U.S. Sen. Tim Scott told a 12-year-old cancer patient at the Medical University of South Carolina that he recently took his mother to see the movie “Gangster Squad.”

Scott made the comment only minutes after telling reporters the country needs to evaluate how violence is glorified in popular culture. The Republican senator said new gun-control laws won’t help curb gun violence.

“How do we transform our culture into a place where we don’t celebrate violence?” he asked Monday.

“Gangster Squad,” rated R for “strong violence and language” by the Motion Picture Association of America, tells the story of police and mob men in 1940s Los Angeles.

Director Ruben Fleischer told The Hollywood Reporter one scene depicting gun violence inside a theater had to be reshot after 12 moviegoers were killed in a real-life theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., in July.

The delay pushed the movie’s release back several months. Scott said he often takes his mother to dinner and a movie when he’s away from Washington.

During a press conference at the MUSC Children’s Hospital, he said new legislation won’t be enough to prevent more violence, such as the recent massacre of children and school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “The short-term fixes will only make us feel better, but won’t make us any safer,” he said. “I’m very hesitant to jump to conclusions just because everyone wants one.”

Scott, who was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley in December after former Sen. Jim DeMint resigned from office, delivered valentines to the children fighting cancer at MUSC for the second year in a row.

He returned to Washington in the afternoon in advance of President Barack Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address tonight.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.