Skip to main content

Spare us the gun lecture, Harvey

By S.E. Cupp, CNN "Crossfire" Host
January 17, 2014 -- Updated 2108 GMT (0508 HKT)
A 1994 federal ban on certain types and configurations of guns included 19 kinds of military-style rifles and handguns. That ban expired in 2004. But the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut school has sparked new calls to ban such weapons. Click through this gallery to learn why military-style guns are important to many gun owners. A 1994 federal ban on certain types and configurations of guns included 19 kinds of military-style rifles and handguns. That ban expired in 2004. But the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut school has sparked new calls to ban such weapons. Click through this gallery to learn why military-style guns are important to many gun owners.
HIDE CAPTION
Voices of military-style gun owners
'Some people play golf ... I shoot'
Hunting
Protection
Collectable
'Fascinated by the Second Amendment'
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • SE Cupp: "Bowling for Columbine" was successful film but didn't slow guns' spread
  • Harvey Weinstein is planning anti-NRA film, but she says mogul needs reality check
  • She says his films show plenty of gun violence and law-abiding NRA members wrongly target
  • Cupp: Films lecturing on guns don't work and gun ownership has surged since Moore film

Editor's note: S.E. Cupp is co-host of the new "Crossfire," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays on CNN. She is also the author of "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity," co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right," a columnist at the New York Daily News and a political commentator for Glenn Beck's "The Blaze."

(CNN) -- Remember "Bowling for Columbine"?

The anti-gun documentary that attempted to politicize the tragic school shooting at Columbine, Colorado, was wildly successful, both critically and commercially, and even won its writer/director, Michael Moore, an Oscar.

But while the film was certainly entertaining, and may have even got some folks thinking about gun violence, it did little to move the needle on its presumptive goal: curbing gun ownership and weakening the National Rifle Association.

S.E. Cupp
S.E. Cupp

That's because gun owners and the powerful lobby that represents them don't care what Hollywood thinks of them, a lesson producer Harvey Weinstein will learn soon.

Weinstein "reluctantly" told Howard Stern that he's planning a movie that will make the NRA "wish they weren't alive." On Friday night, in an exclusive interview pre-taped with Piers Morgan, he says that none other than Meryl Streep will star as an anti-gun senator.

For so many reasons, Weinstein deserves a good, hard reality check.

For one, there's the obvious and almost comical hypocrisy. Weinstein's profited immensely from portraying graphic gun violence in films such as "Kill Bill" and "Pulp Fiction."

His sudden attack of social conscience is astounding and curiously timed. In the same Morgan interview, he says he'll stop making movies that glamorize guns. But according to Internet Movie Database, "Kill Bill Vol. 3" and "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" are in the works. Maybe he means starting ... now.

For another thing, overtly ideological films -- think "Rendition" and "Lions for Lambs" -- bomb at the box office. Theatergoers don't want to be lectured by Hollywood for two hours on what they think is wrong with the country.

Opinion: When will America wake up to gun violence?

Movie mogul targets 'take down' of NRA
Weinstein: McCartney equal to Churchill
Police Chief: More guns to good people

If we're to assume Weinstein is motivated by a deep concern about gun violence (and not sheer arrogance), then it's also worth pointing out that he's got the wrong target. The NRA represents law-abiding gun owners, not criminals. A gangbanger in Chicago doesn't care about the NRA, isn't motivated or supported by the NRA, and may not even know what the NRA is. In vowing to take down this powerful organization supported by millions of law-abiding citizens, Weinstein will simply end up empowering and emboldening it.

And lastly, the effort most certainly won't rid the country of guns (a goal he's admitted to having, unless there's another Holocaust in which case he very much wants a gun, or something.)

Back to Michael Moore. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the U.S. firearms industry, calculates that from 2002, the year "Bowling for Columbine" came out, to 2011, there's been a 54.1% rise in the number of federal background checks, one way of measuring an increase in gun sales. And remember, that movie was actually successful.

Proving the nation's gun owners not only don't care about Hollywood's dictates but Washington's either, in the year since the tragic Newtown, Connecticut, shooting -- and despite significant efforts from the Obama administration and other Democrats to push increased gun control, gun sales are up 8%.

Weinstein may find this lamentable and even reprehensible. He's entitled to his opinion. And he's also entitled to spend Hollywood money on a movie in which Meryl Streep is paid to rail against a constitutionally protected right and a robust and defensive American community. But I promise, every penny he makes will be multiplied manyfold in NRA contributions. Good luck, Harvey.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of SE Cupp.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
The death of Douglas McAuthur McCain, the first American killed fighting for ISIS, highlights the pull of Syria's war for Western jihadists, writes Peter Bergen.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2242 GMT (0642 HKT)
Former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says the West should be helping moderates in the Syrian armed opposition end the al-Assad regime and form a government to focus on driving ISIS out
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says a great country does not deport thousands of vulnerable, unaccompanied minors who fled in fear for their lives
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
Robert McIntyre says Congress is the culprit for letting Burger King pay lower taxes after merging with Tim Hortons.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2335 GMT (0735 HKT)
Wesley Clark says the U.S. can offer support to its Islamic friends in the region most threatened by ISIS, but it can't fight their war
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
Jeff Yang says the tech sector's diversity numbers are embarrassing and the big players need to do more.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
America's painful struggle with racism has often brought great satisfaction to the country's rivals, critics, and foes. The killing of Michael Brown and its tumultuous aftermath has been a bonanza.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2019 GMT (0419 HKT)
Ed Bark says in this Emmy year, broadcasters CBS, ABC and PBS can all say they matched or exceeded HBO. These days that's no small feat
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1919 GMT (0319 HKT)
Rick Martin says the death of Robin Williams brought back memories of his own battle facing down depression as a young man
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
David Perry asks: What's the best way for police officers to handle people with psychiatric disabilities?
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1950 GMT (0350 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says it's not crazy to think Mitt Romney would be able to end up at the top of the GOP ticket in 2016
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
Roxanne Jones and her girlfriends would cheer from the sidelines for the boys playing Little League. But they really wanted to play. Now Mo'ne Davis shows the world that girls really can throw.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT)
Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider say a YouTube video apparently posted by ISIS seems to show that the group has a surveillance drone, highlighting a new reality: Terrorist groups have technology once only used by states
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 2104 GMT (0504 HKT)
Kimberly Norwood is a black mom who lives in an affluent neighborhood not far from Ferguson, but she has the same fears for her children as people in that troubled town do
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
It apparently has worked for France, say Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider, but carries uncomfortable risks. When it comes to kidnappings, nations face grim options.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
John Bare says the Ice Bucket Challenge signals a new kind of activism and peer-to-peer fund-raising.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes says calling ISIS evil over and over again could very well make it harder to stop them.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 0105 GMT (0905 HKT)
As the inquiry into the shooting of Michael Brown continues, critics question the prosecutor's impartiality.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Newt Gingrich says it's troubling that a vicious group like ISIS can recruit so many young men from Britain.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1450 GMT (2250 HKT)
David Weinberger says Twitter and other social networks have been vested with a responsibility, and a trust, they did not ask for.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
John Inazu says the slogan "We are Ferguson" is meant to express empathy and solidarity. It's not true: Not all of us live in those circumstances. But we all made them.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1223 GMT (2023 HKT)
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling says he learned that the territory ISIS wants to control is amazingly complex.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
Cerue Garlo says Liberia is desperate for help amid a Ebola outbreak that has touched every aspect of life.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
Eric Liu says Republicans who want to restrict voting may win now, but the party will suffer in the long term.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1538 GMT (2338 HKT)
Jay Parini: Jesus, Pope and now researchers agree: Wealth decreases our ability to sympathize with the poor.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Judy Melinek offers a medical examiner's perspective on what happens when police kill people like Michael Brown.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 2203 GMT (0603 HKT)
It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades, writes Kara Dansky.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
Maria Haberfeld: People who are unfamiliar with police work can reasonably ask, why was an unarmed man shot so many times, and why was deadly force used at all?
ADVERTISEMENT