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How Television Will Shape The New Gun Culture In America

Weapons are being fired all the time on television, but that happens on cop shows. Network programmers know the public will obsessively watch guns going off and bodies falling.

On the news, however, the issue of gun ownership is adjudicated independently of the glee that accompanies watching fictional people kill each other.

When it’s fantasy, the audience wants violence. When it’s real, the audience wants no violence.

Dealing with this schizoid condition would be a problem for the networks, were it not for the fact that there is a bridge between the two states of mind: “The good guys win.”

They win in every episode of every cop show. They always have. Decades of this operant conditioning lead the audience to expect it will happen in real life where crime, guns and cops are involved.


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