“Bowling for Columbine” is the movie which arises many questions. Written and directed by Michael Moore in 2002, it remains topical even today, when the excessive violence breaks out into the world at full speed.
On the twentieth of April, 1999, a horrific event took place at ColumbineHigh School, situated in Columbine, Colorado, United States. Two boys – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out an appalling cold-blooded massacre. They killed 13 people and injured 21 students. After the shootings both of them committed suicides. The movie “Bowling for Columbine” researches the reason of such an increasing level of violence in the United States. It also investigates and emphasizes the facility of access to the weapon which exists in the country nowadays.
The movie opens with a scene in the bank. Michael Moore, who is also the main narrator, opens a bank account and receives a riffle. The situation takes place in one of the Michigan’s banks. Michael Moore fills a short application form and immediately becomes a possessor of the riffle. The narrator proceeds with an insertion of the short scenes taken from different documentaries, news reports and movies, which create the persuasive effect on the viewer. All members of the scenes are brutally killed by people who possess the guns.
“Bowling for Columbine” proceeds with Michael’s visit to Michigan’s Militia, which became notorious for the blowing up of the federal building. The explosion was set off by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in 1995. It killed 168 people and injured more than 680 victims. Moore interviews James Nichols, who is Terry Nichol’s brother. The man states that the reason of his brother’s actions was his wish to revolt against the government, which according to James Nichols, has enslaved its citizens (1). He mentions that the government’s attitude may cause a “revolt with anger, and there will be blood running down the streets” (1). In contrast to such a cruel and stunning answer Michael Moore reminds his interlocutor how Gandhi revolted against the tyrannical government not using any weapon. Nichols briefly answers “I’m not familiar with that” (1).
The interview with James Nichols is interrupted by Moore’s conversation with two boys who knew Eric (one of the Columbine’s shooters) when he was a child. Both of them mention that Eric was a self-contained and suspicious person. However, Moore’s interviewees are far from being perfect too. The first boy was excluded from school for fighting and bullying others, while the second was on the bomb list. While studying at school he had the so-called “Anarchist’s Cookbook”, which contained the detailed instructions of how to produce a bomb. The following conversation proves that more and more children become interested in weapons already at the young age.
The interview with James Nichols continues. While posing different questions Michael Moore extracts a new piece of information: Nichols in order to protect himself sleeps with a gun under his pillow. James also mentions that the right to possess the weapon is written in the Constitution, and he respects it very much.
The aforementioned episodes which are used at the beginning of the movie convince and end shock the viewer. Undoubtedly, the director has used the most content and thought-provoking interviews aiming at the precise description of the problem. The affordability of the weapons causes the deaths of many innocent people, who have unwillingly become he victims of the cruel and uncontrolled behavior. Michael Moore proves his opinion by providing the figures of the annually killed people in America. If in European and Asian countries this amount does not exceed the level of 200 deaths per year, in America it is 11,127.
As the plot of the movie develops, Michael Moore visits Littleton — a small city, which is considered to be one of the world’s largest weapon makers. Approximately 5000 people work there, many of them have children who study at ColumbineCollege. That is why Michael Moore poses a question: if the parents create the weapons of the mass destruction themselves, why should not children use them? As an answer, the viewer may assume that, probably, the same opinion had Eric and Dylan who used weapons as a way of giving vent to their anger.
The fierce anger and the accessibility of the weapon have the devastating consequences. It has already led to the deaths of many victims, and the amount of annual sufferers tends to remain on the same level. Something must be done. Moreover, the massacres, which happened after the Columbine tragedy, prove the need for the considerable changes. One of the most horrific events was the Virginia Tech massacre which occurred in 2007 at VirginiaPolytechnicUniversity. The figures are astounding: 32 people were killed and 17 were wounded. The massacre was carried out by a student who had been diagnosed with selective mutism — a severe mental disorder. If the usage of the weapon had been forbidden, it would not have appeared in the hands of a mentally ill person. As the result, the tragedy would not have happened at all. One of the latest shootings happened in Aurora, Colorado. During the screening of the movie The Dark Knight Rises, James Holmes entered the cinema and started the shooting – 12 people were killed. The following events prove the topicality of Michael Moore’s movie. The government should restrict the way of making any citizen a possessor of gun — that may be the way out of the problem.