Arnold Schwarzenegger Says ‘It Would Be Foolish’ Not to Examine Ways to Reduce Shooting Violence

Arnold Schwarzenegger may have built a career out of blowing away bad guys in movies like The Terminator and True Lies, but the veteran action star and former California governor says that Hollywood is not to blame for the violence that shocked the nation last month in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 school children were killed.

“I think one must always keep it separate that this is entertainment and the other thing is a tragedy beyond belief,” Schwarzenegger during an interview in Beverly Hills for his new film The Last Stand last Saturday. “Whenever there’s a tragedy like that it would be foolish not to look into all ways of what we can do as a society to improve the situation and to reduce the risk of those kind of issues.”

While Schwarzenegger supports the second amendment, he also supports the Brady Bill requiring background checks.

He moderated his stance on gun control while campaigning for governor in 2003, and supports closing gun show loopholes which allow the purchase of firearms without a background check. But like many Republicans, the former governor cited a lack of mental health oversight as well as poor parenting as contributors to the problem.

“Does a mother need to collect those guns and take her little kids shooting?” he asked. “Everything has to be analyzed, no stone unturned. And I think that’s what we owe to our people, and I think that’s what they ought to do, rather than make it political.”

In The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger plays the sheriff of a border town lying in the path of a renegade cartel boss trying to cross illegally into Mexico.

Costarring Johnny Knoxville, the new movie features explosive shootouts, including Schwarzenegger manning a gatling gun from the back of a school bus. The new movie marks Schwarzenegger’s first lead role since returning to Hollywood after serving as governor.

“When you have left the movie business for seven years, it’s kind of a scary thing to come back because you don’t know if you’re accepted or not,” he confessed. “But I was very pleasantly surprised when I was doing the cameo in The Expendables that there was such a great, positive reaction towards my appearance that Sly [Stallone] asked me then to do the second Expendables and there was even a bigger reaction to that.”

Despite his 65 years, the former action star has a heavy slate in front of him. Later this year he’ll be seen playing an elderly inmate in The Tomb opposite Stallone and 50 Cent.

In Ten he’ll team with writer/director David Ayer (End Of Watch) as a DEA agent being targeted by drug lords.

Rumors are circulating about another Terminator movie but Triplets, a sequel to the 1988 comedy, Twins costarring Danny DeVito, is currently on the fast track at Universal.

“I have been trying to get Universal Studios to do that for ten years and the studio executives up until recently did not see the value,” Schwarzenegger said of the new movie starring DeVito, Eddie Murphy and directed by Ivan Reitman. “So now the new leadership sees the value and says, ‘That’s a brilliant idea, why haven’t they done it? We want to do that.’ So they hired the writers and they are full blast ahead an that movie that we will be doing.”

Of all the prospective titles, Conan The Barbarian will bring the muscle-bound Austrian full circle to the title that launched his career back in 1982.

“Universal Studios just bought the rights to Conan,” revealed Schwarzenegger. “They want to bring back and do a bunch of Conan movies but to do it really high quality and not a bunch of B movies.”

With the market for action heroes thinning, Schwarzenegger seems anxious despite his overloaded schedule. He’s hardly the go-to guy for drama or comedy, and Hollywood has narrowed the scope of movies they’re willing to finance.

“I would say in general you always kind of make decisions on what movie would be interesting for people to see,” he speculated. “What is it the audience out there wants to see me do? And based on that, you make decisions.”

What do you think about Schwarzenegger’s comments regarding the media’s effect on gun violence? Watch the trailer for The Last Stand below and let us know if you think his opinions sync up with his cinematic aspirations!

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