Franklin Graham Supports Tax on Violent Movies, Games

Correction Appended

Evangelist Franklin Graham has stated that a solution to the problem of violence in American culture could be a tax on violent entertainment.

The CEO of the international relief group Samaritan's Purse stated this in some remarks delivered Wednesday at Camp Bethelwoods in York, S.C.

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"How much violence as a nation are we willing to accept?" asked Graham, who was present in York to speak about this and other issues to those involved in a Samaritan's Purse disaster relief training event.

"We tax cigarettes, we can tax violence … only God can change your heart. We need to bring God's laws back into society."

Graham's comments echo earlier statements given to Time Magazine back in March, while Congress was debating the merits of a bill that would increase the regulation of firearms.

Along with former head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Richard Land, Graham expressed support for universal background checks.

"As ministers, we agreed together that we could stand on a united front for universal background checks … We think that's reasonable and responsible," said Graham.

"There are millions of people that we can mobilize behind something like this, but it takes leadership from the White House."

In that same interview with Time, Graham said that there "needs to be an all out effort to curtail the culture of violence that affects all of us."

"You could tax violence and that money can be used for a special fund to help people who are victims of gun violence," said Graham.

Since the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., many have looked toward not only increasing regulation of firearms but also looking for ways to counter the cultural influence on violent behavior.

While Graham and others believe that the violence in movies and video games are part of the problem, individuals involved in such products often denounce the linkage.

Quentin Tarantino, creator of such explicitly violent movies as "Reservoir Dogs," "Kill Bill Vol.1," "Inglorious Basterds," and "Django Unchained," does not believe his labors are connected to rising violence in American society.

In an interview with British TV journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy in January, Tarantino refused to answer a question related to the issue.

"I don't want to talk about what you want to talk about. I don't want to talk about the implications of violence," said Tarantino.

"I've said everything I have to say about it. If anyone cares what I have to say about it, they can Google me and they can look for 20 years what I have to say. But I haven't changed my opinion one iota."

Correction:  Thursday, April 25, 2013:

An article on Thursday, April 25, 2013, incorrectly reported that Franklin Graham delivered the remarks in York, Pa.  He delivered the remarks in York, South Carolina.  

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