Arrow Bosses on Tackling Guns and When They'll Unveil Prometheus

Arrow broke from its traditional vigilante fighting on Wednesday night to tackle the complicated issue of gun violence in a, for lack of a better phrase, very special episode.

Executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle have been wanting to tackle a political issue on the show for some time, and after a while of searching the writing team settled on gun violence as the appropriate topic for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his team to tackle. The episode wasn't purely about bringing two sides of a debate to the Arrow audience though. The episode also forced Oliver to become a hero in his own right as mayor without relying on the darkness of his Green Arrow hood. The hour also brought new information to light about Rene's (Rick Gonzalez) backstory and how he came to be a vigilante in the first place.

However, while Oliver and his team grappled with this very serious topic after a shooting at town hall, the Prometheus storyline took a small break. TVGuide.com spoke with Guggenheim and Mericle after a screening event to find out how the new gun ordinances will affect the team forward, when we'll see Prometheus again and what's in store for the rest of the season.

When the season started, Oliver was in a gray area in regards to killing people as the Green Arrow. Does this impact his opinion going forward?
Marc Guggenheim:
I think one of the things you'll see in the second half of Season 5 is the gray area becomes a lot more gray. We're really delving into the complexities of Oliver being a killer in a way that we've never done on the show before I think with a lot more nuance. In the past, it was either I'm a killer or I'm not a killer. It was very binary. This year it's super gray and it's really messy. And this is a component of it. This is a piece of it, for sure... It is a complex, moral decision. Oliver killing is in many ways the seminal moral quandary of the show... One of the things we're doing in the back half of Season 5 is really getting underneath that and what that means, not just in terms of morality, but in terms of psychology and specifically Oliver's psychology. There's things about Oliver's killing that you have yet to learn.

Will we see these new regulations come into conflict with Team Arrow?
Guggenheim:
Not the regulations specifically. Actually, in the very next episode Team Arrow is going to come up against the police for a very different kind of reason.

Wendy Mericle: Oliver's decision to kill or not to kill has huge moral implications, not just for him but for the team and the people who work with him. The rest of the season will definitely be exploring the ramifications of that season - not necessarily with respect to the gun control laws and whether or not they exist and what that means for the team when they're out in the field, but definitely with respect to Felicity and to some extent to Curtis as well, what they're going through and do they square their own circles morally with the actions they've taken?

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Do we know the specifics of the regulations or are we going to find out what they are?
Guggenheim:
No, actually we left that intentionally vague... We didn't want to provide the answer to the audience to the problem of gun violence. We wanted to leave that open to the audience, almost like a Rorschach test. One of the goals obviously to be - I'm sorry this phrase has been corrupted - as fair and balanced to the issue as possible. I think once you put a fine point on, "OK, this is what the regulations should be," then you end up taking a side. If we're going to take any side, I'd like to err on the side of, just because there's gun legislation doesn't mean the second amendment is being infringed. There's a way to have the second amendment and still have some reasonable limitations on gun ownership. I think last week congress voted to remove mental health issues as being a thing that could prevent you from owning a gun. Why? Who does that possibly benefit? There's things that we all should be able to get together on. And the idea is that these regulations in a general way represented that, "OK there have got to be a few things that we all agree on," gun owners and gun control advocates alike.

In the face of a very real-world threat, we saw Oliver as Oliver step in as the hero way more than as the Green Arrow. As he keeps exploring what his legacy is, will we see him more as the hero?
Mericle:
I think so, mostly just because it's different and the show has to evolve. I liked that. It's one of my favorite parts... It's a very powerful thing. And given that yeah, he has this other place where he can do this, this role as the mayor, where he can take that stand and have an impact, I don't see why we wouldn't go in that direction.

Is Oliver going to finally have made the city a better place at the end of this season?:
Mericle: I think so.

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Is that a concerted effort on your part as writers?
Guggenheim: Yeah. One of the things we went into Season 5 with the mindset of is Oliver's mayor, so without it turning into The West Wing, how are we going to find ways to have Oliver be active as mayor, and to everyone's surprise, be a good mayor, end up being a good mayor. And you'll start to see, actually - and this is true in next week's episode, in Episode 14 - Thea's gonna make a good case to Oliver, of all people, for all the things he's accomplished as mayor, and you start to see like, oh wait, in the first 13 episodes, he actually kind of did some stuff. And he's not done yet. Obviously, the season's not done yet. But we definitely went into the season with the goal of showing that Oliver is actually much better at this job than you might expect.

There's obviously still a lot of Rene's backstory that we still don't know. Is that going to be a priority this season?
Guggenheim:
We know very specifically what each episode's flashback content is going to be and we're not going to see another Rene-specific flashback this year.
Mericle: Maybe Season 6.

What about any of the other recruits? Will we get origins for some of them?
Mericle:
I don't know. That's a good question.
Guggenheim: I think we still have a lot of ground to cover with Russia. Let's put it that way.

We've had a couple episodes without Prometheus being a central part of the story. Can you preview what's ahead and what we're dealing with?
Guggeneheim:
For me, [Episode] 14 is this fulcrum where a lot of the little seeds that have been planted in the first half of the season start to come to fruition and you start to realize, "Oh, Prometheus has been setting up a chessboard." And the episode ends with the next key move in Prometheus' grand plan.

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Now that Dinah's laying roots down in the city, how is that changing her mindset as part of the team?
Guggenheim:
I think what's interesting to us about Dinah is that she kind of offers this fresh perspective to the team. In many ways, she's almost acting like our Greek chorus. She comes to the team without the burden of having been trained by Oliver or without the burden of having dealing with all of Oliver's secrets and in some cases lies and mishegas. She just has a nice, clean perspective that isn't so much where she's living, but is about what she's been through and her backstory. But her backstory is also not being someone who was a member of Team Arrow who comes to the team without the baggage of the past four seasons.

Was it just as obvious to have Curtis be the counterpart to Rene's gun argument?
Mericle: I feel like the clearest person who would be opposed is Lance. Just to my mind, because police as a rule tend to not want criminals to have guns and they're all for minimizing...they're a little more pro-gun control as a cohesive group of society.

Guggenheim: I don't remember either, to be honest with you. Certainly Felicity being the one [saying], "Stop arguing about this," that came out in the writing. It's funny, in the first half, before Trump was elected, it was me trying to keep the show from descending into this back and forth debate. So it was helpful as a writer to have a character go, "Stop debating!" But then, once Trump got elected, I realized her saying "stop debating" was speaking for another segment of the population, which is the segment of the population who considers talking about politics to be impolitic, something you're not supposed to discuss in polite company. When did that happen? And yeah, the thesis statement of that scene she has with Curtis is the state of our country --whether you voted for Trump or not -- I think maybe the only thing we can agree on as Americans is that the country is as fractured now as its ever been since the Civil War. And my point of view and suggestion as a writer is it happened because we all stopped talking to each other.

Oliver doesn't know that his girlfriend is on to him. How is that going to play into their future?
Guggenheim: I'll just say, based upon what little -- I try to avoid online, but it's online, so it's impossible to completely avoid stuff -- but it seems like the general prevailing theories about how we're going to play that subplot off are wrong. That's kind of my impression. Everyone's expecting something we're not doing, for better or for worse.

Will Vigilante come back into play with Oliver questioning where he is on the morality scale with regards to killing?
Guggenheim: You definitely haven't seen the last of Vigilante. In the episode "Vigilante," I think we kind of pretty much told that story in terms of, how does Vigilante affect Oliver's moral decisionmaking. The role Vigilante has to play the next time we see him, it's a little different than that. I don't want to say too much.

We're getting to the point where soon you're going to have to reveal the identities of some of these masked characters. How much are those end of season reveals, and how much are those potentially going to happen sooner?
Guggenheim: I will say it happens later than we typically do it. How about that?

Mericle: Some will happen much later than we typically do it. [Laughs]

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How will those reveals/identities affect the show?
Guggenheim: Oh, gosh. Good question, Terri. How do I answer that without spoiling? Obviously, I will say, I think anytime we do a reveal on the show, it's always with the intention of not just surprising the audience, but also of resetting the board and resetting the characters' perspectives, and the characters having a profound reaction to things. Hopefully, we'll do that again. We always go into the season with a game plan, but we've certainly reached the point in the season where now our game plan is specific episode to episode to episode, as opposed to knowing what tentpoles we want to hit. I feel good about what our game plan is. We're certainly reaching that point in the season where things probably just by happenstance become more controversial. So stay tuned.

Did you know who Prometheus was when you started the season? Has that identity changed at all?
Guggenheim: Yes, we knew from the beginning. No, it hasn't changed. I think I've said this in a bunch of different ways over the last five years, but we always go in with a plan. We do tend to call audibles as we get inspired and get new ideas. A year is a long time. But general speaking, something that major, like the mystery of the identity of the Big Bad, we're pretty dialed into it from jump.

Now that Thea's back, can you tease where her storyline is going?
Mericle: She's headed in a direction that's very similar to where her mother was before she was killed in Season 2. We're excited about it; I'm actually really excited about her storyline because we're taking her to a place where she's been dealing with all of these issues the same way Oliver has, with her bloodlust and with her other elements of her past, and this season's going to find her in a similar place but for very different reasons. There's gonna be a great scene coming up between Oliver and Thea that's one of my favorites on the show.

Guggenheim: There's some really terrific Oliver/Thea scenes in next week's episode and beyond. It's been so much fun to have her in the mayor's office and we've really been enjoying writing for them.

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Rory left the team. Is that a natural process of narrowing down the recruits? Will we see him come back?
Guggenheim: We've talked about Rory coming back. Look, it's funny, there's a whole system of actors and availability that just doesn't -- one of you guys should do an article about this, actually. No seriously, because everyone's like, "Where's Thea? Where's Thea?" Willa's [contracted for] 14 out of 23 episodes this year. She's not in all 23. That's not her contract. So, we've had to write around that. Joe isn't a series regular, so just like with Katie Cassidy, we've got to go to Joe and make sure he's available. Hey, guess what? The end of all these network seasons, they coincide with this little thing called pilot season, and people are busy doing pilots. It's actually one of the reasons why we make the kind of deals we make is part of it's money, but also part of it is making sure certain actors are available to us. It's complicated. We try to make the process invisible in terms of our storytelling, but there are just human realities and contractual realities that not only tie our hands, but tie the hands of everyone running a show these days -- unless you're Game of Thrones and you can just literally afford to hold people for an entire year for ungodly sums of money.

Will Evelyn be back to wrap up her story?
Guggenheim: You'll see her again.

Mericle: But not in the way you think you're going to see her. It's going to be a pretty fun reveal.

Guggenheim: We're trying to throw as many unexpected things as we can without it turning into a crazy plot twist fest. We still actually have some surprises up our sleeves.

How deep is Felicity going to get into [the hacking and darkness]?
Mericle: We really started the season wanting to have her go through some version of her own island in some way. I would say it's going to get very interesting, and the team, they're definitely going to have very strong opinions about it. We really wanted to take her to a place where she would sort of understand Oliver in a more profound way. Without giving too much away, that's what I would say about her and Helix.

Riverdale: How far will the love triangle develop this season?

Will we be seeing Katie Cassidy again by the end of the season?
Guggenheim: Um, I'll be honest, I can't answer that. We have an idea for how to see her again, but we haven't made a deal with her. She's not a series regular anymore, so we have to make a contract with her and she has to be available. We haven't had those conversations. But we do have an idea. We know exactly what we want to do. You now know more than Katie does in terms of her involvement at the end of the season.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of the CW's parent companies.)

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Feb 17, 2017
I never understand why people who are supposedly pro the 2nd Amendment are against gun control. Just read the 2nd Amendment :
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Just look at the first four words "A well regulated Militia", I know there have been legal arguments about it for decades but a guy in Detroit with a .45 in the nightstand isn't my idea of a militia. But ignoring that for a second, by stating this militia must be "well regulated" the 2nd Amendment demands that there should be strict controls on any Arms. Because if there aren't strict controls then the militia isn't well regulated so the prohibition on infringing the right "to keep and to bear Arms" no longer exists.
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Feb 17, 2017
You can break down the Amendment endlessly. For instance, if it referred to the rights and regulation of militia, wouldn't it say "the right of the militia to keep..." in the back half? Why differentiate "militia" in the first part from "people" in the second part?

However, arguing that 2A advocates don't want gun control is a bit of a red herring. The vast majority don't want guns falling into the hands of criminals, for instance. From what I've read, it's when "gun control" touches upon non-criminals that those advocates have an issue.

Just as 1A regulation usually get a cold shoulder when they're intended to prevent criminal actions but end up interfering with the rights of non-criminals.
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Feb 17, 2017
At the time it was written, the people and the militia were the same thing, but that isn't the case anymore. At the time a citizen Militia was considered the best and cheapest defence against the Federal government sending the army to seize control. They'd just fought a war for Independence, the States didn't want someone else wandering in and declaring themselves King of America. So instead of having individual Regular State armies, they relied on an Irregular Citizen Militia where men aged 18-40 had to provide a flintlock and powder etc. etc. where what each individual had to provide and how they were to act was regulated.
Why wouldn't it say "the right of the militia to keep...", the simple answer is cost cutting. If the right\responsibility was held by the militia then the cost and upkeep would also have to be borne by the militia. So militia either end up being run on a State level or come under the control of wealthy individuals who can afford to run their own private army. However by delegating the right\responsibility to 'the people' the costs are also delegated to 'the people', saving the States the expense, while at the same time preventing the creation of private armies.
But in the 21st century the idea that a Citizen Militia is required to defend individual States against the Federal Government is idiotic. Firstly the idea that the Federal Government would take over the States by force is moronic, because if that order was given it wouldn't be followed. But even if the order was followed, how much difference are a couple of guys with AR-15's going to make against the 2nd US Marine division?
"The vast majority don't want guns falling into the hands of criminals," I think 99.99% of people don't want guns in the hands of criminals, even criminals don't want guns in the hands of other criminals.
"From what I've read, it's when 'gun control' touches upon non-criminals that those advocates have an issue" So is it OK for a non-criminal to arm themselves with rifle? What about an M-60? What about a grenade launcher? What about a tank? Where does the right end?
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Feb 17, 2017
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

'Regulated' refers to the 'Militia.'
'Shall not be infringed' refers to 'The right of the people to keep and bear Arms.'

Respectfully, maybe part of the reason why you don't understand is because you don't want to.
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Feb 17, 2017
If they were two completely separate statements there would be a period in the middle so it would read something along the lines of :
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
While the writing lacks a certain poetry, that's essentially what you are suggesting. So in your eyes, the 2nd Amendment is a run on sentence???
The mind boggles.
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Feb 17, 2017
That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that 'regulated' or 'well regulated' does not refer to ' the right of the people to keep and bear arms' and contesting your statement that: "2nd Amendment demands that there should be strict controls on any Arms."
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Feb 17, 2017
Actually that's exactly what you are saying. There are three commas in the 2nd Amendment, dividing it up in 4 fragments:
A) A well regulated Militia
B) being necessary to the security of a free State
C) the right of the people to keep and bear Arms
D) shall not be infringed
What you've said is that D only applies to C and has absolutely nothing to do with A or B. So in your mind A + B is a separate and distinct entity from C + D, because that's the only way your interpretation works. But they are not distinct grammatical entities, which leaves three possibilities; you are wrong. the 2nd Amendment is a run on sentence. Or just maybe the right to bears arms is bounded within the confines of, and dependent on, a well regulated Militia.
I would love to understand the other side, but you always run into people who want to call anyone who disagrees with them a subversive or a "Commie Prick"
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Feb 17, 2017
Because "well regulated" in the 1770s doesn't mean the same thing that it does now. It's pretty damn simple.
Whoever taught you civics/government didn't do you any good. The 2nd amendment is contained in the bill of rights, which acknowledges the rights of free men. EVERYTHING IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT. NOT A GOVERNMENT POWER. Read that and reread it until you understand the concept.
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Feb 17, 2017
"EVERYTHING IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT"
Except that constitutional experts disagree about that, some think that rights are individual, some argue that the constitution follows a collectivist model and some think there's something in between. Just read the first four words of the constitution, "We the people", Not as individuals but collectively as a group.
But I notice that you didn't answer the points raise, so I'll make it easier for you.
What do you understand "well regulated" to mean both in the 1770's and currently?
What do you understand "Militia" to mean both in the 1770's and currently?
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Feb 17, 2017
I wouldn't call someone arguing that the American Constitution is collectivist an "expert". "Commie Prick" is more accurate.
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Feb 20, 2017
cont'd (3)

The Bill of Rights are individual rights:
If, in the state government, where the people were substantially and fully represented, it was necessary that the great rights of human nature should {445} be secure from the encroachments of the legislature, he asked if it was not more necessary in this government, where they were but inadequately represented?[...] He could see no clear distinction between rights relinquished by a positive grant, and lost by implication. Unless there were a bill of rights, implication might swallow up all our rights.–George Mason (Monday, June 14, 1788)

I repeat, that all nations have adopted this construction — that all rights not expressly and unequivocally reserved to the people are impliedly and incidentally relinquished to rulers, as necessarily inseparable from the delegated powers[...]Let us consider the sentiments which have been entertained by the people of America on this subject. At the revolution, it must be admitted that it was their sense to set down those great rights which ought, in all countries, to be held inviolable and sacred…If you intend to reserve your unalienable rights, you must have the most express stipulation; for, if implication be allowed, you are ousted of those rights. If the people do not think it necessary to {446} reserve them, they will be supposed to be given up. – Patrick Henry (Monday, June 14, 1788)

I’ve underlined a few things to illustrate that the language and concept was identical to that expressed in the Declaration of Independence, When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them[…]We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.
The position of the Founding Fathers is that these ‘Rights’ are given ONLY by the creator to each man as an individual for we are not created in groups, they are not the delegations of a government or ANY collective body, they are ‘inviolable and sacred.’
A majority (group)cannot delegate a uniformed body of whosits of their choosing to alone express the rights protected in the 2nd Amend. (That would be a standing Army without the counter weight of armed civilians, an idea the Founding Fathers abhorred. 2nd amend. Is your safeguard against domestic tyranny.) Just like a majority (group) cannot delegate that a Global Church composed of all religions is sufficient for the expression of religion.
I’m not claiming that is what you are suggesting, only saying that that is the implication of viewing the Bill of Rights as collective rights. Merely that the Founding Fathers were grammatically correct and spoke in the plural shouldn’t cast doubt on the fact that they intended to and did create a Republic.
I hope that answers your question;“So as 'the people' refers to collective rights in the 1st, 4th, 9th & 10th Amendments and named individual parties are referred to in the 3rd, 5th & 6th Amendments, how is it that 'the people' referred to in the 2nd Amendment is suddenly an individual and not a collective right?”
The second amendment is not suddenly an individual right while the others are not, they are ALL individual rights. None of them are “collective rights” contingent upon the needs of some group.

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Feb 20, 2017
cont'd (2)

During the Constitutional Convention Patrick Henry did propose they take a “collective view of this whole section,” that being Section 8, however it was not at all like you are suggesting, it had to do with power abuses associated with which branch got to build armies or call forth the Militia and ultimately declare war (the danger of a Standing Army and waging war without the consent of the people).
That the People, or the Militia’s, right to be armed was an individual right and being part of the Militia as an American was a civic duty was understood.The only thing they talked at length about was how best to ensure everyone did their civic duty when called and how best to arm them in the event they had none, that is arms can be provided but not taken away (unless involved in an illegitimate insurrection) indeed Patrick Henry said earlier,“ The great object is, that every man be armed. But can the people afford to pay for double sets of arms, &c.? Every one Who is able may have a gun. But we have learned, by experience, that, necessary as it is to have arms, and though our Assembly has, by a succession of laws for many years, endeavored to have the militia completely armed, it is still far from being the case.”
Earlier still George Mason said, “If the clause stands as it is now, it will take from the state legislatures what divine Providence has given to every individual — the means of self-defence. Unless it be moderated in some degree, it will ruin us, and introduce a standing army.”
That the Bill of Right was to be a protection of individual rights was also understood.
When Anti-Federalist argued for the inclusion of a Bill of Rights it was not against an opposition that did not intend for these individual rights to be had, but one that felt the inclusion was not necessary because the fact that the rights were omitted from the stated powers of government implied that power was not granted to the government under the Constitution. “A bill of rights may be summed up in a few words. What do they tell us? — That our rights are reserved. Why not say so? Is it because it will consume too much paper? Gentlemen's reasoning against a bill of rights does not satisfy me.” – Patrick Henry

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Feb 20, 2017
Collectivism, any of several types of social organization in which the individual is seen as being subordinate to a social collectivity such as a state, a nation, a race, or a social class. Collectivism may be contrasted with individualism, in which the rights and interests of the individual are emphasized. […] Collectivism has found varying degrees of expression in the 20th century in such movements as socialism, communism, and facism.– Encyclopedia Britanica
*(E.B. goes on to include Social Democracy as a Collectivist expression.)
Collectivism noun
Politics & government a political system in which a country’s land and industry are owned and managed by a government or by all of its citizens together.– Cambridge Dictionary

That some “constitutional experts…argue that the constitution follows a collectivist model” was an assertion that you provided to refute or limit the validity of the statement that “EVERYTHING IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT.”You then present the first four words of the Constitution as proof of that. “’We the people’ is a statement of collective intent.”
Given the context of the entirety of the conversation I understood that you were referring to a “collectivist model” pertaining to the nature of government that ran contrary to the concept of individualism and incorporated the notion of “collective rights.” Thusly defined above. If I have misunderstood you, please correct me.

Group rights, also known as collective rights, are rights held by a group qua group rather than by its members severally;[1] in contrast, individual rights are rights held by individual people; even if they are group-differentiated, which most rights are, they remain individual rights if the right-holders are the individuals themselves.[2] Group rights have historically been used both to infringe upon and to facilitate individual rights, and the concept remains controversial.[3]- Wikipedia

A group right is a right held by a group as a group rather than by its members severally.– Standford Encylopedia of Philosophy

The Standford definition is long and outlines the many possibilities of the concept including that it may facilitate individual rights, however that is irrelevant as you are using it to argue the infringement of an individual right, the 2nd Amend.
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Feb 17, 2017
Except it's not from 1939 - 2008, it's from 1778 -2008. The Supreme Court has sided with the individual rights advocates over the more commonly held belief of collective rights for less than 10 years. So in your eyes, virtually everyone who has sat on the Supreme Court has been a "Commie Prick", which I find hard to believe as the term Communist wasn't created until 1777 and ideas took a little longer to disseminate in those days. If anything the people doing the subverting was the 2008 Supreme Court, so do you think those 5 hard line, right wing, reactionary Justice's were actually "Commie Prick's" ?
And anyone you thinks collective rights and communism are the same, clearly has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Most companies run on the idea of collective responsibility, behind closed doors management\the board might disagree about the way forward, but in public they agree to have a common, collective position. In the same way "We the people..." is saying that while every individual may not agree with every single dot and comma, this is our collectively agreed upon position. And if you somehow think that bears resemblance to communism then there really is no hope for you.
But go read the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment is a collective right of 'the people', the Fourth Amendment is a collective right of 'the people'; the Ninth Amendment is collective right of 'the people', the Tenth Amendment is a collective right of 'the people'. However the Third Amendment is an individual right of 'The Owner', The Fifth Amendment is an individual right of a 'person', the Sixth Amendment is an individual right of 'the accused'. So as 'the people' refers to collective rights in the 1st, 4th, 9th & 10th Amendments and named individual parties are referred to in the 3rd, 5th & 6th Amendments, how is it that 'the people' referred to in the 2nd Amendment is suddenly an individual and not a collective right?
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Feb 17, 2017
I don't understand you Goyle_Foyle and your condescension isn't making your meaning any clearer. You conflate the preamble with the law. If one reads beyond the first four words of The Constitution one would very clearly find the detailing a of a Republic. Not a communist or collectivist nation.
Would replacing "We the people" with "I" somehow have demenstrated an intent for individualism or does the document when read as a whole make that clear?

It seems to me that 1939-2008 marks a period when the Supreme Court erroneously ruled that the 2nd Amend. was a collective right before being corrected in 2008. I have found no evidence that this view was held for the vast majority. If you have some I would be interested in seeing it, please.

I take full responsibility for my use of "Commie pricks" and stand by that statement where it applies to professional subverters posing as "Constitutional experts."
If you have mistaken my meaning to include "anyone who doesn't agree" with me, or you yourself, I am sorry, that was not the message I intended to convey.
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Feb 17, 2017
"We the people" is statement of collective intent, so interesting that you think the Founders Father's are "Commie Prick's".
The idea that gun ownership is a collective right and not an individual right has been the position of the Supreme Court for the vast majority of US history. In 1939 the idea that it was a collective right was unanimously reaffirmed, a positon that didn't change until 2008 when it was a 5-4 decision where one of the 5 basically rewrote the 2nd Amendment to justify his decision.
I notice that it didn't take that long before the name calling started. What does it say about the strength of arguments when the call anyone who doesn't agree with you a "Commie Prick"?
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Feb 17, 2017
"One of the goals obviously to be - I'm sorry this phrase has been corrupted - as fair and balanced to the issue as possible -"

Let me stop the quote there because he failed. This episode did not land anywhere near that goal.
The entire thing was left leaning declaratives posing as dialogue. Even the supposedly "pro gun" point of view was in actuality the perspective of a liberal trying to wrap their pointy progressive head around the opposition.
All these sinister close up shoots of the 'forefather' patch on the shooters bag and then later of the AR.
Oliver: THIS IS AN AR-15, ASSAULT RIFFLE!
Curtis: This is military grade hardware.
Diggle: AR-15, assault weapon. Fires 5.56 NATO rounds.
Curtis: It's an M16, it's literally the same gun as an M16.
All the supposed "pro gun" points of view in the room are quiet and the viewer is left to accepts these statements as fact.
Except for the FACT that the AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle. Nor is it an M16. Nor is it military grade. The only thing they got right is its ability to fire 5.56mm, and they had the actor emphasize NATO like it's all so vicious when in some states it's illegal to hunt deer with that round because it is considered to low powered to kill it humanely.
Screw Guggenheim for making me agree with Felicity; just don't talk about it. It's inherently hypocritical of the show anyway. Plus they don't know what they're talking about, probably live in L.A. and have personally never met a Republican and don't care to either. Just say you believe in gun control if you believe in gun control, let that be your message and do it really well. At least it's honest. Saying your gonna be fair then misinforming/lying to an ever depleting audience of millions is propaganda at worse and an embarrassing demonstration of ignorance at best.
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Feb 16, 2017
Honestly, I don't mind when a comic book show like this takes on real-world issues like this, as long as it fits the show's tone and themes, and handles it well. But I can't say this episode succeeded in any of that. For one thing, the dialogue felt so forced, and seemed more like a debate on a news channel in the guise of a superhero show. 95% of the lines just screamed "special episode." Also, while I do believe that these comicbook shows should be judged on their own terms, rather than compared to other similar shows, I couldn't help cringing at how sloppy the scenes between Oliver and the shooter (particularly their first conversation) were compared to the very similar debates between The Punisher and Daredevil.

And I'd even say that they failed at their own message. I think that Gislef did a good enough job of stating why the way they handled the middle-ground "there's a way to satisfy both sides" stance didn't really work in this episode's favor. But even beyond that, I think they failed to stay as unbiased as they thought they were. I mean, you spend so much of the episode building up Rene's argument that he could have prevented his wife's murder if he had a gun... only to negate that argument by showing that the shot that killed his wife was only fired because he had a gun.

All that being said, I will say this much in the episode's favore: It's nice to see an instance where Oliver was able to save the day as Oliver, instead of the Green Arrow.
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Feb 16, 2017
"I mean, you spend so much of the episode building up Rene's argument that he could have prevented his wife's murder if he had a gun... only to negate that argument by showing that the shot that killed his wife was only fired because he had a gun."

The way I took this was that if Rene's wife hadn't been against guns and allowed him to take it to the game with his daughter, as he originally planned to do, then he probably could have stopped the guy before things went as far as they did. You know, because he wouldn't have wasted all that time messing with the safe. I could be wrong though, it wasn't made very clear. Also, there is no way of knowing what would really have happened in that situation but I can see Rene believing he could have stopped the guy and saved his wife in that case.
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Feb 16, 2017
I agree with OP, and I was actually comparing the scenes to DD and Punisher when I was watching.

I'm one of those comic readers who likes when comics tackle real world issues. But I am also one of those readers who acknowledges a lot of the time they bungle it up. I think the problem is a lot of the time they get too critical. Call me optimistic, but I think it's fair to say that your average viewer, or at least the type of audience they want to reach, is going to be able to pick up on not so subtle analogies, and that works a lot better with making things work in the context of the show/comic universe without it feeling so forced and unnatural.

One of the most recent examples that comes to mind is the Captain Marvel comics, with aliens on Earth very clearly being a metaphor for real life immigration issues.

The gun issue is something that comics have brought up before, but usually explored through like, alien tech, or with superpowers. Hell, the most recent Green Lantern comic touches on guns with an interaction between GL and Batman that, while a little heavy handing due to the generally poor writing style of that particular comic, at least made sense and fit into the context of things, given Batman's disposition towards guns.

This episode just felt so stilted and awkward because so many of the characters have killed, many with guns themselves, and it has never even been close to an issue before. It's also weird that the writers themselves acknowledge this fact, but still chose to make a political message about guns instead of tackling something like the death penalty, which is something that arguably makes a lot more sense in the Arrowverse, and has even kinda been touched on in past seasons. Or drug use, or the way the lower class is treated. Remember when that was actually like a huge driving plot point in the show? They even kind of lampshaded the whole Glades things in Rene's backstory. Those are all issues that could have been more appropriately brought up in universe without making the dialogue feel so stilted.

I do sympathize because it is clear that this is an issue that the writers care about, and I personally agree with some of those stances. That's actually why this bugs me so much, because this was such a poor way to argue the issue that it makes it that much harder to convince people who were on the fence after having seen this episode. Granted, that is probably an incredibly small majority of people, but still. Who knows if someone saw this and then the next time there's a discussion about it, they'll just think back to this episode and think, "ugh, this person sounds like they're right out of that dumb episode of Arrow."

If they really wanted to use this platform to get a message out, they should have found a story that uses a good analogy to get said message out, or they should have just straight up made some PSA's or something with the cast.
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Feb 16, 2017
Do people even watch PSAs these days? they're usually lumped in with commercials and stuff, and get the fast-forward treatment.
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Feb 16, 2017
"I mean, you spend so much of the episode building up Rene's argument that he could have prevented his wife's murder if he had a gun... only to negate that argument by showing that the shot that killed his wife was only fired because he had a gun."

It seemed like Laura (Rene's wife) would have been dead either way. Unless you assume that crazed drug dealers (or even not so crazed ones) are just going to walk away leaving three witnesses to their home invasions.

The fact that they set up it up as some kind of "accidental shooting" because Rene had a gun I suppose has Rene blameing himself for his wife's death. It's not logical, but grief rarely is. But if Rene hadn't shot, Laura would still be dead. And Rene and Zoe probably would be dead as well. So Rene's gun didn't get one person killed: it kept two people from dying.

I also wonder if the new ordinances (whatever the heck they were) would have stopped the drug dealer from having a gun. And Rene probably still would have had the gun. So there didn't seem to be much connect between the flashback and the creative team's self-declared message.Yes, it gave Rene needed backstory. but it felt like they were trying to connect two flashback to the gun-control debate, and it didn't really hook up.

To me, the lesson of Rene's flashback wasn't that guns get people killed. It's that don't do drugs because PO'd drug dealers will come to your house and threaten you and your family.
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Feb 17, 2017
"don't do drugs because PO'd drug dealers will come to your house and threaten you and your family."

That's what I got out of it.

And props to you for catching the wife's name. I was distracted by Rene talking to his daughter like a much younger child.
He was like "Daddy was just talking loudly. Mommy and Daddy weren't fighting, goochie goo!"
I was just thinking 'she's about as big as you are, Rene. She knows who you are and why you were fighting.'
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Feb 16, 2017
More preachy bullshit about guns from a show in which the bread and butter is cartoonish violence. You can't make up this kind of ironic BS, yet these people feel free to sit there and preach to us.
This isn't just annoying, it's actively insulting.
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Feb 16, 2017
"We wanted to leave that open to the audience, almost like a Rorschach test. One of the goals obviously to be - I'm sorry this phrase has been corrupted - as fair and balanced to the issue as possible. I think once you put a fine point on, "OK, this is what the regulations should be," then you end up taking a side. If we're going to take any side, I'd like to err on the side of, just because there's gun legislation doesn't mean the second amendment is being infringed. There's a way to have the second amendment and still have some reasonable limitations on gun ownership."

Why is it taking a side if they can have a way to address the issues raised by both sides?

They say that there's a way to have both. But then they don't actually say what it is. I'll touch on it in my review, but it seems like are vague because... they don't have a way to provide both. They can't say that there's a way to be balanced to both sides... but then say that they won't state it because it seems like it's taking a side. One of those two doesn't compute.

Plus, didn't they say in the other article, and have Curtis say, that one of society 'American society's current flaws is that people are afraid to debate the issues? So their response is to... not put their solution out there to be debated. Because they're afraid that they'll be seen as taking a certain side.
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Feb 17, 2017
"Why is it taking a side if they can have a way to address the issues raised by both sides?"
Because the episode wasn't really about gun control.
I know Curtis' bit about not being able to have a civil discourse was only a couple of lines but that's what the episode was really about, but they are using gun control to make the point.
Because gun control is such a polarizing issue any suggestions the show made about practical solutions would instantly be jumped on by one side or the other as either going too far or not going far enough. So instead people talking about the issues in a civil manner, people would default to their ideological entrenchments. Look at the posts in this thread, how many of them have actually discussed the issues around gun control? And how many have attacked the episode because it didn't completely reflect their world view? Now imagine what it would have looked like if the show had made any concrete suggestions.
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Feb 17, 2017
Well, Guggenheim said that it's about gun control. I figure he knows, being the writer and all. :) Although granted, he also said it wasn't about just that. And I'd agree. Him and Mericle can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Polarizing discussion is also a polarizing issue. So you can't argue that Guggenheim doesn't want to toss out polarizing issues. But if his solution (and again, in the interview he claims that he has one) is legit, then it's got to be put out there and discussed. How is society going to come up with practical solutions if people with them refuse to put them out there? Refusing to discuss things is the viewpoint that Guggenheim and Mericle (G&M) have Curtis speak out against when Felicity displays it.

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Feb 17, 2017
I suppose on some level it was about gun control but there is a larger more relevant point that gun control is being used to illustrate. There are lots of differing opinions, why isn't it possible for people to sit down and come up with a solution that leaves everyone equally unhappy? aka : compromising.
Obviously that applies to a huge range of issues but where something like gay rights doesn't fit within the shows narrative, gun violence does so that becomes the example of the wider problem.
As for not listing practical solutions, it was already a "special episode" making it more "special" wouldn't help one bit. Guggenheim might have the perfect solution but if it's delivered in the wrong way nobody would listen. So concrete solutions delivered on a superhero TV show isn't the right forum to deliver that message but if it can start a civil discussion then arguably it does more good than preaching to mass on how to fix it.
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Feb 17, 2017
I wouldn't consider offering a solution that satisfies the issues of both sides (again, as Guggenheim claims) is "preaching." By the definitions that Guggenheim use, any solution anyone offers would be "preaching" and thus never offered.

I'd suggest that someone offering what they think is a valid solution is a lot better than just creating an environment where people can come up with a solution. If you have cancer, what's better? A doctor with a cure giving it to you, or creating an environment where discussing a cure is possible? If you've already got it... put it out there. And as Oliver mouths, people are dying because of a failure to address gun control.

If someone is afraid that the discussion that would ensue might be too rude or it might not accomplish anything... then they're the Felicity character in the real-life situation. ;) And the episode frames that as undesirable.
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Feb 16, 2017
Thank You! Well said.
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Feb 16, 2017
Virtue!!!
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Feb 16, 2017
Pass - don't agee with their politics so skipping this episode. :(
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Feb 16, 2017
How do you know you don't agree if you don't bother to listen?

They actually do a decent job of covering various sides to the issue. Curtis has a good point when he mentions that we used to debate issues and still respect each others opinions and differences at the end of day. It's too bad we don't seem to do that anymore.
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Feb 16, 2017
How does the OP know what?

It looks like the OP read the article, where the writer described himself as an "unapologetic progressive" and stated what he was setting out to do.That's probably how the OP knows what Guggenheim's politics are.

"It's too bad we don't seem to do that anymore."

"We" is typically self-inclusive, so it's interesting that you include yourself in that. If not, which "we" are you referring to?
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Feb 16, 2017
All I meant is the OP is pre-judging the episode and assuming it's not worth his/her time because of the writer's politics. But how can you judge something fairly without viewing it? Just because a writer has certain views does not mean all the characters will automatically share those views. Why not listen to the arguments put forth in the episode and then form an opinion?

I used "we" to mean people in general, I probably should have been clearer on that. I think rational discussion and debate of issues is healthy and I wish I saw it happen more often these days. That's all I meant.

I guess it's just frustrating that most discussions I see these days seem to start off at a place where everyone is already angry and not even bothering to listen to an opposing viewpoint, instead just jumping straight to name calling and the like. (Not meaning the OP, just a general observation)

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Feb 16, 2017
Well, I've the Arrow editor at TV.com and have been writing reviews recently, so I kind of have to watch all the episodes. :)

I'd agree that skipping an episode is a bit unusual. It's not something I would do. But on the other hand... it was a pretty political episode. So if one doesn't have much tolerance for political episodes (no matter what political views you have), then you skip it. Everyone has different tolerances and if people don't care that much for Wild Dog, then they wouldn't have missed much character and plot information.

So viva la difference.

Plus there's always TV.com recaps, wikis, and those "Previously ons..." at the beginning of episodes that usually fill in the major blanks.
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Feb 16, 2017
Okay, that's fair Gislef, we do pre-judge and prioritize all the time. However if you watch a show regularly, which I am assuming you and the OP do with Arrow since you're commenting on this article but maybe I'm wrong, it seems odd to me to skip an episode for those reasons. Maybe it's just me but I like to watch the entire series or it feels incomplete, plus you're missing out on character and plot information such as Rene's backstory by skipping. But to each his own, I suppose. Thanks for discussing this with me, it's fun to be challenged, makes one think more deeply about one's own positions.
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Feb 16, 2017
I don't think I'd skip a show I liked just because I didn't agree with the politics being presented. They did try to present both sides of the argument and at the end reached some kind of consensus that wasn't revealed to the audience. Just like in the episode where Curtis says that people don't like to debate anymore, they also don't like to watch things they disagree with. I think that's sad because my views are not the same now as they were 20 or even 10 years ago and it's because I can listen to both sides of an argument and then form my own opinions.
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Feb 16, 2017
We prejudge things and prioritize where to spend our efforts all the time. That's... life. The OP at least read Guggenheim's comments (which set out to detail what Guggenheim hoped to accomplish) and confirmed that he or she didn't agree with them. It's not like Diane_Az presents a review of the episode sight unseen.

If we're not supposed to judge Guggenheim's comments and prejudge the episode based on what he says the episode is about, what's the point of him giving interviews? Or us reading them? He set out to tell us what the episode is about: myself and the OP took Guggenheim at his word.

*shrug* I suspect what the tone of discussions are depends on where you read them. The Internet is probably not the best place to read discussions on a subject.
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Feb 16, 2017
Agree...now a difference of opinion can cause you harm. It is as if the world has gone insane..so much hate it has saddened my soul.
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Feb 16, 2017
Good for you. I posted similarly and they did deleted my post. Sigh...the left is so consistent.
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Feb 16, 2017
Keep in mind some posts disappear just because... well, they disappear due to system issues. I had one of mine disappear. Sometimes you just need to repost.
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Feb 16, 2017
That's too bad. It was a pretty good episode. :)
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Feb 16, 2017
Why?
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Feb 16, 2017
Well it wasn't exactly life changing. Every single argument for and against gun control I've heard before, but it was nice seeing Oliver tackle an issue as the mayor and not as the Green Arrow. I also liked seeing Rene's backstory. In the present he doesn't seem like a family man so it's nice to see he had that. I hope eventually he gets his daughter back but being a single father would mean he'd probably have to hang up his Wild Dog persona.
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Feb 16, 2017
The most common non-gun-control argument I've heard but didn't get a mention last night is the old chestnut, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have gun."

It was raised in passing a few times, but never really answered. Curtis says that he's three times as likely to get shot. But would the ordinances reduce that chance? Is he three times as likely to get shot by unregistered guns? Or registered guns? Or a mix? Or what?

I'm not aware of anyone that is in favor of giving guns to criminals. (Other than other criminals, maybe. :) ). The debate I've heard is is usually about whether proposed laws, ordinances, registries, etc., will stop criminals from shooting non-criminals. Or if the laws predominantly affect non-criminals.

That's why I referred to the non-described ordinances in my review as magical. No one yet has found a way to come up with restrictions that exclusively target criminals. But Guggenheim essentially says that he has... but he didn't want to say what they were because it would seem like he's taking sides. Umm, huh?
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Feb 16, 2017
I meant that the arguments that were presented I'd heard before. I'm sure there were some that I've heard that weren't presented. As far as CPS removing the child from Rene's custody, it looked like something happened after his wife was killed. The episode wasn't clear on how much time had passed, but it looked like Rene was an alcoholic (judging by the bottles next to him when he was on the phone) and who knew what else he was doing.

I have no idea what any of these people do for a living anymore, except for Oliver, Quentin, and now Rene and of course Dinah is going to be a cop again. Felicity seems to always be in the Arrow cave and Curtis is a full time vigilante now. Does Oliver pay them for the work they do?
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Feb 16, 2017
Actually, there were quite a few arguments that I've heard against gun control that I didn't hear in the episode. Also, Oliver tackled a case (if not an issue) in last week's Arrow, not as Green Arrow. In fact, he was more out of costume that episode (like, entirely) than this one.

As I noted before, I'm fine with finding out more about Rene's backstory. Or even his frontstory. Like... what did he do all day for a living, before he became the deputy mayor's assistant? (Then again, I'm not sure what Curtis does these days, either.)

The CPS thing with Zoe still strikes me as a little odd. More of a plot contrivance. I'm not up on childcare protective law, but removing a child from the care of a parent because the parent's spouse took drugs and basically drew a drug dealer to their apartment seems a little strange.
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