Some people clearly just don’t know when to quit. One of them is comedic actor Jim Carrey. Believing he had tapped into the elusive humor in the debate over gun control, he concocted a scathing 5-minute sendup of people who believe in the Second Amendment — and predictably received flak. Now he is attempting to rebut his critics.
The problem with the country music video that is the centerpiece of the bit is not, as many have suggested, a quatrain in which Carrey riffs on a quote by the late actor and NRA member Charlton Heston. The lyrics, which follow (and provide the video’s title, “Cold Dead Hand”), are actually sort of clever:
Charlton Heston movies are no longer in demand,
And his immortal soul may lay forever in the sand,
The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he planned,
Because they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold, dead hand.
The problem, rather, is that Carrey breaks character at the end by flashing an obscene gesture at the camera and calling those who champion gun rights “heartless mother***ers.” Humor and anger are a tough combination even for someone with Carrey’s vaunted “30 years” of “bringing as much joy as I can to people in this country.”
That is a quote from a blog entry Carrey filed in Tuesday’s Huffington Post, which demonstrates that persuasive writing is an even tougher haul for him. The title of the post — “I Never Wanted to Take Your Guns Away” — should have been amended to include “Or at Least Not All of Them.” In the space of his 600-word disquisition, he asks Americans “to draw the line when it comes to the type of guns that are considered a reasonable means of self-defense.”
Carrey’s main beef is with high-capacity magazines, which is a popular liberal complaint. But rather than taking the time to gather facts on the subject (which might have proved instructive), he instead trades in broad generalizations:
These mass shootings and daily body counts on your local news are terrible tragedies. The utter devastation that must be endured by the victims’ families is unfathomable. These horrific events are also an invitation for us to become more civilized and to deal with our addiction and entitlement to violence.
The piece turns funny, if unintentionally, when Carrey attempts to deflect criticism directed at him. At one point he writes, “For those who say I’m a hypocrite because I have an armed bodyguard, lets [sic] make one thing clear: No one in my employ is allowed to carry a large magazine.”
The most ridiculous part of the post comes when Carrey tries to counter those who have told him, “Shut up, you’re just an actor,” by noting these same types like to “brag about what a great president the ACTOR Ronald Reagan was” [emphasis in the original].