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Hoffman was narrator of gun control cartoon

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman narrated an anti-gun cartoon last year.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for the Sundance Film Festival

Yesterday’s death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent drug overdose is being discussed by Seattle Times readers who are taking time out from celebrating the Seahawks Super Bowl win, but his loss may also be a small setback for the gun prohibition movement.

Should the manner of Hoffman’s death be exploited to throw a stigma on the gun control effort? Put that another way: Would anti-gunners exploit an apparent drug overdose death if the victim were, say, Detroit rocker and stalwart pro-gunner Ted Nugent?

Hoffman was a narrator, with actress Julianne Moore, last year of an anti-gun cartoon short that urged viewers to “demand action” in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. At the time, the New York Daily News said Mayors Against Illegal Guns was "behind" the cartoon. The slogan, “Demand Action,” has become something of a battle cry for gun prohibitionists, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, who appeared in Olympia last week with husband, Mark Kelly, to push a gun control agenda for the Evergreen State. National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea weighs in here on the Hoffman death.

While the cartoon demonized firearms, it now appears Mr. Hoffman had a few demons of his own. Found with a syringe in his arm at a New York apartment he was renting, according to the lengthy story in the Seattle Times, Hoffman reportedly had a long-running drug abuse problem. However, he also reportedly went through rehab last year and playwright David Bar Katz was quoted by the New York Times saying he saw the actor last week and he was "clean and sober."

A distinguished and award-winning actor for his 2005 performance in “Capote,” the New York Post said police found drug evidence in his apartment including envelopes marked “Ace of Spades,” which the newspaper identified as a “brand of heroin that hasn’t been seen on the streets since around 2008 in Brooklyn.”

Meanwhile, last Friday’s ABC special report about children and guns is being panned for inaccuracies and outright distortions. There is a lot of effort and money being invested in attacking gun rights as the new year enters its second month.

The report, “Young Guns: A Diane Sawyer Special,” had some interesting numbers. In 2010, the report said, 98 “American kids under age 18” died in accidental shootings. That same year, 1,337 “American kids under age 18” died from gunshot wounds.

That same year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, “seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.” The CDC reported that in 2010, “about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16–19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated and released from emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes.”

One is compelled to wonder how many of those teen gun-related deaths were connected to gang activity.

Perhaps the worst part of the report, according to a stinging critique in The Blaze, happened when ABC producers left unloaded guns where children would find them, to see how the youngsters would react. No responsible gun owner would do something like that.


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