I watch television dramas for the same reason most people do, for a compelling story that informs and entertains. A lot of television drama these days drops the story-telling for disquised political polemics. A recent Hawaii Five-0 episode featuring a mass shooting was a transparent tirade to advance the anti-gun agenda. There are credible claims that the antigun group “Everytown” may have written the script or at least was a major contributor and/or advisor.
I don’t care to be hectored by someone’s pet political agenda when all I want is a good story that is told with candor, intelligence and good faith.
The episode in question advanced the discredited theory that mass shootings are the fault of the firearms manufacturers and the NRA. The father of the killer speaks lines such as these:
Father of the shooter: “The gun industry can stop it; they choose not to! The gun industry doesn’t police itself. The politicians don’t do their jobs. And on it goes, and on and on and on! It’s got to end!”
Danny (Scott Caan): “I agree with you 100%, okay? I am a cop. I am outraged at how easy it is to get a gun, no questions asked. As a father, I’m even more outraged.”
The killer is shown to have obtained his gun illegally.
The words spoken by the “father” in this story are vile and deeply insulting. No one hates the sort of violence depicted by Hawaii Five-0 more than the good people who populate gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association. One must be profoundly nuts to blame violence on the makers of a lawful and highly effective device for saving lives and stopping the very violence depicted by Hawaii Five-0. Why do we allow police officers to carry guns if guns are inherently evil?
The dialogue of the actors perpetuates the lie that guns can be bought legally with “no questions asked.” Anyone who has bought a gun legally knows better. The ATF Form 4473 contains many questions, at least 11 pertinent ones. Lying on the 4473 is a Federal felony. One of the questions asked is are you buying this gun for someone else? You are informed that a “yes” to that question means the gun purchase cannot be completed. “Straw” purchases are illegal. The gun purchase will be stopped if the instant FBI background check reveals a felony conviction or a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, or for other untoward things such as involuntary commitment for mental health treatment or an adjudication of mental defect. One must either be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien with a green card to buy a gun. Anyone illegally in this country is prohibited from possessing a gun.
Once anyone legally purchases a firearm that gun can forever be traced to them by its serial number. Gun tracing is one of the things the ATF does very well. If a police agency supplies a serial number and requests a trace on a gun it can usually be done within hours if not minutes. John Hinckley legally purchased the gun he used to shoot President Reagan. Prior to that day he had no criminal record nor had he been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons. The Secret Service is said to have traced the origin of the gun to a purchase by Hinckley at a Texas gun store just days before he shot Reagan. The trace took all of 18 minutes.
When a gun is used to commit a crime the cops will probably request a trace to discover any other participants in the criminal episode. That’s why you always want to file a police report if a gun you own is lost or stolen. A trace will come back to you if the gun is later used in a crime (and if it’s found).
Most killers don’t get their guns legally because most killers have criminal records. The number of guns purchased legally that are later used in crime is infinitesimally small. People who pass the FBI bankground check to buy a gun tend to be the most law-abiding among us.
None of this matters to anti-gun Hollywood or Everytown. They hate guns and they hate gun owners. Of course, the big Hollywood actors enjoy armed security guards for their protection. I guess they don’t want to outlaw those guns. Just yours.