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
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 2047 GMT (0447 HKT)
Jim Bell says NASA's latest discovery support the notion that habitable worlds are probably common in the galaxy.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1817 GMT (0217 HKT)
Jay Parini says even the Gospels skip the actual Resurrection and are sketchy on the appearances that followed.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1752 GMT (0152 HKT)
Graham Allison says if an unchecked and emboldened Russia foments conflict in a nation like Latvia, a NATO member, the West would have to defend it.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
John Sutter: Bad news, guys -- the pangolin we adopted is missing.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
Ben Wildavsky says we need a better way to determine whether colleges are turning out graduates with superior education and abilities.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
Charles Maclin, program manager working on the search and recovery of Malaysia Flight 370, explains how it works.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Jill Koyama says Michael Bloomberg is right to tackle gun violence, but we need to go beyond piecemeal state legislation.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1845 GMT (0245 HKT)
Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts say Americans are ready for sensible gun laws, but politicians are cowed by the NRA. Everytown for Gun Safety will prove the NRA is not that powerful.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Steve Israel is right: Some Republicans encourage anti-Latino prejudice. But that kind of bias is not limited to the GOP.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2323 GMT (0723 HKT)
Peggy Drexler counts the ways Phyllis Schlafly's argument that lower pay for women helps them nab a husband is ridiculous.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
Rick McGahey says Rep. Paul Ryan is signaling his presidential ambitions by appealing to hard core Republican values
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
Paul Saffo says current Google Glasses are doomed to become eBay collectibles, but they are only the leading edge of a surge in wearable tech that will change our lives
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
Kathleen Blee says the KKK and white power or neo-Nazi groups give haters the purpose and urgency to use violence.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman say read deep, and you'll see the federal Keystone pipeline report spells out the pipeline is bad news
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says President Obama needs to stop making empty threats against Russia and consider other options
ADVERTISEMENT