I want to make it clear up front where I stand on this issue: Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam were irresponsible gun owners and I fully support ending their decades-long, firearms-based reign of terror against rabbits – wascally and otherwise – ducks and the public in general.
Some people were shocked – shocked I tell ya! – to learn the new “Looney Tunes Cartoons” series on the streaming service HBO Max would feature Fudd and Sam without their firearms. I was surprised to learn this pair was still an active part of the cartoon universe, believing they had long ago retired to an assisted-living community in Florida with Wally Gator.
As people often do when shocked at something like a change to a cartoon series on TV, they set aside far more important matters in the world, taking to social media to express outrage.
“Elmer Fudd was a hunter, hunting rabbits,” wrote one concerned citizen who may take cartoons a bit too literally. “Yosemite Sam was an old west gunslinger, other than the time he was a pirate. Those characters carried guns as part of what they were supposed to be. If they’re not a hunter and a gunslinger anymore, what are they?”
Said another in a comment on the Yahoo News version of the story: “Folks, this is how really evil things happen and really evil movements take root. Just look at 1930s Germany.”
Still another replied: “Any one-a-you lily-livered, bow-legged varmints care to slap leather with me? Rackin, frackin…”
I made the last one up based on Yosemite Sam’s previous public remarks, but the first two are actual comments.
Since I am here for both entertainment and enlightenment, I, as the senior interim animation/Second Amendment correspondent for this award-winning publication, will try to sort out this emotionally charged issue in a question-and-answer format.
Q. Scott, I am angry the government and its activist judges took away Elmer Fudd’s and Yosemite Sam’s guns! What is my congressman’s email address so I can threaten him?
A. The government did not take away their guns. Warner Bros. produces the reboot of the series and new episodes just don’t feature firearms.
““We’re not doing guns,” executive producer Peter Browngardt told The New York Times. “But, we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
Q. Sure sounds like the government to me. Now that this precedent has been set for illegally stripping American cartoon citizens of their right to bear arms, what’s stopping Inspector Gadget or Deputy Dog from showing up at my door and saying, “I’m here for your guns, comrade.”
A. This is a company choosing to present a product they own in a different way that takes into consideration the time in which we live. Cartoon law enforcement officials and government agents are not going to come to your house and take your guns.
Q. You got that right. They can have my Acme Kalashnikova when they pry it from my fat, four-fingered cartoon hand. If kids today can’t learn about guns from cartoons, where in the heck can they learn?
A. Parents. Grandparents. Hunter safety programs. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam were terrible gun owners. Elmer’s rifles and/or shot guns were so poorly maintained you could disable them by putting a finger in the barrel, sometimes causing the weapon to blow up in his face. Yosemite Sam was so ill-tempered he would draw both pistols and begin firing at the slightest provocation. Yes, the Acme Corporation could suffer slight profit losses if its gun manufacturing division shuts down, but it still does a brisk business in bird seed, artificial rocks and rocket-powered skates.
Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will adjust to the new normal. In the cartoon universe, they still have their guns. They just won’t brandish them irresponsibly on TV anymore in new episodes. All of us – from wascally wabbits to concerned citizens – should be able to live with that without losing our minds.
Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.