Hollywood Movies Have Taught Us We’re the Good Guy With a Gun
Acceptance of fiction as fact bakes in all kinds of problems. “Stop The Steal” grew in well-established ground. And far too many of us wanted to believe the lie. Lies about his birth certificate, Benghazi, her emails, all led us here.
Even at SCOTUS (who now buy in on the good guy with a gun theory), the rather obvious risk of concealed carry in crowded areas failed to stop the court from overturning decades of accepted limits on personal defense via CCW. That SCOTUS ruling deserves another Page but here is a link. The overarching point is what serves public safety best. It might not be presenting law enforcement responders with an inexplicable puzzle to figure out the CCW civilians from a live mass shooter or armed robber.
Of course there are frequent examples of people blaming Hollywood for violence. But those movies are hits where violence is far less common. And admonishing a fiction writer to keep it real misunderstands the issue.
Insisting we viewers separate fact from exciting, entertaining fiction is not too much to ask, is it?
In the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde and far too many more, Hollywood veterans have circulated an open letter calling on Hollywood to be part of the solution, not the problem. The letter suggests being “mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices,” showing on-screen gun users locking guns correctly and making them inaccessible to children, limiting the ways they’re used on screen, and exploring alternatives.
The initiative was led by activists Robert Bowers Disney and Christy Callahan, who is co-chair for the advocacy group Brady United Against Gun Violence. Disney, the group’s national organizing director, told me that modeling good on-screen behavior around guns can have a much bigger impact than one might think and that social activists have had success with storytellers rethinking how they depict other social issues in the past.
Storytellers’ “support of seatbelts, addressing teen pregnancy, and smoking [prevention] are just a few examples where modeling safer behavior led to a culture shift for the better,” Disney said. “We’ve already received comments from TV writers who have changed a scene in response to our campaign. What’s truly exciting is these writers are taking advantage of this moment to actually be more creative in their storytelling.”