Where Does Hollywood Stand On Gun Violence?
“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” — Clint Eastwood
Thursday evening Americans watched another round of Democratic candidates talking passionately about various issues from health care to campaign finance reform. And then there was gun violence. Cory Booker made it clear why this is an issue he’s passionate about (though he seems to speak with passion about everything), but Beto O’Rourke made the most direct assault on assault rifles when he said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
When I woke the next morning, my mind flipped back to earlier in the week when I started watching a movie that began with seven trailers for other films, all of which featured explosions, gun-wielding killers and weapons arsenals. It made me think again about where Hollywood stands on gun violence.
When I Googled that question, the first page of answers that I was delivered went like this:
Hollywood celebrities are notoriously liberal and stand further left than the average American on many issues. But when it comes to guns, the messages are mixed. Just as George Barris made a name for himself customizing cars, Hollywood film makers have gone over-the-top to generate new varieties of exotic — and massively deadly — weapons.
And just as the studios are massively critical of Capitalism, there are few qualms about the extent to which they are happy to profit from exploiting the bottomless thirst for violence.
When Dylan wrote, “This world is ruled by violence, better get that through your head” (“Union Sundown”) he was probably not far from the mark. Maybe I’m naive, but I still think we need to keep making an effort to “Give Peace a Chance.”
Ed Newman is a former anti-war protester who is saddened by violence of all kinds, especially against women, children and innocents.