Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bowling for Columbine (Revisited)


After yesterday's horrific killings in Connecticut, Open Culture re-posted the Michael Moore documentary, Bowling for Columbine, which is freely available on YouTube. In the years since that event, mass killings have become more common and even more troubling for the simple reason that we seem to learn nothing from these events. The gun lobby has succeeded in not only preventing more regulation of gun sales, but in many states, like Arizona, gun laws become more and more relaxed - to the point that we are a state that does not require ANY training or permits to carry a concealed weapon.

Bowling for Columbine Revisited

December 14th, 2012

In April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher in Columbine, Colorado, while injuring 21 others. Michael Moore documented the tragedy in his 2002 film, Bowling for Columbine, which sits on YouTube, available for everyone to see. It’s heartbreaking to think that a decade later, students are no safer at their schools. If anything, gun control has slackened during the intervening years (thanks partly to the Supreme Court) and mass murders have become more commonplace, if not a monthly occurrence. 12 were killed and 52 injured in Aurora, CO in July. 10 killed in a Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin this August. Five gunned down at Accent Signage Systems in Minnesota in October. Two shot dead at a mall in Portland, Oregon earlier this week. And now 20 youngsters and seven adults killed at an elementary school today in Connecticut. We’ve reached the point where it has become an exceptional American pathology and too much to bear. (If you’re counting, we’ve had 27 mass murders since Columbine, and exponentially more gun-related deaths than any other country in the developed world.) I sincerely hope this isn’t another instance where we breathlessly express outrage for a week, then turn back to the Kardashians, until the next shooting happens in February at best. Public spaces should be safe, schools all the more so. (Let’s not forget Virginia Tech, which left us with another 32 students dead.) It’s time to take some action. And it’s time for our leaders to stop worrying about lobbies and finally lead.

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