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Reader Dan S. writes:

The recent article P320 Entry: This Isn’t Working brought up some good points about re-framing the discussion about gun issues in a way to appeal to a wider range of people, which got me thinking. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my wife does. Usually she’s in the same room as me, so occasionally I get roped in. And now that I think about it, how many of the shows that she watches show people carrying guns? Almost none, unless you count “Cops” (which I don’t). Now, these same shows will show people driving cars, eating food, talking on the telephone, and doing other things that (most) normal human beings do on a daily basis . . .

Another trend I’ve noticed is that almost every TV show — at least the ones that my wife watches — has a gay couple or person in it.  I think it can be safely said that ten or twenty years ago, that wasn’t so prominently displayed on mainstream TV.  It wasn’t “normal” before, now it is.

That’s the bottom line — we need to make guns normal, and it has to be done in popular media. If we can have gay characters on TV shows and have it not be a big deal, why can’t we have characters open-carrying on TV shows and have it not be a big deal?

97 Responses to Question of the Day: How Do We Make Guns Normal?

  1. Because guns! /sarc

    Seriously, though, my wife is a big fan of NCIS (an all the NCIS:wherever), cop shows in general, and science fiction.

    There are lots of guns on TV … But they are either usually concealed or strapped to the side of a SciFi character.

    At the moment there aren’t a lot of places in everyday life where enough people OC to make it really noticeable, at least in my experience. At the moment OC is unusual, so so would someone doing so on TV be, perhaps except as noted above.

    Anyway, to start, we need to have a TV network board of directors and at least one production team wiling to make the show. I think that was much easier re lgb than firearms, given the past and present culture in Hollywood. (Not a judgment, just an observation.)

  2. It would basically mean firing and replacing 98% of the writers, producers and directors in the entire entertainment industry. Much as I wish that would happen, I know if I held my breath for it I’d suffocate.

    • Lucas D.,

      It is more than that. Almost every drama, action, and horror script requires defenseless, helpless people. If the characters were armed and had even a minimal level of competence, there is no story.

      Let’s review some common themes that are a non-story if the potential “victim” is armed:
      Stalker follows woman home from grocery store.
      Street thugs try shaking down convenience store.
      Rapist approaches woman in parking lot at night.
      Disgruntled co-worker marches into work to “get even”.
      Drug addict tries carjacking someone.
      Obnoxious neighbor shows up to “teach a lesson”.
      Criminal decides to exploit couple stranded on roadside.
      Big corporation sends thugs to “convince” homeowner to sell.
      Big corporation sends thugs to “hush” whistleblower.
      Serial killer wants another human skin lampshade.
      Wild animal hunts cyclists/hikers/campers.

      I think you get the idea. Armed and somewhat competent people deprive the entertainment industry of most of their scripts. Of course they won’t support that.

        • Relevant xkcd! I don’t know how many times I see something and immediately think of an apropos xkcd strip.

      • As an amateur writer (mostly of fanfiction), I’d categorize that as lazy writing.

        You can easily have armed bystanders be decently competent at street-level events, but then be confronted with a situation that requires the main cast to deal with.

        Have your friendly neighborhood CHL holder be able to hold their own against a mook or two, but be overwhelmed by a mob of them. Or similar situation, but then the main antag shows up and your CHL holder isn’t able to do anything because the antag has superpowers. Or, if our antag is a normal human, maybe he’s wearing body armor and the CHL holder ran out of bullets before he could get a headshot off.

        The way most TV shows and movies handle it is dumb, though (Chris Nolan Dark Knight series I’m looking at YOU).

    • Art imitating life. We’re back to as many people as possible carrying in the open. As it becomes more common there is a chance that it will creep its way into media. Thus, driving normalization more.

  3. An excellent question.

    Here’s my take. We need to get the screenwriters on board with a pro 2A cultural movement. The staff and entrenched media of Hollywood won’t approve an openly RKBA friendly visual work any more then they would a Will Smith movie 50 years ago, so well have to dodge the “censors” for the first few years.

    As time goes on, the viewers will identify with pro self defense more and more even if they live in regions where the only way they’ll afford to look at a gun is via TV. We have to remember not everyone has the money and time to sink into fighting The Man to get an actual firearm in DC, Urban California, New York City, and so forth.

    Once self defense becomes a cultural norm on TV, people will start to wonder why it is they can’t pack a Glock legally in their area like “Character X” on the latest Joss Whedon show. Next comes the actors openly supporting gun rights, and that’s when the trend will pick up speed like an avalanche in the Rockies.

    Once it’s cool for the kids and the adults and the media to like guns, the anti gun movement will sink faster then the RMS Titanic. Against that cultural groundswell, anti gun reps will be voted out and pro gun folks across all parties will get voted in. Even the committed antis in Washington will back gun rights laws if it means they stay in office longer.

    That’s my take on it. We just need the vision to make it happen,instead of being stuck in the “COME AND TAKE EM!!!” mindset.

    It’ll take time to turn the culture around, but it’s a darn sight faster then the judiciary.

  4. Just spit balling, but since open carry seems to antagonize/generate bad publicity by a lot of people representing the firearms community poorly, if the goal is show just how many people carry firearms, and how normal it is, what about open carrying empty full size holsters as a movement? Like a stand in. People will clearly know what it’s for, it won’t violate and laws anywhere, won’t violate company policies, and would illustrate the ridiculousness of the anti-gun views if people started getting harassed for carrying empty holsters.

    • In general, not a bad idea. My problem, is that the antis would have a field day with how many way it could be spun to strengthen their own cause. But, perhaps I’m giving their thinking skills too much credit. At the very least, it would be another slap in the face of OCers. Which would tickle the antis fancy greatly.

  5. For a while I’ve wanted to make a movie where the main character has a concealed gun. You see him get up in the morning and put it on, then later in the movie…nothing. No gun fights, no mugging where he heroically pulls it out to save the day.

    Maybe a situation that could go south quickly but doesn’t.

    The only problem is: the closest I get to making movies is a Dire Dtraits album.

    • I’ve had this thought too. Make it a romantic comedy or coming-of-age drama or whatever, the only difference being that the protagonist carries a gun. Never uses it. You see him/her put it on in the beginning and the whole time you expect its use and it never happens. Audiences would hate that, it’d be like a PG rated porno for them.

  6. I appreciate your premise, but in many ways you are trying to ice skate uphill. Those same TV producers are typically anti-gun in an extreme manner. If they couldn’t make money on contrived gun violence, gunplay of any sort would disappear forever from their scripts.

    It is up to the populace. We the people need to normalize responsible gun ownership. Intelligent (finger off trigger and hand off grip) open carry and responsible concealed carry. I put DGUs and pro gun stories on my Facebook page. Be an intelligent and responsible mouthpiece for the 2A. Take a friend to the range, or even invite them hunting.

    We have a constant struggle against statist politicians and an anti-gun media. The constant act of throwing down a firearm in disgust after a shooting is a common occurance in film. Why the hell would anyone do that? I wouldn’t do that to a GLOCK, which is already a pretty ugly gun. The message is that the gun is an abhorrent tool of violence, and the moral character must disregard such an unclean object even though he may have just used it to defend a life.

    We have a constant struggle against media that seems out the worst in us. Therefore, we must daily strive to be the best possible advocates for the 2nd Amendment.

  7. You smoking weed? Promoting the gay agenda is part and parcel of the Hollywood propaganda machine. 2nd Ammendmend, not so much.

  8. How many characters on television go to church or are shown having religion play a part in their daily lives? It’s extraordinarily unrealistic (and I say that as an atheist), but the vast majority of television writers are people for whom religion plays little or no part in their lives.

    Same thing with firearms.

    (On a side note, one of the strengths of the ’90s SF series “Babylon 5” was that it had a number of characters with identifiable religions…in the 23rd Century, mind you. Contrast that with Star Trek, in which religion has utterly disappeared)

    • The big exception to this, of course, is Deep Space Nine, where the Bajorans are deeply religious and it’s not something the Federation can handwave away, because the objects of their worship are undeniably real. It’s just one of the aspects that makes DS9 the best Trek ever.

      • I know of DS9 but never watched it. Of the various new Trek series, the only one I saw much of was Next Generation, and I gave up after a few seasons of PC after PC episode. Perhaps I’ll give DS9 a try.

  9. There was a time when every other TV show featured people open carrying guns. Those TV shows were called “Westerns.” By 1959, there were 26 Westerns in prime time. The first popular Western movie made its debut in 1903.

    Somewhere along the line, Westerns went out of style because women, who control men’s purse strings, don’t watch Westerns. If they don’t watch the TV shows, sponsors can’t sell their laundry detergent or Summer’s Eve feminine products.

    It was also claimed that Westerns were too violent, although if you watch a vintage Western such as “Have Gun — Will Travel,” you will laugh at the antiseptic nature of the so-called violence.

    The idea that guns can be “normalized” through TV has been tried, and it worked just fine until the airwaves became feminized and pro-gun programming became a financial loser.

    • America would rather watch a show about a homosexual getting his cherry popped then a Western because it’s the perceived cool show. I’m not against shows with a large central theme being gay, but Jesus H Christ…..It’s pretty much every show out there now. It’s would seem to me that 80% of American’s are homosexual according to TV.

      • Justin, I have no gripes when it comes to gay people. They’re just people like everyone else.

        The reason that there are so many gay characters on the small screen is that Hollywood is gay. The gay characters merely reflect the life experiences of the writers, cast, producers and directors. If Hollywood was made up of rodeo cowboys, you’d see a lot of Westerns. That’s the way these things work.

        There are also a lot of pedophiles in Hollywood, and some of them are gay and some are straight. But pedophilia is not socially acceptable, so you won’t see a lot of TV shows depicting that behavior in a favorable light.

      • Hollywood is trying to ‘normalize’ gay-ness, when in fact, it is still quite rare. Unfortunately, it is working.

    • I would say that The Walking Dead has done a pretty good job bringing guns back into mainstream. I know people are getting annoyed by the whole zombie thing but I think it’s fantastic. I’ve witnessed people who I never thought would be interested in firearms get deeply invested in them.

      • TWD is indeed a puzzlement. It’s a successful show that isn’t watched by women and young children — the most impressionable audience for selling products that they really don’t need.

        I don’t know what to make of it except that I guess it’s okay to shoot people on TV as long as they’re already dead.

        I’m a faithful viewer, but it can’t be a gun show when the lead character teaches his son to load an M-16 by pulling on the “operating rod.”

        • My personal favorite was when Rick said that he knew of stores with guns behind the counter because “I signed the permits myself”.

        • I like the flat top ARs with no sights.

          And how every gun on the show seems to only have one “clip”.

        • “I guess it’s okay to shoot people on TV as long as they’re already dead.”

          There’s plenty of living-human-on-living-human gunplay on that show. Actually, other than the first season, it’s settled quite a bit on treating the zombies as more like a “force of nature” kind of threat, while the real nasty shit comes from other survivors. Heck, even the protagonist characters do some pretty cold-blooded killing when necessary.

        • Has Rick ever killed anyone? Yeah, but they were all bad.

          Apologies to “True Lies.”

        • There was a relatively recent Schwarzenegger movie where someone did second, third, fourth strikes on a Glock-like gun (or maybe it was a glock brand glock) after it ran empty. The slide didn’t lock back, but you could hear “click click click” (Glocks are technically double actions but from a user interface standpoint might as well be single action because you *have* to partially rack the slide to cock it, to dry fire it.)

  10. Thanks to modern technology it’s entirely possible to bypass the Hollywood gatekeepers. Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi) and Felicia Day (The Guild) have already proven that it’s possible to make a successful movie or YouTube “tv” series independently. There’s no reason someone couldn’t, say, make a romantic comedy where everyone open carries. The hard part would be making something good enough that people actually wanted to watch it.

  11. One show that does show guns in a good light is Falling Skies. Guns in private hands allow humans to resist the alien invaders, form increasingly effective militia units, and in general are shown to be a common element of daily life. The guns shown on the show are the ones that would be around inthe USA if such an invasion occurred: AKs, ARs, shotguns, the occasional SCAR…I even spotted an M48 once.
    But yeah, other than this tv is a wateland as far as positive portrays of firearms are concerned.

  12. I remember watching a house hunters show on HGTV. There were always openly gay couples on almost every episode. I remember thinking “I haven’t seen a single gun in any of these houses. Not even a gun safe.” Then in one episode I noticed a stack of clays on a shelf behind one of the people they were interviewing, and it hit me: There ARE guns, but they are going to lengths to keep them out of the shots!

    • No doubt but it’s also true that most people are relatively discrete about their guns, so not seeing them isn’t all that surprising. As an aside, lots and lots of gays are gun owners. My neighbors, for instance, are two of the most unassuming people you can imagine. Nobody you’d suspect that their house is armed. But it is. And both people know how to shoot. They’ve had at least one DGU that I know of. The guy who broke into their house seriously misjudged who he was dealing with and quickly found himself staring down the barrel of a .38. He didn’t get shot but, then, the didn’t come back either.

  13. My favorite progressive activist is forever lamenting welfare mothers who “internalize their own oppression”. We do not need to normalize guns because guns are normal. In this country, guns have been normal for hundreds of years. Hollywood is about fantasy not reality. The news media in this country has devolved into a source of Hollywood style entertainment not information. There are as many, if not more, firearms in this country than legal citizens, how much more “normal” can you get?

  14. The real question is: what is CAUSE and what is EFFECT?

    To what extent do “TV Values” influence people? AND to what degree do people see guns in their normal (non-rural) life?

  15. It’s amazing the writer one hand acknowledges the social conditioning that has been taking place in the media with gays, and on the other hand misses the blatant anti gun social conditioning that has taken place in media duoring te same time period. Only advice I can give is shut off your TV, it is the primary social conditioning/engineering tool that the PTB use to dumb down and control the public.

  16. Well, I suspect the reason you don’t see too much in the way of open carry on the networks is that the lawyer/doctor/cop shows that are predominant on the air take place largely in the New York/Chicago/Los Angeles areas….

  17. When even CNN is doing a few unbiased reports on guns, I think they already are becoming more normalized.

  18. Here’s how we make guns seem “normal” to John Q. Public.

    Let’s round up the most stupid, ugly, redneck looking D-bags dressed in tactical shorts and goofy looking hats, put an AR and/or an AK in their hands, tell them to hold it in low ready with a closed bolt and mag inserted and then walk into a place, like, oh, maybe some place like Chipotle, and pose for pictures and then post them on the Internet.

    Then, let’s follow that up by having them defended by people whose comments make them sound like they have missed a few days of their medication.

    That will go a long way toward normalizing firearms.

    ; )

    • Here’s the thing, though. It doesn’t matter that half the OCT guys look like Comic Book Guy with an AR slung on his back. These incidents get such widespread coverage that even antis are getting jaded. The day will come, if it hasn’t already, when someone walks into Chipotle with a long gun and nobody bats an eyelash. “Oh, one of those guys. Let’s facebook this. People be crazy.”

      I know the comparison to gay rights is getting shopworn, but it works. Gay people got more and more comfortable being open, and one day enough people had seen an openly gay person out and about that it just wasn’t a thing anymore, even for people who didn’t like gays.

  19. The problem is that guns are “common” on TV. And by that, I mean every scary “black gun” and AR15 is a machine-gun with a “clip” filled with an infinite number of howitzer shells. Joe and Jane Schmo see that, and equate it with actual firearms available to civilians thru their local wal-mart.

    It’s exactly the tactic that HandGuns realized they should use after their failure to ban handguns in the 1980’s.

    Remember the first Terminator movie? He wanders into a gun-store, and it is choke full of machine-guns. I think that is the average gun-control advocates idea of a “gun store” as available to the general population (without a background check!)

    • And they don’t even know that you need to fill out a Form 4 to get a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range! What a bunch of tools!

      • I’m sorry, but that “40-watt range” thing just bugs me no end. 40 watts of phased plasma would barely blister your skin! For plasma to be effective, you have to be in the megawatt range!

        (Hint – lightning is plasma in the 1-2 gigawatt (not jiggawatt) range).

  20. On average, at least 20% of the male population is gay (according to Kinsey’s research), and 10-15% of the females. On average, <5% of the population carries, and of that <5%, the vast majority conceal carry. On top of that, there are very few urban areas that allow open carry in most circumstances. How can you normalize something that the public doesn't see, unlike gays, who are seen everywhere?

    • Keep in mind that until recently people didn’t _know_ they were seeing gay people everywhere, because being gay was both illegal and considered a “mental illness,” and admitting to being gay would get you locked up and tortured for years. This has only changed within the lifetime of older people.

      • People didn’t know hey were seeing gay people because people used to keep their private sexual lives private. I don’t understand everybody’s obsession with everybody else’s sex lives. If gay people are born gay, then what’s up with that “pride” stuff? Why should I be “proud” of something that’s really nothing more than the luck of the draw?

    • In ’48, Kinsey claimed that 10% of American males were gay. More recently, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates 3% to 8% of both sexes are gay. The real answer is that nobody knows for sure. But if even 3% is a correct number, that’s a lot of gay people. All of whom are entitled to their Constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.

    • “Male population is >20% gay….”

      Put down the crack pipe…. unless you were talking about San Francisco.

  21. What irritates me so much is how popular television and movies characterize firearms. Ever since Batman and now in shows like Dexter, firearms are always portrayed as something beneath the characters moral compass. Even in the context of a serial killer. When I first heard of the Bambi effect, I thought it was crazy talk, but more and more I am noticing the demonizing of something as simple and fundamental as protecting ones self with a firearm. It chapps my ass.

  22. Work on making them normal with your kids, friends, family. Bring in new shooters. After all, people make big decisions based on personal experiences not by what they see on TV.

    No one picks a real estate agent or a doctor or their favorite cola beverage based on TV advertising.

  23. +1 Bob Watson. I don’t see a big problem. In Illinois the new concealed carry law has helped enormously. I live a mile from Indiana and it seems everyone carries. NO BIG DEAL is slowly coming to Illinois. As it should. And alternative media is leading the charge. Being so concerned with open carrying won’t help Illinois.

  24. Because it doesn’t make any more sense to open carry in a sit-com than it does in real life.

    Now simply showing a guy coming home from work and removing his pistol and IWB holster and setting them next to his wallet would be invaluable.

  25. The problem is that weapons are powerful dramatic devices. This has been the case as far back as Shakespeare, so let’s not chalk it all up to Hollywood. You see a gun in a movie or TV show, you expect it’s going to be used at some point. It’s a very common principle in storytelling, that you remove anything nonessential to the story. If the guy strapping on the holster isn’t going to use the gun, then including the gun serves no purpose to the story (other than to make an unrelated political statement).

    No doubt there’s very little interest in Hollywood to promote the normalization of firearms in daily life, but there are also some legitimate reasons to not have the Indian dude on “Big Bang Theory” walking around with a stainless 1911 on his hip.

  26. How about this: Host public barbecues and outdoor gatherings with a big ol’ sign that says ‘open carriers get in for free’. Everyone else would pay a small cover charge for food or games, or whatever. This way firearms are seen in public with out all the usual hoplophobia. It may be interesting enough for at least local news to pick up, and will cast firearms in a positive light.

  27. A good sign would be seeing a character on a show explaining the four rules of gun safety to another character, something that was done very well in TellTale’s The Walking Dead series.

  28. My answer is competetion. Trap and skeet, uspsa and 3 gun, high power to bench rest.

    Trying to push guns onto people for purely self defensive purposes is like trying to sell baseball bats only for self defense. The average person will think you a paranoid idiot.

    Get the guns in their hands because its fun, and they will keep them there because they will eventually recognize the inherent force equalization that comes from self defense with a firearm.

    • Exactly. Take a non-shooter to the range (pick up the tab for ammo and fees for them if you can afford it), and let ’em shoot a variety of guns (none of that YouTube “start a newbie out with a .454 Casull bullshit), and it won’t matter what they see on TV. That shit-eating grin is going to last for days, and then they’ll be bugging you for a return trip. That’s when you start talking about taking them to pick out their own gun.

      Sometimes we focus too much on the self-defense and exercise-of-rights parts of gun ownership, and lose sight of the fact that these things are freakin’ fun!

  29. Motion Pictures and Television nowadays scrupulously place guns in the hands of very specific roles in their vision of “real life” and society in general. Soldiers have guns, Law Enforcement Agents have guns. Rogue “good guys” (like “Person of Interest” Characters) have guns. Science Fiction Series vary but many feature gun-toting characters (both good and bad) while some follow the “normal life” representation. Bad Guys have guns (of course and many are portrayed as overly eager to shoot anyone else they wish). Extremists have guns. Ignorant “Hill Billies” and Bible-thumping Rednecks have guns. Crazy people have guns,. Films and TV Shows that do not have anything to do with guns in their normal story lines are carefully sanitized of any mention, display or reference to guns, or bring a gun into a storyline as an object of death, fear, concern and evilness(as in Hospital Dramas, where the “effects” of guns are seen graphically featured as the source of grievous injury and death), All this makes people who are uniformed, or uncommitted to the right to keep and bear Arms, more readily accepting of anti-gun messages when gun control pundits propagandize them.

    With this powerful messaging in place in the Entertainment Industry, it will be very difficult to “normalize” gun ownership and carrying guns in public as part of “normal” life.

  30. @Bob, I think you hit the right angle with competition. During the Sydney 2000 games I was surprised how much coverage was given to shooting sports, and afterwards it was noted there was increased interest in the sports. I also noted the coverage of shooting events in the following Olympics was a lot less.

    The Creedmore matches between Great Britain and the USA were noted for the interest shown by the many spectators.

    I think covering the sports in a sports show and a show where the character participates in shooting sports (properly and safely) would be the best way to normalize firearms among the general public. Of course, the anti-gun crowd will be very upset.

  31. No hope of making guns “normal” anymore. We don’t own the media (who have spent the last 40 years making guns “abnormal”), and that ownership is not likely to change hands to us anytime soon…

  32. Law abiding people who have guns, especially minorities, need to stop hiding them. You are not doing anything wrong by exercising your rights – just because the political class says so. The political class is does not represent what’s right, just what gets the most lobby money on the left.

    • Maybe if the show was set in the Canadian wilderness or Alaska, where one might expect to encounter a bear or angry moose and OCing a .44 would be a good idea.

    • Mal Reynolds is the most libertarian character on the most libertarian show in history. I don’t know if that’s what Joss Whedon intended, but that’s what ended up happening.

      • I think is was his intention.

        So, let’s talk about Science Fiction for a moment. In the SciFi realm, weapons are commonly carried by good guys, bad guys, civilian and gov/mil types. Star Wars, in the (now defunct) EU, dealt with gun control to an extent but there are those who obey the law and those who don’t, and the more despotic the government, the more they control arms. Naboo, the supposed Utopian Queendom (who actually has horribly xenophobic policies), is the only ‘good guys’ with strong ‘gun control’.

        You can’t get more libertarian than Serinity/Firefly, where the good guys carry guns and remain free, and the bad guys are the authorities who want to restrict a host of civil liberties. Whedon did well there.

        Battlestar: Galactica (2004) was all over the place with the politics of guns, but the spinoff prequel, Caprica, had a decent amount of private citizens with firearms for defense.

  33. My perspective may be skewed since I have personally dumped “popular media” years ago, apart from a handful of movies and TV shows that I’ve sought out after recommendations from friends. So, I don’t see “popular media” as the starting point for making guns normal. I see myself as that starting point. After all, I only really have any control over my own actions; no point waiting for popular media to speak up for me.

    So, how do I make them normal? Without getting too wordy, I act as if they *are* normal. After all, they are normal for me.

    I’ve become a lot more proactive about talking to people about guns. The key is that I actually focus on talking about myself–why I enjoy guns, why I own them, what I find interesting about them, how silly gun laws affect me, etc. Anyone can argue with statistics or blanket assertions, but nobody can tell me my personal choices are wrong or my experiences invalid.

    I also go out of my way to offer to take people shooting, or to gun shows or gun shops. Depending on my audience I might play up these trips as an opportunity to witness the spectacle of crazy gun people, or just a new life experience. Regardless of what gets them to go along, a little bit of exposure therapy goes a long way toward dispelling the perceived threat of firearms.

    Finally, throughout all of this, I never expect anyone to change their mind. The whole operation begins and ends with my offering to share my knowledge, experience and passion for firearms (and a little ammo, perhaps). If they turn me down, ok, fine–it’s an open offer and I let it go. If they take me up on my offer and still hate guns afterward, cool. It’s a free country, and that’s their right. I’ve gotta say, though, my track record has been pretty good.

    My most recent newbie range trip actually took place out of state; I visited WA for a wedding, but stayed a few extra days to visit a friend of mine and his family. He’s former Army, and his wife and son are originally from Russia & had never been shooting before. I flew up my nice custom AR and my Arsenal AK for a fun little American vs. Russian platform showdown. Go figure, they all loved my 1911! So much so that my buddy’s wife decided to get him his own 1911 for a graduation present.

    That’s how it’s done, one person at a time. When gun normalcy (plus curiosity) reaches levels that will sustain a profitable audience, popular media will get on board.

  34. The last show that I know of where guns were normal, was Gunsmoke back in the 60s and 70s, and of course that was based on mid 1800’s Kansas. Most of today’s (young) adults don’t even remember that show or were not born yet.
    Maybe we need some updated version of that in a more modern setting like farmers and ranchers or some such. Reality shows with guns in them abound, but I have a sneaky feeling that no self respecting anti gun person would get caught watching them. You all really should watch the National Geographic Channel more.

  35. If there was some show that had a character that OC’d a snubnose revolver OWB, I think that would be a good start. A nice short grip, a nice short barrel. Because the smaller a hand gun, the less deadly it is. Amirite?

    Being gay is nowhere near as prevalent as American media suggests, but there is probably a disproportionately high amount of gay folks in the entertainment industry, so it is normalized. We don’t have any such edge, so getting a character who OCs on a show is pretty well impossible. The closest I can think of is Bree on Desperate Housewives, but that was just part of her character schtick, when she was actually threatened, apparently all of those guns were nowhere to be found. Yes, I’ve seen Desperate Housewives. I’m married, deal with it.

  36. Does no one here remember ‘Jericho’ on CBS? Not only did it have lots of private citizens with guns of all sorts and lots of open carry, but it even had a discussion about the need for the second amendment as defense against tyrannical government (which was the plot of the entire show). Lots of private citizen DGU to prevent rape, murder and theft from various bad guys (who range from looters to private military contractors).

    Even more recently, the show ‘Revolution’, features a post EMP-ish America, where only the interim government is ‘allowed’ to have guns (technology has also degraded as well, most of the gov’t’s guns are blackpowder), and there is discussions on how they have to keep the people disarmed to maintain control. There’s a few executions in the first few episodes of people who are caught with something as simple as a pump-action 12ga, and it had a very clear gun control = population control message) . Despite this threat, the good guys carry proudly (if they can get one).

    Robin, on How I Met Your Mother, has a concealed weapon permit (by some act of the Divine, because it’s set in NYC) and carriers a .357, IIRC. She’s lambasted for it, though.

  37. From all this talk about entertainment, I gotta believe guns would be “normal” if they’d never canceled Firefly.

    Yep. Still bitter about that. (Also, yes, I went there.)

  38. Something I’ve noticed is in most shows, only the cops (Or super-elite protagonist mans thereof) or the bad guys have guns. Hardly ever do any regular people have guns, or express the ability to be able to defend themselves. It’s really weird considering at bare minimum, 1/3 of the population owns guns. The only time people have guns that aren’t cops, badguys, or family members OF cops, they’re usually stereotypical hillbillies or strangely-written characters that nobody can really relate to as an actual person, and it’s another quirk of their odd persona to watch and get enthralled with at a distance.
    It’s weird as hell and really, I fell like it should change.

  39. Open carry.

    all the time, everywhere, even in a bathing suit and flip-flops.

    Ask people who are without one “where’s your weapon?”

    • I ask people the same thing. 🙂 If they are close friends or family, I half-jokingly ask them, “Why do I have to do all of the heavy work? One of these days it would be nice if every blessed one in the group were armed so I could take a day off!”

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