'Orange Is The New Black' Mocks Assault Rifle Purchases & The Moment Is Darkly Topical

I know that new seasons of Orange Is The New Black are filmed almost a year in advance. However, some things remain poignant and topical in the worst way no matter how long ago they were filmed. There are mild spoilers ahead for OITNB Season 4, Episode 11. In an episode towards the end of the season, Orange Is The New Black referenced how easy assault rifles are to purchase, which is especially spooky after that particular type of weapon re-entered the national conversation after the Orlando shooting on June 12.

Season 4, Episode 11, "People Persons," included a flashback that showed us Suzanne Warren working at a big box store as a greeter. Right before being presented with an "Employee of the Month" honor, she happily checked the receipt for a person buying some groceries — as well as an assault rifle. After she confirmed that the items in the basket matched the receipt, Suzanne let the person go on their merry way. Neither she nor her manager questioned the purchase.

The moment was played off as a dark-humored joke, but that doesn't make the moment any less important. It's no secret that guns are far too easy to purchase in the United States. After the Orlando attacks, a reporter for Philly.com wrote about how she purchased an assault rifle in seven minutes flat.

The weapon used in the Orlando shooting was a Sig Sauer MCX assault rifle, according to The Washington Post, not an AR-15 like in OITNB, though the guns do look similar. An assault rifle-style weapon was also used in other deadly mass shootings like Sandy Hook, Aurora, and San Bernardino.

There's no way that the show could have known that a similar rifle would be used again just days before the premiere in the country's deadliest mass shooting to date. It just goes to show how little has changed in a year that this scene is still just as topical as when it was filmed.

Images: Netflix (2)