When I go to a movie and see one person shoot another, I know this is a fantasy and nobody really dies.
But when I pick up a newspaper and read that yet another person has been gunned down with an assault weapon, I know this is reality and a life has been taken.
I know which is which. And I know which really threatens America.
So how come Bob Dole does not?
Bob Dole attacks Hollywood for its violent films, films that are "bombarding our children with destructive messages of casual violence. . . ."
He attacks Time Warner for producing songs by rappers such as Ice-T, best known for his song "Cop Killer."
Yet Bob Dole opposes the current ban on assault weapons. Bob Dole has promised to repeal that ban.
Bob Dole opposes a song, a piece of fiction about killing cops. But he wants to make assault weapons widely available, even though assault weapons are used to kill cops.
Bob Dole is outraged by movies and songs that glorify violence. So outraged that he identifies their producers by name so we can heap scorn upon them.
But when G. Gordon Liddy encourages people to shoot federal agents in the head so as to avoid their bulletproof vests, where is Bob Dole's scorn then?
Does he attack by name the radio stations that carry Liddy or the sponsors that keep him on the air?
He does not.
Once again, Bob Dole saves his outrage for fiction and not for reality.
And he is carefully selective even in his fantasy world.
Dole has no trouble denouncing the song violence of black rappers, but doesn't denounce the violence -- and extremely high body counts -- found in the movies of Arnold "Conan the Republican" Schwarzenegger.
Dole is also very troubled by the "casual sex" that is portrayed in movies. But he doesn't denounce the "casual sex" upon which conservative Rupert Murdoch built his media empire.
Why should you care? Because hypocrisy and muddled thinking can sometimes lead to hypocritical and muddled policies.
Take Dan Quayle. Quayle's 1992 attack on "Murphy Brown" for "somewhat glorifying illegitimacy" is now looked upon as an important cultural statement.
But people forget the real point of Quayle's speech: Quayle was blaming the Los Angeles riots on Murphy Brown.
The rioting in Los Angeles, Quayle said, was a result of the breakdown of the American family and the abandonment of traditional values as typified by Murphy Brown's "bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice."
And that's what caused those 58 deaths.
All those people down in the ghetto were watching Murphy Brown while she had that baby and that's why they felt they could begin shooting up the place.
The easy availability of handguns had nothing to do with it. No way.
You were not going to get Quayle to denounce the number of guns in our society or try to reduce that number.
L That was not on the Republican agenda, not then and not now.
No, it is much more important to remove movie guns and TV guns from the screen than to remove real guns from our streets.
George Bush, formerly a big supporter of the National Rifle Association, recently resigned in disgust when the NRA attacked federal agents for being "jack-booted thugs."
Bush said this outrageous slur, which could trigger violence against federal agents, was offensive to his "sense of decency and honor."
So did Bob Dole, who is so very concerned about decency and honor in movies, also resign from the NRA?
He did not. Bob Dole has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the NRA and hopes for tens of thousands more as he runs for president.
Did I forget to mention that he is running for president? And that his concern for "traditional values" has surfaced Brigadoon-like just in time for his campaign?
Actually, Brigadoon is a bad example. That mythical Scottish village appeared but once every hundred years.
In Washington, an outraged sense of "morality" emerges every four.
"You have sold your souls," Bob Dole told Hollywood in a prepared statement. Which is a subject presidential candidates certainly know a thing or two about.