In Gun Debate, Hollywood Needs "Transparency, Not Censorship"

Los Angeles is hosting a vibrant discussion over guns including violence in Hollywood movies and whether city funds should be divested from companies that make fire arms.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alex Ben Block, with the Hollywood Reporter, explains what he thinks is behind the tension between media violence, gun rights advocates and a national call to reexamine the U.S. gun culture. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2013. (Published Thursday, Jan 17, 2013)

    The national conversation about gun violence expanded on Wednesday with President Barack Obama calling for a study of outside influences without mentioning movies or television.

    "I will direct the Center's for Disease Control to go ahead and study be best ways to reduce it, and congress should fund research to the effects that violent video games have on young minds." Obama said.

    A Hollywood expert said it would be misguided to say entertainment undermines gun control in the U.S.

    "Media is just a big mirror that reflects what's going on in our society," according to Alex Ben Block, with the Hollywood Reporter. "What you see in the media is what we're all about."

    On Wednesday, the City of Los Angeles proposed divesting all public safety, city and water and power retirement funds from businesses that make assault weapons and ammunition.

    "The City of Los Angeles funds should not go to profit companies that produce weapons designed to maximize carnage and death," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

    Obama's gun initiative is backed by Hollywood trade groups who say the time has come for academic examination.

    "We don't need censorship, but we do need transparency," Block said. "We need to make sure people know what they're getting, and people who shouldn't get it, don't get it.