During yesterday’s post-screening discussion about The Armor of Light I asked director Abigail Disney why the word “regulate” or the phrase “treat guns like cars” hadn’t even been mentioned in her doc. I was feeling quite irritated by this. Disney’s response was that gun-right advocates would walk out of her film if they so much as heard those words, and I shook my head and seethed. The vibes were rather testy. There are two things you can do about gun wackos, I was thinking. One, convey the utmost contempt at every opportunity, and two, wait for them to die.

Virginia resident Phil Winfield and his two nephews, Jacob and Austin Winfield Jr. — Saturday, 10.24, 1:05 pm.

And then the vibe changed when a Virginia resident, Phil Winfield, spoke up. He asked the audience how many had received any kind of weapons training (about ten of us raised our hands, myself included) and then asked how many of us had been trained to give first aid and CPR. Maybe two hands went up. Winfield more or less said that knowing how to help people in some kind of medical distress was a better, more nourishing thing than knowing how to fire AK-47s or .45 automatics, and that maybe we should contemplate what kind of society we are given the focus on weapons and not activities of a more kindly and charitable nature. It was sort of a left-field remark but people applauded when he finished.

Winfield came up to me after the q & a ended. We discussed my annoyances with the film, blah blah. He didn’t say he agreed or disagreed. Mainly he listened and was very polite. He had a kindly attitude, a kind of serenity about him. The right-wing gunnies in Disney’s doc regard themselves as people of faith (gag), but Winfield’s vibe was a lot gentler than anything I heard or felt during the screening, or anything I had in my own head for that matter. I said hi to his two sons, shook his hand, got his name and email address.