Within a day after the rampage in Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 students and staff members dead, the news emerged that killer Adam Lanza spent hours playing "Call of Duty" and other first-person shooter video games.
Almost as quickly came statements from Hollywood and video-game enthusiasts that violent games and movies are clearly fiction and don't influence those who play or view them.
The same question arose after the , which happened during a showing of the "The Dark Knight Rises."
"This has gone back all the way down to Shakespeare’s days — alright, when there’s violence in the street, the cry becomes 'blame the playmaker.' And you know, I actually think that’s a very facile argument to pin on something that’s a real life tragedy.”
Friday's devastation was likely the result of a very complex set of circumstances, but the question remains: Does violence in American art and culture have any influence in how people behave in real life?
Take our poll and tell us in the comments.