Reader Matthew Howe writes:
I once had the pleasure of working with Julianne Moore and can attest that she is a very nice person. For a major movie star she’s down to earth, charming and accessible. We were the scrubby local crew shooting a PSA with The Big Star and she treated us all like fellow professionals. In fact it was her hair stylist, not Ms. Moore, who was the diva who gave us all the problems. Which is why it’s so sad to see her embarrass herself when it comes to the subject of gun control. Look, I’m sure she means well. I’m sure that in her heart of hearts she thinks that partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety is a way she can both protect the Second Amendment and make society safer. She is, of course, wrong . . .
Ms. Moore is a founder of the Everytown Creative Council, an offshoot of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. On their web page, which features a list of celebrities who share the Everytown vision, they list a few organizing principles:
We believe we have a responsibility to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people – including convicted criminals, domestic abusers, stalkers, terrorists and people with dangerous mental illness.
This, of course, is a call for universal background checks even though recent mass shooters, whether of the mentally ill or terrorist flavor, have virtually all passed background checks or found easy ways to avoid them. And criminals? Please. They love expanded background checks because anything that makes it harder for the law-abiding to arm themselves makes their life less risky.
We believe in gun safety – that we have a responsibility to store guns safely, unloaded and out of the reach of children.
Fatal gun accidents are, statistically speaking, extremely rare. These creative types would do more good to encourage people to put fencing and gates around swimming pools. Not to mention that there is research showing that gun storage laws actually make people less safe, not more. Gun storage laws essentially ignore the self-defense aspect of bearing arms. A gun in the safe isn’t much good at 2:00 am when some meth-head is kicking your front door in.
We believe everyone has a role to play in reducing gun violence and that every action, no matter how small, helps bring us closer to a future free from gun violence.
In screenwriting, reveals are important. Here’s where we reveal that this whole effort is just more shallow, Hollywood, we-must-do-something, feel- ood pap. I hate to be the one to spoil the party, but there’s no future free from gun violence. As long as there are guns, some idiot will use them for ill.
But why single out gun violence? Why not call for a future free from all violence? Does a murder victim care if he’s been shot or bashed over the head with a 2×4? Of course not. Violence has been part of the human condition since there has been a human condition and that seems unlikely to change any time soon. Governments and individuals have been known to do terrible things to innocents, and that’s precisely why the Founders officially recognized the natural right to bear arms. And that’s precisely the reason we fight to stop people like Laura Dern and Billy Crudup from limiting or eliminating it.
We believe the creative community has an opportunity to use our communications skills and the power of culture to galvanize many more Americans in the gun violence prevention movement.
“Gun-violence prevention movement.” Now there’s a thinly veiled rebranding of “gun-control” if there ever was one. But if they’re serious about preventing “gun violence,” I assume buses of celebrities are loading up as we speak to visit inner-city Baltimore and the south side of Chicago to hold encounter groups with the criminal elements there to try to change their violent ways. Because that’s where the murders are.
Or maybe they could start a massive, Hollywood-financed suicide intervention program, because that’s where the majority of “gun deaths,” as they define them, are. But hey, that stuff is hard. So instead they put up a nice web page, lie about how many people are part of the Everytown, and push for policies that do nothing except harass lawful gun owners.
Why the disconnect? Because like many in the emotion-driven, we-must-do-something anti-gun movement, Ms. Moore doesn’t really know what she’s talking about. She hasn’t really researched it. Hasn’t really gotten up close and personal with the data, arguments or numbers. I’d guess she may have read a few articles in the Times, listened to the echo-chamber chatter of her anti-gun friends, and decided to parlay her celebrity into what she considers action. If she has actually researched it, clearly she’s only looked at one side of the argument.
Evidence? Check out this earlier statement of Moore’s on gun control:
As actors, we are citizens first so we believe in the Constitution and the Second Amendment. But 92 percent of the people in the United States are in favor of background checks, too, so I don’t feel like I’m in the minority. I definitely feel like I’m in the majority here.
If Ms. Moore truly understood the Constitution, she would understand that, outside of enough popular will to amend the document itself, what the majority wants doesn’t matter. The Bill of Rights exists specifically to protect the individual from the majority.
My advice for Ms. Moore: stick to acting. Leave the gun control advocacy to those of us who take the time to really try to understand it. Because what you have to say on the issue is as embarrassing as starring in Assassins.