Actor Richard Dreyfuss: ‘NRA Should be Thought Heroes’

By Michael W. Chapman | November 25, 2013 | 11:40 AM EST

Richard Dreyfuss. (AP)

( – Academy Award-winning actor and outspoken liberal Richard Dreyfuss said the National Rifle Association (NRA) should train people in “responsible gun ownership,” control the armories for certain guns – “not the government” – and “should be thought of or think of themselves as heroes.”

Dreyfuss made his remarks during a special appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live on Nov. 19.  Morgan, a British citizen who works in the United States, has long used his CNN program to argue for more gun control.

On his program, Morgan asked Dreyfuss, “The other issue, which is the power of the NRA over the gun debate, the apparent intransigence of Washington to do anything about that, what is the root through that?

Dreyfuss said, “Well, first of all, I don't think the NRA is a villain, and I don't think that the people against the NRA are villains. I believe that's a problem of the press, which started with an us-them problem. I do believe that the Second Amendment is ambiguously written and we will never have an agreement on whether it's about gun ownership or a militia.”

“And at the same time I believe that there is an inappropriate amount of gun violence and I think we should turn this over to the people who are expert at this, and the original mandate of the NRA was to train responsible gun ownership and the NRA should handle it,” said Dreyfuss.

“They should train excellence in gun ownership, they should create the short list of the guns that are allowed at home,” he said.  “And every other gun that they say is legal, like people killers and nuclear-tipped semiautomatics, should be held in armories owned and controlled by the NRA, not the government.”

“But remember, that this is a gun culture,” said Dreyfuss.  “It's also a car culture. And no one with any brains would let someone untrained get behind the wheel of the car. And I think that that is the analogy that people should remember. The NRA should be thought of or think of themselves as heroes and take care of this problem.”

Dreyfuss, famous for his roles in the movies “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role in the 1977 film “The Goodbye Girl,” and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1995 film “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

Although Dreyfuss never graduated from college, he currently promotes a nationwide campaign to teach U.S. history in America’s primary schools and he is an associate member of St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman