Anytime there is a tragedy, the usual band of self-entitled, self-indulgent, holier-than-thou Hollywood celebrities show up like cockroaches to a well-stocked kitchen. Whether they claim to be looking out for the poor and underprivileged, or they pretend they can stop tragedies like Newtown with their gun-control rants, they manage to hijack these media events to get their fix of self-importance.
The latest such “effort” by celebrities is the “Demand a Plan” video. Spearheaded by New York City Mayor and gun-ban advocate Michael “Nanny” Bloomberg, the video features Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell urging viewers to help “end gun violence” following the Connecticut school shooting in which 26 people were killed.
While preventing maniacs from murdering children is desirable to every sane person, this video is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to further regulate or even ban firearms ownership by law-abiding citizens. The release of the video was timed perfectly to support President Obama’s announcement that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an interagency effort to craft new gun regulations.
The question is: If Hollywood really believes their anti-gun rants, then why do they write, act, produce and distribute movies that focus on, and glorify, guns and shooting mayhem?
Of course if one dares to complain about the content of violent movies, these same Hollywood elites will hide behind the First Amendment and shriek, “censorship!” It’s ironic the way Hollywood will defend the First Amendment at any cost, but will condemn virulently the Second Amendment as dangerous and obsolete, although the Second Amendment is equally important and goes hand in hand with the First Amendment.
Ron Resnick, an expert on the constitutional law of the Second Amendment and author of “Private Arms as the Palladium of Liberty: The Meaning of the Second Amendment,” U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 77 (1999), explains:
The right to own a firearm was considered by both the Framers of the Constitution in 1787 and by the current Supreme Court to be equal in importance to the right to speak freely, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to practice religion. These liberties are guaranteed to each of us by the first two amendments to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights.
We may grit our teeth when watch the Ku Klux Klan use the rights guaranteed to Americans in the First Amendment to march and to make inflammatory statements with which we disagree. But would we say that because a few kooks use these rights to upset us we should restrict freedom of speech and peaceable assembly for all of the rest of us?
Of course firearms can be used by criminals and by mentally ill nuts to commit crimes and to kill innocent people. But so can knives, cars and hammers. A speeding truck can cause the same mayhem as an illegally fired handgun.
The Hollywood reaction to tragedies like the school shooting confirms what many of us have thought all along: Hollywood views the safe enjoyment of firearms by millions of law-abiding Americans — for target shooting, for sports and simply for fun — as a freak show. They feel that guns are perfectly fine in the hands of fictionalized characters on the silver screen, to attract movie-goers while earning them millions of dollars, but guns are not fine in the hands of law-abiding American citizens.
Sylvester Stallone said to Access Hollywood in response to the shooting of Phil Hartman in 1999, “Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you’re gonna have. It’s pathetic. It really is pathetic.” Yet on November 30, 2004, five years after his statement, Stallone was issued a concealed carry permit (CCW), allowing him to carry in public a concealed handgun for his personal use. So Sylvester Stallone believes he, alone, should be allowed to have a handgun, but he wants every handgun owned by anyone else to be confiscated by the government, searching door-to-door (exactly the way Hitler’s Nazis confiscated all firearms from the Jews as a prelude to the Holocaust). Could the hypocrisy be any more manifest?
Would celebrities be willing to give up their armed security guards or equip their bodyguards with pepper spray instead of firearms? Would Gwyneth Paltrow or Reese Witherspoon be willing to send their children to unarmed public schools instead of their fancy, expensive private schools with armed guards? Would Beyonce demand that her husband’s “homies” give up their guns and cease worshiping them in music videos? Would Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jamie Foxx or Will Ferrell be willing to advertise that they live or work in a “gun-free zone”? Doubtful.
Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote in National Review: “If you don’t want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that’s your choice. But don’t be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in ‘a gun-free environment’ where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?”
Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid. Have you noticed how they always shoot innocent people in “gun free” zones, instead of target ranges or police stations, which are populated by good guys with guns? “Gun free” zones really are only pretend “gun free” zones,” as the zones are “gun free” only for law-abiding citizens who are rendered defenseless against attacks by criminals and crazies who can shoot with impunity.
Besides, what is so wrong with entertaining the idea of armed guards in our public schools? (Interesting how an announcement by Bill Clinton to add $120 million in new federal grants to place more police officers in schools was considered to be a such great idea in 1994, but absurd and hateful when uttered by Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, 18 years later.)
Unfortunately, Hollywood (along with most Leftists) believes that the pathologies of individuals and society can be cured if only if the anointed in Washington would hand down a proclamation to us mere mortals, which would magically make the world a better place. Never mind that no entities throughout world history have more blood on their hands than governments.
Charles Krauthammer, American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist wrote, “If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?”
Don’t hold your breath.