Hollywood Up in Arms
Shooting at D.C.


Which is why Mel Gibson’s latest detonation has everybody shaking their heads: There he goes again! It seems that Mel got sandbagged by some lady named Alicia Estrada at Cal State Northridge the other day when, during a Q&A about his film Apocalypto, she demanded an apology on behalf of the “Mayan community and members of the Mayan community” for Mel’s daring to suggest that the Mayans were anything other than peace-loving, gay, agrarian progressives whose carbon footprint was no bigger than Al Gore’s house in Nashville. In response, crazy Mel went off his nut, dropped the f-bomb, and shouted at her to “make your own movie.”

Now, I’ve never met a Mayan, and thought they died out about One Million Years, B.C., or shortly after half a dozen Spanish conquistadores armed with a crucifix and a set of steak knives wiped out their entire civilization in three weeks, but what do I know? They’re probably living in Beverly Hills now, right alongside the Persians, part of our glorious, multicultural mosaic.

At least Mel didn’t pull out a gun and blow her out of her socks, like his Lethal Weapon character would have. Would anyone seriously want Mel armed and dangerous in any setting other than a Dick Donner movie? California’s got some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and when guns are finally outlawed, only people like Mel Gibson, Robert Blake, Phil Spector, and the gangs of South Central will have guns. And maybe Arnold.

Which is why we civilians have got our “Armed Response” signs. Not that we mean to create a hostile atmosphere or anything, but to translate them into plain English: “My Person of Color will shoot your Person of Color if your Person of Color breaks into my Person of Non-Color house.”

Yes, I know that in our movies, guys like Mel are heroes, forever yanking .45s or Glocks or Sig Sauers out of their pants and blowing some miscreant to hell and gone before the cops can put down their donuts and grab the 911 calls. A Hollywood man of action shoots first and never answers questions later, and you’re meant to think he’s cool.

Better yet, you’re meant to think that you too can shoot somebody with total impunity because in the movies the police never, ever arrest a guy like Mel unless he’s drunk as a skunk on the Pacific Coast Highway, raging about the Jews and calling a female cop “sugar tits.” Then he winds up in the Lost Hills sheriff’s station for real, posing for his mug shot. Just like…

Ryan O’Neal. Who got arrested here in peace-loving, non-confrontational Malibu in February for firing off a round in the direction of his son, Griffin, during a high-spirited, pre-St. Patrick’s Day Irish family altercation. This is the same Griffin who was found guilty of reckless boating back in 1986 when he accidentally decapitated director Francis Ford Coppola’s son, Gian-Carlo.

But, as we all know, people don’t kill people — boats do.