After the December killings in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association’s chief lambasted the the evils of violent movies and video games, saying they, rather than guns, were a source of the nation’s woes.
Now, less than six months later, the NRA’s “flagship publication,” American Rifleman, is celebrating cinematic savagery with a list of the top 10 “coolest gun movies” that unabashedly praises Hollywood depictions of death and crime.
“Who has not dreamed of having the power and respect of Michael Corleone? That he built his empire through violence is only that much more alluring,” the magazine’s Associate Online Shooting Editor Paul Rackley wrote in his summary of “The Godfather.”The list includes action movies like “The Matrix,” “Red Dawn,” and “Zombieland.” It notes the different gun models depicted in the films, analyzes the “gunhandling skills” of the various protagonists, and describes the post-apocalyptic, catastrophic realities shown in several of the movies as evidence of the need for guns.
“This movie made shooters realize the importance of firepower, and that preparedness might be needed in the future,” Rackley wrote about “The Terminator.” “That is what this movie is about — the future — and how anything is possible, even the creation of cyber units that are a mix of man and machine, which isn’t that unbelievable since recent news reports reveal that scientists have built a bionic man that utilizes a working heart, a set of lungs and a face. Let’s just hope they don’t come for us.”
American Rifleman’s top 10 list is a far cry from the remarks NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre made at a press conference a week after the Newtown shooting. In that statement, LaPierre decried Hollywood as a “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”
“Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?” LaPierre said. “In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes.”
In addition to appearing on the American Rifleman website, the “coolest gun movies” listicle was also shared by the NRA’s official Twitter account. TPM called the NRA to ask how celebrating gun movies fit with the group’s past comments criticizing Hollywood. No one from the organization responded.
Here’s the NRA’s full list of gun flicks:
1. Red Dawn
2. The Terminator
3. The Alamo
4. Die Hard
5. The Godfather
7. The Matrix
8. The Delta Force
9. The Road Warrior