I found out about this 90-minute Gun Fight HBO doc through a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Tweet, leading to their Facebook page, leading to this picture of gun control advocate and Virginia Tech survivor Colin Goddard towering over Oscar-winning documentary producer Barbara Kopple, standing in front of a movie poster that revealed HBO’s patronage, leading to HBO’s Gun Fight micro-site. Apparently, the film “investigates the complex issues surrounding gun ownership in the U.S.” So more gun control advocacy dressed-up as a documentary. Right? . . .

Dunno. The doc’s synopsis says the filmmaker interviews “citizens and activists on both sides of the not-so-black-and-white gun ownership issue.” Ironically, Kopple’s done ads for Target. Not-so-ironically, those Oscars were awarded for her pro-union documentaries.

Make of that what you will. But the fact that Kopple’s posing in front of Colin Goddard, “star” and promoter of the pro gun control documentary Living for 32, indicates a certain bias. Kopple certainly has experience making unsympathetic people look sympathetic, and vice versa.

For example, Kopple’s website scrapes a Daily News review to describe her documentary D.C. Sniper’s Wife.

[John] Muhammed wasn’t a lone nut in a log cabin. He was a person who held a job who became terribly angry over what he apparently considered an uncorrectable injustice . . . since his actions stemmed from feelings that at some point most people have, we have to assess him as a person, not a monster.

Of course we have an open mind. Gun Fight airs Wednesday April 13 and 9:30pm EST.

40 Responses to HBO Documentary Gun Fight “Examines the Complex Issues Surrounding Gun Ownership in the U.S.”

  1. The doc’s synopsis says the filmmaker interviews “citizens and activists on both sides of the not-so-black-and-white gun ownership issue.”

    Uh huh. The same way NPR presents both sides of an issue. Yes, they talk to people who are ostensibly on both sides, but the bias is in the way they frame the questions, in how they edit the answers, and – frequently – in the things they choose to leave out.

    I’m not willing to bet a plugged nickel on the evenhandedness of this little enterprise.

  2. … So more gun control advocacy dressed-up as a documentary. Right? . . .

    Dunno.

    Yes you do. We all know. Did you see how they depicted the military in “Generation Kill”?

    • I can’t wait to see it, but I think Blammo is right. It’ll probably be another “Living for 32” or something like it. We all know what to expect.

      But, you know what, a fair presentation of both sides of the argument would appear to be pro-gun-control to anybody, for the simple reason that that’s the winning side. In order for you guys to present a pro-2nd Amendment video, for example, you need to do more twisting and omitting than we would.

      The reason for that is that people getting shot and killed is a very sympathetic thing for our side. Your best argument was the one that Kleck and Lott tried unsuccessfully to sell, that there are more DGUs than incidents of gun violence. Since that’s been pretty much debunked, even some of you guys stay away from it now, you’re left with nothing but blustering macho talk and paranoid fantasies.

      • “But, you know what, a fair presentation of both sides of the argument would appear to be pro-gun-control to anybody, for the simple reason that that’s the winning side.”

        Which explains the national wave of gun control enthusiasts elected to every level of public office nationwide in the last ten years.

        Oh… wait a minute….

        Your best argument was the one that Kleck and Lott tried unsuccessfully to sell, that there are more DGUs than incidents of gun violence. Since that’s been pretty much debunked,

        Debunked when? By whom? Can you please show your work?

        The reason for that is that people getting shot and killed is a very sympathetic thing for our side.

        Can you show me please:
        1) A gun control law that reduced the criminal misuse of firearms
        2) A shall-issue/concealed carry law that increased the criminal misuse of firearms
        3) A criminal misuse of firearms that didn’t violate at least one major gun control law already on the books, and can you then explain how on Earth an additional law would have helped.

        Until you can show me those things then all you have to counter my macho blustering with is an irrational fear of inanimate objects, a phobia completely unsupported by data.

      • I have to ask, what’s it like living in a world devoid of reality? Multiple bills to allow guns on campus, CCW bill pushing through Illinois house, Federal bill for State CCW reciprocity, etc. and you say that pro-gun control is winning?

        I’m all for hearing both sides, but at least come with something factual.

      • I don’t like people. Less people suits me fine and I don’t care how you die. There’s hundreds of ways someone could make you die. You all sound like a bunch of broken records anyway; having a programmed responce for what ever issue you support. Getting rid of many people would solve a lot of my problems. No guns. Easy pick’ns. CME

    • According to the soldiers Generation Kill was about, both the book and the mini-series was pretty much exactly how things went down. Even the really unrealistic parts — like getting ambushed at night and only suffering a total of two small injuries — actually happened. And the letter reading, which you may be taking offense at? Yeah, that happened.

  3. Apparently they didn’t hire a copy editor. On the synopsis page”The film’s airing marks the fourth anniversary of the Virginal Tech shooting, airing three days before the horrific events occurred on that day April 16, 2007″
    Besides the “Virginal” instead of “Virginia” snafu, that is one of the most poorly constructed sentences it has ever been my misfortune to read this day or any other.

  4. I haven’t seen this advertised on HBO at all. If it is premiering on April 13th, they certainly aren’t pushing it very hard.

  5. Kopple’s attempt to portray John Muhammad as a misunderstood soul, is akin to her having us try to “understand” Adolf Hitler as a frustrated Austrian because his father was a Jew named Schickelgruber.

    • Open minds? I dunno…when it comes to the mainstream media (and I’d count HBO as part of that group, as far as documentaries go), being “open-minded” is kinda asking for it. Or in other terms, kind of like a whipped dog confusing “pleasure” with the “absence of pain.” Could this be an even-handed look at gun issues? I guess. Maybe. Perhaps. But you’ve got to admit, looking at the preponderance of historical evidence, the odds are stacked against it.

      The media has years of experience using carefully-selected edits, reasonable sounding “experts” and a slew of other techniques to create something that is far from balanced, and serves only to make their point. In a way, it’s the diference between debate class and journalism class. They use rhetoric disguised as reporting to sway their audiences, rather than attempting to report on the facts and capture the perspectives of all sides in the debate.

      I think the best way to approach this is to watch it with the realization that it is likely to be highly biased, but try and start from as much of a neutral analysis as possible (that’s a tall order, I admit). To do anything else, though, strikes me as pretty naive.

      • Fair points, Brad, but I was directly referring to the last line of the post where it is implied that the readers of this sight are “open minded” and that gun-control advocates are not. Reading most of the comments on this particular article, open-mindedness is not something that can easily be laid claim to.

        For your part, I will agree that you have the right approach to what will most likely be a biased film. Out right claims that such a film would never air unless it was a direct attack on basic human rights isn’t. (Quite frankly, it remains to be proved that gun ownership is a “basic human right”; most of the rest of the West doesn’t agree. A right, sure, but a right equal to things like food, water and safety? That burden of proof lies on the gun-rights advocates.) Comments like that do nothing to help your case and give the appearance of the opposite of open mindedness.

        In the interests of transparency, I did request that my original comment be deleted. It was overly snarky and potentially offensive to people who were personally involved in the shootings. I was in a bad mood this morning and should have thought twice before hitting the post button.

        • The right to self-defense is more of a right than the “right” to food. My ability to defend myself imposes no burdens on anyone but those who seek to harm me, but if I demanded that others must work to feed me, well, I’m imposing quite a bit on their liberty.

        • You don’t need a firearm to defend yourself (whoops, opened that can of worms).

          The right to food and safety is not necessarily an imposition on others. What if someone took away your ability to purchase food because of your race or religion? Would you argue that your right to food wasn’t as important?

          Would you say that the Somalians starving in 1992 didn’t have a right to food? Lots of them had guns too, but it didn’t keep them being starved to death by warlords.

          Doesn’t your right to liberty impose on others, say the military? Or would you argue that they have surrendered their rights to liberty to protect yours?

        • Squid:

          Your right, if I someone attacks me with a knife and if I was a martial arts expert I might be ok without a gun. However, since I am not a martial arts expert I think you would agree that I would be better off with gun. If there are multiple assailants armed with baseball bats (not a strawman, it happens) I think you would agree that I would be better off with a gun.

          Here is a question for you. It’s 3AM and you hear glass breaking downstairs. Do you (1) Call 911 and wait for the police? (2) hide under the bed? (3) use your gun or (4) lacking a usuable firearm die?

  6. You don’t need a firearm to defend yourself (whoops, opened that can of worms).

    It’s not so much a can of worms as it is a nonsensical statement.

    I’m male, six feet tall, 240 pounds and have a red belt in jujitsu. Although I feel a lot better having a gun than not the fact is that against most single assailants I could probably do all right for myself.

    My fiancee is five foot one, roughly 110 pounds and hasn’t been in a fistfight since gradeschool. Absent a firearm she can defend herself…. how, exactly? Same question please for my 75 year old, wheelchair bound mother.

    As to the rest of your post you seem not to understand what a “right” is. No one has a right to food or safety because those are things that have to be provided by someone, they don’t just magically appear out of thin air. To say you have a right to those things is to say you have the right to make other people work for you, and no one has a right to do that.

  7. Mouldy Squid don’t you have anything better to do than pick fights with people and make nonsensical statements? do you think you are bruce lee and have the ability to take on 20 bad guys at once by yourself? seriously man, if you have such a problem with firearms then why do you post here?

    btw nice randomly placed comments on Somalia, what exactly does this have to do with this HBO crap “documentary” or American gun laws?

    • Glad to see the open mindedness of this site continues. Listen, man, I don’t have a problem with guns, in fact I own several.

      If you had read my reply to Brad you would see that I requested a deletion, but he had replied to it too quickly and so it was not removed.

      I am not “picking fights” with anyone. If you had read my comment you would have seen that someone else was attempting discussion with me about a very minor point which has nothing to do with my original reply to Brad. It is clear that you’ve had a problem following that part the thread, but that is neither my fault nor my problem. It is, however, yours and you are trying very hard to make it mine.

      Why shouldn’t I post here, even if I “have a problem with guns”? I don’t see a site policy or a restriction that states I cannot. Am I interrupting your mutual self-congratulation society? Don’t you have anything better to do than pick a fight with me?

      • This is a complete non-sequiter I know but… are you British? Or a fan of H.P. Lovecraft? I ask because your chosen spelling of “mouldy” is counterintuitive.

  8. The ONLY people in Somalia with guns WERE the warlords and their minions. Everyone else starved or left.

  9. “Quite frankly, it remains to be proved that gun ownership is a “basic human right”; most of the rest of the West doesn’t agree. A right, sure, but a right equal to things like food, water and safety? That burden of proof lies on the gun-rights advocates.”

    Slow patch at work here so I feel a complusion to address this in more detail.

    First, something is either a right or it isn’t. There are no degrees in between.

    Next, whether or not something is a basic human right isn’t a question to be decided by taking a poll of Western Civilization. The Founders enumerated those things which are inalienable rights, settling the question. If you disagree with the Founders then the burden of proof is in fact on you, insofar as you’re the one that needs to undertake the arduous process of amending the constitution.

    Please note the word “enumerated”, which is much different from “granted”. Neither the Founders nor the Constitution granted any rights to anyone, they simply listed the rights that any person has by virtue of being human.

    Most importantly, and this has been touched on already I know, there is no such thing as a right to food, safety or anything else that has to be provided by someone else. What you do have is the right to pursue those things for yourself, in whatever manner you see fit, as long as it respects the rights of others. One of the things that is all too often needed to pursue those things is the ability to defend oneself.

  10. You can never please these gun haters because they won’t be happy unless every gun in our country is banned. I’ll decide what I want to own and how I’ll use and I don’t need any foolish advise from these gun grabbers.

    • That’s bullshit Joe and you know it. You love to portray gun control folks as wanting to eliminate every last gun, that way you can justify your fanatical resistance to what we have to say.

      Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want to interfere with anyone’s gun ownership unless they were unfit.

      • “Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want to interfere with anyone’s gun ownership unless they were unfit.”

        We’ve heard this song and dance before. Yet, you’re still for ridiculous legislation such as “high capacity magazine bans”. Is that not interfering with our gun ownership?

  11. @ MS:
    in the interest of transparency, you speak of open mindedness, yet you preach about what is a “right” and what is not. I have no desire to decide who posts and who cannot, this is not my decision to make nor do I care too. If you indeed posses firearms then why don’t you think you “need a firearm to defend yourself”?

  12. I’m sure this will be a fair and balanced “documentary,” give me a break. More progressive liberal BS, scattered with half truths, misrepresentations and numerous just plain incorrect technical details that expose the true ignorance of the participants on the topic. In other words, more of the same.

  13. It’s probably going to be some dumbass statist/freedom-hating irrational asshats, and then some marginally pro-freedom people who basically read a lot of Captain America comics in their youth and think freedom sounds cool and therefore is. There aren’t going to be any liberty-loving people or experts, just caricatures or uninformed citizens.

  14. Ivan Pissotv sez:
    I have never quite understood just why gun ownership in the U.S. (or in Western Civilization for that matter) has to be “Complex” or Controversial. Who is responsible for making it so? Certainly not those who believe in freedom, self defense, and the ability to have available the means to insure those two important conditions. As I have always viewed the gun “issue”, there is NOTHING complex or controversial unless it is made that way by governments or those with phobia (MSM?). If it had been left as a national condition that anyone not guilty of a crime of violence could own any firearm he wanted without interference or shame, we would be dealing with but a small percentage of the crime problem we see today. If it were a GIVEN that anyone might be and probably would be armed, things would be a whole lot more peaceful on a personal and even on a national and international level.

  15. The right to life is the most important, the methods and tools we use to obtain that should not matter..
    Our forefathers understood that and prepared for the inevitable decline in intelligence, logic, honor and courage.

    Without life all else is chicken____.
    I will tell you about my Martial Arts teacher.
    He was taught a long time ago by Men long gone.
    He started by Kneeling in Rice and getting beat by bamboo..
    Gives you an idea of the rarity of this art.

    The Filipino had found another way from tibet.
    The Mind was the most important tool. All responses are divided into time segments

    He told me pure and simple , use a gun if available you could slip on the way to the target.

    Accept Avoid Prevent.

    Which action do you prefer?

    Weaponry allows us to Prevent far more than the other tools you are discussing.

    Easiest way not to get hurt and at times not to hurt others.

    The statement we must judge him as a person is shit. He gave up his humanity willingly when he started killing people who were not a threat to him , Perceived or Imaginary. He was dangerous and thereofore should, like all others be eleminated!!

    Sorry if I talk in Riddles I am long past tired of talk and Inaction.

    Let me know when we should carry out our Mandate Required in the Declaration.

    Assigning Human traits to someone who has clearly left civilization is foolish and a Red Herring.

    Be Well ALL.

  16. Just watched it and it was pretty one sided I thought. The use of fringe people on the right is always a tactic of the left to make everyone on the right look nutty.

    But here is a question for the gun control advocates. Drugs have been illegal in this country for many years yet anyone who needs to feed a habit can buy and use drugs. No laws or penalties have been able to stop the flow of drugs into the country. Why do you think more gun control laws would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

    In the movie they show an ABC TV “experiment where a classroom of students is attacked by a actor with a gun. A student in the room has a gun but the result is no one in the classroom was able to use a gun to stop the attacker. The problem with the experiment is the students are wearing thick gloves and these weird helmets making it difficult for any of them to draw a firearm and shoot. Also they make sure the gun is tucked under the students shirt so that he has to take the gun out from under the shirt while he is wearing gloves and the helmet. The gun gets tangled in his shirt and he is shot twice before he has a chance to return fire. Why not just put handcuffs on him? Let’s see the same experiment with no helmet, no gloves and the gun in an accessible holster. Also, don’t let the attacker know which student has his own gun. I bet they get a different result.

    I am not necessarily against background checks or even licensing, but can’t liberals ever make a documentary or a point without twisting facts or exaggerating?

    • No. I was appalled by the bias of the experiment’s conditions. Our man Leghorn will replicate this with proper conditions. But shame on Koppel for not even creating her own propaganda.

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