Trump: ‘Maybe They Have to Put a Rating System’ on Movies

After suggesting Hollywood is to blame for shootings, Trump offered up a system that already exists as a way to curb violent films. He then proposed paying armed teachers a bonus.

Leah Millis/Reuters

During a meeting Thursday with state lawmakers, President Trump suggested violent entertainment is to blame for mass shootings in the United States.

His proposed solution? A ratings system for movies.

At first, during the conversation about ways to prevent further massacres like the one that claimed 17 lives last week in Florida, the president connected video games to gun violence.

“We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed,” the president said. “We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they're seeing it. And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”

And then the president pivoted to blaming Hollywood.

“You see these movies, they’re so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved. And maybe they have to put a rating system for that. You get into a whole very complicated, very big deal but the fact is that you are having movies come out that are so violent with the killing and everything else that maybe that’s another thing we’re going to have to discuss.”

It was unclear whether Trump was aware that the Motion Picture Association of America already rates films based on graphic sexual or violent content; or if he was suggesting that ratings system needs to be overhauled.

Additionally, during the meeting, Trump floated the idea of paying a “little bit of a bonus” for teachers who carry firearms in schools.

“These people are cowards,” the president said, referring to shooters. “They’re not going to walk into a school if 20 percent of the teachers have guns. And maybe 10 percent or maybe 40 percent. What I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus.”

The president also said that a “gun-free zone to a killer or someone that wants to be a killer—that’s like going in for the ice cream.”