[Exene Says...]The Way Celebrities Portray Rural White Men With Guns is Really Mature.
[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her new column, Exene Says..., is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to email@example.com.]
Have you viewed Jim Carrey's recent video "Cold Dead Hand?" Clocking in just under six minutes, the video is a satire with a bull's eye painted on gun advocacy, Charleton Heston and Hee-Haw. Basically everything a rural white guy from the '70s is supposed to hold dear. Released four months after a celebrity PSA called "Demand a Plan," which followed the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Cold Dead Hand is a comedic take on the same gun-control rhetoric that tries to convince us to stamp out the Second Amendment. After all, that's what's good for all us regular folks, right?
Celebrities have galvanized their demands to disarm Americans into a series of messages communicated through various media. Who could forget "Demand a Plan" and its wide range of successful celebrities decrying gun violence, asking rhetorically, "How many more?" and "Enough!" and "Demand a Plan!"?
Naturally, gun-toters fired back. For example, a YouTube rebuttal to the Demand a Plan video intercuts it with clips from movies and television shows featuring the aforementioned celebs shooting automatic weapons, handguns and rifles, often threatening or killing people, including children.
There is a misunderstanding on the part of these perhaps well-meaning celebrities.
Living in gated communities, shielded by bodyguards and private security, travelling first-class, thus avoiding contact with the masses, these celebrities may not realize what life is like on the streets of, let's say, Chicago.
In 2012, there were 443 gun deaths in Chicago. A permit to own a firearm in Chicago requires firearm training, two separate background checks and a firearm owner's identification card. There are no civilian gun ranges, and assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are banned.
Though gun statistics vary wildly depending on source and agenda, one statistic states that there are 7,640 legally owned firearms in Chicago, while 7,400 guns used in crimes were seized by law enforcement in 2012. Presuming that not all gun crimes were solved and weapons involved confiscated, there are many more guns in the hands of criminals than law-abiding gun owners.
Should law-abiding citizens have their Constitutional rights taken away because of the actions of criminals?
Jim Carrey thinks so. In the Cold Dead Hand video, rural white male gun owners are parodied as Hee-Haw hillbillies. His portrayal of Charlton Heston as a paranoid conspiracy nut is startling in its presumptions. Mr. Carrey then sings "Cold Dead Hand" as Lonesome Earl and the Clutterbusters. The lyrics hit gun owners below the belt: "You're a big, big man/with a little bitty gland" and "Your chariot may not be swinging low," for example.
I found his song and video to be extremely bigoted in its depiction of rural music and culture, its singling out of white males, and especially, its stereotyping of them as having small penises.
I would hope that Mr. Carrey would follow up with videos about Black rappers, Mexican drug cartels, Hell's Angels, military veterans and police officers, as to be fair, would they not also have small penises, being gun owners?
What about women who own guns? Perhaps it's penis envy; and they all wish they had small penises like the guys.
It is my opinion, through my personal experiences, that white men who own guns don't have abnormally small penises.