Sons of Anarchy season 6 took a tragic turn in the premiere when a young boy took a gun out of his backpack and used it to shoot up a classroom. Kurt Sutter answered questions this summer at the FX Television Critics Association Press Day about his decision to include the storyline and how it will affect the club going forward.
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The idea of including a school shooting was not inspired by the most recent events. Sutter has wanted to do the story for three years. He knew that it would be controversial, but he was adamant, "... as much as I wouldn't do something because it was controversial, I'm also not going to do something because it's controversial."
The decision was driven by the story and Sons of Anarchy world. Sutter explained, "I feel like thematically it's the right fit because we have a lead character who's a father who's trying to figure out if he can raise his sons and avoid the kind of violence that happens."
There will be far-reaching consequences, "it is truly the catalyst for the final act of our morality play. It sets everything in motion for this season that will ultimately lead to the end that then will bring us into the final season and what I see as the ultimate comeuppance of everything in terms of the series."
Sutter isn't trying to make a specific statement with the school shooting, but he wanted to show that the underlying reasons that drove the boy to kill wasn't simple and the blame is widespread.
The young boy had issues, "If you look at the story as a whole and organically, the causes of what happened in that scenario are many, meaning, you're dealing with a child that clearly has some sort of mental illness ... some sort of neglected family life. You're dealing with the substructure -- not that I'm trying to make a big religious statement but the potential violence that is done always sort of in the name of God."
And, this troubled boy was able to get his hands on a gun. Sutter continued, "At the same time, you're looking at illegal handguns ... the lack of potential law enforcement to shut that down. So you're looking at the responsibility of a great deal of people that led to that, which, if I have a point of view about any of that, that is my point of view. ... there is no singular responsible party for anything that has happened as a result of those shootings."
Did the show go too far by showing a school shooting? Or, do you agree that it was organic to the story?
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(Image courtesy of FX.)