In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 20 children dead, actor Samuel L. Jackson who stars in movies heavy on gun violence has weighed in, saying reducing the number of firearms isn’t necessarily the answer.
"I don't think it's about more gun control," Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. "I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren't taught the value of life."
The Connecticut shooting has sparked a firestorm among gun control activists and evoked comments from hundreds of celebrities like Jackson. Democrats in the House and Senate say they plan to re-introduce the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, CBS reports.
Some lawmakers believe more guns, not fewer, are the answer. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said that if the Sandy Hook principal had a gun locked up in her office, she might have been able to stop the deranged gunman.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., says making mental health aid more accessible is another key factor in reducing gun violence.
Jackson, raised in rural Chattanooga, Tenn., said he feels instilling strong values in children and teaching them right from wrong would help deter violent crime the scale of the Connecticut shooting. He also said that violent movie scenes do not trigger violence in real life.
"I don't think movies or video games have anything to do with it," he said in the Times interview for an upcoming article about him.
Rather than reducing the number of firearms, bolstering laws that mandate background and mental health checks for people looking to purchase guns could help the problem, he said.
"We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns," he said.
In 2011, Jackson came out with a gun-violence PSA that backed gun ownership and suggested the only factor responsible in gun violence is the shooter himself.
Jackson stars as an opportunistic house slave in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming revenge fantasy "Django Unchained" and was a violent shooter in "Pulp Fiction."
"Django Unchained" about the Klu Klux Klan and the plight of oppressed slaves is due out on Dec. 25. It features many violent scenes involving guns, including two shootouts involving characters played by Jackson and Jamie Foxx.
Tarantino predicts a polarizing response for his upcoming film that has a mix of graphic scenes of bloodshed and slapstick moments, including one in which Ku Klux Klansmen gripe about the design of their hoods before a raid, according to an LA Times review.
His previous film "Inglourious Basterds" evoked a similar response because critics thought it made light of the Holocaust. He expects the same for “Django” because of his portrayal of slavery.
Early reviews have been positive, and the film has picked up five Golden Globe nominations, including best picture.
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