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Hollywood Showrunners Have A Plan To Address Mass Shooting Epidemic

The United States has passed a rather grim milestone in 2022. According to CNN, there have already been at least 246 mass shootings as of June 5, and 2022 is on track to be the deadliest year ever recorded for gun deaths if the trend continues. As reported by Pew Research Center, a heartbreaking 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in 2020. With recent tragedies still fresh in the collective minds of Americans, there has been growing support from both politicians and the general public to implement some kind of measure to curtail such atrocities, with NPR reporting that a bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal that would allow for new gun safety measures to be implemented.

Considering how the proverbial wind may be changing when it comes to gun violence, it seems as if many creative individuals in Hollywood are also willing to lend support in order to effect a more positive outcome. Artists usually aren't shy about sharing their opinions and thoughts, with Jim Carrey condemning the amount of violence in "Kick-Ass 2," which he filmed a month before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As such, 200 writers, producers, and directors have pledged to be more mindful of the way guns are used and portrayed in media with the aim of aiding in a cultural shift.

Hollywood creatives have signed an open letter with the aim of addressing gun violence

According to Variety, 200 individuals in Hollywood have signed an open letter supported by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that includes a pledge to address gun violence in media. The pledge outlines three different areas that signers hope to address: demonstrating responsible gun safety and showing the consequences of not practicing it, having a pre-production conversation about how guns are portrayed on-screen, and limiting scenes involving children and guns. Signers include the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Jason Mewes, Jimmy Kimmel, Damon Lindelof, and Judd Apatow, just to name a few.

One section of the letter notes, "As America's storytellers, our goal is primarily to entertain, but we also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change. Cultural attitudes toward smoking, drunk driving, seatbelts and marriage equality have all evolved due in large part to movies' and TV's influence. It's time to take on gun safety." The open letter goes on to clarify that they do not wish to remove guns entirely from entertainment, but just to be more conscious of their portrayal.

The letter ends with, "We are under no illusions that these actions are a substitute for common sense [sic] gun legislation. Furthermore, this list does not incorporate every nuance of guns on[-]screen. However, these are small things that we can do as a community to try and end this national nightmare."