As the NRA's Wayne LaPierre stood in a rented room, blaming violence in modern entertainment for the rise in mass shootings in America, the museum run by his organization offered a long-running exhibit called "Hollywood Guns."
As highlighted in a new report by Tom Diaz, the National Rifle Association has hosted the display of famous guns at its National Firearms Museum since 2010. The museum's website boasts of the exhibit's vast collection of guns used in famous films and routinely reports on the NRA's lending of certain guns to various conventions of weapons enthusiasts and law enforcement officials.
"Hollywood guns offers a firsthand glimpse of 125 of the most famous firearms on the silver screen over the past 70 years," according to the site. "From the blockbuster 1939 film Stagecoach, which made John Wayne a star, to the Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards, and many classics in between, this exhibit is one of our most popular ever."
Included in the collection is the .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 that Clint Eastwood, in the Dirty Harry films, boasted about in his famous "do you feel lucky" monologue, as well as the Beretta used by Bruce Willis in Die Hard and Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. The latter weapon was sent to the National Police Shooting Championships in New Mexico in November.
In his Dec. 23 press conference, LaPierre decried film violence, saying, "We have blood-soaked films out there, like American Psycho, Natural Born Killers. They’re aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day. 1,000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life. And then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?"