I always wanted to be in the movies. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in the movies? And I want a speaking part. Doesn’t have to be a big part, a few words will do. And I want to be in a movie with a big star – someone I really like. Well now my dreams have come true. I can go to a new website posted by Everytown, download a video cam and say, “We can end gun violence.” Then I shoot the file up to the website and I’m in the same video as Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon! I mean we’re not talking about some nobody. We’re not even talking about President Obama, who also appears in the video. We’re talking about Kevin Bacon. Wowee – kazowee.
After I get done writing this column I’m going to get ready for my cameo appearance: need to put on a different shirt, comb the little hair I still have left, stand in front of the mirror and say the line again and again until I have it right. Should I emphasize the word ‘we?’ Or put a little juice into the word ‘end?’ Or just run off the whole string but change my expression when I get to the word ‘violence?’ Decision, decisions. Look, it’s not every day that my family and every friend I have in the whole world can see me and Kevin Bacon go at it, right?
I have spent the last two years waiting and hoping that the GVP community would get into the video environment big time. Because this is the way that an increasing number of people get their information, particularly the up-and-coming generation whose decisions about what to buy and how to behave will set the tone in the years ahead. And it seemed to me that until I saw this new video, that the pro-gun gang seemed to understand this issue much better than the other side.
Take a look at the NRA website. It’s all about video – a message from Wayne-o that tells you why the 2nd Amendment can protect you from anything and everything; a video of Colion prancing around saying something I can’t understand, some men and women sitting in front of a Sig-Sauer logo with this one guy lamenting that kids don’t learn about the ‘real’ American history; i.e., the value of guns. I can’t imagine anyone actually sitting all the way through any of these insipid, boring commentaries, most of all because they are completely contrived. The scripts come right out of the NRA marketing department even though there’s an announcement that tries to make you believe that you’re getting some kind of personal opinion from the spokesperson him or herself. But if you are an NRA member, every time they post a video you receive an email linking you to the latest missive which all have one thing in common, namely, that guns are a food thing.
Well maybe they are and maybe they’re not, but I’ll tell you this. When the NRA says that “guns don’t kill people, it’s people who kill people,” what they conveniently forget is that the easiest and most efficient way for one person to kill or injure another is to use a gun. And if you take the guns away, there would still be plenty of violence, there would still be plenty of crime, there would still be plenty of people who would want to end things without waiting for nature to take its course. But the annual death and serious injury toll in this country would be minus 100,000 because that number represents what happens with guns.
What makes this new Everytown effort so powerful and so different from the video contrivances posted by the NRA is that these are real people, many related to someone who was shot with a gun, and their message is so simple and so direct that there’s nothing more that needs to be said. Don’t want to end gun violence? Kevin Bacon’s got plenty of other co-stars.