Kyle Phoenix Review of Bowling for Columbine

What makes this film so remarkable is the truth that it ultimately tells. Simplistically he traces the rampant gun mania in this country back to the origins of this country being on genocide and slavery. I'd seen Moore talk about his film on Oprah at length before I saw this film, as well as the three minute cartoon that traces the US history and shows the paranoia that white people have been engendered with.

A film that focuses on gun control becomes about race and racism. The racial portrayal of people of color in the media, the media eagerly showing particular races ad nausea committing crimes, over and over and over, forcing white people to believe their engendered fears about other races. The audience laughed at all the appropriate parts until it became about race, then only the people of color laughed because of the bitter truth of the entire situation. White people are afraid to admit this truth, this fear, this internalized terror that seems to stalk so many to the point of getting as many guns as possible.

Charlton Heston, spokesman for the NRA, is interviewed in the film and even he admits that part of the problem, the crime is because of so many ethnicities in this country.

White people are so afraid. Afraid because America is a Me culture, unlike other countries that have socialized medicine, socialized care for the elderly, and at some level while it affords immediate gratification, we all understand that isn't right.

I don't know how to make White people less scared, to get a population of 280 million to relinquish having 250 million guns or 750 million televisions which honestly is becoming a manifestation of what we all project as "the Devil". We're slowly imploding into consumerism, a mentality of attack, attack, attack with a focus on war and destruction and killing each other. Frankly, after leaving the movie, I was ashamed that I lived in a country where our children can turn not only physically, whether purposefully as in Columbine or in Flint, accidentally, to killing. Children are killing. What else do we need as a wake up call?

I took a class man years ago taught by an Indian chief and his lesson was that every culture has Armageddon mythology but that American Indian mythology includes that the winds will be out of control, that our weather patterns will no longer make sense and the next that our children will kill. I do believe that the focus of television and video games and movies teaches children HOW to kill and destroy but it is America's lack of empathy and compassion that teaches them WHY to kill.

When so many people Moore interviewed were asked why they were arming themselves, they came back to the 2nd Amendment, to the necessity to protect themselves, their families, to the fear of the THEM coming for them whether it be government or SOMEONE, colored ultimately and I thought to myself what people of color are taught from a young age: White people are crazy, and now there's a film to support that theory.

Statistically it bears out that Black people have actually committed less crime in the past 10 years than White people, 30% lowering while there has been a 600% increase in the showing of black men as criminals on TV. Amazingly companies like Enron and World Com that financially rape millions of people of their entire lives are shown briefly before we get back to the projected terrorists and racial dangers here in America. White citizens born into fear and constantly propagandized by television about fearing are arming themselves and ironically as we learned in Columbine, killing themselves. White children go hog wild with guns, white men are more apt to commit suicide and take the family with them, white people wage war without the UN support and the rest of us sit and watch.

I've been to Canada and honestly the White people there are different, maybe it's more space, maybe it's because they are a country committed to caring about people, not just thru lip service but through social and financial commitment---free medical care for EVERYONE, care for the elderly, a higher unemployment rate but a gov't committed to employing its citizens. A mass of 30 million people who have 7 million guys and less than 200 gun shootings a year. America, 280 million has close to 12,000 gun murders a year. Even by the simplistic math of averaging 10 times more in population we should only have 2000 average gun related shootings a year and yet we have 6 times THAT amount.
America is hemorrhaging from lack of social care for EVERYONE, rich or poor, lack of parental classes, lack of marital classes, lack of integrity, lack of responsible election processes, lack of big business regulation and lack of respect for the world. Its funny how this film correlates the ideology into the political system, but like a disease this is rampant to the very concept of the 3 card Monte deal of hunting for Osama to blaming Saddam Hussein for the world's terroristic problems. Bush knows how many weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq, why?> because his daddy sold them to Iraq when Hussein was helped to established power by the US to oppose Iran. We didn't care about the actions of the regime then; it was only when oil prices went up that we became concerned about the second largest producer of oil on the planet.

Curiously enough I got an email about my initial review of this film that told me to "go back home" if I didn't like it here. In truth, I am Narragansett Indian, an undisturbed line from my great-grandfather; anyone not of American Indian descent is on MY land my legal possession rights of America. I am home. But hasn't that always been the racist yell from the battle for Integration, to vote, to exist? That if anyone here in America disagrees, as supposedly allowed in a democracy, they should: go back to where THEY came from". Again that "THEM". I expect that not every person of any color shares the masses attitudes, except perhaps in this country that through first genocide of millions of Indians and then slavery of several races to build up the financial base became the mess we have today.

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
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