Glee’s “Shooting Star” — Guns at School With a Big Twist: Was It Too Far?
Glee has never shied away from tackling controversial topics — teen pregnancy, the suicide attempt of a gay youth, (temporary) paralysis as a result of texting and driving — but after the April 11 episode, Glee may have finally gone too far.
During Season 4, Episode 18: "Shooting Star," two gunshots went off at McKinley High School. What's more, the identity of the shooter was later revealed to be a beloved character, and calling the choice to put a gun in her hand “controversial” would be an understatement. A big one.
In the final minutes of the episode, fans learned that adorable cheerleader Becky (Lauren Potter) is the one who fired the gun. The biggest issue with this scenario: Becky has Down Syndrome.
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Let's clarify one thing right off the bat: Becky did not intend to fire the gun. She brought it to school because she felt the need to protect herself from the big, scary world. She seemed to truly believe carrying a gun was a valid option to protect herself.
Whatever her motives, though, Becky still brought a gun to school. It misfired, and while no one was hurt, she still caused mass panic and rattled every single student and teacher in that building to the core.
Even without the added issue of Becky's disability, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is still fresh in the nation’s minds. It's been less than four months since an armed gunman opened fire and killed 20 students and six faculty and staff. If there ever was a time to rally "too soon!" this would certainly appear to be it.
There is a time to be controversial, especially when it means raising awareness for an important societal issue. This is not one of those times. If it was just a gunshot at school, and Becky wasn't involved, we might feel more comfortable with it. But putting the blame on a girl with Down Syndrome? This time, it feels like Glee really has gone too far.