Cool: Selling and Sowing Gun-Toting Violence, Like Back in Simpler Times

Abby Zimet

At least 20 more shootings today, including two two-year olds (Kentucky and North Carolina, in the head and mouth), a 19-month-old killed during a backyard picnic, a 10-year-old girl killed near a child care center, and a 28-year-old man who fired an assault rifle at a cop during a traffic stop for driving without headlights. We wonder if he grew up watching the top 10  “Coolest Gun Movies” as lovingly listed by American Rifleman, the flagship publication of the NRA, whose Wayne LaPierre right after the Newtown shootings decried Hollywood as “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.” Admiringly citing blood-soaked spectacles like "Die Hard," "Red Dawn" and "The Terminator," the Rifleman analyzes gun models in the films and praises how they "have affected our next gun purchase or made us think about situations for which we should be prepared (and) take us back to simpler times, when dreaming of saving the day got us through that oh-so boring class." Ah yes: simpler times, when two-year-olds shot themselves in the head and nobody made a fuss.

On The Godfather: “Who has not dreamed of having the power and respect of Michael Corleone? That he built his empire through violence is only that much more alluring.”

On The Terminator: “This movie made shooters realize the importance of firepower, and that preparedness might be needed in the future."

From Wayne LaPierre, on how Newtown was all Hollywood's fault: “Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?...In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes.”

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