.
Decide whether you think Sharkey’s right, or if her assertion should be placed on the chopping block by taking a look at her entire column on Movies Now.
Illustration: Edel Rodriguez / For The Times
The State of the Union comes to an end: President Obama covered a broad array of topics tonight, from the economy, the war in Afghanistan, sequestration cuts, education, an implied reference to drones and beyond.
Regardless of the topics though, what’s important is how it’s received: So reblog with your feedback, we’ll collect many and put them up tomorrow: What did you think of the speech?
Shootout between federal authorities, Christopher Dorner:
UPDATE 2: One of the deputies shot in the battle between law enforcement and Dorner has died, with the other still receiving treatment. Law enforcement sources have also told the Times that Dorner is without Internet, phone or television in the cabin currently surrounded by authorities. Continue following the story here.
UPDATE: Dorner has been surrounded by law enforcement in a cabin following an intense shoot-out that left two San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies injured. More details here.
A law enforcement source has told the Times that that fugitive ex-LAPD cop Dorner has been involved in a shootout while on the run in the Big Bear area.
Dorner, wanted for several murder charges, reportedly burglarized a home, tied up a couple and stole their car prior to being discovered by authorities.
NRA is restless despite its political clout: NRA members are so worried about President Obama that they are rooting for Mitt Romney, who once supported stiff gun restrictions.
Photo: Worker Don Wachter hangs a National Rifle Assn. banner outside America’s Center in St. Louis last week. The group is holding its annual convention there this week. Credit: Robert Cohen / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A gun in hand makes a man look taller, study says: In a study of how people assess danger, participants who looked at photos of hands holding different objects thought the gun bearers were the tallest.
He also said that further work in this area could be useful for law enforcement officers and soldiers needing to accurately size up threats in fast-moving situations.
“The more we understand human psychology with regards to human threats and threat assessment … the better we might be at training people in terms of making accurate assessments,” Hagen said.
Photo: On average, viewers thought gun wielders were taller and stronger than those holding drills or caulking guns. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
Gun culture spreads in India: Indians own about 40 million guns, second only to the U.S. Rising incomes, along with crime and fear of terrorist attacks, have fueled firearms purchases.
Photo: A couple headed to their field in Noney village in January rely on a gun for safety in light of tensions before elections in India’s Manipur state. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency
The sheriff of Spartanburg County, S.C., turned a news conference about an attempted rape in his community into an extended rant Monday in which he slammed a criminal justice system preferred by “liberals” for failing to keep the repeat-offender suspect behind bars — and implored the women in his community to pack heat for self-protection.
His rant gets mighty specific, too:
Wright suggested that the women of Spartanburg carry their weapons in fanny packs. “You can conceal a small pistol in them,” he said. “They got one called The Judge that shoots a .45 or a .410 shell. You ain’t got to be accurate. You just have to get close.”
Photo: A recreational shooter firing a 9mm Glock pistol at the United Shooting Range in Gromley, Canada, in January 2003. Credit: Kevin Frayer / CP via Associated Press
July 31, 1958: Lomie Puckett stands guard to prevent bulldozers from leveling her Edendale house for the construction of the Golden State Freeway. Puckett wanted more money than offered for the house.
Photo credit: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times
Congressional investigators reviewing the failed gun-tracking program Operation Fast and Furious have formally asked the Obama administration to turn over copies of records and communications involving White House staffers.
Some background info: The federally operated Fast and Furious program allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass into the hands of suspected gun smugglers so the arms could be traced to the higher echelons of Mexican drug cartels. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation, has lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which have been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Check out The Times’ full coverage here.
Revisiting the right to bear arms: So far the courts have limited guns mostly to the home. But the National Rifle Assn. is asking the Supreme Court to clarify that the right extends further.
Photo: Cheap handguns collected by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies in Compton in 2009. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Guns from Operation Fast and Furious were found at scenes in Arizona and Texas, the Justice Department acknowledges, widening the scope of the danger posed by the program.
Kenneth E. Melson, the acting director of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will resign, agency sources say. His exit would be among the biggest repercussions of an operation that allowed the sale of weapons to suspected agents of Mexican drug cartels.
A little more information on the operation here. 1,700 guns were trafficked as part of the ATF’s surveillance program.
Photo: Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in 2009. Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press
“We weren’t giving guns to people who were hunting bears. We were giving guns to people who were killing people.” — Peter Forcelli, group supervisor at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix. He’s talking about Fast and Furious, the controversial surveillance program in which 1,700 high-powered firearms flowed to Mexican drug cartels. Agents testified that many of the guns ended up in the U.S., Kim Murphy reports.