Sex Strikes & Gun Control Laws Collide In The Hilarious “Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?”


Whenever anyone asks what the most controversial topics across America are, there are usually two answers: guns, and abortion. They are among the most polarizing issues, especially during this presidential election. Which is why Matt Cooper’s ‘Is That A Gun In Your Pocket’ is the hilarious, must-see comedy of the moment because it combines guns and something that isn’t exactly abortion, but a much different end of the reproductive spectrum – sex.

The story takes place in the small town of Rockford, Texas (naturally!) where a young boy brings his dad’s gun to school to impress his friends. But when it accidentally fires, triggering an immediate panic among teachers and students alike, it sparks an event that will change the lives of the families in the town forever. The stereotype of Texans loving their guns as much as their families is challenged head on in this confronting, comedic look at the gun control issue.

Jenna, played by actress Andrea Anders, is the mom of the young boy who took the gun to school and is shocked into taking action. Note – she is NOT a gun enthusiast at all, unlike her husband and many of his male friends. Jenna is convinced something must be done in order to prevent a potentially fatal situation involving guns and kids. She gathers the women in the town and all of them decide to go on a sex strike until their husbands agree to give up their guns.


This film is using humor to tackle a very serious topic in the US, and offering a challenging view of a story line that is not that far off from real life incidents that we are used to hearing about on the news with regular occurrence. And it’s not just the subject matter that is interesting. The method the women turn to, withholding sex from their partners, is something we have seen in other areas of pop culture as well as in real life.

Spike Lee’s film ‘Chi-Raq’ delved into the world of gun violence in Chicago, set against the determination of women in the city who find a way to potentially end the shootings their own way – by withholding sex. We’ve also seen this happen in real life in Liberia, where a group of Muslim and Christian women gathered together as activists to bring down dictator Charles Taylor and help stop the bloody civil war (watch ‘Pray The Devil Back To Hell’ documentary for more. Despite their religious differences, they came together with one common goal in mind – going on a sex strike to force the men to pay attention to what they were saying.

We’ve reached a moment in time when we are so battle-weary of the repeated news headlines, rhetoric, and divisive debates over guns in America. It is often mediums like film, and genres like comedy that are aptly positioned to heighten the discussion in more ways than one, which is why we urge everyone to see this film (screening here). In anticipation of the Los Angeles opening on Friday, September 23rd, we took advantage of an opportunity to chat with the film’s star, Andrea Anders herself, to get her take on ‘Is That A Gun In Your Pocket’


Tell us about your role as Jenna in this hilarious film and what you enjoyed most about playing her.

Jenna is an unlikely heroine.  She’s a loving wife and mother, who sees a crack in the structure of an antiquated point of view.

What drew you to the script in the first place?

I was intrigued by a modern day version of Lysistrata. I thought, “what a clever way into a classic, and yet still relevant story.”

Although the film is a comedy, it is based around a very important topic that has been discussed a lot recently. How do you think looking at gun control through the comedy lens might present a different perspective?

I feel our director, Matt Cooper, wrapped this serious topic in humor.  As a result, the film is not “preachy”, but it gets people talking. It’s a small town with a big issue.  The men, and actually the women too, initially see the issue as resolved and perhaps insignificant. Jenna makes it significant. The humor makes it fun to watch, while evoking a thoughtful response.


The issue of a sex-strike is interesting, because it has actually worked in real life (in the case of Liberian women who withheld sex from their husbands and helped bring down a dictator and end a civil war in 2003). Do you think in the case of gun control, this could work in the US?

I don’t know.  Should we try it? I like to have sex, but I certainly wouldn’t die without it.

The gun issue is very male-dominated, but do you think this film might empower more women to rise up and share their opinions?

I think it will.  I hope it will.  I feel I could stand to be more empowered myself, and when women speak up, shit seems to get done.

In your film, the gun issue centers around kids bringing guns to school which is a very polarizing discussion in real life. How do you hope your character and the film will add to the real world discussion?

Polarizing suggests that there are two sides to this topic.   Are there really groups who feel children taking guns to school is a good idea? Oh my goodness, there probably are.


What was it like working with the hilarious Cloris Leachman?

She’s a legend.  She’s full of joy, she’s playful, she’s mischievous.  She unzipped the back of my dress in front of 150 people. I was thinking, “Did Cloris Leachman just punk me?  I might have died and gone to heaven.” She’s also a shameless flirt, which is just all kinds of amazing and wonderful.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this film?

A joyful take on a serious issue. A desire to have a conversation about love and family. And yes, I’m sorry, but safety and sanity and kindness too.


‘Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?’ opens in Los Angeles Sept. 23rd, and it is screening in NYC as well as other cities around the US. To find out where you can see this in your city, click here.


  1. I’m British, so I can only speak of how America and guns seems to me on this side of the Atlantic, and that is that doesn’t appear to be a gender issue. Everything I’ve seen, from any form of news media, indicates that many, many American women have a love of guns that goes way beyond any perceived need for firearms for self preservation. I could be wrong, but that’s how it seems.

  2. John Devalle says:

    If you look here,
    you’ll see that, as I mentioned in my previous message, enthusiasm for guns is almost a great among women as it is with men. The real split is colour, and politics, with a large majority of black Americans and Democrats favouring more gun control. But not women. So, while the film may be a good comedy, its premise, not forgetting your own observation that ‘the gun issue is male dominated’, is wrong.

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