Yes, I’ve been waiting all day to write that headline. So sue me. While many Hollywood celebrities have begun lecturing us on gun control and gun violence — some while making movies that mindlessly celebrate the latter — a few have pushed back against the demand for encroachment on gun rights. Add Bruce Willis to that list, who also pushes back against criticisms of entertainment:
Bruce Willis says he’s against new gun control laws that could infringe on Second Amendment rights. The “Die Hard” star also dismisses any link between Hollywood shootouts and real-life gun violence.
“I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone,” Willis told The Associated Press in a recent interview while promoting his latest film, “A Good Day To Die Hard.” ”If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?”
One other right in particular apparently has Willis concerned:
“No one commits a crime because they saw a film. There’s nothing to support that,” Willis said. “We’re not making movies about people that have gone berserk, or gone nuts. Those kind of movies wouldn’t last very long at all.”
That’s not entirely true, at least not about films about people going berserk or nuts. Hollywood actually has a long tradition of violent films showing people going crazy and committing violent murders, sometimes in gruesome detail. That’s basically the entire structure of “franchises” like Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but also true of a couple of Dirty Harry films (Dead Pool and Sudden Impact), classics like Psycho (although the violence was mostly inferred) and A Clockwork Orange, and any number of very popular films over the last several decades. I’m certain that readers can provide a few more examples in the comments.
That doesn’t mean that the government should establish a new censorship code for films and video games. But it also doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the cultural impact of mass-produced violent entertainment as consumers, and hold the producers accountable through free-market forces for cheapening life and glorifying violence. These are cultural problems that require cultural solutions, not government mandates and bans.
In the end, Willis agrees on that point:
Willis added that he doesn’t see how additional legislation could prevent future mass shootings.
“It’s a difficult thing and I really feel bad for those families,” he said. “I’m a father and it’s just a tragedy. But I don’t know how you legislate insanity. I don’t know what you do about it. I don’t even know how you begin to stop that.”
You certainly don’t improve the situation by forcibly disarming the people already abiding by the law, or undermining the natural right to effective self-defense.