Gun Control and Celebrity Bodyguards


Emma Watson next to her private, undercover, armed bodyguard.
Emma Watson next to her private, undercover, armed bodyguard.

I’ve seen gun control opponents point out that the President uses guns (via the Secret Service) to protect his family. That’s a bit silly and, for bringing his daughters into the debate, out of bounds. But this post from Downtrend makes a related point that I think is more valid. When Emma Watson (AKA Hermione Granger) graduated from Brown, she appears to have brought her armed personal bodyguard along for the ceremony, despite the fact that Brown is emphatically a gun free zone:

There probably aren’t too many Brown students from working class families, but for argument’s sake, let’s suppose one of them was there on a special scholarship. Now imagine that this average Joe or Jane showed up to graduation with a loaded pistol just for personal protection. There would be a lockdown, the SWAT team would be called in, and that student would be looking at years behind bars.

A famous person shows up with an armed guard, just for personal protection, and it’s like nothing ever happened. The gun-free zone only applies to those not fortunate enough to have been born into money or who have never starred in a string of blockbuster movies.

I’ve got nothing against Emma Watson at all, or her decision, but the casual disregard of the rules when it comes to celebrities is particularly noxious on an issue as important as the right to self-defense.

You can read about Watson’s security guard ($150k/year, is with her everywhere) at the New York Post and see how an armed bodyguard going undercover in cap and gown was covered by the celebrity media via EOnline. (It’s “Pretty Sneaky (but understandable!)”)

It’s worth pointing out that Watson isn’t just a celebrity flouting the rules because she can. She has specific, real threats against her safety. As long as Brown would be fine allowing a non-celebrity with stalker problems to also carry a gun themselves (I doubt they could afford a personal bodyguard), I’m OK with things. This isn’t a cause for outrage. Just a bit of concern.