Current TV interviewed Michael Moore — director and producer of the documentary on gun violence and the Columbine High School massacre, Bowling for Columbine — in the aftermath of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults dead, as well as the shooter himself and his mother.
On the subject of the relationship between Americans and guns, he says, “I think we’re very frightened people. I think we’ve been frightened ever since we landed on these shores. We were frightened of the native people, we were frightened of the salves we brought over, as we should have been.
“And those in power have known how to manipulate us with fear. And we’ve started wars over being told lies about, whether it was the Spanish American War, Mexican American War, you can go through so many of these wars we’ve been in throughout history and right up through the Iraq War,” he said, which happened “because those in power knew if they just put enough fear in our there, and the best kind of fear is the one that has the kernel of truth. So you have 9/11 happened, that’s a real incident…very easy at that point to use that fact in a way to tell a fiction.”
Moore then discusses his impulse to produce Bowling for Columbine.
“I was fascinated by that subject when making Bowling for Columbine, how fear is used to the point where everybody feels like they’ve gotta have a gun in the house,” noting that the U.S. has over 250 million guns in people’s homes.
Moore says that the majority of these guns are in suburban or rural homes, where homicide is usually rare. “What are they really afraid of?” he asks, later saying it “goes right down to the heart of our race problem that we still haven’t resolved.”
Moore also comments on the scene in Bowling for Columbine where he walks into Canadians’ unlocked homes, explaining it was the most difficult scene to film. He said he “chickened out” multiple times but finally chose a block in Toronto around 7:30 p.m. one night. He claims that about 60 percent of the homes on the block were unlocked.
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