Gun Violence: A Staple of Billboard Advertising

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As the national debate over guns goes on, L.A. billboard companies and advertisers continue to saturate the visual environment with ads for movies and TV shows that feature actors firing and brandishing guns.

The ads shown above and below for the movies The Heat, R.I.P.D., and 2 Guns, are currently displayed on billboards within a 3-block stretch of Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. Hundreds more for those movies can be seen on billboards as well as bus shelters and sidewalk kiosks all over the city.R.I.P.D.

The Venice billboards are just steps from a youth arts center and within a few blocks of a neighborhood where gang violence is a reality of everyday life, albeit to a lesser extent than some other parts of the city.

Interestingly, Lamar Advertising, owner of the billboard advertising The Heat, is listed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a company that has supported gun control measures. Kevin Bacon, one of the stars of R.I.P.D., is listed by the NRA as one of the actors and celebrities supporting gun control.

And Mark Wahlberg, a star in 2 Guns, was quoted in an Australian newspaper in 2007 as saying he would be happy if all guns were taken away.SAMSUNG

After the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting in December of last year, Deadline Hollywood published a short piece on the subject of the hypocrisy of actors speaking out against gun violence and then engaging in depictions of violence and carnage on-screen. See the article and an accompanying video here.

Dennis Hathaway

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