April 29, 2013
By Dylan Polk
Believe it or not, there are times when we gun guys can't get out to the range — whether it's because Mother Nature is an angry wench, or the local gun shop just can't keep ammo on the shelves. So what are we supposed to do when we can't get our kicks by popping a few rounds down range? Some of us turn on a ballgame, while others may kill some time surfing the web.
One activity that's almost universally enjoyed by the gun community, though, is sitting down with a bowl of popcorn to enjoy a nice, action-packed gun movie. Be it The Duke tracking down outlaws in the Wild West, or McClane foiling yet another international terror plot, a good gun movie is able to capture its audience with a mix of action and drama, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats for about two hours — give or take.
Although some of the stars playing these action roles are supporters of our Second Amendment rights, even more will put the gun down on the movie set and rally against those rights not long after. They may be out there marching to ban guns altogether, or appearing in Internet videos calling for tighter gun control. Though they're out there giving gun owners the cold shoulder, these celebrities have made a living by wielding firearms — and in doing so, providing hours of entertainment for those they're campaigning against.
The Terminator (1984)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an unstoppable cyborg from the future, 1984's The Terminator featured plenty of cyberpunk-style shootouts as the T-800 pursues Sarah Connor across Los Angeles. The Terminator became an unexpected box office success with its non-stop action from start to finish. However, Schwarzenegger isn't quite as fond of firearms as the silver screen made him out to be. Over time, the former Governator's opinions on firearms began leaning left; he supported Bill Clinton's assault weapons ban in the '90s as well as the Brady Bill, and was quoted in Time as saying, "I'm for gun control. I'm a peace-loving guy."
The latest installment in the Bond saga saw Daniel Craig — who took over the role of 007 with Casino Royale
— deliver another gripping performance as Bond tries his best to protect M from a cyber-terrorist. Billed as the best Bond film since Goldfinger
certainly does its part to introduce a younger generation to MI6's premier agent — and like its predecessors, is chock-full of guns, car chases, guns, shootouts and guns. Off the set, however, Craig is admittedly a little hesitant to pick up a PPK, going so far as to tell the New York Daily News
, "I wouldn't touch a gun in my everyday life."
Django Unchained (2012)
One of Tarantino's latest projects, Django Unchained, takes the same old Tarantino formula of violence injected with some Western flavor, retelling the story of Django — played by Jamie Foxx — a spaghetti western character from the 1960s. This critically praised flick features an arsenal of old revolvers, rifles and shotguns — including a gorgeous Colt 1851 Navy — and won Tarantino an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Though owing much of the film's success to it's sensational action sequences, Foxx is a little more reserved when it comes to firearms, appearing in the now famous "Demand a Plan" video.
The Untouchables (1987)
Ah, The Untouchables
€¦ Before starring in the movie that helped revitalize the Western genre, Dances with Wolves
, Kevin Costner starred as Eliot Ness in one of the best gangster movies of our generation. Based on the real-life Ness' attempts to bring Al Capone to justice during Prohibition, The Untouchables
features one of the greatest shootouts in cinema history
. Though he's handled plenty of firearms on screen, Costner has called for tighter gun control in the past. In 2007, Costner told reporters
, "I'm a hunter, I hunt but I think there should be gun laws. I think there should be a lot of gun laws. I don't want to lose my shotgun but there's a real good reason why I use my shotgun. It came from my grandpa. His cheek was on it. My dad's cheek was on it and I go out and hunt with my dogs. My gun's an heirloom to me and my son, one day, when I'm gone, is gonna know, 'Your dad hunted with that.' But, even though with the connection that I have to my gun, can I look at the NRA and say, 'I think you're out of line?' I can say that."
The Departed (2006)
Neither Matt Damon nor Mark Wahlberg have hidden the fact that they're not exactly that big into guns — quite the opposite, as a matter of fact — but that didn't stop them from starring in 2006's The Departed. This action-packed thriller was chock full of firepower — from the beautiful Colt Python to the always-intimidating Franchi SPAS-12 — and was widely received by critics, earning the Oscar for Best Picture at the 79th Academy Awards. Despite the acclaim given to a thrilling cops vs. mob action flick, Damon has stated, "I actually hate guns. They freak me out."
Arguably the best in the James Bond collection
is often cited as the quintessential 007 flick. Considered a major influence on the every Bond film that followed, Goldfinger
introduced such 007 elements as tongue-in-cheek humor, reliance on technology, and of course, the Aston Martin DB5. Pity, though, that the greatest Bond of them all, Sean Connery, lent his voice to an anti-gun PSA that aired in the U.K., saying, "It is said that a total ban on handguns, including .22s, would take away innocent pleasure from thousands of people. Is that more or less pleasure than watching your child grow up?" Unfortunately, the anti-gun sentiments would be shared by another Bond.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The 1992 cult flick Reservoir Dogs
is the film that put director Quentin Tarantino on the map. This ultra-violent crime flick established many elements that would appear in Tarantino's future films, including a non-linear storyline, tons of swearing and plenty of trigger-happy bad guys. As it turns out, though, Mr. Pink himself, Steve Buscemi, would apparently rather see more restricted gun rights, appearing at the Million Mom March in 2000
First Blood (1982)
If you want a good shootout, there's no better series to turn to than Rambo, and like most series, it doesn't get any better than the original: 1982's First Blood. Sylvester Stallone plays John Rambo in the movie that helped defined the action genre, yet Stallone had no qualms bashing the American gun culture around the turn of the century. After the death of comedian Phil Hartman in 1999, Stallone — living in the U.K. at the time — appeared on Access Hollywood saying, "Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you're gonna have. It's pathetic. It really is pathetic. It's sad. We're living in the Dark Ages over there."
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