We need to answer the Mayor Bloomberg-inspired, self-righteous online video of celebrities who “demand a plan” to end gun violence. The original online video, filmed mostly in black and white, features emotional, self-righteous actors who “demand a plan” for the mass shootings that have occurred. The subtext clearly called for banning guns.
There is already one great answer to this video. It is another online video that has been making the rounds on the Internet. It repeats the original “Demand A Plan” video except it contains footage of violent movies from most of the same actors who demand a plan to end gun violence. The footage of these movies shows guns blasting and blood splattering. It also includes some very foul language, you know, the crass, insistent things that people usually say when they have a gun pointed at someone else. The video ends with a graphic song, and the words across the screen, and I will try and keep this G-rated, “Demand celebrities [have intercourse with themselves].”
The hypocrisy of most of the celebrities in the video is very low-hanging fruit. Only a quick Internet search is needed to discover the actors’ history of making violent, gun-filled movies. And there is a helpful website, Internet Movie Firearms Database, which details the pistols, rifles or shotguns used by celebrities in various shoot-‘em-up movies or TV shows.
For example, after a brief search, I was able to find that two of the actors in the “demand a plan” video were also involved in the 2010 movie The Town. Question: what was anyone from that movie doing in a public conversation on gun violence? The Town was so violent that a Time magazine review called one of the characters in the movie “trigger happy.” No one associated with that movie, like Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, should be part of any discussion concerning gun violence. Maybe these actors thought no one would research their previous movie credits, but now that the news is out it looks pretty hypocritical.
And couldn’t Jamie Foxx have at least waited a little longer after sounding so excited about getting to “kill all the white people” in the movie Django Unchained? Foxx made that comment on Saturday Night Live only a few days before the Sandy Hook massacre, and less than a month later he is “demanding a plan” to end gun violence. Well, here’s one plan, just off the top of my head: stop making movies that glorify gun violence. Take your celebrity role seriously and stop making millions of dollars acting in movies where a happy ending means that one or more people gets shot.
But there is yet another “plan” that should be promoted, and that is the plan of arming more good guys in schools, shopping malls, and other public places so that if and when a bad guy shows up to commit mass murder, a good person with a gun will be there to cut short the killing.
There are already many examples of this plan working to save lives. Just a few days before the Sandy Hook shooting, in Clackamas Town Center, outside of Portland, Oregon, a gunman entered a crowded shopping mall and started shooting people. A shopper there with a concealed-carry permit drew his gun and pointed it at the gunman. When the gunman saw that someone there might shoot back, he ducked into a stairway and killed himself. Although two people were killed in that episode, the presence of a good guy with a gun greatly limited the body count.
Almost the same thing happened at a movie theater in San Antonio a few days later, except the good gal with a gun, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, actually fired a shot that ended what could have been a mass shooting.
The San Antonio movie theater incident was almost an exact repeat of what happened in 2007 in Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. In that case, a gunman started shooting people in a crowded shopping center, and he killed five people before an armed off-duty police officer shot the gunman dead. That officer is credited with saving many lives. Simply put, in these shootings, and in many others, lives were saved because a good person with a gun was there to fire back.
This point needs to be the gun-rights answer to the “demand a plan” crowd. Our side needs to make its own video, filmed in the same black and white, in which gun-rights celebrities (there are some), with the same concerned expressions, invoke the locations of gun massacres that have been stopped short by other people with guns, whether they are private citizens with concealed-carry permits, off-duty deputies, or a police officer who happens to be there. Then the plea, “how many other massacres could have been stopped?” needs to be made.
One gun-rights celebrity is rocker Ted Nugent, who recently wrote an open letter to Vice President Joe Biden. In his letter, Nugent argued that “gun-free zones” are really “modern killing fields” and they should be banned. Nugent also argued that concealed-carry permits should be authorized for qualified citizens, including school officials, so that they can “protect themselves, their loved ones and innocents.”
He’s right. We need to make the argument back to those who seek to ban guns, and we need to drive home the point that gun massacres have been and will continue to be ended by good guys with guns. Lives can be saved by teachers, fellow shoppers, security guards, and off-duty police officers who have a gun when a bad person shows up and starts shooting.
Demand a plan? The plan is obvious: get more guns into the hands of good people so that they can stop the bad guys who will always be able to get a gun. It is time we acknowledge this.
This column was originally published in Big Hollywood