Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep are planning to make an anti-gun, anti-National Rifle Association movie. Weinstein told Howard Stern that “they’re [the NRA] going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” Somehow I think that isn’t going to happen. But meanwhile, you can’t help wondering, is anyone more violent than the anti-gun crowd?
Deadline Hollywood has a breathless story about the prospective film:
The title will be The Senator’s Wife, the star, Oscar winner Meryl Streep and the producer, The Weinstein Co. The target: the NRA. The formidable chairman of The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein, confirmed to Deadline today they will be taking on the NRA gun lobby head-on with a film entitled The Senator’s Wife which will star the just-Oscar-nominated Streep and other top talent in a movie he described as “the new Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” …
Weinstein, who has been one of the strongest supporters of President Barack Obama, in this film will expose the NRA for their behind-the-scenes machinations of what Obama himself called “intimidation” and “lies” that ended up defeating legislation that would have expanded background checks on gun sales. … “They claimed that it would create some sort of big brother gun registry even though the bill did the opposite,” said Obama of the NRA, and he added, “this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose. Because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.” …
The Senator’s Wife will be a behind-the-scenes account of how the NRA used its influence with politicians to defeat the bill.
Sounds like a flop, albeit one that is praised by liberal film critics.
Today’s commentary has focused largely on Weinstein’s hypocrisy; he has made a fortune by producing hyper-violent films. On Twitter, this was my favorite observation:
But I want to comment on something else: the Left’s radical misunderstanding of pro-gun Americans. The idea that Obama’s package of “anti-gun” measures, as they were termed by Harry Reid, went down to defeat because of backstage machinations by the NRA is profoundly stupid. The NRA is totally upfront, and it does relatively little lobbying. Its strength comes from the fact that it speaks for, and is able to help mobilize, many millions of Americans who value their God-given natural right to self-defense, which is enthroned in the Constitution as a right to bear arms.
As we wrote at the time, the administration’s anti-gun legislation failed, not because of behind-the-scenes lobbying, but because it was dumb. Banning “assault rifles,” a category of firearm that has no coherent meaning, was stupid. Banning average-sized magazines, when magazines can be swapped out in a second or two, was stupid. Expanding background checks so that, if I trade guns with a buddy like Mitch Berg, we have to pay for background checks on one another, was stupid.
Actually, most gun owners would support changes in the background check system if they made any sense. The problem with the current system, which applies to all federally licensed firearms dealers, is that the database is wholly inadequate. Because of privacy laws, it is difficult to get anyone, no matter how manifestly crazy, into the federal system. Thus, America’s worst “shooter,” Seung-Hui Cho, passed two background checks and bought firearms legally even though he was nutty as a fruitcake. It makes no sense to expand a dysfunctional system; rather, let’s overcome liberal opposition and devise a system that actually works.
Pretty much all gun owners also support enforcing our existing gun laws. Such enforcement has dropped off drastically under the Obama/Holder regime, with firearm-related prosecutions running 40% fewer than during the Bush administration. But Weinstein’s movie won’t mention that.
Finally, for what it’s worth, Obama’s claim that concerns about a federal gun registry were a “lie”–a claim that no doubt will be echoed in Weinstein’s movie–is obviously wrong. If all sales of guns, new and used, whether by dealers or private citizens, are required to be reported to the federal government, then obviously over time the government will have a list of the people who own guns. Whether you care about this is up to you, but Obama’s claim that universal background checks won’t lead to a gun registry is disingenuous.
What are the chances that a movie that is produced in order to make bad political arguments will be a hit? Slim, at best.
STEVE adds: Maybe the best part of this is the cluelessness of Weinstein about the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” analogy. The climax of Mr. Smith was a filibuster, and the film helped legitimate filibusters against civil rights for a couple decades. People would hear, “Sen. Bilbo is filibustering against . . . something,” and would think, “Why that’s just like Jimmy Stewart in ‘Mr. Smith’! Filibusters are good! [Actually they are.] Go, Senator Bilbo!” They’ll probably botch the effect of this movie too.