Jamie Lee Curtis: I 'fully support the Second Amendment'

Jamie Lee Curtis is starring in a new Halloween sequel which is intended to be a direct sequel to the original film, basically ignoring all the ones that came after. On Wednesday, Fox News posted a story suggesting Curtis was a hypocrite for starring in the film which is a revenge fantasy filled with lots of guns. The hypocrisy angle comes from the fact that in real life Curtis has tweeted about gun control several times over the years. Today, Curtis responded to the controversy in an article for USA Today. She says that, contrary to the suggestion in the Fox News piece, she supports the 2nd Amendment, though there are some caveats:

“It was just silly, because they were trying to make a point without ever asking me what I really think,” the 59-year-old actress told USA TODAY during an interview Wednesday afternoon. “And what I think might surprise them.”

Curtis, who returns to the screen in “Halloween” on Oct. 19, says her views on gun reform have been clear. “I am vocal about common-sense gun safety and gun laws,” she says. “For instance, I fully support an assault weapon ban, I fully support a bump stock ban.”

That doesn’t make her anti-gun, she clarifies. “I fully support the Bill of Rights. And fully support the Second Amendment. And have absolutely no problem with people owning firearms if they have been trained, licensed, a background check has been conducted, a pause button has been pushed to give time for that process to take place. And they have to renew their license just like we do with automobiles – which are weapons also.”

Some perspective is necessary here. First of all, the assault weapon ban has been a long-time bugaboo of the NRA because it’s so vague that it can be used to ban a huge number of semi-automatic rifles based mostly on appearance not fuction. Dana Loesch pointed this out on Twitter this morning.

As for the bump stock ban, it appears President Trump supports that as well so that’s not a far left position at this point. With regard to all of those other conditions, there seems to be a lot of room for gun-control mischief there but I’m willing to take her at her word that she’s not looking for a backdoor way to ban all guns. (Whether others would use those restrictions to do so is a fair question).

With all of that said, I think you also have to give Curtis some credit for taking what is probably a very unpopular stand among Hollywood actresses. How many of them have ever said, even with caveats, that they support the 2nd Amendment? I’m sure there are a few but I can’t think of them at the moment. So I’m giving her partial credit. She may not be a conservative on this issue but she also isn’t taking the far left approach and arguing the 2nd Amdnement should be abolished or something along those lines.

Wednesday I wrote about this topic at great length both because it interested me and because a lot of people on the left were dismissing it out of hand. The argument was that actors often take rolls they don’t agree with in real life, i.e. actors who play Nazis in films aren’t really Nazis. It’s true that actors take rolls they don’t agree with but we all understand that in a film featuring Nazis the Nazis are the villains. They exist on screen as an example, implicitly at least, of what not to do. By contrast, the hero of a film represents (again, implicitly at least) a response we are expected to admire in some way. And in the new Halloween film, Jamie Lee Curtis is the hero. It’s her actions we’re supposed to be sympathetic with and in this film that means loading up on guns and ammo.

On this point, Curtis tells USA Today, “I have always been proud to represent women who fight back and fight back with intelligence, cunning and creativity, and who fight for their lives and their families’ lives.” In other words, I’m okay with the message the movie sends.

There’s also a practical, business aspect to all of this. As I pointed out yesterday, Curtis was offered the potential of a big payday for this film (if it does well, which I think it will). But given that she’s the only actress who can credibly star as Laurie Strode, she had some leverage here as well. She could have said no to a film full of guns. On that point, Curtis says she didn’t say no but did push for a specific direction:

“They knew that Laurie was going to be someone who used firearms,” says Curtis. “And I think there were myriad types of firearms that could have been used in the movie. I was very clear with the filmmakers that she used the weapons (that) were intended for self-defense for her and her family.”

So there are shotguns, handguns and at least one rifle in this film, but no AR-15s I guess. In other words, she pushed producers to keep the line on guns where she believes it should be. I’m not saying you need to agree with her on where that line should be. Frankly if Michael Myers was coming after me I’d want several AR-15s, an RPG launcher and a couple of those Boring Company flamethrowers for good measure. But, assuming what she says is accurate, it shows Curtis isn’t guilty of hypocrisy. She has a personal view about guns and the movie basically stays within that framework.

Finally, I said Wednesday that one of the things I like about Jamie Lee Curtis, politics aside, is her personality, including what I see as her often refreshing honesty. And here again, we see some of that. She tells USA Today, “I’m an actress who’s in slasher movies. I have to be responsible for my own personal choices in my own personal life. But I am an actor for hire. And honestly, if I had made my career as a pacifist actor, I would never have worked, ever.”

This is not going to convince everyone on the right she’s sincere and it’s also probably going to really irritate some folks in Hollywood who think she’s making a terrible mistake saying something positive about the 2nd Amendment. But again, if the accusation is hypocrisy, I don’t think it sticks in this case.