Bowling for Columbine
In the Oscar and Bodil winning documentary “Bowling for Columbine” the journalist Michael Moore conveys a very tragic story in a very humorous way. We continuously meet examples of how and why America’s homicide rate is extremely high compared to other western countries.


It is clearly a tendency that Americans shoot each other much more than other nations. Moore finds two reasonable explanations of the tendency; the fact that almost every American citizen owns a handgun and the attitude towards guns.


The Americans are very rightist and feel that they are entitled to carry out their own personal constitution on their property. In their opinion it is perfectly all right to shoot trespassers, and they do not hesitate to do so. They would rather shoot once to often to be on the safe side.


Moore decided to examine what has caused the American paranoia that is not seen to this extent anywhere else, and he found that the media is responsible for a big part of it, because most of the news in TV is about robberies and shootings. In order to set up a contrast to the American point of view regarding guns, Moore went to Canada where the homicide rate is seven times lower.


The big question is why Canadians go for animal hunting and Americans kill people. The answer was found in the main streets of Vancouver. Moore interviewed a representative selection of the population on their view on guns and Americans. It turned out that most Canadians hardly lock their door, while most Americans have several locks on their doors, and the Canadian attitude in general seemed much more easygoing.


Another remarkable thing is the Canadians media. The news is similar to European news, covering subjects like pollution, healthcare and childcare rather than shootings and violence.


In the film we make the acquaintance of a brother of a convict in a case where a public building in Oklahoma was blown up. He was not convicted himself because of lacking evidence.


The man slept with a loaded gun under his pillow, and he characterized it as perfectly normal.


He and many others Americans declared that they saw it as their duty as good and responsible Americans to own a gun in order to protect their family. In my opinion, the easy gun access is a vicious circle because people need to protect themselves with guns as long as the criminals have them.


Spokesmen for guns in America proclaim that the easy gun access in the USA is not to blame. They assure that the reason for Americas extraordinary homicide rate is to find in the bloody history of the United States, but that does not seem particularly logical when we consider the European past. The president of The National Rifle Association still finds it all right that everybody over aged eighteen with no criminal record can by a handgun in spite of the tragic school massacres that America witnessed.


The title ‘Bowling for Columbine’ is connected to the shooting incident at Columbine High in 1999, where two boys aged eleven and thirteen opened fire on a teacher and a group of children on their own aged and afterwards took their own lives. Their last subject before the massacre was bowling. It was what they enjoyed the very most; however they seemed indifferent about it.


Politicians blame the extremist musicians for children becoming psychopaths, yet it does not explain why the shooting happened right after the activity the boys were most found of.


In order to not let us forget, the documentary returns to the bowling alley at Columbine between every new scene.


Personally I find the documentary very interesting and humorous, and it certainly deserves its prices. Its story is undoubtedly distorted in a number of ways but the message is clear, America need to focus on a lot of other problems than fear and violence, and reduce the amount of weapons. The homicide rate would probably be a lot lower if there was no such great difference between rich and poor. I do not approve of the legal system in Denmark where you can be convicted of violence if you are defending yourself from a burglar. But I do absolutely not approve of the American legal system where you are entitled to shoot an