Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

May 27th, 1998 12:00 AM

Send Charlton Heston to Thurston High School

Like most Americans, I'm outraged by last week's shooting in Springfield, Oregon. I'm outraged that four people--two of them high school students--had to die. I'm outraged that a child who clearly needed help and attention did not receive it (in fact, his father bought him his guns!). But most of all, I'm outraged that in all the public outpouring of bewilderment and grief that has followed this shooting, nobody-not the media, not the police, not the parents, not the friends of the murderer and of the victims-has placed any blame on the fact that there are simply too many guns in this country, and that they are far too easy to get.

A lot of people are quick to blame violent TV, movies, and Satanic rock music for this tragedy. The press has made a lot out of the fact that Kip Kinkel enjoyed war games, heavy metal music, and violent cartoons. But the fact of the matter is, the rest of the world is listening to the same music, and watching the same movies. "Lethal Weapon IV" will open in England, Canada, and Japan at the same time it opens here in the US. Kids in Sweden and Belgium are listening to Marilyn Manson, too. But only in America do tragedies like this happen so horrifyingly often, and it is only here that the death toll from guns is so staggeringly high. Why? Because countries like England, Canada, and Japan have incredibly strict gun control laws. Isn't it obvious what the culprit is here?

Let's blame the real villains. Let's blame the gun companies, who are out to make a buck and don't take responsibility for what their products are doing to our country and our children. Let's blame the NRA, which lobbies so tirelessly to protect our constitutional right of easy access to automatic weapons. And let's also blame the police, who arrested Kip for weapons possession and then released him that very same day! As someone pointed out, if that kid had come to school with a syringe loaded with heroin, you can bet they wouldn't have let him go so quickly.

The NRA loves to use the Second Amendment to justify their actions. The Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, and it was intended to protect us from tyranny, to keep the government from growing more powerful than the people, and to make sure the people always have the ability to overthrow an oppressive regime. But when the Constitution was written, the most powerful weapon the government had was a musket. Now, the government has nuclear weapons. Did the Founding Fathers mean that, in order to equalize things, we should all now have nukes in our basement? Charlton Heston and the NRA can kiss my ass.

If there's a lesson to be learned from this tragedy, it's that America needs stricter gun control laws. Everybody's putting flowers on the chain-link fence around Thurston High School. What we really need there is an incinerator, with a big sign that says, "Chuck your weapon here."

Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
The Awful Truth

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