Michael Moore, American filmmaker and activist, has delivered a scathing indictment of America’s gun laws, after yet another mass shooting this weekend.
Yes, another mass shooting.
This weekend a 22-year-old gunman went on a shooting rampage in Southern California. Seven people died (including the gunman) and seven others were injured in the shooting spree. He killed these people in under 10 minutes.
Elliot Rodger, a student at Santa Barbara City College, acted alone. He was seeking revenge on women who had turned him down in the past – but his hatred was not limited to individuals. In a chilling YouTube video that Rodger posted before his death, he said: “Girls, all I’ve ever wanted was to love you and to be loved by you. I’ve wanted sex. I’ve wanted love, affection, adoration. You think I’m unworthy of it. That’s a crime that can never be forgiven. If I can’t have you girls, I will destroy you.”
The lawyer for the Rodger family, Alan Schifman, released a statement revealing that Rodger had been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome and had been undergoing psychological treatment. His family had also reached out to the police in the past, scared by his alarming behaviour.
And the way this deeply troubled man was able to kill so many, in such a short period of time, was because he somehow had access to gun.
When the police found his body, there was a semi-automatic handgun lying next to him and over 400 rounds of unspent ammunition.
Michael Moore is a Palme d’Or winning American documentary-maker and activist, who released the controversial film Bowling for Columbine in 2002. Bowling for Columbine explored the causes for the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999 and America’s relationship with violence and guns.
He is an outspoken critic of American gun laws and since the shooting this weekend, journalists, television stations and concerned citizens have reached out to Moore, seeking a comment on these latest, tragic deaths.
But Michael Moore’s statement, posted on Facebook this afternoon, is probably not what many were expecting. He wrote:
With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night’s tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA — I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life.
Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps.
We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) “interests.” The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol.
While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do — and yet we don’t seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: “Why us? What is it about US?”
Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses — and then we the people refuse to remove them from office.
So the onus is on us, all of us. We won’t pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won’t consider why this happens here all the time.
When the NRA says, “Guns don’t kill people — people kill people,” they’ve got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: “Guns don’t kill people — Americans kill people.” Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.
The gun lobby in America – which lobbies the government, ostensibly on the behalf of ordinary citizens, to maintain the status quo of gun regulation in the states – is not beloved by Michael Moore.
But when someone argues “gun don’t kill people – people kill people”, they are also forgetting one very important fact.
Guns assist people in killing people. More quickly. And more efficiently.
Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured seven others in under 10 minutes.
As Richard Martinez, the father of one of the six victims confirmed dead – Chris Martinez – cried today:
Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.
They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say stop this madness? We don’t have to live like this.
Too many have died. We should say to ourselves: ‘Not one more.’
Here is a gallery of items the US has banned in schools, instead of banning guns in their country.
One child is holding something that's been banned in America to protect them. Guess which one? The Red Hiding Hood storybook, or a semi-automatic?
We will keep you updated as further details emerge.