TV

Jared Padalecki 2nd Amendment Tattoo Controversy Explained

Image credit: Legion-Media

Here's what went wrong and why exactly.

Uh-oh, don't look now, but cancel culture has a new target within their sights. For those who aren't sure what the term "cancel culture" means, Merriam-Webster defines it as:

"The practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure." So cancel culture refers to the mass withdrawal of support from public figures or celebrities who have done things that aren't socially acceptable.

Society is constantly on their phones and mobile devices. Posting, scrolling, sharing, and perhaps most importantly… judging. Social media, in particular, has changed the way we think and the way we see the world and each other.

In the 21st century, everything, and we mean everything, is on display to the entire world. Long gone are the days when celebrities could keep substance abuse issues and risqué affairs under wraps. Decades ago, Hollywood studios went to great lengths to protect their investments and keep controversial stories out of the press.

Today, entire careers can begin, and careers can end, thanks to social media. It has become quite common for old posts and photos of celebrities to resurface, and a mass call ensues to "cancel" them. Whether or not this is fair, cancel culture appears to be here to stay, so let's talk about one of its latest recipients, Jared Padalecki.

Jared Padalecki, best known for his role in the long-running television series Supernatural, set tongues wagging in June when he debuted some fresh ink.

Jared and his co-stars, Jensen Ackles and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are proponents of body art, AKA tattoos. So much so that the three even got matching tattoos at Morgan's wedding. While some might think the time and place inappropriate, it was a bonding experience and reinforcement of the trio's friendship. Jared's fans were likely unsurprised when photos of the three and their matching tattoos surfaced.

But Jared's recent choice of ink disturbed even some longtime fans. Tattooed on his right forearm is a cannon with a star above it, a symbol that has long been associated with the phrase, "Come and take it," which most people link to anti-gun control sentiments. The timing was rather unfortunate, too: the news about Padalecki's controversial tattoo surfaced in June, a month after Uvalde school shooting.

"Jared Padalecki getting a "come and take it" tattoo after nearly 20 children lost their lives to gun violence not 3 hours from his hometown is not what I had on my 2022 bingo," Twitter user mutantfrogboy said.

The current social climate renders discussions on gun control, particularly pro-gun beliefs, very controversial territory. That's nothing new in America, where gun violence is a genuine danger. Although actor and 15-year NRA (National Rifle Association) president Charlton Heston's famous line at the organization's annual meeting in 2000 might be forever meme-able, it is still shocking two decades later. Heston hoisted a Revolutionary War-era flintlock rifle and spoke the immortal words, "from my cold dead hands." The fact that this gun might have been used to fight for the country's freedom and liberty was a nice touch, though, right? I mean, who could be mad about that? Answer: lots of people.

So many tragic events involving guns occur every day. For a person affected by such tragedy, pro-gun support kind of feels like the individual is saying they support what happened to you or your loved one. That's just how the human mind and human emotions work. That's how cancel culture works.

The symbol Jared had inked, along with the aforementioned text, is usually associated with 19th century General Gonzales during the Texas war for independence. Gonzales' troops fired a small cannon at Mexican troops and raised a flag sewn from a wedding dress on which appeared a lone star (Texas being known as the lone star state), an image of the cannon, and the phrase, "come and take it". Prior to that, the phrase was used at Georgia's Fort Morrison during the Revolutionary War. We can trace the saying all the way back to King Leonides around the year 480 B. C. at the Battle of Thermopylae.

We mentioned the war between Mexico and Texas because perhaps one reason Jared chose this tattoo is the fact he hails from the Lone Star State. Jared was raised in the Texas metropolitan city of San Antonio. At 6' 4", Jared might just be proof that everything is bigger in Texas.

After the completion of filming the insanely popular Supernatural, Jared had his pick of several enviable roles. He was offered the opportunity to star in a reboot of another long-running television series, Walker Texas Ranger. Popularized by martial artist/actor Chuck Norris in the title role, the proposed series seemed a perfect fit for the native Texan.

So, what can we take away from this? For starters, things aren't always what they seem. When deep-seated beliefs and powerful emotions are involved, sometimes we act irrationally. We act before we ask. Before jumping to conclusions, why not ask the person what message they are trying to convey?

Sometimes people are completely unaware that a word or a symbol is controversial. Use the opportunity to teach and to teach with tolerance. Besides, it's just ink, right?

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