I was late to the party when it came to The West Wing. I started binge watching the show late in 2015, eventually completing all seven seasons in a matter of three months. I now own all the seasons on DVD and will still occasionally pop in one of the discs in order to relive the magic that was produced by Aaron Sorkin.
Regardless of who has sat behind the resolute desk in the oval office, decisions have been made by the men in that office that have made us wish we were living in the reality that plays out throughout the show.
At the end of season one, President Bartlet is struck by a bullet that was actually meant for his “body-man” Charlie Young. White supremacists were upset that a black man was dating the daughter of the President, and they attempted to assassinate Charlie after a town hall meeting in Virginia.
In the assassination attempt, President Bartlet is shot in the abdomen, Deputy White House Chief-of-Staff Josh Lyman is critically injured when a bullet nicks his heart, and the rest of the senior staff members are shook up after the events.
In the second part of the opening issue of season two, press secretary CJ Craig steps up to the microphone to address the issue, but instead of talking about the President getting shot, she lays bare the number of murders, robberies, rapes and other crimes committed with guns on the same day that the President was shot. If only real-life politicians could see the issue for what it is.
The very next episode after CJ lays bare the arguments surrounding gun control in the U.S., President Bartlet, a Democrat and devout Catholic, takes on a right-wing Christian radio host who thinks that homosexuality is an abomination because the bible says so. Being a devout Catholic, Bartlet then flips the script, using other passages from the Bible to show her how absurd that single argument is.