This Is Why Actors Should Stay Out of the Gun Debate

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

There's a new movie coming out called Civil War. The premise is sort of bizarre, in part because it has California and Texas teaming up as one of a number of factions seeking to take out Nick Offerman's presidency.

Apparently, the reason for this is never really discussed, which is probably for the best, because I don't see Greg Abbott and Gavin Newsom finding a lot of common ground on, well, anything.

But the prospect of a new civil war in this country is all too real and all too terrifying, which is probably why there's interest in this movie at all.

One of the film's stars, though, Kirsten Dunst, clearly illustrates how little she understands about national politics, all while she's trying to pretend she actually does understand them.

Especially with regard to her comments on guns.

Kirsten Dunst plays veteran war photographer Lee, who is accompanied by her colleague Joel (Wagner Moura) and rookie reporter Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) as she heads to Washington, DC to interview the embattled president (Nick Offerman).

The audience never learns exactly what has caused this civil conflict, but the film will speak to the political anxieties of many Americans, says Dunst, who was Oscar-nominated for the psychological drama The Power Of The Dog (2021).

“For me personally, I’m most concerned lately about women’s rights and also about gun control in the US,” says the 41-year-old American actress, who also appeared in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (2002 to 2007).

The proliferation of guns in the US makes her fear for her family’s safety. She has two sons, aged five and two, with husband Jesse Plemons, the 36-year-old American actor who appeared with her in the crime comedy-drama Fargo (2014 to present) and also has a supporting role in Civil War.

“Having children and being worried about being in a park – having those thoughts is just part of being a mother or a father in America,” she says.

Guns are ubiquitous in the film’s story and for Dunst, the danger they pose to Americans is all too real.

“When (the 2012) Sandy Hook (school shooting) happened, I was in high school, but I knew then that if killing a bunch of kindergarteners didn’t change gun laws, nothing would.

“The gun control in the US is insane,” she says.

Now, Dunst lives in a free nation, so she's entitled to any opinion she wants.

I just find it funny that she's in a movie about a civil war, and she's pushing an opinion that's probably the one most likely to start a civil war.

The right to keep and bear arms is an essential, constitutionally protected right, one that has kept tyranny in check for generations. If you think elected officials don't at least consider the possibility of an armed response from a populace who has the means to resist, you're out of your mind. Not enough consider that, in my book, but at least some do. It's why they keep turning up the heat slowly instead of all at once.

See, the issue with Dunst, like most actors, is that they live in a bubble. They're affluent people who can afford to hire security and who often find themselves protected by people with guns, but because they can outsource it, they almost never consider that a lot of us can't.

Within that bubble, gun control supposedly makes all the sense in the world because the only people with guns are the hired help and the criminals.

For the rest of us, those that face a world where they can be awakened in the middle of the night with glass breaking or gunshots outside their own--me, just this past week, for example--and the only help is police that can take 20 minutes to get there or longer, things don't get to be so clean.

Actors spend their lives playing make believe. I suppose it's good work if you can get it, but it doesn't clue you into the real world.

Dunst says she hopes the movie sparks conversations. The first one I'd have with her is why her pushing for gun control is the kind of thing most likely to lead to the events in the film. It won't be California and Texas teaming up, mind you--I just don't see that combination happening under any circumstances--but the nightmares likely portrayed in the move would also likely be just the tip of the iceberg.

All gun control efforts are just the next step in a plan that leads to our disarmament. We're not rolling over for that.

We're all just lucky we can win in the courts and in the legislatures. That's the only thing heading off another civil war at this point, and not the conversation Kirsten Dunst hopes we have.