CNN Panel Spars: Should Hollywood Stars Stay Out Of ‘Real Life Issues’ Like Gun Control?

In December, Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Arizona said he was planning to send a volunteer “armed posse” to protect schools. Turns out action-film star Steven Seagal is going to be an instructor during their training event — which led Brooke Baldwin‘s panel on CNN this afternoon to question whether it’s just a PR stunt. And whether it helps at all.

RELATED: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Deploying ‘Armed Posse’ To Protect Schools

“It feels very PR to me,” National Journal‘s Chris Frates said, saying it’s blurring the lines between violence in movies and in reality. Should celebrities even have a role, Baldwin asked, in the gun debate?

In Touch Weekly‘s Amy Palmer deemed Seagal a “branding genius.” It’s not only a PR stunt, she argued, noting that he has been involved in law enforcement. “He is actively involved in this,” she said. “So should celebrities be involved in this sort of dialogue? Absolutely. Because they are our role models.”

Playing the “mom card,” Lauren Ashburn questioned what happens after a movie star comes in and helps with training. “Who do the kids trust?” she asked. “The whole process, to me, is crazy, that you have this posse going around.” It’s “nuts,” she concluded.

Baldwin went on to note the “simulated school shootings” some are using, asking whether such an approach works. The lockdown exercises are good, Ashburn contended, but the it was the idea of outside people coming to protect the school that she took issue with.

“This is the new fire drill,”’s Jawn Murray chimed in. “I just don’t like the Hollywood aspect of it.”

“I mean, what’s next?” he asked. “Are we gonna have the cast of Grey’s Anatomy training medical staff across the country?”

“Hollywood stars need to stay out of real life issues,” Murray asserted.

Take a look, via CNN:

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