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At the 01:10 mark in the 12th episode of the 7th season of Beavis and Butt-Head, "Citizens Arrest", first aired in 1997, they are at Burger World as a robber comes in and takes out his gun. Just before this happens, they cut from the overall shot to a close-up of Beavis and Butt-Head, and linger on this up-close shot far too long, as the boys look amazed by the gun which is never actually shown to the viewers. When it cuts back to the wide shot, the gunman has just put the gun back into his jacket, covering it entirely.

The gun is never shown to the viewer.

Granted there is no law saying that they have to show this, just because it's in the scene, but the scene strikes me as very unnatural and odd every time I watch it. I suspect it's some kind of self-censorship.

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    Certainly not illegal. – George White Jul 11 at 21:18
  • And "controversial" would be outside the scope of this site. – Nate Eldredge Jul 11 at 21:51
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There was from 1954-2001 a non-governmental code of conduct called the "Comics Code" that established industry norms for content in comics and animated media that included an aversion to displaying guns in certain contexts, and the almost violation of the Code in 1990 is what led to the controversy.

But, it was never against the law to do so. It was merely a violation of the norms of the industry and the company policies of the companies that adhered to it, an an industry which had only a few dominant participants, all of whom agreed to it, thus making it quite effective in practice.

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    I'd never heard of the Comics Code applied to animated cartoons, only to print comic books. Certainly there was no shortage of guns in animated cartoons throughout that period; practically every Bugs Bunny cartoon involves Elmer Fudd chasing him around with a shotgun, or Yosemite Sam firing off six-shooters indiscriminately. – Nate Eldredge Jul 13 at 13:15

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