Pistol-packing Hollywood hypocrites

But they have always been such models of good character, of course

PISTOL-packing Joe Mantegna is blasting a chink in the politically correct armor of some Hollywood heavyweights - he says they love to own and shoot guns. The "Joan of Arcadia" star says that such left-leaning showbiz types as Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and playwright David Mamet are all avid shooters. "Lots of guys in Hollywood love to shoot," Mantegna, a longtime gun sportsman, tells Fade In magazine. "But they ain't gonna talk to you."

"Apocalypse Now" screenwriter John Milius agrees. "It's fascinating that Hollywood is so hypocritical," he says. "Many people own [guns], but consistently vote against them and never talk about them. I used to shoot with Spielberg and [Robert] Zemeckis and Robert Stack. But no one else would admit they had any."

Producer/manager Jay Bernstein, who shepherded Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans to fame, carries a gun in public and is prone to flashing it at Hollywood parties. But even he won't confirm that he has a Carry Concealed Weapons permit. "It's one of the most uncomfortable subjects," Bernstein says, "because 'anti-gun' is more popular than 'gun' in Los Angeles."

As if to illustrate Bernstein's point, well-known gun enthusiasts Ben Affleck, Charlie Sheen, Tom Selleck and Steven Seagal wanted nothing to do with Fade In's story. Even gung-ho action director Richard Donner ("Lethal Weapon"), who has a concealed weapon permit, was reluctant to talk. "I am anything but a gun enthusiast," he said in a terse statement. "The only reason I would ever own a gun is for the protection of my home, my environment or my family under the circumstances in which I am forced to live."

Fade In says Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, music mogul Tommy Mottola and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian are among a mere 500 people licensed to carry a gun in public in Los Angeles County (pop. 9.8 million).


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