L. Neil Smith's

Number 42, July 27, 1998

Lethal Weapon 4: A Review

By Mark and Tina Terry

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         We probably should have known better than to pay money and waste time to see this turkey, because in one of the previous Lethal Weapon series, the protagonists were repeatedly whining about "cop killer bullets" which apparently had the mystical capability, when fired from the ubiquitous 9 m/m Parabellum, of penetrating a half-inch of steel plate. In that same movie we also learned that police officers were commonly assassinated with these dangerous "cop killer" bullets.
         However, it was a hot day, the theater was air-conditioned, and we are usually fans of Mel Gibson, a.k.a. "Mr. Braveheart."
         Here are the "civics" lessons we learned from "Lethal Weapon 4":

         1. NRA "spokesmen" routinely dress up in body armor and assault people and property with automatic weapons and flame-throwers randomly and for no apparent reason.

         2. NRA spokesmen can be easily identified by their flame- throwers, automatic weapons and full-body armor.

         3. It is difficult or impossible for a police officer to shoot someone wearing body armor and to hit him in the leg or other extremity not covered by the armor, but it is easy for him to shoot the valve off of a napalm-filled flame-thrower tank, and that doing so is okay, no matter the consequences to people and property.

         4. Police departments routinely display huge anti-NRA posters and slogans.

         5. Most police departments are rabidly anti-Second Amendment.

         6. Most or all police officers believe that only the police should have guns.

         7. "Assault weapons" are routinely and commonly used in crimes against the public and to attack police officers.

         8. It is okay, and funny, to throw someone else's property into the water against their wishes, as long as it's a gun.

         9. It is okay, and even amusing, to torture sharks by letting them writhe in agony inside a boat while you make jokes about it.

         10. It's okay to shoot at practically anything and everyone -- except a shark in agony.

         11. Improper and unsafe gun handling is not only okay -- it is downright hip and cool to willfully and repeatedly violate the basic rules of safe gun handling:

    A. Every gun is loaded;

    B. Don't let the barrel of your gun cover something you're not willing to destroy;

    C. Be sure of your target and what lies beyond your target;

    D. Keep your finger off the trigger until the weapon is aimed at the target and you are ready to fire.

         12. It is hip and cool to joke about shooting a friend, and to point your gun at him and threaten to shoot him.

         13. It's okay and hip for police officers who are irritated by peoples' comments, to point their guns at the source of irritation, even when there exists no threat whatsoever of violence.

         14. A badge and a brandished gun are the things that reveal a police officer's identity.

         15. Police routinely proceed into a known hostile situation with only a pistol and one magazine, and then, after utilizing "spray and pray" techniques, are shocked when they run out of ammunition.

         16. Only the police should have guns, no matter how irresponsible their gun-handling.

         17. Irresponsible gun-handling is okay for police officers.

         18. It is okay and funny for police to make false accusations to other policemen that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, even when they know such is not the case.

         19. Destruction of private property -- eg., breaking large glass windows -- by police officers investigating crimes is good and is funny as long as it's the property of someone suspected of (but not charged with) a crime.

         20. Deliberately pulling a fire alarm and causing a panic, when there is no fire, for the sole purpose of destroying private property and harassing a suspect is hip and funny, and is apparently okay and unpunished as long as you are a police officer. (Perhaps the makers of the movie learned this trick from juvenile murderer Andrew Golden of the Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, Arkansas massacre.)

         21. It's okay and funny for police to break into a dentist's office, to forcibly administer nitrous oxide to a suspect, and, at the same time, to partake in breathing nitrous oxide themselves. (While this may have been amusing when Inspector Clouseau did it, it doesn't hold up in this context.)

         22. It's okay (and funny) for the police to destroy millions of dollars in property and to endanger hundreds of lives while chasing a suspect in a car.

         23. It's okay (and funny) for a police officer to Mirandize a suspect by telling him that, if he can't afford an attorney, he only has the right to a really lousy lawyer.

         24. It is noble and good for police officers to belittle customs agents for doing their job if the police officer disagrees with the laws the customs agents are enforcing.

         25. It is noble and good for police officers to aid and abet in illegal immigration and smuggling of illegal immigrants if the police officer disagrees with immigration laws as long as the police officer is black, the immigrants are "minorities," and the police officer can play the "race/slave" violin.

         26. It is noble and admirable for a police officer to shelter illegal aliens in his own house because they are both "minorities," and the fact that some of the sheltered illegal aliens were, as a result of this illegal action, killed, is not the police officer's fault.

         27. It is noble and admirable for a police officer to cause his house to be burned to the ground and his family and friends nearly killed as a result of his breaking the law by harboring illegal aliens in his house.

         28. It's okay and hip for police officers to impregnate other police officers, and for both of them to proceed to live together and plan to bear the child outside of wedlock, and without any discussion of marriage or of the future of their child.

         29. When Mel Gibson, director, producer and star of "Braveheart," condemns the British practice of "sword control," imposed on Scotsmen, such condemnation has no bearing on "gun control" imposed on law-abiding Americans.

         30. It is good to glorify violence while trashing the Bill of Rights: the right to keep and bear arms; the right to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure; the right to remain silent; the right to competent counsel.

         31. It is good to make lots of money as an actor depicting as humorous unsafe, irresponsible and flamboyant gun-handling, and multiple felonies by police officers, all the while attempting to sell an anti-gun/anti-NRA message to the public. (After all, rabidly anti-Second Amendment actors Sly Stallone, Michael Gross, Paul Newman and others have made zillions of dollars brandishing guns and/or glorifying the killing of hundreds of people on film with guns.)

         Although we laughed at several points in the movie (Mel Gibson is genuinely funny a couple of times, as is Chris Rock and Joe Pesci) overall, on the scale of BB guns to .577 Nitro Expresses, we rate this film as a .22 short and recommend that you boycott it.

The Libertarian Enterprise welcomes reviewers Mark and Tina Terry to its virtual pages and encourages them to see more movies -- and write about them!

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