Bowling for Columbine
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“”I wouldn't say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say and that's what no one did.
|—Marilyn Manson, in response to what he would say to the Columbine shooters|
“”The two by-products of that whole tragedy were, violence in entertainment, and gun control. And how perfect that that was the two things that we were going to talk about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Lewinsky and we forgot about, uh, the President was shooting bombs overseas, yet I'm a bad guy because I, well I sing some rock-and-roll songs, and who's a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I'd like to think me, but I'm going to go with the President.
|—Marilyn Manson on the media's and politicians' long-term response to the Columbine shooting.|
Bowling for Columbine is a political and social commentary film by the American liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. The story arc of the film starts with the events of the Columbine High School massacre, and then proceeds to try to understand or explain school shootings and America's gun culture. The film interviews many prominent figures that were partially blamed for the massacre, from gun-toting Charlton "From My Cold Dead Hands" Heston to "goth rocker" Marilyn Manson. One of the film's central arguments is that while Canada has a rate of gun ownership similar to that of the U.S., its rate of gun crimes is remarkably lower.
Moore reaches a tentative conclusion in the film that American society was initially built on a culture of fear, insecurity, intolerance, and racism, that leads to gun violence. Moore also criticizes the idea that violent media (such as violent video games and movies) causes gun violence. After the movie's release, Moore acknowledges the movie never came to an actual conclusion. Moore then suggests that the Columbine shooting could have been caused by psychiatrist drugs like SSRI antidepressants, and pushed for an investigation into child psychiatry. Moore then called Eli Lilly executives criminals for covering up an internal investigation that showed Prozac was particularly dangerous. Moore questioned why Eli Lilly executives are allowed to walk the city streets. During 1990, Eli Lilly scientists were pressured by their bosses to delete any mentions of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts in patient records of experiences with Prozac.
In one scene, a bank offers a free rifle to anyone who opens an account with them. Moore is shown walking into the bank, opening an account, and walking out with a rifle in his hands. In actual fact, banks are just a wee bit skittish when it comes to customers bearing firearms on their property. The event was staged; the bank in question actually only offered a gift certificate for a free rifle from the gun store down the street from it, which required all the standard background checks to obtain.