What Robert De Niro learned about gun control during the making of ‘The Front Runner’

By Christopher Ingraham

New York Times Magazine

Robert “Rust” De Niro survived an accidental shooting near the set of his upcoming movie “The Front Runner,” in 1988. Once he was okay, the crash on his life was a tale of everyday tragedy and how the hero of “Raging Bull” ended up in a wheelchair fighting to put his life back together.

One of the movie’s characters is Mitch Caplan, a retired CIA agent who repeatedly ran into trouble due to his reckless use of firearms. The thing is, Caplan never had a permit to have a gun. At the time, there were no restrictions on gun ownership, including in presidential campaigns, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 did little to dissuade politicians from using weapons.

It’s a drama in which parallels to real-life realities in some ways surpass fiction. But the details of how Trump himself came to own guns are only slightly less dreary.

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