Two days after the school shooting that left two students dead and 18 injured at Marshall County High School, Gov. Matt Bevin posted a video on Facebook saying that violence depicted in the entertainment industry glorifies killing and has contributed to “a culture of death in America.”
“We are desensitizing young people to the actual tragic reality and permanency of death,” he said in the 11-minute statement. “This is a cultural problem.”
Bevin called on producers of movies, music, television shows and video games to be part of an effort to “figure out how to try to repair this fabric of America that’s getting shredded beyond recognition.”
Bevin said that while he believes in freedom of speech guaranteed under the Constitution, “we have got to start to think about the filth.”
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“Should there be some content that is not given to us and to children without any kind of filter or screen?” he asked. “These are conversations we need to have.”
And he urged parents, educators and young people to be mindful of the entertainment kids are consuming.
“You are a creation of what you surround yourself by,” Bevin said.
He also spoke to the power of social media. While he said it isn’t clear whether cyberbullying played a role in Tuesday’s shooting, he said “it leads to tragedy after tragedy.”
“It has led to an increasingly sadistic and evil and sinister use that has created problems that we don’t know the answers to,” he said of social media.
Many people responded to Tuesday’s shooting with calls for stricter gun control regulations, but Bevin said he does not believe that’s the solution.
“There’s rules against a 15-year-old possessing a handgun,” he said, adding that “evil doesn’t care about laws.”