Gun Control Unchained
“Brad and I are not against having guns in the house and we do have one. And yes, I'd be able to use it if I had to.” - Angelina Jolie
If Harvey Weinstein kept his mouth shut, we would assume he supported gun rights and gun ownership. With the significant role guns have played in his movies, we could assume he's fully aware of the important role guns have played in the history of America. After all, one of the biggest mistakes the British Empire made was letting their American colonists own guns. This is something we would expect someone like Harvey Weinstein to understand, but his recent crusade against guns tells the opposite story. After Inglourious Basterds, Rambo, and Django Unchained, Harvey Weinstein has vowed to make the NRA and gun owners “wish they weren't alive”. In an attempt to dowse the flames thrown at him by conservatives, Weinstein has also vowed to quit making ultra violent movies. End of story. Harvey Weinstein is a new man. Right? Probably not.
Guns are important in the Harvey Weinstein universe. For him to change would require a complete 180 flip in principle and personality. Such a flip would devastate his entire career. It's not likely that Quentin Tarantino will change his filmmaking style just to appease Harvey and his new outlook on life. There's probably not a single producer in Hollywood that would turn down an opportunity to finance and execute a Tarantino film. So, if Weinstein really has changed, we can safely assume that his working relationship with Quentin Tarantino is over.
Weinstein is known for his aestheticism of violence. If all his films take the personality of his lower grossing, fluffy films like August: Osage County, Harvey Weinstein will find himself right back at the edge of bankruptcy – faster than the first time.
As Harvey Weinstein probably knows, we live in a world where both good guys and bad guys have guns. This won't ever change. Today, we simply employ handfuls of lawmakers to decide who the good guys are. From there, we grant these good guys a license to kill and carry firearms. Gun advocates don't like the idea of bureaucrats deciding who the good guys are – or who they should be. Since history dictates that the worst atrocities have been committed by bureaucrats, it's difficult to blame gun advocates for feeling the way they do.
In most of Weinstein's films, the heroes aren't bureaucrats, special forces, or cops. Most of Harvey Weinstein's heroes are people who probably don't have gun licenses. In Harvey Weinstein's universe, there are several stories that rely heavily on ordinary people and vigilantes using guns to deliver justice. Let's take a look at some of those stories.
When Django Freed Broomhilda (watch)
In America's early years, it was unheard of for slaves to carry guns without written permission from their owners. Sometimes slaves could use guns to hunt and rid plantations of vermin. For the most part, guns were something only white folk could legally carry. The last thing white aristocrats wanted was an uprising. They'd be damned if they were going to let a bunch of unruly colored people endanger their Caucasian utopia.
In Django Freeman's case, it would have been nearly impossible to escape Candyland without a gun and make it out alive with Broomhilda by his side. Even if it were possible, audiences wouldn't have found much enjoyment in watching Django negotiate his way out. Although Django had the intention of freeing Broomhilda peacefully, guns gave him the protection he needed when things went sideways. After all, that is the point of having a gun on hand. Had Django not gotten his hands on a gun, he would have likely been killed, leaving Broomhilda a widowed slave.
The story took place in an era when people like Calvin Candie were the ruling class. Essentially, Django was the criminal and Calvin Candie was the lawful citizen exercising his “right” to own and abuse slaves. In this story, Django shoots up a legal plantation with an illegal firearm. In this story, Django is our hero.
When Butch Shot Vincent (watch)
Butch Coolidge wasn't a bad guy. He was just a boxer trying to make a living. When a career gangster and thug named Marcellus Wallace approached him with a handful of cash in exchange for losing a fight to his own prized boxer, Butch accepted. Unfortunately, it wasn't in Butch's blood to be a loser, so he betrayed Wallace and won the fight. Unintentionally, Butch also beat Wallace's fighter to death.
With vengeance on his mind, Wallace sent his most trusted henchman, Vincent Vega, to hunt down and kill Butch. While Butch was hiding away in a motel with his beloved girlfriend, Vincent decided to hide out in Butch's apartment with an Ingram Mac-10. Forced to return to his apartment for his father's gold watch, Butch found the Ingram Mac-10 resting on the kitchen counter.
Had Vincent not went to the bathroom without his gun, he likely would have used it to murder Butch. Instead, it was Butch's lucky day.
A homicidal hitman was executed by a boxer, not necessarily out of malice but out of necessity. At no point throughout this story was it suggested that Butch Coolidge was a gun owner or an intentional, cold-blooded killer. Butch was just a boxer drawn into an illegal situation by a gangster who would have killed him anyway – had he not accepted the offer. Had Butch found himself unarmed in his own apartment, he probably would have been killed. Due to a typically ironic Tarantino twist, Butch's instinct for self preservation triumphed and the better man won.
"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." - George Orwell.
When The Vampire Hoards Attacked (watch)
Of course, Seth and Richie Gecko were violent murderers, but had any ordinary, unarmed person taken a trip to the Titty Twister for a few beers, they wouldn't have made it out alive.
There are other examples of guns being used for good, bad and fun in other Weinstein films, like Killing Them Softly, Grindhouse, and even Cormac McCarthy's The Road. There's no telling what Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and Tarantino's next film will bring. One can only hope that they bring more aesthetic, mind blowing and hilarious acts of violence.
Guns And Movies Don't Kill, People Do
Considering the statistical fact that homicide rates are declining while violent video games and movies make historic profits, we don't have much to worry about. Since guns are also flying off shelves at historic rates, without any unprecedented rise in gun homicides, both social conservatives and liberal gun control advocates can rest easy. More importantly, they can put their arguments to rest and leave the rest of us alone.