“Villainy central casting” might have supplied Congress with Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, Dana Milbank opines today. LaPierre was accompanied by rough bodyguards and was careful not to appear onscreen with the plucky, telegenic congresswoman recovering from getting shot in the head — again, straight out of one of those movies in which congressional testimony and/or political speeches immediately make the right things happen. The only thing missing that would have completed the picture would be if LaPierre had had a mustache to twirl — his own or a henchman’s.
Surely LaPierre has seen those movies? The ones in which the cartoonish bad guy only wins enough to make him worth defeating at the end? But no, he seems to have played the role with some relish, even getting corrected on his use of statistics, which is another certain sign of being wrong in movies.
Or maybe he is confident enough that, this being real life, it will take more than two hours, and the unnecessarily sinister guy often gets to win.
And it might just be PostScript looking for themes, but commenters were coming up with cinematic arcs for this story, too.
There was the Hollywood ending, in which love conquers guns:
If you have to protect yourself with a gun, you’ve already lost. Instead of buying a gun and waiting for a bad guy to come, throw your gun away. Go out and talk to your neighbors. Do something to make your community stronger. Foster relationships instead of fear.
There was a character who seems to be one thing, but turns out to have hidden layers:
How many of you know for sure that none of your neighbors and parents of kids your kids play with and visit have no criminal record or any history of mental health issues that would disqualify them from buying a gun legally? I own three handguns which were all bought from a licensed dealer who did a background check. It would [make] myself and my wife feel much safer in our home and with our children out and about knowing that these same checks were carried out for the others in our community who are gun owners. I do not understand why the NRA opposes universal background checks especially as such a policy seems to support their stated goal 100%.
There was the big, explosive, more-is-more climax:
When a criminal threatens to kill you, how many of you know precisely at that time how many bullets in your gun clip or magazine you will need to defend yourself? Not even police shooting to stop a killer trying to kill them know how many bullets they will need to stop him or her. When New Yorker Jeffrey Johnson, 58, November 14, 2012, shot his boss Steve Ercolino, 41, near the Empire State Building, Johnson pulled his .45 semiautomatic on two New York policemen approaching him. And both policeman emptied their semiautomatic gun clips trying to stop him from killing them and bystanders. Did the policemen know at the moment they were drawing their weapons how many bullets they needed to stop him before some of their bullets downed him? They most certainly did not. And neither would you, or Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI.
Nor did the police know they would hit nine bystanders while firing at the gunmen!
There was the mindblowing, slightly unbelievable resolution in which people work together in unexpected ways to solve a problem:
Why doesn’t the NRA step up and create a database of guns so in case YOUR GUN gets stolen, it can be tracked by law enforcement after they contact the NRA? The NRA is not part of the government and this would certainly soothe raw nerves on both sides (or all 20 sides in some cases) of this issue.
And there’s the big production budget:
A HUGE investment in law enforcement at all levels would be required to “properly” enforce the gun laws already on the books. Anybody want to volunteer to raise their own taxes to eliminate this national disgrace?
Hollywood’s been holding these hearings for years already, it seems, and has come up with all the good ideas already. Movies also feature enormous numbers of guns that never manage to injure protagonists all that badly. Maybe we should just outsource gun legislation to screenwriters and be done with it.