Home > It's A Legal Matter > Quick, change the channel!

Quick, change the channel!

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader


(editorís note ó this article originally appeared in FWR #276)

When Iím watching sports on television, I like to flip channels during commercial breaks. Not only am I trying to watch as many other games as possible, Iím also attempting to skip the ads. I get it. Advertisements make the television world spin. My problem isnít with the commercials for cars or pharmaceuticals. My problem is with the promotional trailers for the networksí own prime time dramas and crime shows.

Itís the middle of the afternoon and Iím watching a game on TV with one of my kids. Next thing I know, the network blasts us with a preview of one of its top prime time shows. A gun held to a head, dead bodies, a needle injection, people gagged, tied up and blown up all within a thirty second promotional trailer.

According to a University of Nebraska study conducted several years ago, the average TV watching child views 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 violent acts before the sixth grade. That same study found that the average eighteen year old has seen 40,000 simulated murders. Check out the names of some of the most popular TV shows: Criminal Minds, How to Get Away With Murder, Person of Interest, NCIS: New Orleans, CSI, CSI: Cyber, Law and Order: SVU, The Mentalist and Stalker. Any doubts about the subject matters of these shows? My kids are in bed when most of these shows air, but the promotional trailers run throughout the day.

With all the graphic programming and video games out there, Iím surprised kids arenít growing up to be even more violent. Even animated childrenís movies are filled with violence. One recent study published in the British Medical Journal and entitled ďCartoons KillĒ found that murders occurred at almost three times the rate in animated movies for children as they did in dramatic films for adults.

Lawmakers have done little to reduce childrenís exposure to violent acts within the home. In Indiana, a person who batters his or her spouse or significant other within the presence of a child commits a Level 6 felony. A level 6 felony is punishable up to 2.5 years in jail. However, the push, scratch, kick or slap that leads to the majority of battery charges almost seem minor when compared to the extreme and graphic depictions of violence in movies, TV and video games.

The next time Iím watching a game on TV with one of my kids, Iíll be on the lookout for these ads. With my ever improving remote control skills, maybe my kids will only see 20,000 murders by the time they turn eighteen.


Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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