If lightsabers are outlawed, then only outlaws will have lightsabers?
That seems to be the logic that one National Rifle Association member is using to shoot down actor Mark Hamill’s call for tighter gun safety laws.
“Once again we get a Hollywood millionaire, protected on set by armed body guards 24/7, and he thinks our gun laws are too strict,” Dallas-based host of NRA TV Grant Stinchfield said on his show Thursday. “He’s also a hypocrite. Star Wars was and is a violent movie. All of them are. Shoot ’em up thrillers at their best.”
The “Star Wars” actor recently told the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, that his passion for gun control and tough gun ownership laws inspired a backstory for Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Hamill says he played Skywalker as if the character’s unattended lightsaber resulted in the death of his foster son.
“I had to find something in my own life experience, not that that’s ever happened to me, but vicariously I have been struck by the terrible tragedies that you read about,” he said.
The backstory isn’t in the movie. But Hamill said it’s just a method he uses to “portray Luke in this dark place that he is in now.”
“I mean it’s crazy — America has a lot of crazy people and the gun laws are just totally wrong and disproportionate for what we need,” he added.
“It’s a shameful thing how mass shootings become routine — it’s just ghastly,” Hamill said, according to the Daily Telegraph. “People say ‘well do you want to have all those rules that you have in Australia that stop those?’. And I say yes! Whatever they did, let’s do that — nothing else is working.”
After gunman Martin Bryant used semi-automatic firearms in the 1996 mass shooting in Port Arthur, Australia, the country banned semi-automatic rifles and shotguns ― weapons that can kill a bunch of people quickly.
Australian law also now requires owners to have 28-day waiting periods, thorough background checks, and a “justifiable reason” to own a gun.
Personal safety alone is not considered a good reason to own.
In the decade before the massacre, Australia had experienced 11 mass shootings. Although there have been incidents of shootings since the policies have been enacted, they are still significantly less than those in the U.S.
The idea that a “Star Wars” hero might have second thoughts about weaponry and firearms apparently was enough to trigger the NRA host.
Stinchfield responded by using a new variation of an old NRA argument: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a blaster is a good guy with a lightsaber.
“What if the Galactic Republic outlawed lightsabers and ray guns?” he asked rhetorically (while ignoring that the proper name for “ray guns” is “blasters.”) “No more armed spaceships. Darth Vader’s evil empire would have run ramshod over Skywalker.”
“Han Solo would have died who knows how many movies ago. In fact, the lightsabers and laser guns are what gave the good guys in every Star Wars movie a fighting chance,” he continued.
Of course, there are two other important points that Stinchfield also ignores: Stormtroopers are lousy shots and the Star Wars universe is completely fictional.
The complete segment appears below, courtesy of MediaMatters.org.