Can Bruce Willis’ popular “Die Hard” movie franchise be blamed, at least in part, for all of the gun violence in America? According to Joe Nocera’s recent column for The New York Times, the answer is yes.
In the first “Die Hard” movie, and in all subsequent installments, Bruce Willis plays John McClane, a stubborn cop who is constantly battling an army of bad guys.
But in all the gun battles, you rarely see the bad guys fall to the ground gushing blood.
That type of dramatized, bloodless violence in “Die Hard” could have harmful effects on kids who see it, one expert told Nocera.
“Watching violence makes kids feel they can use violence to solve a problem. It brings increased feelings of hostility. It increases desensitization,” University of Wisconsin professor emerita of communications Joanne Cantor told Nocera.
But it appears experts are divided on the effects of violent media. A 2011 NPR investigation into the effects of violent video games found experts disagreed on whether it actually caused kids to become more violent.
“Playing violent video games probably will not turn your child into a psychopathic killer but I would want to know how the child treats his or her parents, how they treat their siblings, how much compassion they have,” Ohio State University social psychologist Brad Bushman told NPR.
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