When celebrities enter the American gun debate, most people expect them to be on the side of gun control. The wide range of the media industry often gets painted with a liberal brush, and it certainly makes sense when recognizable faces are holding meetings with President Obama for new legislation.
However, there's a surprising contingent of celebrities who have made their views on guns resoundingly clear, and they certainly stray from the stereotypical view of Hollywood. Here are nine famous figures who also happen to be gun owners.
1. Jeremy Renner
In the movie he may opt for a bow and arrow, but in real life Jeremy Renner told admitted to Playboy last year that he owns a couple guns despite his initial fear of them.
"I like guns now, but I have only a couple—a couple at this structure and one at another. I got good at them, and then I found a love for them."
The Avengers star allegedly penned a support of guns back in 2013 on his personal website. It's since been taken down, but he reportedly made the following statement:
"Taking guns from people is no answer. I own guns and want to keep it that way. But guns don’t kill people… people kill people."
2. James Earl Jones
The voice of Darth Vader has had a supposed few quotes of his attached to pro-gun memes and images, many without sources. However, in his autobiography Voices and Silences, James Earl Jones wrote about being a member of the NRA.
"I am a member of the National Rifle Association, but not a political member. I just throw the political mail from the NRA into the trash. Charlton Heston campaigns on behalf of the NRA. He says, ‘Here I stand.’ When it comes to the right-wing politics of the NRA, I don’t get into that. I just believe in my right to have a gun in my house."
Based on this statement, I don't think it's unfair leap to assume Jones owns at least one firearm.
3. Angelina Jolie
Due to her frequent humanitarian missions with the United Nations, some may be surprised to see Angelina Jolie included on this list. Yet, in an interview back in 2008, Jolie spoke firmly about how guns could help her protect her household and her children.
"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids...I've no problem shooting them."
In the same interview, she even elaborated about her capabilities with such a dangerous weapon.
"I bought original, real guns of the type we used in Tomb Raider for security. Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one. And yes, I’d be able to use it if I had to. I could handle myself."
4. Brad Pitt
As the husband of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt shares similar views with his wife when it comes to guns. In a 2012 interview with the Daily Mail, Brad Pitt spoke about how his guns make him feel safer in his own home.
"America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange, but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong… I got my first BB gun when I was in nursery school. I got my first shotgun by first grade, I had shot a handgun by third grade and I grew up in a pretty sane environment."
5. Robert Downey Jr.
RDJ is a bit of a special case. Due to his criminal convictions, he cannot legally own a firearm, but in one alleged interview with Details magazine he spoke about wanting to own more.
"I don't think I'm allowed to have a gun anymore. They took it. I think I deserve to have it back when my probation is over. It's not like I did anything with the gun except pretend that I was skilled in its use."
6. Whoopi Goldberg
Perhaps the most unexpected person on this list, Whoopi Goldberg revealed on her talk show The View that she is, in fact, a card-carrying member of the NRA. When her co-hosts prodded her for more information, asking if she was carrying a gun at that moment, she replied simply.
"You don’t want to find out."
7. Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt has always been refreshingly candid about his views on a variety of topics, and guns are no different. As it turns out, he owns a huge array of firearms as an Esquire interview revealed in August 2014.
"Pratt talks about his thirty- or forty-gun arsenal. He bought Faris a gun in the event that a crazy person comes to their house while he's in Louisiana and necessitates her 'blowing their fucking brains out.'"
Pratt is also an example of how being supportive of gun control does not necessarily make a person anti-gun. He supports regulation, background checks, and preventing mentally ill individuals from purchasing a gun.
8. Steven Spielberg
Like Chris Pratt, Steven Spielberg doesn't just own a couple guns, he apparently owns a huge arsenal of powerful firearms. The director does not talk about it much, but biographer Joseph McBride spoke about his passion for skeet shooting.
Additionally, Shia LaBeouf talked about Spielberg's huge collection of guns in a 2008 interview with GQ.
"He has the most ridiculous collection. He’s got a gun for every movie he’s made. He buys old Perazzi guns, Italian—beautiful, beautiful guns—and gets them engraved. It takes like a year. He’s got the Jaws gun; he’s got E.T. He let me shoot with the Jurassic Park gun. He just got his Saving Private Ryan back from the engraver’s."
9. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp happily reminisced about his time shooing rifles and handguns when he was a kid. He enjoyed it so much, he told The Huffington Post that he plans to show his kids how to handle a gun.
"We would just go out and line up a bunch of cans and shoot with rifles, handguns and at times, submachine guns. When I was a kid it was a controlled atmosphere, we weren’t shooting at humans—we were shooting at cans and bottles mostly. I will most certainly take my kids out for target practice."
It just goes to show that while Hollywood may look like a monolithic block of progressives, there are a few actors who stick by their guns.