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Sunday, July 27, 2014 

Green Arrow #89 from 1994: an early example of gun control balderdash propaganda

Kevin Dooley was notorious at DC as the editor of Green Lantern, and the man who was instrumental in engineering Emerald Twilight. But he also wrote a few stories himself during his near 12 years at the publisher too, such as Green Arrow in the second half following Mike Grell's departure, and here's some panels I found here from Green Arrow #89, August 1994, where he went off on an absurd anti-gun agenda:
It guest stars Anarky, a character who first appeared in Detective Comics in 1989 (and whose design here makes him look like he's a got a long neck), leading a couple of guys who had their lives changed by gun violence. But what Dooley gives him to go by is flimsy at best, and it's telling that, instead of going after the criminals using guns, he rounds up this motley crew to fulfill his own goals, such as the destruction of a gun factory run by a multi-million buck corporation.
It's this page where Dooley really turns heavy-handed, taking everything out of context. What does owning a gun have to do with it? What matters is the right to self-defense! And if guns are such a problem, what about archery? If there aren't any guns, criminals will become turncoat takes on GA instead and wield arrows! Why indeed would Ollie waste his time with these clowns if he so prides himself for his archery expertise? His initial reluctance to help Anarky stems not from realizing the hypocrisy, but because he doesn't think it's right to destroy somebody else's property. But soon enough, he caves and provides some assistance, as seen in the next two panels:
So the factory is evacuated, and Ollie, who's decided he's on Anarky and company's side after all, fires an arrow at the explosives as they drive off without even seeing their exact location inside. Say, didn't he notice the cops arrived? Wasn't he afraid they'd be hit by the flying shrapnel? What he did is enough to make him a fugitive from the law and embarrass the JLA from letting him keep a membership. The issue ends with this groaner:
The guy in the restaurant is made to sound like a nut, and Ollie pretends to accidentally knock a bowl of soup on him. I think Dooley was so desperate to push through his lethargic anti-gun message it made no difference if it was logical or not. Even Denny O'Neil was never this heavy when he wrote Green Lantern/Green Arrow in the early 70s. Anyone interested in finding out how modern day leftism took a turn from mild to very sledgehammered in the 1990s should take a good look at this issue of GA's first volume. We can only wonder if Dooley's leftism had any influence over the decision to make Hal Jordan a tyrant.

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Anarky accuses the gun manufacturer of "terrorism," but it is Anarky (aided by Green Arrow) who takes the law into his own hands and blows up a factory that makes a legal product. Is an individual justified in breaking the law when he decides that the duly elected government is not doing enough to solve a problem? If so, would Green Arrow murder muggers and drug dealers who had been acquitted on technicalities? If not, why not?

And, would Anarky or Green Arrow blow up a gay bath house to prevent the spread of AIDS? Would they assist anti-abortion extremists who wanted to blow up a Planned Parenthood clinic?

More children drown in swimming pool accidents than get shot (either accidentally or intentionally). Traffic accidents kill more people than shootings. How about a story where Green Arrow helps blow up a GM plant or a swimming pool company?

And Anarky accuses the gun industry of "lies and deceit," but then repeats the usual lies and deceptions of the anti-gun activists: that the US Constitution does not protect an individual right to own weapons (the Supreme Court has ruled that it does), that guns are rarely used in self-defense, and that they are more often used in accidents or to commit crimes (every objective study has concluded the exact opposite).

And Anarky says that "kids" are committing murder over clothing, without mentioning that it is already illegal for kids (i.e., anyone under 18 in all 50 states, and anyone under 21 in some states) to own any type of firearm. And he does nothing to address the thug culture that encourages those "kids" to murder and steal in the first place.

Similarly, he says that people sleep in bathtubs to avoid stray bullets. But he doesn't mention that it is only in certain cities (Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, parts of Los Angeles and New York, and Washington, D.C.), all of which have strict anti-gun laws. Meanwhile, in Arizona and Vermont, citizens can legally carry guns. The crime rate in Chicago is twice that of Phoenix. And the murder rate in Washington DC is almost 40 times that of Vermont.

Finally, Anarky says that only cars cause more deaths than guns, and that guns are catching up. In fact, gun-related deaths were already declining at the time this comic was published (even while gun sales were increasing). Further, guns and cars are inanimate objects; neither can "cause" anything. Traffic accidents are caused by careless drivers, not by cars. And shootings are caused by shooters, sometimes justifiably (e.g., citizens shooting criminals in self-defense), sometimes wrongfully (e.g., criminals murdering victims). But Heaven forbid that individuals should ever be personally accountable for their own actions.

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