Magazine article Insight on the News

Hollywood & Handguns: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Magazine article Insight on the News

Hollywood & Handguns: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Article excerpt

Rosie, say it's not so! The news was surprising: Rosie O'Donnell's bodyguards had applied for permits for concealed handguns. Few have declared their opposition to guns as strongly as O'Donnell. For someone who ambushed Tom Selleck on her television show last year on gun control, called for the abolition of the Second Amendment and emceed the so-called "Million Mom March" in Washington, the advice that O'Donnell freely has given others no longer seems to match what she thinks is best for her own family.

Earlier in May on ABC-TV's This Week, Rosie was asked if she opposed concealed-handgun laws. She declared, "Of course, I'm against them." She further has claimed, "I also think you should not buy a gun anywhere."

O'Donnell previously has been accused of trying to generate attention for her flagging television show by attacking Selleck, despite her agreement with him not to discuss guns. Her credibility was tarnished by appearing in ads for Kmart, a major seller of guns.

Yet the current hypocrisy is more fundamental. A spokeswoman for O'Donnell justifies guns for the talk-show host's bodyguards because of threatened violence. Yet how does her concern differ from what motivates anyone who gets a gun for self-defense? Why does O'Donnell give others advice that she doesn't find applicable to herself?

O'Donnell's response that she still does not "personally own a gun" misses the whole point. Of course, she does not need her own gun when her bodyguards have their guns with them.

Unfortunately, O'Donnell joins a long list of people who demand that others disarm even while they keep their own armed bodyguards. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, for example, surrounds himself with armed guards even when he visits relatively low-crime areas, but he opposes issuing handgun licenses for people to keep a gun at home even in the most dangerous parts of the city. (Chicago has the highest murder rate of any large city in the United States.)

For their own safety, people should not follow what O'Donnell preaches, but what she does: Get armed protection. As she apparently believes for her own safety, and as the statistics bear out, passive behavior simply is not the wisest course of action. The chance of serious injury from an attack is 50 percent greater for women offering no resistance than for those resisting with a gun. …

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