Media Blog

Guns in Pop Culture

One of Joe Biden’s mandates as he chairs this committee to address gun violence in America is to look at the affect that pop culture has on gun ownership.

Violent video games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty will likely get a fair amount of attention, but what probably won’t be discussed is that Americans really like guns in their entertainment.

We like them in our sitcoms, like this episode of ABC’s hit Modern Family with Claire gets caught faking going to a yoga class and chooses to relax at a gun range instead. . .

. . .and we like guns in our music. Not just hip-hop or rap, but in most genres. Here are the lyrics to Country star Miranda Lambert’s platinum-selling single, Gunpowder & Lead, about a woman whose abusive boyfriend is about to be released from prison. . .

County road 233, under my feet

Nothin’ on this white rock but little ole me

I’ve got two miles ‘til, he makes bail

And if I’m right we’re headed straight for hell

I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun

Wait by the door and light a cigarette

If he wants a fight well now he’s got one

And he ain’t seen me crazy yet

He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll

Don’t that sound like a real man

I’m going to show him what a little girls are made of

Gunpowder and lead

. . .Gunpowder & Lead ends with a shotgun blast. Justice served.

And we certainly like guns and violence in our movies. Selected films from the Top 25 grossing movies of 2012 (Title/Total Gross $):

The Avengers/$623,357,910

The Dark Knight Rises/$448,139,099

The Hunger Games/$408,010,692

21 Jump Street/$138,447,667

Taken 2/$138,202,358

Safe House/$126,181,630

The Bourne Legacy/$113,203,870

That’s close to $2 billion in ticket sales to watch what are in effect movies with guns and violence in nearly every scene.

Let’s not be hypocritical: we’re a country that likes our guns. Joe Biden, Diane Feinstein, Harry Reid, Joe Manchin, Kirsten Gillibrand, etc. are just a few of the Democratic politicians who highlighted their gun ownership in order to get elected and who are now calling for new restrictions. These elected officials will say that Newtwon made everything different, but that’s a lie. Columbine, Wisconsin, Gabby Giffords, Aurora, and all the other shootings were somehow not enough to change their minds? There’s the equivalent of a mass killing every month in the city of Chicago. Four years of gun homicides in the president’s hometown didn’t catch the his attention during his first term?

Piers Morgan of CNN has stood out in his anti-gun crusade, and he’s taken to making stuff up to justify his position. He not only labels the civilian AR-15 an assault rifle – it is not, by definition — but he’s throwing around phrases like “military-grade rifle,” “murder weapon” and even “literally weapons of mass destruction.” Morgan’s guest last night, Deepak Chopra said he’d question the “sanity” of anyone who even purchased a rifle like the AR-15.

Well, for starters Deepak, the AR-15 is fast becoming a popular hunting rifle, as well as the rifle of choice for gun owners of all stripes because of its many “customizable features.” All these people need to have their sanity questioned? I think not.

Inventing facts to generate phony arguments. Who’s the crazy one here?


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