I don’t ordinarily use my blog for actual blogging but today, the day of the ludicrous National Rifle Association press event — during which a grown man seriously suggested shootouts at schools as a solution to shootings at schools — it’s the only forum to get something off my chest.
Like the NRA, I believe there is a connection between shootings and Hollywood. Movies perpetuate the idea that guns shoot bad guys. They foster the myth, the illusion, the fantasy that a gun is something you use to empower yourself and keep you and your loved ones safe. People don’t buy guns imagining the moment when their disturbed child will pick it up and use it against himself (or others). Women don’t buy a gun thinking about the day their husbands will use it to murder them. People buy guns because they fantasize about shooting bad guys. Does anyone doubt the ultimate source of fantasies so powerful that they can blot out any memories of the headlines?
It is Hollywood (and to a lesser degree the video game industry) that portrays guns as props in heroic scenarios: victorious duels at dawn, liberating Europe from the Nazis, escapes from captivity. God forbid we should read the news and contemplate the real-life scenarios of robberies, domestic murders and suicides — and, yes, school shootings.
Guns look a lot better on the silver screen than they do in real life. They look cool instead of menacing. Hollywood inadvertently fuels the delusion that weapons protect their owners. The NRA and gun manufacturers should be kissing Hollywood ass for creating the guns-as-empowering myth that masks what guns really are: instruments of chaos that can turn one person’s moment of mental crisis or instability into a catastrophe for all.