You would think the conversation surrounding gun control would have evolved by now. Gun owners have made it clear they will not budge on their Second Amendment rights, and increased gun laws have been proven time and time again to negatively affect crime — whether in America or countries like Australia with strict gun-control measures.
After years of stalled conversations and facts thrown to the wind, there are still many who wish to remain steeped in dangerous ideology. They insist beyond all reasonable doubt that gun-control laws will make us safer and that the Second Amendment goes too far. Many of them, unsurprisingly, live in Hollywood.
Public support for gun control is at an all-time low.
A new documentary, “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA,” has just recruited some major celebrity talent through top-name actors and politicians. Directed by Robert Greenwald, it has tapped stars such as Michael Douglas and Alec Baldwin to lend their voices and help with videos to promote the movie.
In their promotional material, Douglas and Baldwin push for citizens to host screenings of the film in their homes and claim their families would be safer if not for the NRA pushing back against new gun laws — gun laws that did not keep Paris safe from gun violence in 2015 when 12 people were gunned down at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, or when 130 were gunned down in a terror-related attack. The videos also fail to mention that gun-control measures have existed in places in America that still experience horrific shootings and terror attacks such as California, Colorado, and Washington.
Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine even provided a promotional blurb for the film, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi set up a screening for House members in D.C.
“‘Making a Killing’ shines a light on the inordinate power that gun manufacturers and the NRA exert on our political system and the countless tragedies that occur because of politicians’ unwillingness to stand up to that power,” said Kaine in the film. “I hope my colleagues in Congress will hear the voices in this film and find the courage to side with citizens over the gun lobby.”
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The documentary showcases victims of gun violence, while also revealing video and documents showing the amount of money taken in by the NRA and gun manufacturers.
“Making a Killing” is far from the first documentary to promote gun control or to take on the Second Amendment. The trouble is that Hollywood’s record with making these “unmasking” take-downs is not very good or flattering.
“Making a Killing” can even be viewed as yet another Hollywood attempt to create a documentary about the Second Amendment that actually sticks. Despite public support for gun control being at an all-time low — a recent Gallup poll found a lower number than ever support a ban on semiautomatic weapons — many in Tinseltown refuse to allow the conversation to evolve.
Before “Making a Killing,” there was Katie Couric’s highly publicized “Under the Gun.” The film was supposed to be a major release from a major news reporter that finally put the “facts” to those pesky gun-control naysayers.
Instead, “Gun” was revealed very quickly to be deceptively edited, specifically interviews with gun rights advocates supporters chopped up to make their opinions less valid and to give Couric the upper hand in post-production. She and director Stephanie Soechtig are now in the middle of a $12 million lawsuit for defamation.
Couric wasn’t the only famous news figure to try and fail to tackle America’s gun debate in a fair way. Bryant Gumbel’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” spent an entire episode uncharacteristically attempting to “expose” the truth about the AR-15 and its manufacturers. LifeZette and others reported on the many inaccuracies and blatant falsehoods peddled in the episode. Gumbel also got in hot water for using the Couric method when it came to interviews.
Jim Sullivan (one of the AR-15 designers) came out publicly against the show; he said his statements were edited and taken out of context to make it appear as if he were saying the civilian AR-15 was more dangerous than he actually believed it to be.
Those two examples are without getting into Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine,” which has been revealed over the years to be sporting falsehoods and clever editing in nearly every inch of film — and that’s without taking into account Moore’s deceptive and aggressive interview with his pro-gun “mark,” Charlton Heston, an unprepared subject suffering from Alzheimer’s.
When the history of these films comes to light, it’s obvious why “Making a Killing” exists and why so many celebrities are helping to promote it. Hollywood has tried and failed to convincingly preach to America about gun control. The facts end up being wrong, the tactics deceptive — and America mostly shrugs at these efforts.
Yet the filmmakers refuse to move on or to set their sights on real solutions to America’s recent mass shootings. Instead, they want to keep having the same basic conversation they cannot prove without peddling falsehoods and arguments based on emotion, rather than fact and reason. They want one of these films to stick because then maybe their arguments will have some sort of validation.
It’s why “Making a Killing” was given an Oscar-qualifying run in August at New York and Los Angeles theaters. It’s why so many in Hollywood are lining up to support yet another attempt at taking down the gun lobby and Second Amendment supporters. While average citizens move on and look for real solutions to problems with everyday violence, Hollywood continues to have a one-sided conversation with itself.