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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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This weekend’s column: Gun porn

Gun porn gives the wrong idea - George Pyle, The Salt Lake Tribune

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... Two incidents, 16 years apart. Hardly a scientific sample. Still, police officers fired 25 rounds and hit two bad guys — an efficiency rating of 8 percent — and wounded nine taxpayers — which should at least lose them some style points.

That never happens in the movies. Bad guy shoots. Good guy shoots. (Unless good guy is Han Solo. Then it gets complicated.) Good guy hits bad guy right between the eyes. No innocent bystanders lost. No scratches on the paint. Not even very much blood on the carpet. ...

... The James Bond perfection of how a gun is used in combat, compared to how such things work in real life, might be better understood if we called it "gun porn."

Like sex porn, it takes a constitutionally protected behavior and twists it into an unrealistic view of life that can have a powerful effect on the weak-minded.

Last week, in one of its frequent editorials decrying pornography, the Deseret News made the valid point that it is social pressure — shifting views of what is and is not "cool" — and not law that most effectively steers our behavior toward more positive choices.

But if the next Bond film gets an NC-17 rating, it will be for the unrealistic portrayal of unrealistically beautiful people having unrealistically fit — and consequence-free — sex, and not for any of those perfect shots from the spy’s Walther PPK.

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