I never get very political here at TTAG. I like to irk people once in a while, but the furthest I usually go is talking about hunting laws and ethics.
Today, however, I’m going to jump down the rabbit hole and talk about the Hollywood establishment’s inability to abstain from shooting itself in the foot when it comes to gun rights. No pun intended.
Hollywood is the manufacturer of much of our gun culture, and they have it in their power to make certain types of guns cool, but they don’t.
The “logic” of Hollywood’s hypocritical left-wing elite is an embarrassment. Or should be. It’s no secret that many of the entertainment industry have armed security, own guns themselves, and make a lot of money from depictions of guns in the context of on-screen violence.
Yet, for all that, they are also often rabidly anti-gun rights. Guns for me and not for thee is the general attitude. What that says to the average American — who’s not nearly as stupid as Hollywood thinks they are — is that they see themselves as worth far more than the rest of us plebs.
My life is much more valuable than yours, so stop causing violence by carrying a pistol. What are you, a vigilante wannabe? Shut up and buy tickets to my next film where I will kill a minimum of 50 people, blow up a building and derail a train. It’s a romantic comedy.
We’ve seen this a million times and it’s not worth it to go into the hypocrisy of it all. Instead let’s look at a different irony: the fact that most film and television is decidedly pro-gun and pro-civilian armament to the point that most of the stories wouldn’t even work if the characters weren’t constantly armed or lacked access to weapons.
In short, Hollywood makes guns cool, even if they aren’t always exactly guns.
There are a few franchises that are extremely popular that essentially hinge upon unlimited access to personally-owned weapons, among them Harry Potter and Star Wars, which are, of course the property of, well, anti-gun entities.
Harry Potter is a good, engaging story for the most part. It’s gospel to many anti-gun Millennial atheists, which are the majority fanbase of the series today.
The main issue with it is that everyone in every movie — from small children to professors and members of government (the Ministry) are armed with deadly weapons 100% of the time.
It’s demonstrated throughout the series that you can do pretty much anything you want with a wand, including injuring bystanders, inflicting massive amounts of damage to property and torturing and killing people.
While it may seem like fun and games, the final act of the original series saw an entire army of bad wizards attacking a school full of armed students. They weren’t just laughing and playing around, waving sticks, either.
Dozens of children and adults were killed on-screen, but it demonstrated an effective armed resistance nevertheless. It appears that, at least in my limited knowledge of the Potter universe, that carrying weapons is essentially mandated at school.
Armed teachers can and do protect Hogwarts. So why not our schools here in the land of Muggles?
Moving on to another universe with lots of weapons, we come to Star Wars. While it may not seem like it, the Star Wars sagas are extremely pro-gun. We witness three distinct eras on-screen, the Republic, the Empire, and later the New Republic.
In each of these regimes the characters are free to run around carrying weapons. Personally-owned guns (blasters) and swords for that matter are common, every-day items in a galaxy far, far away.
It should be noted that for the most part there appears to be no restrictions or any sort of gun control in the Star Wars galaxy. No one bats an eye at individuals walking around with arms on their hips. Many civilian ships are heavily armed and put in at government-owned hangars, which must mean that they are either non-restricted or dubiously overlooked for the sake of plot.
The Empire, which were un-ironically the good guys if you really think about it, didn’t see a need to disarm local populations they controlled. People were allowed to move about fully armed on armed vessels capable of destroying government-owned TIE fighters completely at will.
Self-defense laws in the galaxy seemed to be fairly lax, meaning that, even under the “bad guys'” government, armed self-defense was commonly accepted. In the original film, both Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi get into bar fights where they killed someone and there were zero repercussions.
Luke Skywalker, Han, Chewie, Boba Fett, and even stale-bread characters like the sequel trilogy’s Rey all openly carry weapons into bars, restaurants, on ships, and on various worlds.
In the new sequels, Solo willy-nilly hands Rey, a teenage girl, a handgun which she promptly uses to kill Stormtroopers, who are established to be forcibly-recruited child soldiers. She has no hint of remorse, which is strange considering that the writers went to great lengths to humanize the Stormtroopers in the opening scene of The Force Awakens.
Rey should actually be a solid example of the type of exactly person who Hollywood thinks should never have a gun: she’s from a remote backwater, lacks formal education or training, attacks and beats a black stranger who she believes stole a jacket, is shockingly quick to use brutal violence against innocent people, and is dangerously swayed by an ancient religion.
But, after all that, she’s still able to run free and continue using guns and swords on people without any sort of problems. Shouldn’t someone Red Flag her?
Hollywood looks down on America’s gun culture with disgust, but contributes to it more than they may know or care to admit. Films are a big part of our culture, too. In an increasingly post-literate age, movies are our way of telling stories and many of those stories essentially need guns to be compelling.
If they don’t include guns, the morality becomes strikingly confused. In shows like AMC’s Into The Badlands, the society is decidedly anti-gun, but not at all anti-violence, as people are killed by swords and crossbows about every three seconds. They make a point that there are no more guns around and that they are absolutely verboten.
But the show ended up being its own worst enemy in terms of its anti-gun message. It essentially proved that without guns in the hands of the people, the strong ended up forcing everyone into a serf-like state where they stood no chance of freeing themselves. In an act of what was likely ideological self-defense, AMC killed the show off after only a few seasons.
Furthermore, when Hollywood tries to make a no-guns character likable, they end up failing to deliver or force that character to be reliant on those with guns in order to be even slightly believable.
In the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen has a bow, which is sort of her thing. She was a pauper from an impoverished village in an outlying district that was ruled by a — you guessed it — totalitarian state reminiscent of Rome, but with technology and in neon colors.
Katniss was forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena for the entertainment of the populace and ended up as a poster girl for an armed revolt against the government.
While she never did much with guns aside from carrying a pistol on at least one occasion, literally everyone else in the story is armed to the teeth. And they pretty much carry her from the start because she only has a limited amount of use outside of propaganda purposes.
Was Hunger Games anti-gun? Not at all. Again. It couldn’t have been more pro-gun and pro-individual liberty in its depiction of a subjugated people fighting against government tyranny.
Hollywood has a bad habit of being undone by their significant influence. It could be argued that the entire demand for Western-style guns, lever actions, replica revolvers, and even ammunition is driven by Hollywood Westerns.
I have spent lots of time with the Cowboy Action gun community and have had some great articles run on replica revolvers and can readily say that there is not a single person in those sports that hasn’t been influenced in some way by Hollywood’s Westerns.
The fact is Hollywood’s most successful productions are decidedly pro-gun and conservative, sometimes going so far right to the point of being ethno-nationalistic and anti-immigrant.
What if I told you that there was a wildly successful film about an exiled prince who returns to his kingdom to expel his usurper uncle. The uncle displaced the rightful rulers, his own people, and was responsible for eroding and destroying the rights of the country with open-border policies and allowing an untouchable class of criminal illegal aliens to take over? It’s called The Lion King.
What’s more, Hollywood has an identity problem. If they want everyone to have wood-stocked hunting rifles, romantic carry choices like glossy blue revolvers, and ‘reasonable’ guns in their collections instead of what they call assault weapons, they need to represent that as cool and desirable. It is peak idiocy when they demand people stop buying ‘scary’ guns, but that is all that is ever seen on screen these days.
Occasionally you see a gun-toting character that has something some anti-gunners would call reasonable, for instance the .45-70 lever action rifles used heavily in the Jurassic World films and in the gritty Wind River. Both of those films show a normal gun guy that has genuine use for their rifle.
Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, a
animal raptor trainer, uses his .45-70 to fight the terrifying Indominus Rex, a massive, genetically engineered, weaponized dinosaur the bad guys hope to exploit for profit. In Wind River, Jeremy Renner’s character is seen working on reloading ammunition with his children around.
That film managed to accurately represent many common gun owners just by merit of not vilifying them or making their hobbies seem like evil black magic. He eventually saves the day using that rifle.
Entertainment industry elites utterly fail to see that they are creating and perpetuating the very culture that they say they want to eradicate. Witchcraft-practicing singer Lana Del Rey recently released a song called “Looking For America” in which she croons about her wish for a gun-free America.
Mayne she forgot that she ran around with several guns in her music videos, causally blowing a helicopter out of the air or dancing around bonfires with shotguns while singing about how wonderful it is to live in America and to be free. You can’t have it both ways, Lana.
If Hollywood’s elites want to create a world without guns, they are failing miserably. There is no likable gun-grabbing hero. No one likes movies about left-wing ideals because nobody likes movies where mediocrity is the goal of the hero.
Therein lies the problem. The left-wing Hollywood culture hates itself and everything about itself. In a way, it’s like a bunch of prohibitionists lobbying for an alcohol-free world while actively owning and advertising distilleries. They wish they could be the heroes they portray. How sad it must be that the only way they find meaning is by making up these stories they tell themselves about us, the people they hate so much. And who buy their product.