PopPolitics: Abigail Disney’s High Hopes That ‘Armor of Light’ Changes Gun Violence Debate (Listen)

Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

In the months that Abigail Disney has been screening “The Armor of Light” at film festivals and before faith groups, the unfortunate reality is that the frequency of mass shootings makes her project all the more urgent.

The documentary, which opened in theaters this weekend, focuses on the debate over gun violence, with one of its central figures the Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical leader who struggles to reconcile his longtime pro-life position with the pro-gun rights position of the National Rifle Assn.

While Disney tells Variety’s “PopPolitics” that she is “ashamed to say” that there will probably be one or more mass shootings in the next month, given the statistics, “we are at a point where we have to act.”

She says that she is “incredibly optimistic” that the dynamics of the debate are changing, pointing to the fact that Democratic presidential candidates are trumpeting their low scores from the NRA, whereas in the past they would have tried to avoid the topic. But she also hopes that it helps provoke conversation that gets both sides out of their lockstep.

She says that the movie “is an appeal to conscience, and every once in a while … you can slice through a lot of resistance by just pinging someone at the center of their conscience.”

Schenck, pictured above, stresses how he looks at the issue “theologically, morally and ethically,” as opposed to politically, whereas in the past he kind of “compartmentalized” his concerns with how the gun issue conflicted with his support for the sanctity of life. In the movie, he goes to an NRA convention to further discover what he sees is an alliance between the lobbying organization and religious conservatives.

He also hopes that the language of the debate changes. The term “gun control,” he says, “is charged in my community with the fear of government overreach.” That feeling, he says, has its roots centuries ago, when religious communities were persecuted in Europe and, to an extent, in the United States.

“That memory is very deep and it is in the DNA of evangelicals,” he says. “It is a genuine fear, a genuine emotion, but we have to get past that.”

Listen below:

‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ and Today’s Spin Doctors

David Gordon Green, director of “Our Brand Is Crisis,” talks about whether the wizardry of political consultants is as effective today as it was in 2002. His movie, which opened this weekend, is based on the true story of a political operative sent to Bolivia to shape the campaign of a candidate who is actually not that well liked by the electorate. In the fictional version, Sandra Bullock plays the operative, “Calamity” Jane Bodine, but the movie still raises ethical questions about exporting American campaign tactics to other countries.

Listen below:

Holbrooke on Holbrooke

David Holbrooke talks about his movie “The Diplomat,” debuting on HBO on Monday, which is the story of his father, Richard Holbrooke. Although the movie centers on Holbrooke’s career, highlighted by his successful negotiations in the 1990s to bring peace to the Balkans, it is a very personal story of a son discovering a father who was away so often in his life.

Listen below:

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

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  1. Dan says:

    Ms. Disney is either delusional and should not be allowed to walk around without constant supervision or she is one of the many media whores working overtime to destroy the most fundamental human right of all….the right to self defense which INCLUDES the absolute right to own ANY weapon a person chooses to facilitate the right to defend oneself.

    Criminals don’t obey laws. Both Australia and Great Britain are islands…surrounded by oceans. Both have essentially banned ALL citizens from owning firearms. And BOTH have seen violent crime including crimes using guns INCREASE since those bans were implemented. As a society we cannot
    keep heroin, meth and cocaine out of middle schools. Only an abject moron would believe making guns
    illegal makes them unavailable. Most of the treasonous quislings pushing for ‘gun control’ laws know this….and lie about their intent. They don’t care if criminals and crazies can get guns as their REAL agenda is VICTIM DISARMAMENT. They intend to disarm ALL of us so they can VICTIMIZE us by
    enslaving us. What the criminals and crazies do to us is irrelevant to them. So Ms. Disney….either you are insane and belong in an institution or you are evil and belong at the end of a swinging rope.

    • GKN says:

      Wow. You are really sick in the head, Dan. You need a doctor! Pronto! And no, gun CONTROL does NOT mean gun ELIMINATION (for good heavens, what would you DO without your cherished toys!) You need a fricking license to drive your car. You have to prove you know the laws and HOW to drive to get one. Yet, according to you, we should keep selling guns to every every half-wit moron or sicko that wants one? Without even ATTEMPTING to make it difficult for them, or even make it ILLEGAL to begin with? You really are nuts and extremely stupid. Yes, indeed some criminals and crazies will no doubt still get their hands on them, nevertheless. But if they have the law on their SIDE, how do we even BEGIN to stop them? Then again, people have been trying to explain this to you for decades now. Clearly this simple notion is far too complex for you.

  2. Dave says:

    No matter what laws or steps are enacted , criminals don’t get background check s , they don’t care about life or consequences…..

    Take a look at the turning of the cheek is doing to countries in Europe and Scandinavian that are taking in refugees………

    Don’t stay on the fence..

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