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Old 02-11-2003, 08:31 AM   #1
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Bowling for Columbine

Hey,

last night I saw the documentary 'Bowling for Columbine' by Michael Moore. First of all I must admit, as a european, it knocked my socks off! And secondly, I started to understand the American politics a little bit better.

In this documentary Michael Moore takes the shooting at the highschool of Columbine as a starting point and he tries to find an explanation for the large number of murders in America. As he goes along he discovers that the various reasons for the large amount of killings in America have no ground, like the large amount of immigrants (other countries like germany have more immigrants), the number of guns (there are more guns in Canada), the violent history (the UK has an even more violent history) and so on. Moore also questions the NRA (National Riffle Association) and its policy (visiting towns a few months or even less after a drama took place) and he visits Charlton Heston in his home (which to me now is a sad old man).

Finally, the only reason for the amount of killings Moore can come up with is fear, plain fear. Created by the media, politicians, events like 9/11 and its aftermath and so on. Everyone buys a gun (very easy to get BTW) and bullets (even more easy: a 17-year old boy is able to buy the entire stock of a local store!) just to protect their family. It's just unbelievable! What happened to trusting someone? Moore even showed a town where everyone is forced to learn how to shoot. And now everyone feels safe because they can defend themselves?!?

Like I said, I'm completely perplexed by what I saw. It's just unbelievable. The only thing I can hope for is that Moore only showed a tiny piece of the American society and that not everyone thinks like that. Actually, now I think about it, it just can't be that every American thinks like that.

Anyway, if you have the chance to see it, please do! It's quite amazing and even absurd at times and it makes you think about what we people are able do to each other. And if there are people who have seen it, please let me know what you think of it.

Greetz,
L
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Old 02-12-2003, 05:18 PM   #2
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i thought it was really good.
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Old 02-12-2003, 07:14 PM   #3
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laouen: Watch movies about your country and you will see there's some truth in it but not all people are like the ones you see there.
Travel to America and enjoy this experience it's worthwhile
Klaus
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Old 02-12-2003, 08:51 PM   #4
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good advice klaus

Quote:
Originally posted by laouen
And secondly, I started to understand the American politics a little bit better.
Bowling for Columbine didn't show American politics as well as it showed American business. In example, Lockheed Marten and its powers over the government. The gun debate is very tricky, remembering that it's in our Constitution that we can all bear arms. Which seems so pertinent in today's society

Quote:
(other countries like germany have more immigrants)
Are you sure about this? I'm pretty sure America sees a few more immigrants than Germany, but I may be wrong there.


Quote:
Everyone buys a gun (very easy to get BTW) and bullets (even more easy: a 17-year old boy is able to buy the entire stock of a local store!) just to protect their family.
Not everyone buys a gun. I don't have a gun, my roommate doesn't have a gun, and only one of my friends, in fact, has a gun. People buy guns for all sorts of reasons. The reason my one friend has a gun is because he hunts. Most people where I live use guns not to protect their family, but to hunt animals. Hunting guns, of course, are not tiny handguns, but shotguns and rifles.

It was extremely disturbing to watch that kid go into K-Mart and buy all of their bullets with no recourse. The documentary itself was disturbing, but this really got to me.


Quote:
The only thing I can hope for is that Moore only showed a tiny piece of the American society and that not everyone thinks like that. Actually, now I think about it, it just can't be that every American thinks like that.

What Moore showed was an extremely small slice of American life. It's not all shoot 'em up kill shows. I live in one of the more conservative states that sticks closely to the Second Amendment, giving us the right to bear arms, and there are very few shootings here (though I'm sure population density factors into that as well).

Like what Klaus said, please don't judge a population of 280+ million on a small slice of what Moore showed. And as far as the legislation he seeks on getting more gun control, I don't forsee that happening any time soon while the government keeps telling us there are terrorists living amongst us.



I really liked your post though, very interesting to see what people from other countries thought of the film when they saw it.
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:53 AM   #5
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Re: Bowling for Columbine

Quote:
Originally posted by laouen
(there are more guns in Canada)
That is not true. Why is it not true? Canada's population is a fraction of that of the US, and there's a much higher percentage of gun owners in the US (per capita) than there is in Canada. Therefore, your statement is false.

In the US, the right to bare arms is written into the constitution. In Canada, most people don't even own a gun.
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Old 04-27-2003, 02:30 PM   #6
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I have finally seen the flic yesterday and have to say it is brilliant.
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Old 04-27-2003, 04:58 PM   #7
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I haven't seen it...YET! I look forward to it. I live in an area where people fire off guns willy-nilly, shooting the wildlife and occassionally one another.....it horrifies me. Some of them are not what you would call stable human beings and they have small personal arsenals. ewwwwwwwwww.
I actually heard the captain of the local fire brigade captain say, cause he didn't know I was in earshot..."nothin' a .32 wouldn't fix" They would if they could.

but I was thinking about you the other day and trying to remember how to spell you name. I'm glad you posted laouen.
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: good advice klaus

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly


Bowling for Columbine didn't show American politics as well as it showed American business. In example, Lockheed Marten and its powers over the government. The gun debate is very tricky, remembering that it's in our Constitution that we can all bear arms. Which seems so pertinent in today's society


I think laouren got it right.
The 2nd amendment argument is bullshit. And I own guns.

Big business owns this government. The NRA makes morally bankrubpt arguments.

Quote:
Jeb Bush Thanks NRA for Helping His Brother Win
From Times Wire Reports

April 27, 2003

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush thanked the National Rifle Assn. for helping elect his brother president. Bush was keynote speaker at the gun lobby's convention in Orlando.
Earlier, in his final appearance as NRA president, Charlton Heston shuffled onto the stage but was too weak to give a farewell speech. The actor, diagnosed with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, was able to raise a Winchester rifle over his head and deliver a trademark line, "From my cold, dead hands."
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Old 04-27-2003, 08:09 PM   #9
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And Mr. G.W.Bush knows how to say thank you:

Editorial Desk | April 8, 2003, Tuesday
Congress's Pet Arsenal

Quote:
from NY Times April 8, 2003, Tuesday
ABSTRACT - Editorial reports that, under cover of Iraq war, gun lobbyists are prodding Congress to anoint gun industry as 'Arsenal of Democracy' by enacting 'disastrous' bill to give gun makers and dealers unprecedented protection from liability suits by state and local governments and victims of gun violence; warns bill would shelter gun industry from product liability provisions applying to most manufacturers Under cover of war, the domestic gun industry is prodding Congress to anoint it as the ''Arsenal of Democracy'' by enacting a disastrous bill to give gun makers and dealers unprecedented protection from liability suits by state and local governments and victims of gun violence. The ''Arsenal'' argument is being pressed by lobbyists who want to enshrine the industry as the safeguard of freedom ''here at home and around the world,'' as the National Shooting Sports Foundation puts it.

The timing of the legislation, expected this week on the House floor, is no less cynical. The bill was strategically delayed last fall, when sniper shootings were terrifying the Washington area. Now that the country is engrossed in the Iraqi war, the bill is moving in Congress with high chances for passage, barring a Democratic filibuster.
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Old 04-27-2003, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
Not everyone buys a gun. I don't have a gun, my roommate doesn't have a gun, and only one of my friends, in fact, has a gun.
Exactly.

Nobody in my family, nor any of my friends or their families, own a gun.

For which I am very glad.

That being said, though, a lot of people in my town do own guns.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
People buy guns for all sorts of reasons. The reason my one friend has a gun is because he hunts. Most people where I live use guns not to protect their family, but to hunt animals. Hunting guns, of course, are not tiny handguns, but shotguns and rifles.
Oh, yeah. LOTS of kids at my school go hunting all the time-some with their parents, some with other kids.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
It was extremely disturbing to watch that kid go into K-Mart and buy all of their bullets with no recourse. The documentary itself was disturbing, but this really got to me.
I've never seen the documentary, but I can imagine that would be disturbing.

What disturbs me is the fact that gym classes at my school actually do offer courses in using guns for hunting and all that. My sister's class had to take a hunting unit, and my sister actually held a gun-she said she was scared out of her mind, 'cause she'd never held one before.

Luckily, there is a unit involving that sort of thing going on in the gym classes for 11th and 12th graders now-but those of us in those grades get to sign up for whatever units we wish to take, and since I didn't sign up for that unit, I don't have to worry about that. Since my sister is in 9th grade, she didn't have a choice-she would've probably flunked the unit or something if she had refused to do that.

Still-that's scary to think that we have gym classes here teaching that sort of thing-what happens if there's a misfire, or something else along that line?

Hunting courses shouldn't be a part of school-not everyone hunts, nor will everyone want to hunt-that should be something people who want to hunt learn about OUTSIDE of school, not DURING school.

Quote:
Originally posted by deep
The 2nd amendment argument is bullshit.
It is, definitely.

As for the NRA and Charlton Heston...those guys are morons. That's all I have to say about them.

Angela
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Old 04-27-2003, 08:55 PM   #11
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this is a great film, i saw it in my class two months ago thanks to my teachers bootleg video
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:03 AM   #12
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Re: good advice klaus

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly


Not everyone buys a gun. I don't have a gun, my roommate doesn't have a gun, and only one of my friends, in fact, has a gun. People buy guns for all sorts of reasons. The reason my one friend has a gun is because he hunts. Most people where I live use guns not to protect their family, but to hunt animals. Hunting guns, of course, are not tiny handguns, but shotguns and rifles.

Like what Klaus said, please don't judge a population of 280+ million on a small slice of what Moore showed. And as far as the legislation he seeks on getting more gun control, I don't forsee that happening any time soon while the government keeps telling us there are terrorists living amongst us.



I really liked your post though, very interesting to see what people from other countries thought of the film when they saw it.

This is true, Lilly. But in my country, no one could imagine to make hunting courses in school. it is just too dangerous, and most of the parents would not like to see their kid influenced in that way, Most people here have never held a gun or rifle in their arms for all their life, except at military. We have laws, laws that allow everyone to get a gun for hunting (which in my personal opinion is a cruel sport, if not done for keeping the balance), but very few people actually go hunting. to buy a weapon, you have to go to the police before, to make psycho tests etc.

What struck me most about the film was the extreme fear that many Americans seem to feel. I especially liked the point of the film that says that fear can be used to keep a population under control. And it can make consumers consume more. Like you said, your government keeps telling you that terrorists live amongst you.

I would never make the mistake of judging a whole population. Imo, the film was non-judging, too. It just showed some facts.

11,000 deaths per year - this is sth like the triple of the WTC. It is not my business to speak up for which American laws should be changed, but if there was three times harder surveillance and laws on small arms sales than the surveillance and laws passed under the Partiot act for going out to hunt down terrorists, then there may be less civilian casualities.
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:18 AM   #13
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The bank where you get a gun when you open an account is a classic, theres Moore standing there in the bank being handed a gun "Is there not something a little wrong with this picture?"

Fantastic film.
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:34 AM   #14
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Huh? There's a bank that gives you a gun for opening an account with them? Whatever is written in the constitution cannot make this picture right.
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Old 04-28-2003, 08:21 AM   #15
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I saw Bowling for Columbine a few weeks back (about six months after everyone else on the planet, it seems!). I thought the film was excellent, but very upsetting in places where it talked about Columbine.

And that scene where the bank give away a free gun if you open an account is hiliarious. As is the conversation with the cop about the dog that shot a person. "Was the dog charged with anything?"

I've not read any of Moore's books, does anyone know if they're worth reading?
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