The History Channel’s fictional drama Six provides a darker, more nuanced look into the personal and professional lives of SEAL Team Six operators. Although the show clearly displays the SEALs expertly using weapons in the field, there seems to be one place the show won’t accept them: in the home. In the dangerous world the show paints for us, the fact that they don’t want homeowners armed is even scarier.
After former SEAL Team leader Rip was murdered by a terrorist on American soil in the season 2 premiere, Jackie (Nadine Velazquez) fears that her their family could be targeted next. In the episode "Dua," that aired on June 6, she tells her husband Ricky (Juan Pablo Raba), a SEAL Team member, that she wants a gun.
Ricky doesn't like the idea and patronizingly dismisses her fears, claiming that a gun would only make her a danger to herself and others. Although the audience knows that SEALs and their families are in actual danger, Ricky "promises" they'll be safe without a gun.
Jackie: I want a gun.
Ricky: Guns are my other life. That was the deal. I never bring my other life home.
Jackie: I need a gun to protect the kids when you're not around.
Ricky: You know how hard we train just to use a gun safely, right? You'd be dangerous to yourself and to the kids more than anybody else. We're safe, bonita. I promise.
Jackie: Really? Tell that to Rip.
Unbeknownst to Ricky, Jackie does eventually buy a gun to protect their kids despite his explicit demands and we're treated to a scene where a paranoid Jackie recklessly almost draws her gun on a sinister-looking man who is just innocently walking by in front of her kids.
Which brings us to the July 18 episode “Scorpions in a Bottle,” when Ricky returns home to his family and discovers the gun in his wife's car.
He confronts her and shows her how inept she is at owning a gun - she didn't check the chamber when unloading it - proving everything he warned about earlier in the season. He then berates Jackie for endangering the family.
Ricky: I found it in the glove compartment of your car.
Jackie: I took the magazine out.
Ricky: Where'd you get it? You know there could still be a round in the chamber, right? Is there a round in the chamber, Jackie?
Ricky: No? This is what gets people like you killed. This is what kills our kids. And it happens all the time. This piece is around 600 bucks, and I know you didn't buy it. So who gave it to you?
Jackie: I'm sorry, Ricky. I was scared. You weren't here. I panicked. I'll get it out of the house.
Ricky: Who gave it you? Goddamn it, who gave it to you?!
Jackie: Alex. Caulder. I’m sorry. Say something.
Much like the recent episode of The Bold Type, Six appears to be trying to refocus the gun argument. Here, we witness the subtle implications that a gun can only be used for killing rather than defense. A woman attempting to protect her family is now reframed as someone whose impulse and incompetence can get someone killed. Instead of taking the time to emphasize gun safety or proper training, we have time wasted on showing us how stupid people can be. Gun owning goes from a constitutional right to something dirty, just like that. For a woman like Jackie, that image doesn’t seem very progressive.
Accidents surrounding guns do unfortunately happen, and every single one is a tragedy. However, scenarios like this only worsen the gun argument by keeping viewers in the dark. There’s never a reference to the overwhelming statistics on how guns save far more lives than they take. There’s never an argument for gun education and safety over irrational fear. There’s never even the concept that someone as experienced as Ricky could teach his wife how to properly use a gun so she can feel safe and safely protect their children when he's away on a mission. It all comes down to gun ownership, and guns can only be shown as scary on television when they're not handled by military or law enforcement personnel.
As for me, I’m a little more optimistic about guns and people’s rights to bear arms. I would like to believe that accidents shouldn’t prevent other responsible citizens from defending themselves and their families. I would also like to believe that teaching people how to handle firearms can be a good deterrent to accidents by showing them how to properly load and unload bullets. These are the kinds of scenarios that happen in the real world, but Hollywood has yet to even notice.