Theater isn’t known for being pro-gun. Most of the arts are filled with left-leaning performers and artists who tend to listen to NPR and MSNBC and have taken most of their cues on politics from the likes of Rachel Maddow and Chris Cuomo of CNN. They don’t support guns, gun ownership, or anything that doesn’t end in the word “control” when it comes to firearms.
I suspect director Caleb Craig is probably among that group. After all, he’s described as being fairly liberal himself.
Yet the science fiction play he’s directing has some themes that might surprise gun owners just a bit.
Like many of his generation, Craig’s first significant political experiences came through the movements to elect Bernie, Hillary and Beto. He’s left-leaning on his social media platforms, though he says his family “falls more on the conservative end of the political spectrum.”
Similarly, the actors he’s assembled come from “varying world views and political backgrounds, ideologies [and] lifestyles.”
There isn’t an intentionally unifying philosophical message to By Our Hands, Craig adds, though its primary themes take centerstage. In the play, a totalitarian government controls a majority of the firearms. The end goal of the resistance is to retrieve them.
“We understand that the people are going to see [the theme of] gun control, but I’ve communicated to [the actors] that this play is very much about blind trust in leadership,” he said. “[World leaders in government] are telling you what you want to hear, and you believe that they’re going to protect you and [that] they have your best interest in mind.”
Craig is probably sincere in his belief that the play is about not trusting your government blindly. That’s a theme I can wholeheartedly support.
But, blind trust is precisely what gun control is all about.
Every gun control advocate is trying to make the case, whether they mean to or not, that we should give up our firearms and place all of our trust into the hands of the same government that failed to properly treat African-American men for syphilis, slaughtered Native Americans at Wounded Knee, and confined Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.
Yes, all of these are in the past and I’d like to believe they’ll never happen again. But I don’t trust that they won’t, so I hold onto my firearms and stand ready to fight if these kinds of atrocities were to take place.
Gun control advocates want me to simply trust that they won’t.
Oddly enough, these are also the same people who refer to President Trump as a fascist dictator who is going to herd gays and Hispanics and Muslims into death camps any day now.
Funny how they don’t get the contradictions here.
While Craig’s play touches on guns, he doesn’t want it to be about gun control. I get it. It’s theater, and you don’t get ahead in professional theater by appearing pro-gun. I have a good friend who makes her living through professional theater, but she doesn’t tall about her Browning Hi-Power or her Beretta handguns.
But that doesn’t change the fact that while he’s arguing the theme’s blind trust, he doesn’t understand that it sounds like it’s still about gun control. It will likely always be about gun control.
And that’s not a bad thing, either.