Batman and HELLER

July 10, 2008

Just what I needed…deep thought in my mindless entertainment.

Went out and bought Batman:Gotham Knight and set up some time for me to enjoy it, as I loves me some Batman.  Have ever since I was a kid (I don’t care for that wanker, The Punisher – superheroes don’t kill, period).  I don’t want to set this up as a review (I expect others to pick up the slack in that department) but while I was watching it, I started musing on Batman’s philosophy and matters gun-related.

What got me musing were two of the six segments of the film – the first being Working Through Pain (story by Jordan Goldberg, script by Brian Azzarello), then Deadshot (story by Goldberg again, script by Alan Burnett). Both were well-written: what struck me were a couple of moments in the segments.

in Pain, Batman, having been wounded by a gunshot (and experiencing an extended flashback, incidentally) calls Alfred for aid.  To get to Alfred, Batman has to get to an open grating in the street to be hoisted up to street level. As Batman is stumbling through the trash below street level, he begins finding guns.  Lots of guns. A well-written moment – Azzarello knows his Batman.

The second, in Deadshot, Bruce Wayne is having a conversation with Alfred about the bag o’ guns he brought home with him after being hauled out of the sewer:

ALFRED: It’s a bagful of tragedy, that’s what it is.

WAYNE: You have to know your enemy, Alfred. I’d never use one, but I can appreciate the attraction of a gun.  The heft. The sleekness. The cool steel, the precision, and the power.

The power to change lives, history. The power of God.

Which brings me to the title of the post (finally huh?). I started thinking to myself – what’s Batman’s stance on Heller?

As the surviving victim of gun violence, I could see Bats wanting to gun-control the hell out of everyone…There was even a comic that was supposed to have dealt with this (Seduction of the Gun, something I sadly haven’t read) But now we have the Heller decision. Specifically Enumerated Right and all that. So where does Bats stand as of today?

Batman-Gun Rights

Bats is a big believer in Freedom (even going toe-to-toe with Superman when he thinks it’s the right thing to do e.g. The Dark Knight Returns.)

Bats is only one man (maybe two or three-man team tops) defending the whole city – can he be everywhere?  And what about when he’s off to Egypt or wherever to fight Ra’s Al Ghul? What then?

Batman-Gun Control

“What do you need a gun for? Batman will protect us!” (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Seeing all the crime in Gotham, there must be some of the tightest gun control in the nation there.

In my heart of hearts, I want to believe that (even though I am attributing independent thought to a fictional character whose values will change whenever there’s a profit to be made) that were Bats actually to exist,he would like to have the good citizens of Gotham to have firearms, if only to give him a chance to enjoy a bag of Doritos next to the pool with a supermodel.

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