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Jan 14, 2004

Bowling for Columbine

Micheal Moore is da man. Bowling for Columbine is the one of the best documentaries I have ever seen (the other one is Waco:The Rules of Engagement). Before I go further, tell me what do these things/people have in common? Hitler, Clinton, Columbine and Kosovo? On April 20, 1999 Hitler would have celebrated his 110th birthday. Bill Clinton, the then Commander-in-Chief of United States ordered the largest air raid, the biggest bombing US ever made on Kosovo on the same day. In Littleton, Colorado two Columbine high schools seniors shot and killed twelve students and a teacher and later killed themselves in what came to be known as the worst high school shootout in the history of United States on the very same day. Too much of a day for history to bear, eh?

Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the perpetrators of the massacre at Columbine were ordinary students and they did not come from broken homes as is often cited in similar crimes. They went bowling at 6 am of the day of the murder at the neighborhood bowling alley. (That accounts for the title of the film) "Bowling for Columbine", explores a gun obsessed country, where kids have easy access to firearms, bomb making materials and is populated with banks which give out a free gun everytime you open a new bank account (if this is not crazy, what is?). Klebold and Harris did extensive preparation for more than a year before, making pipe bombs learning how to make them from the internet. On the day of the massacre they planted two such bombs in the school cafetaria, which due to someone's wild luck didn't go off. Had they exploded instead of 15 people, the death toll would have been hundreds.

The movie is not a psychological exploration of the killers but rather it is a psychological exploration of a country which has gone berserk over guns and gun control(or the lack of it), a country where people won't enquire or go beyond what they are told. This is a movie that wants to wake everyone from their slumber of confirmation to the majority. It shouldn't take the murder of your child to make you realize what 'they' have been hammering into your minds with torrents of misinformation is wrong.

Micheal Moore tells in an interview, in the special features section of the DVD that there was one part he deliberately left out of the movie. The fact that police and the SWAT teams waited for three hours before they entered Columbine highschool after the first 911 call, they even stopped the people who tried to rush in thru' the barricades to save their children. Why did they do that? Afterall, the information they had was there were two or maximum three shooters, there was an army of law enforcement personnel waiting outside....what were they doing outside, when they could have prevented some deaths atleast, like that of the teacher who bled to death in three hours. And everybody else...including all the parents (except 2 or 3 people) followed the orders, they stood and waited obediently behind the "do not cross" yellow tapes. Meanwhile the killers themselves commited suicide one hour after they had started their shooting spree.

Has Columbine taught us anything? Hardly much, I guess. We need more people like Micheal Moore who'd not shy away from speaking the truth. I have to agree with him when he says, "Democrats are the lamest excuse ever for a political party", or "we live in fictitious times, ruled by a fictitious President" or when he warns the President against the war in Iraq, "when the Pope and Dixie Chicks are against your policies, you should know your time is up." Haven't yet posted the reviews of Moore's Stupid White Men and Dude, Where's my Country. Both real good books, hats off to Micheal Moore.