Last Updated 03 Jan 2023

An Analysis of Gun Violence in the United States of America

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The United States of America is notorious for gun violence and has quite the reputation for unnecessary bloodshed. Filmmaker Michael Moore decided to take this theme and create a documentary titled Bowling for Columbine. This documentary is primarily based on the 1999 Columbine high school killing spree, however loosely covers other gun related incidents including the youngest recorded murder in the United States which took place in Moores hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Throughout the film Michael Moore speaks with James Nichols brother of Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols -, K-Mart employees, the Michigan Militia and to top it off National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston. Many of the people Moore speaks with have a big role in regards to gun violence within the country in one way or another. Using the information gathered from his interviews, Michael Moore attempts to uncover the reasoning behind such violence in a country with extensive gun ownership.

Bowling for Columbine is based on a topic which is not of scientific truth. Such a topic provides filmmakers like Michael Moore an opportunity to persuade the audience to adopt an opinion. In this film, many inaccurate explanations are used to present Americas gun situation from one point of view. From the beginning of the documentary where Moore shows the simplicity of obtaining a gun to his interview with Charlton Heston, Moore constantly employs rhetoric to easily sway the viewers opinion on the topic.

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From the beginning of the documentary, director Michael Moore was attempting to present a subject from one point of view which he successfully did. The film did what it was meant to do; therefore it can justifiably be argued that the film was well directed. At times it was hard to follow due to the constant switching between different gun related incidents, however the same message consistently stood out. This along with the lack of diverse opinions provided by the people interviewed formed a one sided argument. It may however be very possible, if not likely, that many things said which did not support Moores points of view were edited out from the film. As in many other documentaries and films in general, music and unique shots were used to create certain moods. The film will have a greater impact on us if it appeals to our emotion. This is a reason why Michael Moore himself narrated the film. He wishes to provide only certain facts and certain emotional appeal to the audience in hope of brainwashing them.

The topic of mass carnage and widespread gun possession throughout the United States of America is ineffectively dealt with in Bowling for Columbine. A topic consists of many points of views, where as Michael Moore only shows what he wishes to show in this film. Moore is forming the thought that every American is a trigger happy redneck who uses violence to solve their problems. This is essentially how Americans are portrayed in this film.

Michael Moore is blatantly biased; he does not even attempt to be objective. Considering we as viewers know where Moore is from and his opinion, we can determine that he will be using the film as an outlet to show a poor side of America is respect to gun violence. This shows me that, yes, people will be deceitful and at times lie to get there point across. However Im also shown that this is necessary in our modern day to actually persuade somebody. If Moore only shows the boys who were shot, the family of victims etc, he will be able to open the publics eyes to the gun violence taking place in the United States of America, even if drastic exaggeration gets him that far.

In conclusion I believe that Bowling for Columbine was well done, but quite inaccurate. This inaccuracy and the Moores obvious subjectivity are weaknesses of the film; however it does bring attention to an important issue which is of more significance. Americas gun reputation may be justified, but Michael Moore greatly exaggerates it. Bowling for Columbine was well filmed and provided us with helpful information, however its now our choice to determine which sources we look at to formulate our own opinion.

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