Tuesday, February 08, 2005

It's Hard to Boycott Gun-Fearing Celebrities

This morning, I re-read an article on David Codrea’s new site, War on Guns. This time I clicked on a link to the NRA list of anti-gun organizations, businesses, and celebrities. I have seen the list before, but I never really took the time to study it.

The list includes the usual suspects; public health organizations, prominent doctors, journalists, Alec Baldwin, Ben & Jerry’s, etc. I have tried to avoid buying from anti-gun companies when I learn that they are anti-gun and this list will help. Try as I might, though, I can’t boycott all of the celebrities.

Granted, there are a lot of entertainers on the list I can avoid. I refuse to give Michael Moore a red cent. I haven’t liked Meryl Streep for a long time. George Clooney doesn’t do anything for me. I didn’t know James Whitmore was still alive. And I can so easily boycott the dynamic duo of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (does it count if I watch the "Rocky Horror Picture Movie" on DVD?).

There are some actors on the list that I can’t avoid--unless I want to entertain myself with a flashlight and shadow puppets on the wall. I will not give up “NCIS” on Tuesday night just because Mark Harmon wants to be an assclown about guns. Dustin Hoffman is too good an actor to boycott--although his best work might be behind him. Steve Buscemi is a former New York fireman who geared up and helped dig for victims of 9/11 in New York. I will forgive him his anti-gun stance for the selflessness he showed then.

There is one other actor, I can’t boycott because of his movies, Michael Gross. If you remember him only as the Dad, Steven Keaton, from TV’s “Family Ties” you’ve never seen "Tremors". He played the quintessential survivalist and thorough gun nut, Burt Gummer. There are four "Tremors" movies and a short lived TV series (in one of the movies, Gross played Hiram Gummer, Burt’s gun-fearing great-grandfather).

I love Burt even if he is just a character. I am not a survivalist, but I am a gun nut and I would love to own all the guns the movies feature. There is a scene in the first one in which the giant man-eating worm breaks into Burt’s rec room and he and his wife use everything from a flare gun to an elephant rifle to save their lives. I want a wall of guns too. In Tremors 3, he fires a pair of .50 caliber machine guns mounted in a Maxson turret. That would be a rush I would happily experience.

Doing a little research, I found a collection of interviews with Gross. While he mentions his gun control beliefs several times, he says he learned how to shoot for a movie role and found out he liked target shooting. He favors “allowing” guns for that purpose (see article by Brennan). In the end of a pro-gun control rant he confessed to owning a gun, “The only reason I own a gun is because I assume everyone else in the United States does as well” (see article by Kipp).

So, I don’t plan to give up Burt Gummer--err Michael Gross. Wait! Kevin Bacon was in the first "Tremors" and he is on the list too, AARRGGHH.