I remembered - in the wake of the tragedy at Aurora, Colorado earlier this year - that this was published; never thought I’d have to refer back to it so soon.
From Polite Dissent:
In 1990, the adult son of one of the Warner Brothers executives who worked with DC Comics was senselessly murdered. In response, DC published Batman: Seduction of the Gun, a comic with a strong anti-gun tone, and with the added bonus of the proceeds going to a charitable educational foundation. In Gotham City, a drug-for-guns deal is going down. The police and Batman bust up the deal, but the main criminals — members of the NZN gang — escape. To capture the gang, Batman masquerades as a gun dealer while Robin enrolls in an inner-city high to protect the dealer’s daughter from gang reprisal.
…overall, it’s a well done story and a PSA comic that…[for the most part] doesn’t hit the reader over the head with its message…the story by John Ostrander contains the intense action-filled plot with a touch of pathos he seems to favor (and it works for him, his scripts hit a lot more than they miss). The Vince Giarrano art is a satisfying cross between Graham Nolan and Neal Adams. There are places where the art is particularly explicit and disturbing — bullet wounds, for instance — but I suspect that was the intended effect.
…in the last panels of the comic, Bruce Wayne tells Tim Drake that gun control is not the best option (“No law passed can change the human heart or open up a mind that is closed. We must give up the guns in our hearts and minds first.”). The story certainly takes a strong stand against the proliferation of handguns, but gun control is not specifically mentioned.
Ostrander himself was interviewed about the special recently:
Ostrander said his first goal was to write a good story, with the message about proliferation of guns being the subtext…[but] “Seduction of the Gun” is a dark, depressing tale. Ostrander said the message remains relevant today…
While against a prohibition on firearms, he believes there is some middle ground when it comes to restricting availability.
“I understand about those who are worried about their guns being taken away,” Ostrander said, “but what about the rest of us. What about those 12 people [at Aurora] who were killed and 58 who were wounded? What about their rights? What about other people’s rights to go to a movie house free of being concerned about whether or not somebody like this is going to be able to buy all those weapons?”
Please, keep those affected by what happened at Newtown, Connecticut in your thoughts today.