Letter: Bloodbath in the Middle-earth

To the Editor:

Don’t see The Hobbit! My wife and I joined an audience replete with young children at 6:45 p.m. recently. We looked forward to refreshing our memories of the charming fantasy novel read in high school. After being assaulted by six or seven previews of horrifically violent movies, which were rated for “appropriate audiences,” we breathed a sigh of relief as the PG–13-rated Hobbit finally began.

Within minutes, however, the wanton, gratuitous violence began. Rather than immersion in a fantastic and meaningful adventure of an adorable protagonist, we soon found ourselves witnesses to mass killings. Scene after scene exploded with hundreds of the most gruesome and graphic deaths, ranging from decapitations to amputations to gorings of “the bad guys.” Though perhaps the weapons of mass destruction were less sophisticated than assault rifles, they were no less effective. Shockingly, no one left the theater. Our concern is that this type of cinema leads to desensitization and, in rare cases, may incite violent behavior.

Robert and Lucy McLellan



Letter: Needed: Holistic Approach to Gun Problem

Friday, January 18, 2013

To the Editor: I share the same concern that Robert and Lucy McLellan expressed in their well-reasoned Jan. 16 letter: Gratuitous cinematic violence is likely an important variable in the complex equation driving violent behavior, including mass shootings. Easy access to firearms of every kind, especially semi-automatic assault weapons, certainly feeds the problem, but it’s important to recognize that America’s …