With the recent tragedy in Newtown, I thought it prudent to review Bowling For Columbine, the gun violence documentary that Michael Moore released in 2002 following the Columbine shootings in Littleton, CO.
Moore’s exploration of guns and gun violence in the US is very eye-opening with regard to the varying opinions on guns and the rights we have as citizens. Interviews with people such as militia members, victims of the Columbine shootings, Marilyn Manson, and president of the NRA Charlton Heston are included to provide various viewpoints about related gun topics and ideals.
By the way, if you’re guffawing at the notion of the Marilyn Manson interview, don’t write it off, it’s one of the more compelling and intelligent interviews included. Manson has some great points and has a more enlightened opinion than you may suspect.
The Charlton Heston interview is kind of a drag. I may not agree with Heston, but he’s respectful towards Moore even when Moore starts to antagonize him. Moore becomes completely uncool and rude in an effort to push his agenda and go for some shock value much to his dis-credit after looking like a mopey bully when Heston walks away from the interview.
Some of the interviews are scary but so are some of the general circumstances as to how easy it is to get guns in certain areas. There’s a bank for instance that will give you a gun simply for opening a CD account with them. We also get a glimpse of Canada and the fact that they have millions of guns as well but not nearly the same level of violence committed using a gun as we do. Are we just that much more violent of a society? This documentary begs this kind of question and makes you take a good, long look in the mirror as a member of this country…
I think there are arguments on both sides and I am a gun owner. I was raised around guns and have a healthy respect for them. I also have a gun that’s registered as all of them should be. And while I respect people’s rights to have guns, I think it should be tougher to get them, they should be more expensive (so should bullets) and automatic weapons like AK-47s, etc., should not be available. Protecting your family or hunting are of course considerations, but I see no need for an M16 for either.
And that’s just one part of the gun debate that has once again reared it’s head 10 years later…
Despite Moore’s egotistic agenda, this is a good documentary and worth seeing to educate yourself further on this tricky topic that our country has yet to resolve.
reviewed by Sean McKnight