Need help addressing the class before a viewing of Bowling for Columbine.


June 28, 2005, 04:41 PM
Hi guys,
Recently started attending school again. Taking an English summer class, feel like I'm in a Chinese reeducation camp. Recent assignment reading "Nickel and Dimed" :rolleyes: but hey it's an english class the teacher can make us read what she wants. But I found out we will be watching Bowling for Columbine on Thursday. Shot my teacher an email explaining my displeasure. Now I'm going to be presenting the opposing view before we watch the movie. Can you guys help me with key points I should hit in a short introduction?

Here's part of my teacher's response
Like any idea in the class, you can feel free to disagree or criticize it--as long as you can support and develop your argument with credible evidence (the links you've provided below are interesting, but they are slanted, too...). So, please feel free to criticize the film. In fact, since you have, would you mind presenting this point of view--watching out for logical fallacies-- to the class before we watch the movie?

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June 28, 2005, 04:45 PM
I wouldnt try to discredit the movie in particular, just the bias beliefs and lies of the producer Michael Moore.

June 28, 2005, 04:50 PM
I'm guessing that you already have this link ( since your teacher mentioned some links you sent her. My advice is to wait until after the movie, then shoot down the various lies Moore incorporates into his "documentary." If you must go first, mention specific things from the movie and then correct them. That way you won't just be working with ambiguous comments and people will remember what you said when it happens during the movie.

CZ 75 BD
June 28, 2005, 04:50 PM
The Truth About BFC by David T. Hardy (

Here is everything you need.

June 28, 2005, 04:50 PM
Dick Morris wrote a book detailing the fraud of BFC. Google is your friend because there is a lot of analysis out there.

June 28, 2005, 04:53 PM
Check out:

and as mentioned above

should get you started with a few arguments and facts

+2 on google being your friend

June 28, 2005, 04:55 PM


June 28, 2005, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the links guys. I already had most of them. But I'm not going to have that much time for my intro. What are the main things I should focus on? Part of me is happy that I'm given time to present my opposing viewpoint. Another part of me thinks I should've kept my trap shut and saved myself some work. I know that's the lazy part of me that should get it's butt kicked :p .

June 28, 2005, 05:01 PM
hahaha :D :D :D :D :D That's funny Zrax!!!!

June 28, 2005, 05:12 PM
He may be funny but he may also be right.

Just don't be surprised to get a C+ whilst watching others who can barely compose a simple sentence get A's and B's. I saw exactly that in a couple college classes I took when I incorporated gun related information into my reports.

You've been warned :)

Let me edit to add I got a standing ovation on a verbal presentation of the one report and the other was also above and beyond the call of what was required. I put a lot of hard work into that as opposed to others who simply brought in copies of things other people had prepared.

June 28, 2005, 05:13 PM
Ask her if you can pause the movie and point out each lie as Moore spews them out.

June 28, 2005, 05:13 PM
Bring a box of tissues and start crying, sobbing uncontrollably.

That pretty much sums up MM's mockumentary.

June 28, 2005, 05:15 PM
Well the simplest things to point out are how the parents were idiots and kids aren't allowed to buy guns, so calls for tighter regulations on law-abiding citizens would not have stopped this. Furthermore, convincing Kmart to stop selling ammunition isn't going to stop anything either.

Ask them this: "Would Michael Moore stand at the doorsteps of the corporate office of Budweiser if that boy had been crippled by a drunk driver instead of a crazy gunman? Would he have gone to Ford Motor Company if it had been an Explorer? Or would he even ask the same Kmart to stop selling alcohol? Nope, he wouldn't do any of those things because he is biased and cannot comprehend the issue."

June 28, 2005, 06:21 PM
here's what you should focus on:

a) the film is fraudulent, in that it edits several speeches to convey a message that is 180 degrees counter to what the NRA and heston intend

i'd spend a few minutes, since you're doing it BEFORE you watch, to point out things to look for, that prove the tape is edited.

and I'd be sure to point out how evil this is. and how character assassination proves nothing about the underlying arguments for and against guns.

b) I'd make a big poster with the information from this ( explaining why the bfc's rates are disingenuous.

c) finally, i'd make this point:10. Guns (supposedly the point of the film). A point worth making (although not strictly on theme here): Bowling's theme is, rather curiously, not opposed to firearms ownership.

After making out Canada to be a haven of nonviolence, Moore asks why. He proclaims that Canada has "a tremendous amount of gun ownership," somewhat under one gun per household. He visits Canadian shooting ranges, gun stores, and in the end proclaims "Canada is a gun loving, gun toting, gun crazy country!"

Or as he put it elsewhere, "then I learned that Canada has 7 million guns but they don't kill each other like we do. I thought, gosh, that's uncomfortably close to the NRA position: Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Bowling concludes that Canada isn't peaceful because it lacks guns and gun nuts -- it has lots of those -- but because the Canadian mass media isn't into constant hyping of fear and loathing, and the American media is. (One problem).

so I'd point out that the film isn't actually anti-gun... it's anti-media and anti-NRA. so really, your defense isn't so much 2A as it is of the motives and stereotypes of the typical NRA member.

i'd summarize by saying how OBVIOUSLY fabricated this whole argument is, and the speculate about WHY moore had to stoop to fabrication. after all the research and time he spent, and with all his resources, couldn't he find legitimate things to support his bias?

Standing Wolf
June 28, 2005, 06:23 PM
...I found out we will be watching Bowling for Columbine on Thursday.

In my student days, we read books for English courses. Times seem to have changed a bit.

June 28, 2005, 06:40 PM
just ask for an extension for about 30 years. Then, when Michael Moore gets Alzheimers, you can go and confuse the hell out of him and edit the interview as well.

Michael Moore is a good film maker, but not much when it comes to presenting a good documentary.
He should go to work as a soap opera writer.

June 28, 2005, 06:58 PM
Pick out 4 to 6 of the most egregious fallicies. Tell the class what they will be seeing/hearing and why the information is inaccurate, incorrect, or out of context or misleading. Attack the message not the messenger and you will increase your credibility. If someone else is presenting the 'pro' view you will have to decide whether your points give you an advantage going first or last.

June 28, 2005, 10:14 PM
If you can afford some money for copies, make a handout that identifies the falsehoods in order that they occur, so that the viewers can refer back to your document during the movie. (You can also include a bibliography of sorts, so that they can research the rest of the movie as well.)

If you do the handout, I don't think I would worry about documenting all of the falsehoods, just the most outrageous or misleading. (There's only so much room on a piece of paper, after all.)

A number of benefits here:
1) It becomes a game of "follow the list", and may result in students paying a little bit less attention to the movie.
2) People with short memories don't have to remember everything you brought up, and can digest it at their leisure.
3) People have something they can take away and refer to at a later time to find more information.
4) You don't have to worry about time limits as much-- you can just hit the high points or the "more confusing" parts of your pre-rebuttal.

June 28, 2005, 10:19 PM
What you could point out is those 2 dirtbags Harris and Klebold broke enough laws to put them each away in jail for over 1000 years and each faced $990,000 in fines before they even pointed a gun at anyone.

They built 2 short barreled shotguns. Possession of unregistered SBS is a felony and can get you up to 10 years in prison and $10000 fine. Building them without paying the making tax is tax evasion.

They built 95 destructive devices of various sizes: pipe bombs and propane bombs. Each unregistered DD gets the same punishment as above. Also tax evasion.

So 97 violations of the National Firearms Act = 970 years, plus whatever the feds want to tack on for tax evasion. Then bringing firearms to school, straw purchase penalties for the 2 handguns they had a friend buy for them.

Keep in mind this is what they were facing in punishment BEFORE they even hurt anyone. Sure, more gun laws would have prevented it. :rolleyes:

June 28, 2005, 10:23 PM
The easiest way to expose moore as a liar is to use historical FACT to prove him wrong.

Note that the NRA was founded by UNION officers and moore's assertion that the NRA and KKK are sister organizations is completely unfounded and downright slanderous.

The first NRA president was General Ambrose Burnside, hero of the UNION army. Many other famous UNION generals either were in involved in the formation of NRA or leading it. General Winfield Scott Hancock, hero of Gettysburg. General Philip Sheridan, and President/General Ulysses S Grant. Ulysses S Grant was the president that signed the bill making the KKK a criminal organization.

Unlike that lying sack of crap moore, the men I mentioned above actually FOUGHT and BLED for the rights of blacks. Who would you rather believe? Some sleezy propagandist that talks out of both sides of his mouth, or true Americans that put it all on the line?

June 29, 2005, 04:50 AM
Someone asked me the other day why the NRA hasn't sued over the editing and allegations of links to the KKK.

June 29, 2005, 05:07 AM
Someone asked me the other day why the NRA hasn't sued over the editing and allegations of links to the KKK.

I think one person interviewed in the film was planning to bring a lawsuit against Moore alleging defamation of character and some other stuff. I don't know what came of that.

June 29, 2005, 08:02 AM
Someone asked me the other day why the NRA hasn't sued over the editing and allegations of links to the KKK.

Because they know very well, Moore will claim it wasn't slanderous but satire. Satire is a very protected form of speech. Ya know if it's a comedy bit, it isn't true and thus not slanderous. Also you generally have to prove the person making slanderous or lible type comments KNOWS what they are saying is factually inaccurate and still proceeded to say it out of malice. All of this makes for a very difficult case. It just plain isn't worth it.

June 29, 2005, 08:07 AM
Find a copy of Farenhype 9/11 to show afterward.
Er, ETA: sorry, got Bowling for Columbine and Farhenheit 9/11 confused, thats what I get for posting without caffiene...


June 29, 2005, 08:48 AM

In the handout, put all of the discrepancies in chronological order so that the class can follow along during the movie.

I think this would make your point much stronger over all.

June 29, 2005, 09:39 AM
Shot my teacher an email explaining my displeasure.

A rather unfortunate selection of words given the topic...


June 29, 2005, 10:06 AM
In the handout, put all of the discrepancies in chronological order so that the class can follow along during the movie.
Handouts +2

Put little check boxes on the handout so your classmates will be able to check off each discrepancy as the "film" progresses.

June 29, 2005, 10:43 AM
Handouts +3

Check boxes to follow along +1

June 29, 2005, 12:10 PM
This is a college English course? I think it's a strange movie to pick. Independent of Moore's views, it's just very poorly constructed.

I think if your view is that guns are bad and that we need to get rid of all of them, you could make a documentary that would back that up. But Moore doesn't seem to know what his message is. As others have said, the bit on Canada seems to exactly and very effectively negate that whole viewpoint.

I hated this movie. I'd be happy to watch an anti-gun movie if it was good. I could at least enjoy arguing with it while being entertained. But Bowling for Columbine is just all over the map and not remotely cohesive.

On one side, I thought Moore's ambush of Heston was reprehensible. On the other side, I thought Heston's lack of rebuttal was at least equally unforgivable. Granted, he didn't have a chance to prepare and didn't know he was being attacked. Still though, he's the president of the NRA for God's sake. Moore wasn't coming at him with anything new or complicated. I think if you're in a position of high visibility for a controversial organization, you absolutely must be able to very effectively rebut at least the standard arguments against your position.

I think speaking before the movie is a pretty bad idea. Even if it weren't a persuasive piece, who wants their experience ruined by someone talking about the points of the movie beforehand? I wouldn't want my professor talking about Ophelia's suicide before we even started to read Hamlet.

Finally, Admiral Akbar is almost certainly right again. My biggest advice would be to be careful. Point out the movie's logical inconsistencies. Ask questions. What does Michael Moore's opinion on Canada's gun ownership due to his argument that guns are the problem in America? What message is Moore trying to get across in this movie? Is that message presented with a clear and direct view? How much of the argument is based on emotional appeal? Make an impact. Make people break stereotypes and really think about what you're saying. Don't make them say afterwards, "And there was this redneck guy in class who hated Michael Moore and was like, 'guns are my god-given right, blah, blah, blah'".

July 1, 2005, 06:23 PM
How did this go, CF?

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