Home Social Issues Want to Understand the Pro-Gun Tribe? Watch “Death Wish”

Want to Understand the Pro-Gun Tribe? Watch “Death Wish”


At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall has a long post up about being part of the “non-gun tribe.” I’d call myself a member as well – I’m all for hunting, and if you feel safer with a well-secured handgun in your house that’s your choice, but I personally don’t feel safer in the presence of guns and see absolutely no reason for assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

I didn’t fully understand the pro-gun tribe (and I’m talking about the NRA, not about hunters) until I saw the movie Death Wish. It’s a time capsule into the era when whites abandoned cities as urban economies declined and crime rose. Death Wish is white revenge porn: White crime victims, young brown criminals, police won’t help, older white vigilante with borderline-superpowers dishes out instant capital punishment to would-be muggers (never hitting any innocents, of course) and makes entire city safe again.

Today, it looks like the Birth of a Nation of its era, part of the start of a conservative movement that worships white men with guns and demonizes minorities, cities & the young – even to this day. If you’re under 30 and don’t remember the Death Wish era, at least watch the trailer.

  • loudoun independent

    Don’t you mean “want to make yourself feel better for not being part of [the pro-gun tribe]”, instead of “understand”? Because I don’t see what’s empathetic about employing a fictional caricature and pretending its a fair representation.  

  • DJRippert

    This column does more harm than good in the debate over reasonable gun control.  First and foremost, “Death Wish” was just another Hollywood film glorifying violence.  It was mainstream Hollywood, not some product from a deviant conservative film industry.  The same “progressive” Hollywood film industry that brought you “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” also brought you “Death Wish”.  Violence sells and the pseudo-liberals in Hollywood value money far more than anything else.  Their proclamations of pacifism and love of world peace disappear at the first sign of a dollar bill (or, in the case of “Death Wish”, $22M dollar bills and multiple sequels).

    As far as racism, I wonder what movie trailer you watched.  The trailer I saw seemed to go out of its way to put a racially diverse set of villains on display.  The bunch that attacked the two women in the first scene included a bald white guy who was so pale he could pass for an RPV leader.

    As far as hating cities, you might want to rewind the movie trailer archive two years before “Death Wish” and take a look at “Deliverance”.  Again, Hollywood doesn’t care about insulting cities or rural areas, it cares about money.

    The debate over reasonable gun control is too important for either side to resort to absurdity.  The NRA has its fantasy of an armed citizenry fighting a guerrilla war against a fascist government (see Hollywood’s “Red Dawn” for a tribute to that fantasy).  Now, I see a column in Bluevirginia where a B rate movie from 1974 is somehow a banner for the pro gun people.

    Please – silly and gratuitous insults from one side to the other in the gun control debate only inflame the matter and makes both sides “dig in”.

    Again, “Death Wish” was just another stupid Hollywood film glorifying violence in order to make money.  If you think the people who like “Death Wish” are white, gun toting racists then I have to wonder what you think of the people who like “Shaft”.  Black, gun toting racists?

    Supposedly progressive Hollywood panders to the lowest of all human emotions and prejudices in order to make money.  Always has and always will.  There is good reason to despise Hollywood for this.  However, there is no reason to assign Hollywood’s low quality money grubbing products to either side of the present debate over reasonable gun control.