118 Acts of Violence in 30 MinutesI think there is too...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 30, 1994

118 Acts of Violence in 30 Minutes

I think there is too much unnecessary violence on television, and it's harmful to viewers. The effect TV has on today's society is very strong, and it may result in something harmful.

In just four minutes of viewing time on a public television station viewers can see one act of violence, according to a survey conducted in our English class.

Even on Saturday afternoon, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," a Disney movie that had been edited and broadcast on TV, there were 59 acts of violence in just one hour.

Many children watch Disney movies that have the family rating of If the G-rated movies that are broadcast on TV have an average of 59 acts of violence in just one hour, imagine what happens when TV stations broadcast PG or PG-13 movies.

For the past two nights I've watched two hours of one movie, "Sudden Impact," and a half-hour of a Stephen Segal movie.

In the first movie on TV I saw 183 acts of violence, and on the next night I saw 118 acts of violence.

That sounds far-fetched, but the funny thing is, both movies appeared on the same station at 9 p.m. on different nights.

Viewers that tuned into that station at the same time on both nights saw almost the same amount of violence in a half-hour as they did in two hours.

For both movies, a sign flashed that "parental discretion is advised," but viewers tuning in 15 minutes after the movie had started would never know that the sign had been shown.

In both movies the "heroes" were solving crimes and getting revenge by murdering people. We need to create movies that solve conflicts peacefully, instead of creating movies that make and solve crime by hurting other people.

When those "heroes" kill other people, it usually causes someone else to try to kill them. What kind of an example is that setting for children?

Those opposing my point of view may say that TV does not really affect the way children act when they become adults, but a study done by the University of Michigan proves that wrong in criminal cases.

They found that criminals that watched TV frequently at the age of eight committed the most serious crimes. All of this violence affects society, especially children because they are vulnerable.

Many children have a harder time distinguishing between fantasy and reality than adults do. When those children see a person who has killed another person let free, they might think that if they hurt someone they would be let free, too.

Many children are searching for a role model. Children try to imitate and be like adults. If the adults they are trying to be like kill and hurt people, what kind of example is that setting for children?

In fact, just the other day my four-year-old brother, after seeing a violent scene on TV, tried to re-enact what he saw.

If TV has that much of an impact on a child who doesn't watch it that much, imagine what happens to a child who watches TV frequently.

In an article in TV Guide called "Don't Blame Violence on the Tube," William F. Buckley Jr. comments, "There will always be violence. Don't blame it on TV."

That is true to an extent. We can't fully blame every crime on TV, but TV does have an impact on the way people act.

People may say that TV is only a reflection of real life, but according to USA Today, in real life there are 32 crimes committed per 1,000 population, and on TV there are 59 crimes per 1,000 population. Therefore, how could all of that violence on TV not affect the way some people act?

If TV violence keeps on getting worse and worse and doesn't go unchallenged by companies and businesses that buy advertising time, or by people who write and call in to complain about a show they don't want on the air, TV stations will keep on broadcasting violence.

Sure, they post a few "parental discretion is advised" signs just to be able to say that they put the signs on the screen, but as long as TV stations make money, they don't care if that show has a bad affect on people.

OK, so it's been proven that people enjoy seeing violence on TV . . . Has today's society made people believe that violence is no big deal, and that it's perfectly normal to kill people on TV?

A lot of people even laugh when something violent appears on TV. I don't know about anyone else, but I surely don't laugh when I see someone being stabbed to death because someone wants revenge.

Why does society laugh at such a serious matter?

Can't society see that when we laugh at violence on TV, we are really laughing at children and at our country's future?

Christy Beauchamp

Pocomoke City

Nixon, for Better or Worse

The Sun's April 23 article recounting President Richard Nixon's past association with Maryland was quite interesting.

One thing that wasn't mentioned, however, was the fact that Mr. Nixon once lived in Baltimore.

According to Nixon biographer Stephen Ambrose, the future president and his wife moved to Baltimore in 1945 after Mr. Nixon was assigned to Middle River by the U. S. Navy.

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