The firearm manufacturer that produced the guns for the movie Taken 3 has said it regrets its work after the film’s star, Liam Neeson, called the number of guns in America “a fucking disgrace” earlier this week.
On Monday, the Batman Begins actor made a series of disparaging remarks towards gun ownership in America when asked about the Paris terror attacks targeting the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo.
“There are too many fucking guns out there, especially in America,” Neeson said. “I think the population is, like, 320 million? There are over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a fucking disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
On Thursday, American-owned gun company PARA USA issued a Facebook post announcing it “regrets its decision to provide firearms for use in the film,” asserting that the actor’s statements undermined “support of the Second Amendment and American liberties.”
The Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace actor’s comments came at a press conference for 20th Century Fox’s third installment of the ultra-violent action series Taken, in which Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills, relies on guns to avenge the death of his ex-wife. The film’s poster even features Neeson brandishing a gun.
Many were quick to highlight Neeson’s hypocrisy, especially given the multiple roles in which he’s portrayed a gun-wielding protagonist.
The actor, however, reasoned that movie violence does nothing to influence a person’s behavior, and that it is far different from actual violence.
“I grew up watching cowboy movies, loved doing that [gun gesture] with my fingers, ‘Bang, bang, you’re dead!’ I didn’t end up a killer. I think that’s something the power of cinema can be,” Neeson told Gulf News.
“A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it’s fantasy. It’s in the movies, you know? I think it can give people a great release from stresses in life and all the rest of it, you know what I mean? It doesn’t mean they’re all going to go out and go, ‘Yeah, let’s get a gun!’,” he said.
Neeson’s was one of the few anti-gun voices that emerged following the Paris attacks, likely because France already applies some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.