The Johnsons get a gun.

By Ray Rahman
Updated September 30, 2015 at 10:54 PM EDT
Credit: Tyler Golden/ABC
S2 E2
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There comes a time when all your under-counter switchblades, shower machetes, blender nunchuks just won’t do when it comes to protecting yourself, your family, and your Xbox from criminals. When that time comes, there’s only one solution: guns.

Or at least that’s what Dre thinks. Needless to say, Bow disagrees with him in tonight’s episode, which revolves around the debate of whether the Johnson family should buy a gun for the house. “Nothing makes a family stronger than arguing about the most polarizing issue in America,” reasons Dre.

Being a member of the Johnson household sounds exhausting. Every week, a new Big Issue to argue about! (To the writers room’s credit, they do poke fun at Black-ish’s repetitive format with a clever little montage in the middle of the episode. Explains Dre, “I’ve been taking arguments on purpose just so I could win a big one.”)

Perhaps if Dre and Bow had watched “Gun Fever,” the now-classic It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode that hilariously tackled the gun issue a decade ago, this would all go a lot smoother. But the Johnsons are more of a Girls family, so they’ll have to duke it out themselves.

Here’s where everybody stands on the topic:

Dre: Yes gun!

Bow: No gun!

Zoey, Diane, and Jack: Wait, we don’t already have a gun??

Junior: You know, we should actually be more worried about cyberterrorism. Wake up, sheeple!

The Animatronic Laurence Fishburne Machine: What about karate?

Another impasse! It’s enough to make the little twins Home Alone-level frightened, so while the parents busy themselves debating the Second Amendment, Jack and Diane start erecting a DIY home-security system that would make Macaulay Culkin proud. Meanwhile, Junior works on securing their network’s firewalls system, or something. And Zoey does chores.

As he always does, Dre brings the matter to work. His male colleagues are mostly in agreement: yes gun! The reliably conservative-leaning Mr. Stevens is so pro-gun, in fact, he’s actually packing at this very moment. Does he have a permit? “I like to think of the gun on my hip as the permit to carry the gun on my hip.” And as we know from last week, Charlie definitely has a gun.

Dre is emboldened by his coworkers’ collective machismo, but Bow’s not done protesting. She tries everything: jellybean statistics, bribery, rock-paper-scissors, shouting. None of it works.

So, after much ado, Dre’s gun finally arrives… in a box. (Is that how guns are mailed? Makes sense, I guess, just never thought about it.) And it’s just in the knick of time — the family gets a big scare when they sense an intruder in their house. Terrified, the kids huddle with Dre and Bow in the gun-equipped master bedroom. Dre freaks out and reaches for his boxed gun, so that he can point it at…

Pops! A drunk Pops, at that. It was just a false alarm, but a close one. It prompts a heart-to-heart between the parents: Dre tells Bow that because he grew up in a rough environment, he views the protection that a gun offers as essential. He feels like he needs it, even if he doesn’t. Bow is a tad more receptive to this, but still skeptical.

In the end, the family comes to a solution: Pops will hold onto the firearm until Dre can learn more about gun safety and decide for-real if he wants to keep it.

But since all that will probably never be shown or addressed on the show again, going forward we’ll just have to assume that the Johnson house has a gun in it at all times. “Yes gun” wins! Now let’s go shoot some pandas.


Dre: I decided to get a gun to protect my sneakers.

Dre: White people stole our freedom, Bow. You don’t think they’ll come in here and steal my Xbox?

Bow: Why? In case you get attacked while you’re making a milkshake?

Dre: It’s when you’re more vulnerable.

Bow: Why don’t you guys go to your room.

Diane: Why — is there a gun in there?

Zoey: No gun? I thought Dad loved us!

Jack: I’m such a fool. I’ve been sleeping with my window open!

Junior: That kind of security is fool’s gold. The real threat to our family — and America — is cyberterrorism.

Josh: Now, before I finish, does anyone want to interrupt me with personal business?

Mr. Stevens: Just let me know when the gun shows up because I have a great place to hunt the Giant Panda.

Dre: Those are endangered.

Mr. Stevens: I didn’t say it was cheap.

Bow: You are lucky we don’t have a gun in the house, because I would shoot you right now.

Dre: I wish you could! See, you’re making my point for me!

Dre: Look at this [sheet of paper] — I’ve been keeping score. It’s time for me to win. It’s my turn! … I’ve been taking arguments on purpose just so I could win a big one.

Bow: It makes it look like you ate Eddie Murphy. Take it back!

Gun salesman: Honestly, it’s mostly about confidence.

Bow: I hate guns more than I hate how Levi’s fit me.

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