HOLLYWOOD — Eight years as California's governor obviously has molded Arnold Schwarzenegger into a political animal, even though he has returned to his previous career. The onetime bodybuilder turned actor turned governor has returned to acting, but he addresses the hot button issue of movie violence and its correlation (if any) with the recent wave of mass shootings directly and without hesitation when asked during a press conference about his upcoming high firepower action movie "The Last Stand."
"This is entertainment and the other thing is a tragedy beyond belief," he responds. "This is serious, the real deal. I think that whenever you have a tragedy like (the Newtown, Conn. school massacre) it would be foolish not to look into what can we do as a society to improve the situation and to make those kind of things —reduce the risks of those kind of issues. Will it go away? No, it will never go away, but we always have to make a 100 percent effort to use those moments and to figure out ways of how can we do better."
Having left office two years ago after deciding not to run for another term, Schwarzenegger went on to list possible ways to address the surge in random gun violence.
"How can we do better with gun laws? If there is any loophole, if there is a problem there, let's analyze it," he says. "Let's not jump to conclusions. Let's analyze it and let's also find out are we really dealing with the mental problems the right way as a society. Do we have a mechanism in place that if we see someone that is unstable, what do we do with that person? Remember we are not in China or some country where we make people disappear.
"In America, you can't just arrest someone because they act strange," Schwarzenegger notes. "So you have that problem and you have to deal with that. What do we do with that when we see someone that is unstable? We have to analyze how we deal with mental illnesses. How do we deal with the gun laws? How do we deal with parenting? Does a mother need to collect those guns that the little kids are shooting? All this — everything — has to be analyzed. Nothing, no stone (should be left) unturned. I think that is what we owe to our people. That is what (government officials) ought to do rather than make it political."