There is a major question we need to ask as a society, but the question will come after a brief listing. It is a listing of violence we Americans are both exposed to throughout culture and which we engage — engage so much companies can make lots and lots of money from us by producing violent images. (By the way, in Europe violent movies create an R rating. Is it the same in the USA?)
Violent images are encountered in the USA in the following contexts:
1. Movies and TV
2. Video games
3. Western movies, Comic books, Cartoon figures
5. Use of the hand as a gun
6. Sports, especially football (of the American kind) and ice hockey
7. Mixed martial arts
9. Paintball games
10. Hunting for Bambi
Next to this set of violent images, what about a language? Big shot, shot in the dark, shoot kill, hit man, open season, shooting for gold, in the cross-hairs, a double-barreled approach…
Or our belief that we are a Christian nation, a city on a hill, a chosen people? Do these create justification for violence? Is redemptive violence the way of Jesus?
The question: Is there a connection between these productions of violent images and American violence? Can we connect the dots? Are we more violent because of our images? Would minimizing the images reduce violence?
From James Atwood, America and Its Guns: “Violence is a pervasive spirit that touches and affects everything we do and everything we are. … Violence captivates, thrills and fascinates us, and it starts beguiling us early in life…” (43).