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Assignment #5
12/08/2012
Bowling for Columbine
Michael Moore’s engaging documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, depicts the causes of America’s obsession with guns, and also takes an in depth look into what sparked Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to do the Columbine shootings. Moore is a decorated American left-wing filmmaker, author, social critic, and activist; Moore also has several critically acclaimed documentaries. Moore explores many reasons to why America is so obsessed with weapons, and mainly uses the Columbine incident to support these reasons. Moore claims throughout the documentary that America’s obsession with violence is correlated with the media, the violence that is conducted by America on other countries, and America’s gun control policies (Moore). Although Moore’s controversial documentary exposes many hidden issues about America’s leniency towards violence and gun control, there are also weaknesses to Moore’s documentary. Moore uses very weak evidence to support some of his claims; he lacks appropriate credibility in some areas, and also manipulates footage in order to convey his points across to the audience. Moore does an excellent job of exposing America’s obsession with weapons and violence; however he uses weak examples and lacks proper credibility in many of his claims.

Michael Moore cover’s a broad range of controversial topics and relates them to America’s gun control policies in a very effective and unique way. Moore’s key supporting claims are the connections he makes between Canada’s lack of gun violence compared with America’s over usage of guns, and the fact that America instills fear into their citizens so that they feel the need to own a weapon (Moore). Moreover, Moore also demonstrates in many instances how easy it is to obtain a gun in America. To begin with, Moore compares Canada’s amount of killings in a year with America’s and Canada’s is drastically lower than America’s. This is a very effective argument because Canada has the same forms of media as America, a similar racial divide, similar gun polices, and they hunt just as much as America yet they have fewer gun shootings (Moore). Coupled with this, although it’s not the same process, it’s not hard to obtain a gun in Canada similar to how it’s not hard to obtain a gun in America. Additionally, Moore went as far as to interview various Canadians, and from the film’s perspective, all of the people being interviewed claimed that they felt very safe in their homes, and didn’t have the desire to possess a gun (Moore). Likewise, Moore provides strong evidence as to how easy it is to obtain weapons in America, and on top of that Moore also provides solid credibility to support his claims. As previously stated, Moore makes many references towards the Columbine incident throughout the documentary, and in many scenes correlates America’s leniency with gun control to the Columbine incident. For instance, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (perpetrators of the Columbine shootings) simply walked into Kmart and purchased all of their ammunition that they used for the shootings; Jonathan Cruriel speaks about this in his article “Moore Captures U.S. zeitgeist “Bowling for Columbine” explains violence”. Moore is obviously bothered by how easy it is to obtain ammunition, and in an attempt to send a message to Kmart, Moore takes some of the Columbine victims to the Kmart headquarters and tries to return the bullets that they were shot with (Moore). Moore also supports this claim by going to a particular bank that gives you a free gun in exchange for setting up a bank account with them (Moore). Additionally, Moore also makes a very profound connection with America’s obsession with weapons when he describes how America instills fear into their citizens so that they feel it’s almost required to own a gun. Moore talks about how a city in Utah passed a law that required all citizens to own a gun. Also, Moore interviews people from a military militia club...
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