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Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has finished his role as The Governator in California, he has returned to movies full time, starting with The Last Stand, which hits theaters on Friday. Unsurprisingly, it is an action film with plenty of violence, which has become a hot topic following the Newtown shootings. The action film icon talked about that in recent interviews promoting the film.
“You have kids, so you just immediately imagine what it would be like to have kids in that school,” he first told USA Today about the tragedy in Connecticut. “You cannot even relate to it when something like this happens. How horrific it is for the kids.”
However, Schwarzenegger isn’t calling for violence to be pulled from movies. “It's entertainment, people know the difference,” he said.
When it comes to real violence and film violence, he says, “We have to separate the two...What's most important it that we as a society do a better job to prevent these sort of things. You cannot totally eliminate them. There will always be some crazy guy out there shooting. There are mentally ill people. The question is, what can we do?”
The Terminator star made similar comments to The Associated Press.
“I personally feel that this is entertainment,” he said about The Last Stand, in which he plays a small-town sheriff trying to stop a Mexican drug cartel boss. “The other thing is a serious real life tragedy. I think that we are going to continue doing entertainment. That is what we are doing as our profession, but at the same time, we all have a responsibility, I think, to improve the situation that we are in.”
Schwarzenegger said that he believes that the gun control conversation shouldn’t only be about weapons. Parenting, education, security and gun laws should all be looked at. “We as a society have the responsibility to look at this and leave no stone unturned.”
Schwarzenegger calls it “finger-pointing” when anyone says that Hollywood violence is to blame or even only the NRA, video games or gun manufacturers. “The reality is, it's a very complex issue,” he said.
After The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger is re-teaming with his Expendables 2 co-star Sylvester Stallone for The Tomb.