Jon Bernthal’s role as Frank Castle in Daredevil and The Punisher was one of the more surprising turns for the actor; even when you factor in his fame as Shane on The Walking Dead. But as the lead on The Punisher, he found himself at the center of the gun control debate as a mass shooting in Las Vegas this past October postponed the planned “surprise” launch of the series later that week. And even if that tragedy had not occurred, Frank is definitely a mascot for those interested in concealed carry permits and a Wild West brand of justice.
Bernthal, for his part, has a nuanced and sensible approach to gun control. As he explained to Entertainment Weekly, he owns a gun himself to protect his family, but “I’m trained in that gun’s use. I know how to keep it away from my kids, and I know how to use it if I need to.” Unlike some who believe a single gun law is one too many, Bernthal said there should there be a way to prevent those with mental issues from obtaining weapons. “We have to have a dialogue,” he added. “And that’s not happening.”
The issue is, of course, a difficult one as the United States’s relationship to firearms is a deeply personal one. But like Bernthal suggests, there should be a few “no-brainer” safeguards in place to prevent at least some of the tragedies taking place across the country.
Meanwhile, Bernthal has a two simple words for alt-right fans of Frank Castle: “F**k them.” One imagines Frank himself would find them difficult to stomach as well.
The Punisher will return in the not-too-distant future.