Last week I had wondered about the suspicious statistics in the movie Bowling for Columbine. After much research, I have found out that the statistics are mostly false. The United States does have the highest gun ownership in the world. The US has 270 million of the 650 million civilian-owned firearms worldwide. This number can be a bit misleading because "it is not 9 people that have one gun, it is one person that has lots of guns." Also even though Americans have a lot of guns, they actually do not have the highest gun related homicide death rate in the world. In the US per 100,000, there are 6.24 gun related homicides. This may seem like a large number but Brazil had 25.78, Jamaica had 18.23, and South Africa had 26. 63. 6.24 doesn't seem like such a bug number now does it?
This past week in class we have been covering the movie Michael Moore Hates America by Michael Wilson. This is a movie that is almost as equally controversial as Bowling for Columbine. In the movie, Michael Wilson is trying to prove that Michael Moore is full of lies, deception, and doesn't deserve all of the credit people are giving him.
One topic that Moore always focuses on is the fact he is from the small and unfortunate town of Flint, Michigan. He does this to "prove" to people that he is just your "average joe" from a small town. He portrays Flint as a decrepit town that is litterally falling apart. This is a terribly one sided view of Flint. In Wilson's movie, he actually goes to Flint and shows the viewers a completley different city. Yes some parts are pretty bad, but a lot of it is nice communities and houses. Wilson also finds out Moore's real hometown is actually Davison, Michigan, not Flint. Davison is just your ordinary American town, very similar to parts of Virginia. It is only located about 10 miles away from Flint! Moore probably used the town of Flint as his hometown instead of Davison because Flint is in a little worse of shape, but still isn't the worst town I have seen.
One issue that has raised a ton of arguments and discussion in class was the fact that Michael Wilson used a lot of the same filming and editing styles as Michael Moore. Both of the stars and directors use questionable editing styles to prove a point with the specific footage they show. They both go into interviews trying to get certain words or information on tape. The only difference is that Michael Wilson sort of has a guilty conscience about doing this thing this. He even admits to his wrongdoings on camera to the viewers. Michale Moore just uses it and never second gueses himself, while Wilson does. He even felt bad enough to write a person whom he had interviewed in Moore's hometown to appologize and ask permission to use the footage. I do applaude this notion, and I am very glad that he is at least trying to correct some of his wrongs. This makes me feel like I can trust him a little bit more the Moore.
Just because Wilson tries to repent his wrongdoings, does that mean that what he is doing is right? I feel the answer is "no". I am happy that he does at least tell us about his mistakes, but it does not make them right. If someone was to hurt someone else and they say that they are sorry, it does not make the action they did correct. It is still worng and forever will be. Along the lines of this, in the movie, an interviewee stated that it was impossible to make an unbiased documentary, and that all documentaries have to use choppy editing to prove their point. I sort of agree with this statment only because I have never seen an unbiased documentary before. This does not mean that one does not exist, but as of right now, I do not know about the existance of one.
After watching parts of the movie Michael Moore Hates America, I was very curious about the response to this movie. I know that both this movie and Bowling for Columbine were very controversial, but I would like to know more about it. Bowling for Columbine received an Academy Award, but what happened to Michael Moore Hates America?
Please stay tunned for the answer next week!
Deaths involving firearms, per 100,000 persons, by country (1997). (2007, June 30). Retrieved from http://www.allcountries.org/gun_deaths_by_country.html
Identifying guilt. (2010, October 3). Retrieved from http://www.cindysense.com
International violent death rates. (2003, May 5). Retrieved from http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html
JT. (2009, July 6). Gun death statistics in other countries. Retrieved from http://bowlingfortruth.com/page/2/
Michael Moore hates America. (2010, October 3). Retrieved from http://www.veiled-chameleon.com
Us highest in gun ownership. (2007, September 12). Retrieved from http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2007/09/12/us_highest_in_gun_ownership.aspx