I wrote yesterday about how darkly, sickly hilarious it is that National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre decided to try to divert calls for gun control by blaming decades-old pop culture ephemera like Mortal Combat and American Psycho for recent mass gun killings. And after I hit publish on that post, the Hollywood Reporter pointed out an even more pointed hypocrisy: the NRA may hope that everyone blames media violence for inspiring killings, rather than guns for being the instruments of them, but it’s had multiple exhibits celebrating famous movie weapons at its National Firearms Museum, and apparently has no immediate plans to take the current one down.
Media Matters for America, jumping on the case, grabbed an amazing video of Phil Schreier, the curator of the NRA Museum, talking about the exhibit, which has since been deleted from the NRA’s YouTube feed:
Notably, he doesn’t exactly draw a distinction between the guns employed by good, law-abiding citizens, and badass, deeply transgressive villains: guns used for mayhem against innocent civilians are apparently just as awesome as guns used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense or officers of the peace in pursuit of criminals. “We have the Joker’s shotgun, the one that Heath Ledger used in The Dark Knight, a role that he won the academy award for,” Schreier says. “And speaking of Academy Awards, we have the silent shotgun that Javier Bardem used in No Country For Old Men.”
Or maybe they’ll ultimately conclude that it’s worth more money to them to keep people showing up at the museums to look at outlaws’ weapons, to keep raking in those licensing fees, and to stop talking about how deplorable pop culture violence is. I’d bet on the latter, more because the NRA likes money than it likes a sober, common-sense assessment of risk.