Megan Boone who plays FBI special agent Liz Keen on NBC’s The Blacklist says that her character will never use an assault rifle again. On one level this is an understandable, emotional response to the Parkland shooting and the media’s “blame the gun and the NRA” narrative, but on another it is rather confusing.
Does depicting fictional “good guys” using guns to enforce the law contribute to real life “bad guys” breaking it? Either way this seems like an unecessarily futile gesture. Deadline Hollywood reports that on The Blacklist, Liz Keen has carried an assault rifle only once in the show’s five year run.
As an FBI profiler, her character rarely carries guns. In most cases when she does, it has been a handgun, but she has used an assault rifle at least once on The Blacklist. Deadline hears that, having grown up in Florida, Boone was deeply affected by the school shooting and that she made today’s pledge on her own.
Certainly by no intention of Boone’s, her statement is strangely symbolic of parts of the Parkland shooting. By refusing to let her fictional FBI character carry a rifle with legitimate law enforcement (as well as private) uses she reminds us of how the FBI chose not to act on so many warning signs and tips about Nikolas Cruz’s impending rampage.
By choosing to lay down her character’s weapon she also reminds us of the police officers who stayed in the parking lot rather than engage the shooter. These connections won’t be seen by those who have already fallen under the spell of the media’s use of Parkland to advance a misguided agenda to disarm law abiding people and demonize an organization that exists to protect law abiding people’s right to defend themselves when law enforcement can’t, or for whatever reason won’t act.
Boone’s promise might play well with those who criticize Hollywood for simultaneously glorifying gun violence while demanding citizens be barred from using guns that match the firepower of the criminals that may threaten them. But as some have written here at RedState, blaming movies or video games for mass shootings is as misguided as blaming the particular make of gun used. It’s not a win when someone like Boone owns up to a responsibility that isn’t really theirs to begin with.
From the moment the shots in Parkland were heard, the media has been using the incident to forward an anti-gun and anti-NRA agenda, neglecting a multitude of facts in the process. Boone’s vain and futile gesture reminds us of everything that went really wrong in Parkland, Florida, but the media’s narrative is probably too loud for most people to recognize it.