Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did.
Chris Rock: You don't need no gun control. You know what you need? We need some bullet control. We need to control the bullets. I think all bullets should cost five thousand dollars. Five thousand dollars for a bullet. You know why? 'Cause if a bullet cost five thousand dollars, there'd be no more innocent bystanders. Every time somebody get shot they'd be like, "Dang, he must've did somethin'! Shit, they put fifty thousand dollars worth of bullets in his ass!" And people would think before they killed somebody if a bullet cost five thousand dollars. "Man, I would blow your fuckin' head off... if I could *afford* it! I'm a get me another job, I'm a start saving some money, and you a dead man!"
Charlton Heston: (At an National Rifles Association meeting) I have only five words for you: FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!
John Nichols: [On the topic of gun ownership] No one has the right to tell me I can't have it. That is protected on our constitution.
Michael Moore: Where does it say a handgun is protected?
John Nichols: No, gun. We should...
Michael Moore: [Interrupting] It doesn't say gun. It says "arms".
John Nichols: Arms. What is "arms"?
Michael Moore: Could be a nuclear weapon.
John Nichols: [Moves his arm about] It's not these - That's right. It could be a nuclear weapon.
Michael Moore: Do you think you should have the right to have weapons-grade plutonium here in the farm field?
John Nichols: We should be able to have anything...
Michael Moore: [Interrupting] Should you have weapons? Should you have weapons-grade plutonium?
John Nichols: I don't want it.
Michael Moore: But, should you have the right to have it if you did want it?
John Nichols: [Thinking about it] That should be restricted.
Michael Moore: Oh! Oh, so you do believe in some restrictions?
John Nichols: Well, there's wackos out there.
Marilyn Manson: The two by-products of that whole tragedy were, violence in entertainment, and gun control. And how perfect that that was the two things that we were going to talk about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Lewinsky and we forgot about, uh, the President was shooting bombs overseas, yet I'm a bad guy because I, well I sing some rock-and-roll songs, and who's a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I'd like to think me, but I'm going to go with the President.
Michael Moore: Do you know that on the day of the Columbine massacre, the US dropped more bombs on Kosovo than any other day during that war?
Marilyn Manson: I do know that, and I think that's really ironic, that nobody said 'well maybe the President had an influence on this violent behavior' Because that's not the way the media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you're watching television, you're watching the news, you're being pumped full of fear, there's floods, there's AIDS, there's murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath they're not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl's not going to fuck you, and it's just this campaign of fear, and consumption, and that's what I think it's all based on, the whole idea of 'keep everyone afraid, and they'll consume.'
Canadian: If more guns make people safer, then America would be one of the safest countries in the world. It isn't. It's the opposite.
Marilyn Manson: When I was a kid growing up, music was the escape. That's the only thing that had no judgments. You know, you put on a record, and it's not going to yell at you for dressing the way you do. It's going to make you feel better about it.
[about accusations that he was responsible for Columbine killings]
Marilyn Manson: I definitely can see why they would pick me. Because I think it's easy to throw my face on the TV, because in the end, I'm a poster boy for fear. Because I represent what everyone is afraid of, because I say and do whatever I want.
John Nichols: I use the pen, because the pen is mightier than the sword. But you must always keep a sword handy for when the pen fails.
Father of Columbine victim: I am here today because my son Daniel would want me to be here today. If my son Daniel was not one of the victims, he would be here with me today. Something is wrong in this country when a child can grab a gun, grab a gun so easily, and shoot a bullet into the middle of a child's face, as my son experienced. Something is wrong. But the time has come to come to understand that a TEC-9 semi-automatic-bullet weapon like that, that killed my son, is not used to kill deer. It has no useful purpose. It is time to address this problem.
Michael Moore: [as Charlton Heston is walking away from Moore] Mr. Heston? Just one more thing.
[Heston turns around]
Michael Moore: This is who she is - or was.
Michael Moore: [Moore holds up a picture of Kayla Holland] This is her.
[Heston ignores Moore and continues to walk away]
Michael Moore: Mr. Heston, please don't leave. Mr. Heston, please take a look at her. This is the girl.
John Nichols: When the government turns tyrannical, it is your duty to overthrow it.
Michael Moore: Why not use Gandhi's way? He didn't have guns, and he beat the British Empire.
John Nichols: I'm not... familiar with that.
Michael Moore: Well, here's my first question: Do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns at a bank?
Michael Moore: There were a lot of things that I didn't know after the World Trade Center attack. But one thing was clear: whether it was before or after September 11th, a public that's this out of control with fear should not have a lot of guns or ammo laying around.
[Filling out an application for a bank account]
Michael Moore: "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective? Or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?" Well, I've never been committed to a mental institution. What does that mean, have I "ever been adjudicated mentally defective"?
Bank employee: It would be something involved with a crime.
Michael Moore: Oh, with a crime. Okay, so if I'm just normally mentally defective but not criminal...
Michael Moore: It was the morning of April 20th 1999, and it was pretty much like any other morning in America. The Farmer did his chores. The milkman made his deliveries. The President bombed another country whose name we couldn't pronounce. Out in Fargo, North Dakota, Cary McWilliams went on his morning walk. Back in Michigan, Mrs Hughes welcomed her students for another day of school. And out in a little town in Colorado, two boys went bowling at 6 in the morning. Yes, it was a typical day in the United States of America.
Michael Moore: I'm here to open up an account.
Helen Steinman: Okay, what kind of account?
Michael Moore: I want the account where I can get the free gun.
Michael Moore: One thing was clear. It still sucked being a teenager. And it really sucked going to school.
Michael Moore: The media, the corporations, the politicians... have all done such a good job of scaring the American public, it's come to the point where they don't need to give any reason at all.
Michael Moore: I left the Heston estate atop Beverly Hills and walked back into the real world. To an America living and breathing in fear. Where gun sales are now at an all record high. And where, in the end, it all comes back to 'Bowling for Columbine'.
John Nichols: I sleep with a .44 magnum under my pillow.
Michael Moore: [in disbelief] Come on. That's what everyone says.
Michael Moore: In George Bush's America the poor were not a priority. And after September 11th correcting America's social problems took a back seat to fear, panic and a new set of priorities.
George W. Bush: [Archive speech] One way to express our unity is for Congress to set the military budget and the defense of the United States as the number one priority, and fully fund my request...
[Graphic on Canadian news show]
Newsperson: New Speedbumps!
Michael Moore: In your mind, somebody might break into your house to harm you or your family. What does that person look like?
Man wearing 'Fuck Everybody' Cap: You.
Michael Moore: Me?
Man wearing 'Fuck Everybody' Cap: Her.
Michael Moore: Her?
Man wearing 'Fuck Everybody' Cap: Him.
Michael Moore: Really?
Man wearing 'Fuck Everybody' Cap: The camera guy. Anybody. There could be a gun in the camera for all I know.
Michael Moore: [narrating] This is Matt Stone. He grew up in Littleton and has fond memories of Columbine.
Matt Stone: Yeah, Columbine, it's just, you know, a crappy school in the middle of a bunch of crappy houses.
[from a Columbine student video]
Student #1: What's your views on high school?
Student #2: Uh, I love it. I learn, I get picked on by bastards who hate me, and the principal's a dick.
Student #1: Who's responsible for school shootings?
Student #2: [points at a random student] Him!
Michael Moore: Ten days after the Columbine killing, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally.
Michael Moore: [to Charlton Heston] Mr. Heston, I'm a member of the N.R.A. I was wondering if I could talk to you about the whole gun issue.
Michael Moore: How many people are killed by guns each year? In Germany; 381. In France; 255. In Canada; 165. In the United Kingdom; 68. In Australia; 65. In Japan; 39. In the United States; 11,127.
Father of Columbine victim: But that, to me, brings up an important question; then what is so different about Americans? Are we homicidal in nature? Because in Europe and Australia... Most other free-world countries they don't have this. They don't have people who snap and go on murderous rampages.
Michael Moore: Well no, they're just like us. I mean, they have the occasional person that snaps and kills a lot of people. How about a British soccer riot? Those aren't Quakers there...
Father of Columbine victim: Every time that I bring up comparisons with other free-world countries, what I hear is; "Oh, our culture is so different. We're so different". And as you said, they have violent video games, they have violent movies, they have alienated youth... They, like us, don't have prayer in schools. What is so radically different? What is it about us?
Michael Moore: What is it?
Father of Columbine victim: What is it?
Michael Moore: What is it?
Father of Columbine victim: What is it? I don't know.
Mike Bradley - Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada: No one wins unless everyone wins. And you don't win by beating up on people who can't defend themselves. And that's been the approach, unfortunately, that's been spreading with some of the right-wing governments across North America. They pick on the people that can't defend themselves. And at the same time, they're turning around and giving financial support and tax breaks and tax benefits to people that don't need them.
[describing a toy gun he got for Christmas]
Michael Moore: This was my first gun. I couldn't wait to go out and shoot up the neighborhood.
Michael Moore: Yes, it was a glorious time to be an American.
Michael Moore: Do you like living here?
Canadian: I like it very much.
[notices his T-shirt that reads "I *heart* NY]
Michael Moore: And your T-shirt?
Canadian: The T-shirt, too.
Michael Moore: [In disbelief] This door was wide open and you're not afraid?
Canadian Lady: Should I be afraid?
Michael Moore: I don't know. You live here.
Canadian Lady: I'm not afraid.
Michael Moore: You're not are you?
Michael Moore: After Columbine, no one could figure out why the boy had resorted to violence.
Michael Moore: Our children get turned into little monsters, but who's to blame?
Barry Glassner - Author of 'The Culture of Fear': My favorite statistic, in all the research I did, discovered that the murder rate had gone down by 20%. The coverage - that is, how many murders are on the evening news - it went up by 600%.
Arthur A. Busch - County Prosecutor: Flint, Michigan: The American people are conditioned by network TV, by local news, to believe that their communities are much more dangerous than they actually are. For example here in this community crime has decreased every year for the past eight years. Yet gun ownership, particularly handgun ownership, is on the increase.
Barry Glassner - Author of 'The Culture of Fear': Crime rates have been dropping, dropping, dropping. Fear of crime has been going up, up, up. How can that be possible? It doesn't make any sense. But it makes perfect sense when you see what we're hearing from politicians and seeing in the news media.
Michael Moore: Why wasn't anyone blaming bowling for warping their minds?
George W. Bush: [Archive press conference] Today the Justice Department did issue a 'Blanket Alert'. It was in recognition of a general threat that we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department has acted like this. I hope it's the last, but given the attitude of the evil-doers, it may not be.
Michael Moore: Everyone said that Columbine was just an average place.
Matt Stone: It was. Painfully average. The kind of place where they say "If you're a loser now, you're a loser forever." And who knows, if they hadn't said that they might not have done it.