ABC’s The Conners tackled the subject of gun control on Wednesday’s episode, “Triggered,” and it was as bad as you can imagine. Responsible gun owner, Dan (John Goodman), is portrayed as irresponsible while his critics are made to seem like rational people who want to keep everyone safe. Worse, Dan’s granddaughter Harris (Emma Kenney) is lauded as a hero when she steals her grandfather’s gun and sells it to the police.
The episode begins with a shooting at a local mall where Becky’s (Lecy Goranson) daughter is at with her father. A discussion ensues about things being harder for today’s kids, and Dan heads upstairs to retrieve his gun when he learns the shooter is in their neighborhood:
Harris: What are you talking about? Being a kid is still easy. You just have to accept that everything sucks, and you can't do anything about it.
Jackie: Harris, that's awful. Don't you think that there's young people out there who are trying to change things?
Harris: Yeah, and they're a bunch of suckers.
Darlene: Oh, there's my little DNA. Speaking of DNA, I'm actually relieved that Mark went to the state capitol now.
Ben: Yeah, 'cause no angry mob ever storms a capitol.
Darlene: Ben! Read the room!
Ben: Why can't the cops find this guy?
Jackie: It's not that easy. Crime's up everywhere. They're probably spread pretty thin. I want to hear this part.
Harris: Oh, it's too loud. It sounds like the helicopter's right over our house.
Darlene: No, it is. That's our street.
Harris: God, that is so embarrassing. One of our hillbilly neighbors patched their roof with a garbage bag held down by bricks.
Jackie: Well, you're right about the hillbilly part. That's our house.
Darlene: That's how you fixed the hole in our roof?!
Ben: There was a second hole, and there was only one scenario where it could bite me in the ass, and you're looking at it.
Darlene: Well, at least he's not on our block. They're moving away.
Becky: Look at all the police outside that house. That's on Lennox, next to St. Luke's.
Darlene: Hey, that's the McNulty house, right? That's only like a block and a half away from here. Maybe he's, like, hiding in the backyard.
Ben: Oh, man. I hope he didn't bust in and he's holding people hostage in there.
Darlene: Again? Were you this clueless when I was dating you?
Ben: Yeah, I think I was.
Louise: Dan, I know I wasn't here, but you really should've talked to me first. This waterbed is not staying. Okay. Okay, I'll give the bed a chance.
Dan: I'm sorry. I didn't think. I should've warned you I was getting this out.
Louise: You really think you're gonna need it?
Dan: I hope not.
Of course, there’s no mention of why crime is up or why police are spread so thin. At a time when police have been defunded in many areas, and ambushed, shot, and killed in record numbers, it’s naturally led to early retirements and resignations. And the fallout has led to an increase in crime.
When the family sees Dan’s gun, they attack him rather than thank him for keeping them safe:
Harris: Where are Beverly Rose and Emilio?
Becky: They can't get through the police line, so they're staying at Emilio's. It's safer there.
Darlene: Becky, look. They're showing a picture of the shooter. It's James McNulty.
Becky: Not James. He was always nice to me, he always said, "Hi," he shoveled people's walkways.
Harris: I went to school with him. He had issues, but we all do. There are other kids I would've expected to go off before him.
Dan: Aw, man, the McNulty kid's the shooter? He used to deliver our paper. I want to hear this.
Harris: Is that a gun?! What the hell, Grandpa?!
Darlene: You still have that thing?
Becky: Okay, I want it out of here now.
Dan: No. He's a block and a half away. He jumps a fence, he's looking for a place to hide, he comes through that door, I'm gonna be ready.
Darlene: Ready for what, Dad? You got some kind of fantasy of a shootout in the living room? What if somebody breaks in while you're sleeping? You gonna sleep with the gun, too?
Louise: Don't worry. I'll have that lockbox open, and I'll be shooting before your father even stops snoring.
Becky: Are you insane? We're the ones wandering around the house in the middle of the night. You got a better chance of shooting one of us than anybody else. Just get rid of the gun!
Darlene: Hey, everybody! Mary's here. Uh, why don't we turn off the TV?
Jackie: No, wait. Hold on. Oh, it's almost over. He's coming out with his hands up.
Darlene: Oh, thank God.
Dan: Damn, no. He's reaching for something. He's got a gun.
Mary: Is he dead?
Dan: It's okay, honey. It's all over.
It’s all over because of “that thing” called a gun. The police shot and killed the suspect…with a gun, just as Dan would've rightfully done had the shooter entered their home.
Later, Dan’s granddaughter Harris shamelessly announces she sold his gun to the police behind his back:
Becky: Dad, where's the gun?
Dan: Locked safely away.
Becky: I got a curious 3-year-old who gets into everything. I gotta know where it is.
Dan: It's in a drawer in a lockbox with a combination that nobody knows but me.
Jackie: Oh, come on, Dan. Everybody in Chicago has the same combo. It's the year the Bears won the Super Bowl.
Dan: Well, now I have to change all my passwords. But don't worry -- there's no way anybody's getting near that gun.
Harris: Got your money.
Dan: What's that for?
Harris: I sold your gun.
Dan: You what?!
Harris: Took your gun to the police station, and they gave me that cash for it.
Louise: Yeah. Gutsy. Nice knowing you.
Darlene: What happened to the whole, "The world's screwed and there's nothing you can do about it?”
Harris: The world is screwed. But when something like this happens in your backyard, you have two choices. I can either hide and bitch like a little punk or get up off my ass and do something like a boss.
Jackie: You guys...
Louise: Oh, Jackie, it's gonna be okay. They're gonna work it out.
Jackie: No, it's not -- It's just so overwhelming when I see a young person doing something good in this world, because there's so much violence and there's so much misery. And...when I'm on my phone, it's just everywhere.
Dan tells her she had no right to take his property and that she must pay the rest of what it was worth.
“Now, I don’t agree with what you did,” he says, “but I get why you did it.”
“Okay, well, I'm glad you finally understand,” Harris replies.
“Harris, you're juggling chainsaws here," Louise cautions. "Just take the limbs you still have and walk away.”
“We established Dan isn’t a gun nut, but he’s a guy who has a gun in the house for protection," executive producer Bruce Helford told Deadline. “We wanted to represent all sides and all views because when we do that, we open it up for discussions. If we try to preach or have an agenda, people get polarized real quickly and they walk away from the conversation."
“Harris did something about it, right or wrong," Helford said of the Harris character. "Dan at least acknowledged that he understood why she did it which is a pretty big moment in the show. It’s one thing to be opposed and it’s another thing to understand the opponent—that’s what doesn’t happen enough in this country.”
Umm, where was the understanding for Dan? He was greatly disrespected by his children and granddaughter, and no one understood that he was protecting them. The understanding only went one way, and not surprisingly, that way was towards the left. So, “understanding the opponent” was just empty words and typical leftist hypocrisy.
But they did get one thing right. People do “get polarized real (sic) quickly” when a show tries to push an agenda. That’s exactly what happened with these smart viewers as expressed in their tweets after watching the episode.
I guess Dan can throw his empty beer cans at the intruder that broke into his home in the middle of the night because his uninformed emotionally driven granddaughter stole his gun and turned it over to the Police.. #TheConners https://t.co/TxWwoDrpvq— SisterSara (@SisterSaraAnn) March 3, 2022
#theconners#NRA— HateAppeasers (@Marksagaftra) March 3, 2022
Take the only protection u have for your family & sell it to Cops. Soon the only ones that will have guns r the criminals & cops. Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the nation, how's that working out? This SAG member would never speak one line on that show.
Except if this happens again and this time their only choice is to cower in a corner with no way to protect themselves. It’s also impossible and not legal to do that in the state of Illinois.— Casey (@caseyofmidwest) March 3, 2022
Tonight I learned from #TheConners that there’s no such thing as a responsible gun owner, we’re all just adding to the problem. F*** off. You will not convince me being in the vicinity of an active shooter without a way to defend myself is the preferred option. Complete lunacy.— Casey (@caseyofmidwest) March 3, 2022
That episode was a little extreme. The grand daughter going into his room, in his house, to get a gun from his safe to sell it to police? Eek...— Kendra Booker (@Kbook_it) March 4, 2022