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NCTA Willing to Join Violence Conversation

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is the latest media industry trade group to support the "conversation" about how to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shootings.

"As our nation struggles to cope with the indescribable Newtown tragedy, our industry joins in mourning the loss of innocent lives and in reflecting on how we can better protect Americans from such senseless acts of violence," said the group. "The cable industry takes very seriously our role in American culture and looks forward to participating in the collective discussion with policymakers, the broader entertainment community, and other interested parties."

In the wake of that tragedy, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture Association of America and now NCTA -- some companies are members of all three -- have expressed a willingness to be part of the discussion.

Pressure has been mouting in Washington for discussions about the role of mental health, access to firearms, and cultural influences on gun violence.

NAB arguably went the farthest, citing the legislation introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which would mandate a government study of the impact of media violence on real violence, and saying it was willing to cooperate with Congress on that study.

NAB President Gordon Smith, in a C-SPAN interview days before the tragedy said he supported FCC indecency regs in part because they were a good talking point on the Hill when distinguishing broadcasters from other media, like cable and satellite.

The Entertainment Software Association remained steadfast in its defense of violent video games, also mentioning the study but citing studies already conducted and suggesting no blame should be aimed in the media's direction. It said the search for "meaningful solutions" had to look at a broad range of "actual factors that may have contributed to this tragedy. Any such study needs to include the years of extensive research that has shown no connection between entertainment and real-life violence."