Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Jackson: Guns are not the problem

Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson doesn't believe liberal gun regulations can be wholly blamed for violence in America.

Gun control has risen to the forefront of US political debate this week since a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14 claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about the tragedy, the actor said he doesn't believe tighter regulation is necessarily the issue.

"I don't think it's about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone," he said, explaining, "This [shooting] is about people who aren't taught the value of life."

The 63-year-old star grew up in rural Chattanooga, Tennessee and brushed off any connection between real-life and onscreen violence.

The actor is urging politicians instead to focus on including a mental health component to regulate sales of firearms.

"We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns," he said.

The comments seem to mark a change in tune for the actor, who stars as a menacing slave in Quentin Tarantino's new revenge movie Django Unchained and is known for his tough guy roles.

Just last year, Samuel appeared in an anti-gun public service announcement, urging viewers to "break the cycle" of violence by putting down their firearms.

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