Hollywood is weird when it comes to firearms.
On one hand, they use an awful lot of them. After all, action movies and shows are a mainstay of the film and television industry and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
However, the industry itself is filled with people who don’t think you or I should be trusted with firearms ourselves. This is clear not just from the words of actors reciting anti-gun litanies in interviews, but from the shows themselves.
CBS is in a full-court press for gun control on its evening entertainment television shows. The bad guys are always white supremacists who use machine guns — supposedly AR-15s — to commit mass public shootings. Criminals in Mexico supposedly get machine guns from the United States. A father’s desire to protect his family only leads to tragedy when his daughter gets into the gun safe and uses the weapon in a mass public shooting. And guns in the home pose a danger for children. Gun registration is necessary for solving crime.
NBC isn’t to be left out, showing a woman who tried but failed to use a gun to protect herself. Instead, her gun was taken from her and used to kill a police officer. The lesson is that owning a gun will only bring you grief.
And that’s just in the first six weeks of the year. Every show gives an inaccurate impression about firearms, thereby helping in this push for gun restrictions. It’s as though these shows were written by Michael Bloomberg’s gun control organizations. Indeed, the networks are working with these groups. A member of Moms Demand Action recently wrote a Washington Post op-ed headlined: “Guns are white supremacy’s deadliest weapon. We must disarm hate.” So it isn’t too surprising that show after show portrays neo-Nazis using machine guns to commit mass public shootings. CBS’s “SWAT,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “FBI,” and” Bull” all push this theme. They often refer explicitly to these guns as AR-15s. Others, such as “Magnum PI” and “NCIS LA,” constantly show criminals using machine guns.
In real life, machine guns aren’t used in mass public shootings — and in only two murders since the 1930s. AR-15s are not machine guns. They are semi-automatic rifles that fire the same bullets with the same power and rapidity as any small-caliber, semi-automatic hunting rifle.
And, of course, there’s all kinds of other nonsense spouted.
This is one that particularly stuck out to me.
CBS’s “Coyote,” starring Michael Chiklis, contains multiple misleading claims in virtually every episode. Chiklis’s character claims that the United States is the source of Mexico’s machine guns, but only 17.6% of all criminal firearms collected by Mexican authorities can be traced back to America. Hollywood screenwriters may not realize it, but you can’t just walk into gun stores in the U.S. and buy machine guns.
While it is possible to purchase a machine gun, it’s a long process that involves incredible expense. So much so that it’s unlikely anyone who does so would then sell them to Mexican drug cartels. Plus, the cartels can get them cheaper from corrupt Mexican police or military officials. There’s no reason to get them from the United States.
But it’s not good for swaying hearts and minds if people understand that. It’s imperative for them to think the AR-15 they saw on the wall at their local sporting goods store is the exact same weapon used by the military. That’s more terrifying for them, especially when they see so many used on television.
And, unfortunately, there’s not really a pro-gun alternative out there. There aren’t pro-gun filmmakers and television producers really able to compete at that level so there are no counterpoints being presented to the general public.
People are being indoctrinated and they never even realize it.
At some point, the right has to step up and do something.