Actor William Sadler's New Song Gives Voice to Gun Violence Frustrations
Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Hollywood on Guns
There are roughly 110 gun deaths each day in America. This is according to a 2022 update from the Everytown Research and Policy Report. Similarly the report highlights the 278 mass shooting incidents in the country since 2009, and cites 1569 people shot and killed in such tragic events. The study showed horrendously that 1 in 4 mass shooting victims was a teen or child. These numbers are horrifying to citizens around the nation, so it is not surprising that prominent celebrities might speak out about the tragic nature of what so many see as preventable atrocities.
But here is where things gets a bit touchy.
It’s no surprise that a wide swath of progressive Hollywood stars would speak out about these disturbing statistics. What baffles some however, is knowing that the 100 plus years of movie making has been replete with depictions of gun violence that some psychologists say have attributed directly to the popularity of guns. In fact, a 2015 report published by The Economist concluded that gun violence in PG-13 movies had tripled since 1985 alone. In the same decade as mass shootings became a prolific and concerning trend, so too did gun violence in the movies. The 2015 report noted that between 2010 and 2015, gun models depicted in big box office movies was 51 percent higher than that in the decade prior.
Arguably this presents much of our entertainment culture with a “chicken vs. egg” conundrum. Are depictions of gun violence popular because people want to see them? In which case the entertainment industry is merely responding to the market demands. Or, is it maybe, that people are desensitized to gun violence because of its prevalence in popular entertainment? In either case, the obvious dichotomy of ideas present a unique challenge for gun violence activists from the industry.
Many industry superstars hold vastly different opinions of guns and gun violence than their on screen personas. Matt Damon (The Jason Borne franchise) and Liam Neeson (the Taken Franchise) are both outspoken gun control advocates, but while both have starred in countless roles, they are perhaps best known for their roles in heavily gun reliant films and franchises.
Similarly, actor and HWWS WebTV and HWWS Indie Music Radio artist and friend William Sadler, who typically stays out of the political fray, could not help but take a stand in the wake of 2022’s most recent wave of gun violence. Sadler recently released the latest of what he has called his Kitchen Tapes songs, entitled “Thoughts and Prayers.”
“Thoughts and Prayers” expresses Sadler’s, as well as many people's, frustration with a political process seemingly deadlocked over the critical issues surrounding gun violence in America — gun violence that Sadler calls a “plague upon the land,” and a “darkness on the sun,” in his song.
In the newly released single, Sadler laments the standard platitudes of public figures and seems to call for more productive actions. His lyrics place audiences directly in the proverbial cross hairs, lamenting in a speculative meeting with the almighty, “Did you try to stop the bloodshed … tell me what you did,” to only the response that (we) “left it up to (god).”
While Sadler’s song remains one of many artistic stands against the gridlock and hypocrisy that seem a part of the entertainment industry’s often lambasted dichotomy, it is heartfelt and timely, and it sums up the frustrations of a vast majority of Americans who tire of ongoing gun violence throughout the nation.
In fiction, heroes rise from often ordinary beginnings amidst extraordinary circumstances and sometimes against all odds to triumph over evil through whatever means are needed.
Sometimes these extraordinary circumstances include violence, depictions of weapons of all forms and unique skills for perpetrating violent acts. Swashbuckling sword fights, super powered fist fights, shoot outs, car chases, space ship battles and often hyper-realistic warlike confrontations are all used to demonstrate the overwhelming obstacles that our cinematic heroes face. But the question many of us must answer in the blinding light of tragedy, is whether we want to see these epic confrontations beyond the flickering silver hues of the theater and in our everyday lives or would we rather play out the romantic and fantastical notions of heroism in the dimly lit safety of cinema.
William Sadler has answered that question for himself, and done it so that all of us can see.
William Sadler is currently slated to appear in 3 upcoming films including the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot set for release in 2022, She Came from the Woods also coming in 2022, and A Stage of Twilight, which is currently in post-production and slated for release in 2023. Sadler’s latest musical release “Thoughts and Prayers” is NOW STREAMING on HWWS Indie Music Radio on Amazon Alexa and other online radio listening devices. Just say, “Alexa, Play Indie Music radio.”