Mel Gibson: Is The NRA His Last Shot At Salvation?

Andrew Belonsky :: Monday, July 19th, 2010 3:30 pm

Boy oh boy, people really hate Mel Gibson these days. And you can’t blame them.

Four years after his infamous anti-Semitic rant, and just as he was recovering his public image, the actor has again found himself — and his dirty mouth — in the tabloids, thanks to audio tapes chronicling the racist verbal abuse he dumped on his ex-girlfriend and baby mama Oksana Grigorieva.

In addition to the oral assault, Grigorieva also claims that Gibson punched her, their child and threatened her with a gun. Now experts, insiders and regular Joes are wondering if Gibson can ever recover. Honestly, it doesn’t look good. There is, however, a way Gibson can save himself: hitch his fallen star to the National Rifle Association.

Gibson’s case leapt off the internet last week and into court, where Judge Scott M. Gordon denied Grigorieva’s sole custody request, thus providing Gibson with a bit of a win. It wasn’t all good news for him, however, because Gordon ordered Gibson to hand over his handguns. If he can play this up, he may be able to get the firearm-loving right wing in his corner.

An initial review of Gibson’s history suggests he could find redemption in the form of the Christian right. The devout Catholic did, after all, cement his holy credentials in 2004, when he produced The Passion of the Christ, a film that reportedly garnered praise from none other Pope John Paul II, not to mention millions of Christians around the country.

Though politically powerful Catholics and Evangelicals don’t always get along, Gibson would do well to reach out to them in “good” faith and ask for forgiveness, even if just for show. Still, considering the violent nature of Gibson’s rants, including a vow to burn down the house, family-oriented religious groups aren’t likely to welcome Gibson into their flock. That leaves the NRA, Gibson’s last hope.

Conservatives have long rallied around second amendment gun rights, and the Tea Party-inspired federalist debate has only thrown more fuel on the fire. Just this month Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law allowing handguns in churches, while licensed owners in Texas can now gain expedited entry to the Capital building, and the Supreme Court last month reaffirmed the Second Amendment, paving the way for a slew of lawsuits against local and state laws that gunslingers find restrictive.

Yes, guns have never been more politically divisive as they are today, and if Gibson can turn last week’s ruling into a debate about his individual rights, he may just be able to persuade the NRA and its ideological peers to back his case.

Of course that’s a big “if,” because I’m not sure even gun rights advocates want to side with someone who allegedly threatened the mother of his child with a weapon. But, hey, Gibson has very little to lose, so an NRA alliance may be his best shot.