Bowling for Columbine

Issue/Context: Gun Control in USA

Directed by: Michael Moore’s 2002 American Documentary

Box Office $58,008,423
Budget $4 Million

Opening Scene:

  • Black and White Archival Footage of soldier, with narrator/voice over, American theme music. 500 firearms handed to costumers when they open a free account at the Bank – Ironic of violence.
  • Introduction to history of Michael Moore’s childhood, growing up around the Gun.
  • Gun ammo can be purchased at the Barber Shop.
  • Male Hunter – “Every American is entitled to a firearm and should therefore own one”.
  • Female Hunter – “I got my first gun, as soon as i was able to…It is a means of protection”.
  • Interview: Kid: “I got kicked out of school, expelled…yeah 380 days or 176 days, or whatever a year of school is”.

John Nichols: No one has the right to tell me I can’t have it. That is protected on our constitution.

Michael Moore: Where does it say a handgun is protected?

John Nichols: No, gun. We should…

Michael Moore: [interrupting] It doesn’t say gun. It says “arms”.

John Nichols: Arms. What is “arms”?

Michael Moore: Could be a nuclear weapon.

John Nichols: It’s not these – That’s right. It could be a nuclear weapon.

Michael Moore: Do you think you should have the right to have weapons-grade plutonium here in the farm field?

John Nichols: We should be able to have anything…

Michael Moore: [interrupting] Should you have weapons? Should you have weapons-grade plutonium?

John Nichols: I don’t want it.

Michael Moore: But, should you have the right to have it if you did want it?

John Nichols: [thinking about it] That should be restricted.

Michael Moore: Oh. Oh, so you do believe in some restrictions?

John Nichols: Well, there’s wackos out there.

  • Narrator: Virginia “Every resident MUST have a gun in the household” – If not it is ILLEGAL.
  • Males are more attracted to guns when attractive women are involved with guns – Sexual link.
  • Juxtaposition: Montage of death shots by guns – CUT SCENE – “This is a great place to live”.
  • South Denver, Littleton: Demonstrating the protectiveness of a “middle class house”. <- Owner.
  • USAIF (USA Air Force): “missiles are purely for protection of America from other countries”. Jux: Montage of USA doing the opposite to protection, with missiles, with song ‘What a wonderful World’. Written Text: ‘1980’s: U.S. trains Osama Bin Laden and fellow terrorists to kill Soviets’. September 11, 2001 – As plane flies into building with ‘What a wonderful World’ music playing at the moment.
  • Written Text: ‘April 20, 1999’ – Shooting in Columbine High School – Slow Motion shots with distorted audio of panic. Actuality: CCTV camera footage of school. 2 Childern and 1 Teacher killed, 900 injured, several shots fired. Racial Shot of “Black, kid, because he was black”. Parent speaks out to public – loss his son, Daniel “There is something wrong in this country”.
  • Matt Stone: deep connection to the animation comedy TV Show, “South Park” – reflection of the Columbine town in the sense of “The land of the free”.
  • Columbine High School increases violence behaviour policy to nil through evidence of reference to harm to other students. “A Grade 2 student was sent home after bring a nail clipper to school, they say it could be a weapon”.
  • Marilyn Manson (Heavy Metal) – the music that was listened to, by the gunmen of Columbine High School stunt. “Keep everyone to consume” – the media using fear into manipulating Americans into purchases – TV adverts – is seen around the world however the connection is that Americans view weapon adverts on TV, as so to children. – Bad influence. -Through statistics, montage, archival footage, music from A Clockwork Orange (1971 British Film) : “11,127 people killed every year in America”. Gun ownership in America is the cause. Germany has around 335, France 220, Australia/Britain 60’s.
  • Animated history: appeal to children
  • Archival footage in montage: Popular culture is manipulated through the media – this supports Michael Moore’s view.
  • African Americans – “Violent”, European – “Passive”. Representation/Stereotype development of Racism.
  • A man would choose a gun over a dying baby…
  • TV Show – ‘COPS’ – Has more footage on African Americans then ‘white people’. – Producer/Director interview – Michael Moore is aiming to change the Industries as violence sells.
  • Windsor, Canada has very low crime rate – 1 in 3 years, and he was from Detroit.
  • Canadians dont lock their doors as exposure to no fear is displayed on the News. (The States always so the fear of gun use and murders and so on).
  • Youngest shooting (in American history) of a grade 1 girl, shot to death by a boy, grade 1 student [6 year olds] (in the same classroom).
  • “Gun Nuts” blame the parents for allowing guns to be in reach of children.
  • “After 9/11 Gun demand grew by 70% and Ammunition grew 140%”.
  • Michael Moore managed Kmart to ban the selling of guns and ammunition (from 90 days from that day).
  • “We [America] has a history of violence”.
By trentwhitworth

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