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Teen Violence

            After the recent shooting incidents involving teens in public schools, several civil suits have been filed against filmmaker's, production companies, and movie studios of such films as Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers". This film contained scenes where teens murdered their fellow classmates in their high school. The lawsuits charge that films such as this influence youth to copy these acts. I feel that the artists of such films should not be held responsible for the criminal acts of teens. Instead, parents and adults should pay closer attention to what their children watch and listen to, and explain to them that the violence on television and the violent lyrics in songs are only for the purpose of entertainment.
             The artists and makers of violent films and songs should not be held responsible for violence amongst youth because they are protected by the first amendment of free speech and have a right to express their thoughts without being sued. Parents have the right to choose what they want their child to view and listen to. Films are rated and compact discs come with warning labels for a reason. It is to assist the parent in deciding whether they want to expose their child to such material. It even prevents children from having access to such material without their parents" permission. Artists cannot be held responsible for what a child sees or hears because the artists cannot be aware of every child's reaction to the material. They do not know whether their material will influence this child or that child in a negative way. The artist should not be held responsible if an individual misconstrues the message in the material. It is the parent's duty to find out what their child sees and listens to, and ultimately it is the child's decision whether to copy what it has seen or heard and that decision is his choice and his choice alone.
             It is an unrealistic idea to sue companies for producing violent material because there are so many films, television programs, and songs that it would be irrational to single out just one.

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