Hollywood star Robert De Niro says the student activists’ gun control agenda will be on the ballot during the mid-term elections, claiming voters won’t side with the NRA’s “absurd logic.”
“The people that I care about are those young people who demonstrated. They’re the future. They know. They say, ‘We’ll remember in November.’ They’re the ones that feel the way we do, not the way the gun lovers and the NRA do, with all that idiocy to the point of absurdity,” De Niro told IndieWire.
De Niro — who has starred in films in which his characters wielded shot guns, from the 1970 crime drama Bloody Mama to 2015’s action thriller Heist — says despite his near-fifty-year-spanning film career of shooting guns onscreen, there’s no hypocrisy in his real-life advocacy for gun control and his near-half century of profiting from firing guns in films.
“I could play somebody who’s a total lunatic,” he said. “I could play somebody who’s a member of the NRA. It doesn’t mean I subscribe to that. That’s what an actor does.”
The Taxi Driver star also took shots at the success of ABC’s Roseanne and the show’s eponymous star:
I’ve never seen her show before, I didn’t know she was supporting Trump, but I have no interest in that. We’re at a point with all of us this where it’s beyond trying to see another person’s point of view. There are ways you can talk about that, but we’re at a point where the things that are happening in our country are so bad and it comes from Trump. There are so many people who have left his administration.
It’s a serious thing. So I don’t care about Roseanne. They want that thing, fine. We have real issues in this country.
The 74-year-old then claimed the NRA is preventing gun control research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said, “The CDC can’t even do a study because the NRA stopped it, The CDC works for us! How can the NRA stop that? What kind of absurd logic is that?”
De Niro’s assumption is incorrect. The CDC is allowed to research gun issues, they are simply barred from using taxpayer funds to push a political gun control-centered agenda.
Congress has recently made clear the CDC can undergo “gun violence research.” Neither Congress nor the NRA ever prevented such research. Rather, the Dickey Amendment (1996) forbids the allocation of monies in Congressional funding bills from being used “to advocate or promote gun control.”
NRA spokesman Lars Daleside told IndieWire:
The CDC has never been restricted from studying firearms and violence. They are restricted, however, from using government funding to advocate or promote gun control. Those limitations were put in place after CDC officials publicly stated their intentions to do just that. The NRA supports private and public research into the causes of violence in our communities, but we do not support using tax dollars to promote an anti-gun agenda.
De Niro’s last major gun control push came in the wake of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. At that time, he called for “some regulation of guns” and suggested “almost anyone can get access to a gun.” De Niro did not mention that the Sandy Hook attacker stole the guns used in the heinous attack, therefore no amount of regulation would have stopped the attacker from getting guns.