The anti-gun left, the civilian disarmament industry and their oh-so-willing friends in the media love to push the narrative that America is in the midst of an unprecedented gun violence epidemic. They tell us that the only way to DO SOMETHING about this disgraceful national affliction is for Americans to give up some or all of their Second Amendment rights.
Somehow, though, they manage to ignore details such as the FBI’s most recent crime report that shows yet another reduction in both violent and firearms-related crimes. The drop in these crimes comes as part of a generation-long trend that’s taken place at the same time that the number of civilian-owned firearms has more than doubled.
And look how the scariest, most assaulty-looking weapons have proliferated . . .
But data like that doesn’t help to further the message that America has a serious problem with guns. A message that says guns in the hands of everyday citizens…people who simply can’t be trusted with such a responsibility…is inherently dangerous and simply not who our betters think we should be as a society.
That’s how you get Salon trying to breathe new life into a quaint piece of anti-gun agitprop like Michael Moore’s hoplophobic screed seventeen years after it was released.
At the time, the focus of the film was the gun culture that spawned the Columbine shootings. As the film opens, it sets the scene for the Columbine shootings by describing it as a “typical day.” The message is clear: Columbine was not an anomaly; it was a predictable consequence in a society that glorifies guns more than human life.
In scene after scene, from a bank that hands out guns to a mom who thinks the only way to protect her kids is by being armed, the film digs into the disturbing ways that gun culture has been not just justified, but normalized in the United States. Moore conducts a series of interviews with a wide range of gun owners — militia members, suburban housewives, farmers and more — all of whom are happy [to] explain that they only feel safe if they have weapons. …
Great films hold up over time. They are worth watching for the art of their style, for their messages, and for the ways that they remind us of their context. Satirical films also help us think through moments when society was caught up in habits and behaviors that were profoundly irrational, destructive or delusional. Their messages continue to resonate because the flaws they diagnose persist. Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film “Dr. Strangelove, Or How I l Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” for example, continues to offer poignant commentary on toxic military masculinity.
“Bowling for Columbine” is worth screening today for all of those reasons.
– Sophia A. McClennen Why Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” matters now more than ever