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Unexamined Premises

Two Views of Gun Control…

December 30th, 2012 - 10:42 pm

… or, do as I say, not as I do, Hollywood division:

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Okay, it’s easy to say that they’re just actors. Jamie Foxx is not really killing all those white people in Tarantino’s Django Unchainedvia the magic of movie-making, he’s just pretending to kill them. And Jennifer Garner isn’t really shooting those Arabs in The Kingdom, she’s just playing a role. And Jeremy Renner — a splendid action hero, even if the last Bourne installment was a plotless dud — would never in a million years think of gunning down Boston cops while robbing Fenway Park (as he did in The Town), unless his pal Ben Affleck (on his way to becoming a great director) asked him to for his art.

And good for them for doing so.

But with President Obama promising to put “gun control” in the legislative crosshairs in 2013, it’s instructive to watch various actors both miming heroism and then denouncing the very tools with which they perform those heroic acts. For years, Hollywood has been forced to assert that films have no influence on the larger culture — unless, of course, it’s advancing various pet lefty causes under the “tolerance” rubric — and that therefore they cannot “inspire” various psychotic punks to acts of horrific violence.

And I agree. As John Milton writes in the Areopagitica:

TO THE PURE, ALL THINGS ARE PURE; not only meats and drinks, but all kind of knowledge whether of good or evil; the knowledge cannot defile, nor consequently the books, if the will and conscience be not defiled. For books are as meats and viands are; some of good, some of evil substance; and yet God, in that unapocryphal vision, said without exception, RISE, PETER, KILL AND EAT, leaving the choice to each man’s discretion. Wholesome meats to a vitiated stomach differ little or nothing from unwholesome; and best books to a naughty mind are not unappliable to occasions of evil. Bad meats will scarce breed good nourishment in the healthiest concoction; but herein the difference is of bad books, that they to a discreet and judicious reader serve in many respects to discover, to confute, to forewarn, and to illustrate…

Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up together almost inseparably; and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed upon Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out, and sort asunder, were not more intermixed. It was from out the rind of one apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evil, as two twins cleaving together, leaped forth into the world. And perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say of knowing good by evil.

In other words, to a soul predisposed to evil, everything can be an occasion of sin. To the feeble-minded losers who fancy themselves Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, everything looks like a black trench coat:

You talkin’ to me?

Fantasy plays a powerful role in the lives of these arrested-development teens, in whom adolescent angst and a complete ignorance of real-world consequences collide with a lack of proper parenting and, often, psychotropic drugs that inhibit normal male development — to lethal affect. The uptick in school shootings is probably less attributable to the “easy availability” of guns — Connecticut has gun laws that are among the toughest in the nation —  than to the relentless campaign to turn young men into young women, and the inevitable, Paglia-predicted blowback whenever society’s urge to countermand reality runs smack into Mother Nature.

Which, when you stop to think about it, is the Left’s great Achilles heel: their words can never match their deeds, because the gulf between what they would like to believe and what they actually do is too great. Here in L.A., those most vociferously against firearms tend to be the same folks with the “Armed Response” signs in front of their houses. Those who praise public charity as a “moral” duty indulge in very little private charity themselves. And those who habitually denounce “racism” live in what is probably the most racially segregated big city in the country; the average upper-middle-class white Angeleno can go weeks or even months without ever seeing or interacting with a black person, unless it’s in the workplace.

Normally, one could posit that either the actors in the video above believe in the truth of their roles, or in the truth of their public-service announcement scripts. But Hollywood is not normal, and so there’s a very real third possibility: that they believe in both.

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