Documentary - Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for Columbine

Steve Taylor-Bryant gets angry and emotional as he watches Bowling for Columbine...

Bowling for Columbine should never have been made. Not because it's a bad documentary, on the contrary I am a fan of Michael Moore, no it is because children shouldn't be going into school tooled up ready to execute their friends. And yes EXECUTE is a strong word but not strong enough.

Michael Moore has produced a dark, heartbreaking look into the United States and the gun culture that exists. A stat I found staggering in the documentary is that Canada has the same ratio of guns to people yet has a tenth of the murder rate.

Michael Moore is not the liberal he pretends to be either. An ex-marksman and a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, he is part of America's problem with the right to bear arms. Whilst looking to answer the question of why atrocities like this happen, Moore investigates the media's role in violence and asks if perhaps they are as much to blame as anything else..."If it bleeds, It leads" is the response. As well as the media, violence on TV and the government’s role in creating a nation of fear are also looked into and it seems the comfort of owning a gun helps people to feel safer in their own homes.

The bullets used in the Columbine massacre are available to buy in a KMart (For our UK readers, think Tesco's) for 17 cents a piece and Moore takes two survivors to KMart's HQ to ask for a refund on the bullets pulled from their bodies during life saving surgery, the panic and non-response and downright rudeness of the people at KMart shows the problem in American society.

Chris Rock gets in on the action with commentary about taxing bullets, and an open and frank discussion with Marilyn Manson about rock music and youth culture is both thought provoking and necessary. Scenes from the High School CCTV footage are harrowing to see but essential in showing the stupidity of easy gun purchase, indeed a bank in Texas is even giving guns away with every new bank account!

Within two weeks of the Columbine massacre the NRA were holding a rally in Colorado, just miles from the school, headed up by the President of the association Charlton Heston. He says the rally was an accidental conflict of scheduling but is very forthright and adamant about gun ownership from behind the heavily fortified gates of his private estate and, quite seriously, is possibly one of the most vile human beings I've ever seen on my television set.

Yes, Bowling for Columbine is a bit one sided, a liberal-ish take on the argument, but when the other side don’t want to talk and hide behind their sub-machine guns what do you expect.

I am so very glad I don’t live in a gun toting nation.

Image - IMDb.