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Every time an actor or actress has the audacity to voice his or her opinion that maybe, just maybe, a nation with more gun-related deaths since 1968 than in all American wars combined needs to take a look at how criminals have such an easy time of getting their hands on guns, the typical hysteria follows.

He/she glorifies guns in his/her movies (by using them), and he/she wants to take my guns away?! God damned un-American, leftist, hollywood elitist hypocrites! 

No, they don't have to advocate anything like taking guns away; yes, that's how it's filtered through the right-wing spin machine anyway. Seriously, pick a celebrity who has dared to speak about guns, and google their name along with "hypocrite" and "guns". Sylvester Stallone's a good example. Or, heck, just type in "hollywood hypocrites guns". You get article after article from the screeching mouthpieces on the right, alleging that playing with a gun onscreen disqualifies you from having an opinion on gun control. Indeed, a mere mention that you support gun control (notably stripped of all context and specifics) is enough to justify accusations that you hate the second amendment.

Now, I'm not saying that some people who demand gun control are not hypocrites. If you think that no one should ever own a gun, and yet you own guns, you're a hypocrite; if you think that no one should depict gun use or ownership, while doing it yourself, you're a hypocrite. But suggesting stricter gun control laws, while complying with what you're suggesting? Sorry, right wingers, that's not hypocrisy.

Of course, my saying so isn't going to convince anyone whose rage censor kicked off at the dreaded words "gun control". So let me illustrate by way of example.

I own and drive a vehicle.

I believe there should be limitations on who can and cannot drive.
Do those declarations render me an elitist, America hating, freedom-destroying car-hater? Or can we all agree that it's not a good idea to permit six year olds behind the wheel? What about those with significant visual or mental impairment, impaired to such a degree that they would present a hazard to other drivers and pedestrians? What about drunk drivers?

I'm pretty sure most people -- including most car owning, driving people -- can agree that those are reasonable limitations. I'm further fairly certain that agreeing that drunks should not be behind the wheel, while being a sober driver, does not render one a freedom-hating hypocrite. (On the other hand, if one rails about drunk driving while driving drunk, one is, of course, a hypocrite; but that's not what we're talking about here: we're talking about people who comply with the law they're advocating [be it driving sober, or refraining from bazooka ownership]).

So, just as calling for reasonable limitations on driving while being a driver yourself is not hypocritical, no more is it hypocritical to own (or play with onscreen) a gun while supporting reasonable regulations on gun ownership.

Furthermore, the notion that depicting something onscreen is an embrace of that thing is frankly ludicrous. Actors routinely depict evil, unsavory characters -- be they murderers, corrupt cops, gangsters, thugs, terrorists, pimps, drug lords, dark lords, evil sorcerers, wicked wizards, twisted Uruk-hai & ring wraiths, etc. Actors depict persons down on their luck, misguided, fallen and/or in desperate straits -- homeless, runaways, prostitutes, junkies, Smeagol/Gollum, etc. The magic of cinema would quickly diminish if everyone was a Mary Sue with a perfect life. And yet who would declare that an actor who portrays a violent gangster can have no opinion of gangs? That someone who plays a terrorist cannot speak out against terrorism? That Andy Serkis cannot warn of the dangers of the Precious? (Seriously, not even meth compares to that addiction...) It's an absurd proposition, and one that does not hold true under even the slightest scrutiny. Actors and actresses routinely address a host of issues, from body image to genocide, particularly as it is relevant to their work. Mentioning guns is not a magic portal into anti-Americanism, where all who cross over loathe the second amendment ever after. Frankly, the idea is beyond absurd.

In short, if it's not hypocritical to pretend onscreen to be a killer, but oppose killing; to pretend onscreen to deal drugs, while opposing drug traffickers; to pretend onscreen to destroy cities in dragon fire, while not being a dragon; then it isn't hypocritical to oppose guns in the hands of dangerous psychopaths while holding a gun and not being a psychopath. Whatever the right-wing screechosphere might say to the contrary, it is not hypocritical for an actor who plays with guns onscreen, or owns them, to support limitations to gun ownership, so long as his or her actions fall within those parameters.

Originally posted at Rachel's Hobbit Hole.

Originally posted to Rachels Hobbit Hole (on Daily Kos) on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am not understanding why an actor who (5+ / 0-)

    portrays a fictional character in a fictional narrative would have to share the ideological ideals of that character in the real world.  Actors do what they do for money; very few turn down lucrative roles for ideological reasons (though a few do)

    Does this mean that John Banner, SGT Schulz on "Hogans' Heroes" was a hypocrite because he was Jewish and fled Europe when Hitler annexed Austria but built his career upon playing a Nazi soldier in many of his roles?  Should a Jewish actor refuse roles that portray Nazis?

    I suppose this makes Werner Klemperer a hypocrite as well since he portrayed the commandant but was also a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.

    I confess I am somewhat confused as to how these people seem to fail to understand an actor portrays characters which have nothing to do with him in real life.

    •  Yeah, I mean, the word is ACTor. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, AJayne

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see NOTHINK! (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:22:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why you don't understand (0+ / 0-)

      You aren't getting the message. Their message isn't that an individual actor somehow is endorsing the character they play.

      The logic goes like this:
      - Guns don't cause gun violence.
      - One of the causes of gun violence is the glorification of violence portrayed in movies, TV shows and other entertainment.
      - An actor who financially benefits from these forms of entertainment is actively contributing to a major cause of the levels of gun violence in our society.
      Thus, that actor is a hypocrite.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:23:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  while I never acted, I did enough back stage (0+ / 0-)

        work to wonder if that means, for example, putting on the "Scottish play" means I should live my life to exemplify the characters the same as the actors should?

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          But if the play were widely cited as a major causal factor in family violence, you would be a hypocrite for working on it while simultaneously campaigning against domestic abuse.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:35:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Widely Cited" Is Meaningless (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, stevenaxelrod

            By this "logic" the fact that the Benghazi attack is "widely cited" (among wingnuts) as an example of how America has been weakened and corrupted by Obama means that it is hypocritical for anyone who voted for Obama to profess patriotism.

            On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

            by stevemb on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:04:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's more (0+ / 0-)

        if you make a movie glorifying violence and revenge, you don't have much credibility to point your finger at hunters and say "It's the GUN CULTURE that's the problem."

        because YOU ARE the gun culture.

        What do the Defend-NSAers-at-any-cost hope for society to gain from Snowden turning himself in and standing trial? I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before any of them finally give a reasonable, coherent answer to that question.

        by happymisanthropy on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:44:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That Logic Is Based On A Faulty Premise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        Presumably, anyone who creates any form of entertainment in which a character acts immorally rejects the "monkey see monkey do" model of human behavior.

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:07:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yet there is a long track record (0+ / 0-)

          The "current culture" has often been cited as the cause of various social ills. Jazz in it's day, rock music in my youth, hip-hop more recently. Games, movies, dance styles, etc and ad infinitum.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu May 08, 2014 at 11:08:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I do get it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        but it's bogus. Although that's not the only angle they approach from -- I've often read that owning guns while advocating gun control is hypocrisy (again, not owning guns you don't think people should have...just owning a gun, at all, if you think there are reasonable gun control measures we could enact, at all).

        As to the specific point you address, essentially they're saying that the first amendment should be curtailed rather than the second -- when it's guns, not speech, that is directly involved in killing people. As I say, though, portraying a character in a given scenario is not necessarily glorifying that behavior, much less in everyone all the time. Some actors routinely play cops/government agents/soldiers/marines/mercenaries/etc., and use guns (obviously) in those roles, a lot; is playing a tough, world-saving cop embracing a vigilante, every-man-for-himself worldview? I don't think that's a fair assessment. Same way I don't think playing a military video game means you think war is fabulous, or playing Thief is an actual embrace of theft. Telling stories doesn't mean you'd like to see the point of conflict, the resolution to that conflict, or anything else, come to pass IRL. This is something they seem to miss.

  •  I don't hate 2A and I don't want (all) guns banned (3+ / 0-)

    Of course, I'm no celebrity nor actor. I'd like to see 2A re-intrepreted back to the pre-Heller (Scalia) view that held for a couple centuries. If that's not possible, I'd like to see it repealed or amended (perhaps per Stevens). I'm glad to have some guns banned or restricted (fully-automatic machine-guns, etc.), I'd like mandatory registration, mandatory testing/licensing/insurance, etc.

    Funny title:

    10 big time celebrities that hate the 2nd Amendment and want to take guns away
    Even those who want 2A repealed don't hate it, at least those I know. They just think it's no longer necessary (given our standing-army, the evolution of modern high-power firearms, etc.). The US will never ban all guns. But it's interesting that the gun-bullies impute hatred (where none exists) and they fear gun bans -- their anxiety runs so deep. (The US will never, ever ban flintlock long rifles like the replica that Charlton Heston wrapped his warm, live hands around.)

    Thanks for the diary!

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