I don't like Vince Vaughn. I've never met the man, but I have that six degrees of separation relationship with him -- sans Kevin Bacon.
It all started a few years back when one of my husband's best buddies was getting married in Bora Bora. Because it was a destination wedding, everything was being held at a resort. After our plane tickets were purchased and rooms and taxes paid, the hotel informed us that that it had canceled our reservations.
Why? Because Vince Vaughn was filming a movie there and allegedly he didn't want anyone staying at the hotel who wasn't in his flick, Couples Retreat. (Ironic title, huh?) Now keep in mind, this was someone's wedding, and there were two other couples getting married that same weekend! So, my first impression of Vaughn was that he was a diva accustomed to demanding and getting his way. And, since I live in Los Angeles, believe me, I've met plenty of them.
So imagine my surprise when I was asked for one of my weekly television appearances to comment on Vince Vaughn's assertion in a British GQ magazine that Americans should be able to carry guns everywhere, even in gun free zones.
Here's what Vaughn said:
I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. We don't have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It's not about duck hunting; it's about the ability of the individual. It's the same reason we have freedom of speech. It's well known that the greatest defense against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back. All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones. Take mass shootings. They've only happened in places that don't allow guns. These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenseless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds.
Now Vaughn's entitled to his opinion. But opinions based on fact are so much better.
Although I agree with Vaughn that the 2nd Amendment was meant to enable us to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government, nowhere in the 2nd Amendment does it state that there's a right to carry weapons around in our daily lives, in public, in plain view.
What about the rights of those like me, who choose not to bear arms and don't want them around me at Disneyland, which in Vaughn's utopia would not be a gun free zone. What about my right to have my children run free to meet Donald, Mickey and Cinderella without the fear of someone going postal after waiting in line too long? And as for the 2nd Amendment not applying to duck hunting? Well, don't tell that to the cast of Duck Dynasty.
When Vaughn speaks of the greatest defense against an intruder being a gun, he is wrong. He and those who believe this often cite a study quoted by the NRA, which was done by Northwestern University in 1995 -- a study now two decades old. The problem is that data is not the data we are working with today. More recently, a higher risk of suicide, homicide and even accidental death by gun have been linked to owning a gun. And although guns are used to defend our castle, for every time a gun is used to defend one's self, there are 11 suicide attempts, four accidents and seven murders or assaults.
And his claim that mass shootings only take place in gun-free zones is completely false. The Sikh Temple in Wisconsin had no such ban. Guns were, in fact, legal there.And at Columbine, there was an armed security guard in the school and another armed officer outside. Both, in fact, shot at the shooters, but that did not stop the carnage on that day.
And as for his "sick in the head" comment, isn't that reason enough for us not to all walk around with guns in holsters on our hips a la John Wayne? Anyone, without a background check and certainly without a psychological exam can obtain a gun at one of the numerous guns shows throughout our nation.
Vaughn's claim that all our schools are gun-free zones is not true either. Of the approximately 4,400 colleges and universities in the United States, most are gun free zones, but not all. And with legislation passed such as last week in Texas, where the Lone Star state will allow guns to be carried on college campuses starting in 2016, that claim is certainly changing and rapidly.
Do we send our children to colleges and universities to learn or to walk around in fear, and just in case a bad guy is around the corner, to make sure they can defend themselves with deadly weapons? If our college campuses are so dangerous, why are we sending our kids there at all?
As for Vince Vaughn, it's a good thing there are gun-free zones. For if those brides had been packing heat at that resort in Bora Bora, well, let's just say, he would definitely have understood the meaning of Bridezillas.