Matt Damon may have scored early Oscar gold in Good Will Hunting, but he’s built his bank account with action movies. In fact, he’s done so many buff-body projects that people are genuinely surprised when he schlubs it up for Steven Soderbergh. One can witness Damon beating up bad dudes and waving a gun around in any number of films, including the Bourne flicks, Elysium, and Saving Private Ryan (yes, that one counts). So, it could be jarring to witness his sentiments regarding gun control, but he is very much in favor of stronger regulations.
Damon voiced this opinion in Australia while promoting his new Jason Bourne movie where he will very likely (once again) tote around a gun. With the continued mass shootings in the United States, gun control advocates often mention the country, which enacted the National Firearms Agreement after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. The NFA outlaws semi-automatic and automatic rifles along with pump-action shotguns and, after a buyback program, saw a sharp decline in firearm-related homicides (59 percent) and suicides (65 percent). Damon would like to see this happen in the United States, but he wasn’t optimistic while speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald:
“People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK-47s to people on terror watch lists, that’s a non-starter. I don’t know what needs to happen.
“Obviously mass shootings aren’t going to do it. There have been so many of them at this point. Sandy Hook, when those children were murdered, if that didn’t do it, you know, I just don’t know. Maybe we just need to evolve further before we can have that conversation, I don’t know.”
Perhaps Damon got swept up in the down-under spirit and forgot which project he was promoting. After all, the twin subjects of mass shootings and gun control remain on everyone’s mind after the Orlando nightclub shootings and the Senate’s failed measures to end the pattern. And mass shootings happen nearly every day in the United States, which is home to a governor who happily signed five pro-gun bills in one day. Still, it does look a little odd to advocate for gun control while pushing a Bourne movie. Such an act opens up the NRA criticism floodgates on Twitter.