As much of a fan as I am of Hunter S. Thompson as well as his work, using firearms in this reckless manner indeed contributes to our views on gun control. Mr. Thompson is part of a generation that made such reckless acts cool, and in many ways, living adventurously should be commended. That said, guns are death machines, and it is never appropriate to view them in any non-serious way.
Gun control means there should be more a responsible effort to keep weapons under rational use. The escalating gun violence and the accidental discharge of guns builds more of a case for gun control and tighter legislation of gun sales. Guns are not appropriate for pranks or jokes. Gun owners project a mature disciplined use of weapons.
Hunter S Thompson's prank does not affect our views about gun control after he fired his pistol in Jack Nicholson's front yard. I think many people already have their views on gun control. Those not inclined to support some gun control will not change their views based on this incident since mass shootings have not altered their stance.
No, behavior like Hunter Thompson's firing a pistol prank does not seem to affect people's views about gun control. For the most part, people are very set in their views on gun control. If they favor gun control, they are not usually willing to listen to studies about how gun control does not stop gun violence. On the other hand, those opposed to gun control are not willing to look at the reckless behavior of some people with guns and consider the need for some control.