It’s no secret that the vast majority of those in Hollywood are anti-gun. The hypocrisy of that position is palatable, as most of them enjoy armed security and/or star in films glorifying firearms violence. It is utterly head-scratching, to say the least, and infuriating to those who support the Constitution of the United States. We hear flowery pontifications on the evils of guns from an actor promoting a film in which he portrays an assassin with an astronomical body count. Thankfully, in the sea of blabbering actors and actresses, there’s an island of sanity: Donna D’Errico.
Donna D’Errico in Hollywood
From a quiet, humble beginning as a child raised in the South, Donna launched herself to stardom, becoming one of the most recognized figures in Hollywood. While she would have a spectrum of projects, it would be her role in Baywatch that would make her a household name. She’s as popular today as ever, and can be seen in such works as the Lifetime movie The Nanny is Watching, NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Fox’s 9-1-1. She directed her first film in January of 2018 and starred in it, too.
Of course, this short summary could be attached to many typical Hollywood stars: A young star pursues her dream of becoming an actress. But Donna is far from the typical Hollywood character. She’s a proud Second Amendment advocate and firearms owner. I had the opportunity to visit with Donna recently, and she offered some interesting insights on being a gun advocate in Hollywood.
Like most gun owners, Donna grew up around guns. She told me, “Growing up in the South, all my relatives had guns for protection and for going hunting. It’s just part of life down there. California is very different, but I’m still a Southern girl at heart.”
It would be this engrained comfort with guns that would drive her to hit the local shooting range to rent various guns and enjoy some target shooting. She’s been shooting for more than 20 years, and she’s quite good.
But several years ago, things changed forever. Being an iconic figure in Hollywood has its positives, but it can have some serious negatives, too. Donna became the victim of a stalker, which was justifiably terrifying. Instead of simply hiding or hoping someone would protect her, she took matters into her own hands.
After visiting with a professional security consultant, she decided it was time to get a home-defense weapon. Her choice was a 12-gauge Remington 870. As an experienced shooter, she was comfortable with it and was swayed by its fight-stopping capabilities. She was also sold when the security consultant shared the idea that racking the action on a shotgun is understood in any language as “Get out!” I voiced a hearty, “Heck yeah!” when she shared that she had also sought out professional training with the shotgun for home defense. To me, this is huge, as most people would just buy the gun and think they can fight with it right out of the box.
This is just a glimpse into the type of person that Donna is: She takes firearms and safety very seriously. And like many gun owners, purchasing the shotgun then led to purchasing a handgun and rifle, too. As I always say, your first gun purchase is simply a “gateway” to your next gun purchase. Soon, you ending up needing a bigger safe. Donna shared with me that there may be a revolver in her future.
As with the shotgun, Donna sought professional training in defensive handgun and carbine use. She continues to train on them to stay sharp and capable. Even with a busy schedule, she makes time to hit the range. While never as often as she would like, she gets time on a private range with Phil Brierley of Los Angeles Cerakote to keep her skills up.
With a variety of weapons to choose from, I asked Donna if she had a favorite. “I have fired a wide range of different firearms. I would have to say my favorite to shoot is still my Remington 12-gauge shotgun. It’s old school, and the feel of racking it while shooting is very satisfying. I love that I can blow up watermelons or gallons of milk in the desert with it, even just shooting from the hip. It’s so much fun.”
Like any other gun owner in America, Donna can see a firearm not only as a defensive weapon, but also as something that can be used for recreational engagement.
I’ve been in this rodeo a very long time, and rare is the day that I find anyone in Hollywood who openly supports the Second Amendment. While not an over-the-top, in-your-face gun owner, Donna never hides the fact that she is pro-Second-Amendment and a registered gun owner. It can be a tough position to take in such a hostile environment.
Friends & Hollywood
She said, “Many of my friends here are anti-gun and do not approve, but I am who I am and make no apologies for it. Some of my friends here pretend to be opposed to the Second Amendment publicly, but then privately tell me they want to go to the range with me sometime to shoot together. I find it interesting and peculiar. I know being pro-Second-Amendment here in Hollywood is frowned upon—hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has cost me acting jobs—but I stand by the Second Amendment.”
I’ve had the pleasure of training a few folks from Hollywood and found her thoughts interesting. I asked her if there are more pro-Second-Amendment people in Hollywood than most people realize, and she said, “There definitely are. Going to the range is fun, and learning how to properly and safely handle a firearm is something I think everyone should know. My friends are always quietly coming to me and asking me to take them to the range with me—even the anti-gun ones. I understand why they keep their interest a secret. This town is very anti-gun, and opposing that stance can definitely cost you jobs. So, I get it, and I never judge others here who choose to keep their pro-Second- Amendment status on the down-low.”
Behind Enemy Lines
It is this discrimination that makes being a gun person so difficult in Hollywood. The current raving against guns by people who make money with guns is a classic eruption of coastal elitism; this anti-gun culture isn’t restricted in Hollywood. I asked Donna, being the victim of a stalker, if she had taken steps to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection. Like many before her, she found that Los Angeles County makes it nearly impossible to get a concealed weapons license.
Even in this non-permissive environment, Donna stays positive about guns and the Second Amendment in general. She is quietly holding the position as firearms ambassador behind enemy lines. It can be a difficult role to fill, as people will publicly mock her, yet privately they want to learn more about guns. I wholeheartedly believe that there are many people who are quietly pro-gun in Hollywood yet fear the backlash of verbalizing that stance
Donna has carried herself gracefully in this role. I asked her what advice she would give people hesitant to enter the firearms world, based on either being nervous about the guns themselves or how people will perceive them.
“The best way to get over fear or nervousness about guns is to go get professional training on proper firearm safety and handling,” she said. “Nothing replaces good training for becoming comfortable around guns. If they are hesitant because they are worried about how people will see them, I don’t know what to say other than to keep your interest to yourself. It really sucks that people feel pressured to conceal their support of the Second Amendment. But I get it. For me, I am a proud American and have no problem being open about the fact that I am a responsible legal gun owner.”
It is exceedingly easy to dismiss the opinions of the Hollywood elite. In most cases, they focus on irrational, emotionally driven talking points that boil down to obvious virtue signaling. It is quite uncommon for me to find someone whose opinion I respect in Hollywood. However, Donna D’Errico is one of those people. She has proven herself as a true Second Amendment advocate in a time when some are jumping on board to get attention. Almost as bad as the anti-gun crowd, these carpetbaggers seem to have miraculously found their inner love of guns just as the interview cameras clicked on and the chance for some free press came around.
Donna D’Errico has been a shooter for more than 20 years. She is quietly doing her best to maintain her island of Second Amendment sanity in a crazy Hollywood world. A tip of the hat to Donna as I look forward to watching her success continue.
This article is from the February/March 2019 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Get physical copies and digital subscriptions at OutdoorGroupStore.com.