A new study set to be released in December shows that gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985, when the PG-13 rating was first instituted. While the entertainment industry tries to deny any correlation between onscreen violence and actual violence in the world, they cannot deny that gun violence in PG-13 films has now surpassed that of R-rated films.
Variety reports that while the use of guns has marginally decreased in G and PG movies, it has held steady in R-rated movies, and increased dramatically in PG-13 films. The study, conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, also points to the fact that previous research has already shown a correlation between TV and film characters smoking and drinking onscreen, and youth being more likely to pick up those habits. It feels that similarly, seeing the use of guns onscreen can be linked to the use of guns in real life.
The study cites that six major health organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, already endorse that a link exists between violent media increasing aggression in children, and suggests that Hollywood has provided a bit of a script—as evidenced in many shootings around the nation. "In many shooting sprees the perpetrator puts on a uniform (eg, hockey mask, trench coat, movie costume, military uniform), as if following a script from a movie."
Vice President Biden has been meeting with entertainment officials and the Senate since the Newtown school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, to discuss the links between increased gun violence and the media.