Monday, June 09, 2003

I watched Bowling for Columbine yesterday. It's a powerful show about gun violence in the United States and left me thinking about exactly why is it that the rate of gun murders is so much higher in the US than it is anywhere else in the world. I thought it was always to do with the fact that they could get their hands on guns so easily - but it turns out that there are seven million guns in Canada and yet, the rate of gun murders is so much lower.

When they were replaying the footage of the shootings that occurred in Columbine High, I was close to tears. What happened that day was tragic and uncomprehensible. What is it that makes someone so... mad and angry... or so twisted that they decide to shoot out a school full of innocent kids in order to be avenged upon them? True, kids can be very vicious sometimes, and when you're that young, maybe you can't see beyond the teasing and the insults that there is indeed another life out there, one without the bullies and losers that have tormented you throughout.

When the two survivors from Columbine managed to convince K-Mart to phase out the sale of handgun ammunition from all its stores, I almost stood up and cheered. True, that move may have come at a high price, but it just goes to show you the power and determination of those kids. It's something that I should try and remember next time I'm feeling down.

And the much-talked about interview with Charlton Heston? I have much respect for him as an actor. He was wonderful as Moses and Ben-Hur. But in real-life, he strikes me as being incredibly stupid and insensitive. By holding pro-gun rallies in Littleton and Flint just weeks after high school shootings occurred in both townships, he just demonstrated how incredibly callous he is. And his message to all anti-gun protesters? Defiantly clutching his rifle, he proclaimed "From my cold dead hand." Anyway, when Michael Moore interviews him in his home, asking him about his opinions on gun violence in the US... sad to say, Heston doesn't distinguish himself in the least. He digs himself into a deeper and deeper hole with every answer he gives. True, Heston may be involved in charity work and civil rights and all that - but that one interview showed a side to the man I hadn't expected. A man proud to be the owner - and wielder - of a gun and a downright insensitive jerk who refused to even acknowledge the photo of the little girl who had been shot to death a few weeks before.

All in all, an incredibly profound and moving show. It doesn't promise to provide any answers, but then again, who can, in this twisted world we live?

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