Film Review: ‘Under the Gun’

Under the Gun Sundance 2016
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Stephanie Soechtig's follow-up to 'Fed Up' could've used the same title in its stance on gun control in the U.S.

Cutting through political talking points to focus on facts and firsthand accounts, “Under the Gun” is an essential primer on the rise of gun violence in the U.S. With this follow-up to the food-industry takedown “Fed Up,” director Stephanie Soechtig again proves her knack for crafting advocacy docs that resonate. One of four films in this year’s Sundance lineup to deal explicitly with mass shootings, “Gun” acknowledges the solutions to this ongoing problem are neither easy nor obvious, while persuasively arguing that more, surely, can be done. With the right handling, the passionate pic could easily surpass “Fed Up’s” solid $1.5 million domestic gross.

Like its predecessor, “Under the Gun” potently combines statistics, expert commentary and personal stories into a well-researched and easy-to-consume piece of nonfiction filmmaking. It’s not necessarily artful, but it’s also never less than compelling. If anything, Soechtig has only refined her skills at packaging a slick, audience-friendly documentary with a subject that feels even more urgent.

The core frustration fueling this film is one shared by many Americans: Even after an event as horrific as the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the U.S. Congress demonstrated its complete impotence in dealing with the issue. When a popular bill mandating near-universal background checks on gun purchases died in the Senate, it was a wake-up call for many. The steady pace of mass shootings since has only underscored the urgency of finding grassroots solutions to the problem.

Sandy Hook parents Mark and Jackie Barden, who lost their youngest son, Daniel, in the shooting (and are also featured in Kim A. Snyder’s more elegiac Sundance premiere, “Newtown”), are the first among many family members of gun-violence victims profiled by Soechtig and returning “Fed Up” narrator-host-exec producer Katie Couric. There’s more than just tragedy uniting the diverse group — from urban Chicago mother Pamela Bosley, whose son is one of numerous black youths in the city whose murders remain unsolved, to conservative gun owners Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter Jessica was killed at the 2012 movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. Each of these grieving parents has been rallied into action, and seeing their stories may have a similar effect on viewers.

Again and again, the film’s boogeyman is the National Rifle Assn. Soechtig is careful to draw a distinction between the lobbying org’s leadership, who have close ties to gun manufacturers and actively work to block the most common-sense attempts at gun regulation, and the rank-and-file membership, who are presented as more supportive of responsible measures (like background checks) in national polls and man-on-the-street interviews.

While “Under the Gun” is firmly on the side of stronger gun regulations, it’s not anti-gun. There’s an attempt to be as inclusive as possible, and time taken to explain why common refrains by the opposition — that certain government leaders want to take away everyone’s guns, the real problem is about mental health and not guns, or that the only way to prevent gun violence is to own a gun — are easier said than defended with factual information.

But the goal here isn’t to change minds; it’s to reignite the anger of the silent majority — those familiar feelings that bubble up and then dissipate whenever another mass shooting occurs. “Under the Gun” understands the typical cycle of shock, outrage, hopelessness and complacency that follows such events in the 24-hour news cycle and aims to channel those initial instincts into action.

By focusing on the specific (and frequently heartbreaking) stories of the aforementioned parents, former Congresswoman and gun-violence survivor Gabrielle Giffords, and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts — who was motivated to action by Newtown and unwittingly sparked a grassroots movement on Facebook — the film lays out the gaping holes in the system where regulations are needed, and offers hopeful examples of activism in the face of what often feels like an insurmountable problem.

Film Review: 'Under the Gun'

Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Documentary Premieres), Jan. 26, 2016. Running time: 110 MIN.

Production

(Documentary) An Atlas Films presentation. Produced by Olivia Ahnemann, Joshua Kunau, Kristin Lazure, Stephanie Soechtig. Executive producers, Katie Couric, Regina Scully, Michelle Walrath, Michael Walrath.

Crew

Directed by Stephanie Soechtig. Written by Brian Lazarte, Mark Monroe, Soechtig. Camera (color, HD), Josh Salzman; editor, Brian Lazarte; music, Brian Tyler; music supervisor, Manish Raval, Tom Wolfe; supervising sound editors/re-recording mixers, Tim Chau, Matt Vowles; associate producer, Carly Palmour.

With

Mark Barden, Jackie Barden, Pamela Bosley, Shannon Watts, Richard Martinez, Sandy Phillips, Lonnie Phillips, Gabrielle Gifford, Mark Kelly, Victoria Montgomery, Michael Pfleger, Mark Follman, William Vizzard, Robyn Thomas, Tom Diaz, Michael Waldman, Richard Feldman, Robin Kelly. Narrator: Katie Couric.

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  1. Tara Lynn Borger says:

    I am sick and tired of people blaming a piece of metal, that without human hand, would not be effective. At what point as a society, do we start to question ourselves? It is very easy to blame guns for violence. But a gun is an inanimate object, it doesnt jump up and shoot on its own. At what point do we question what went wrong with us as society and how did this person fall through the cracks? We walk through this life with the attitude of its not my problem. But it is and we are. Stop blaming the wrong things and stop not paying attention.

  2. Refuse refused says:

    Soechtig stated that one of her producers, a male from Colorado, purchased three handguns and a rifle from a private, non-licensed individual in Arizona and that a background check was never required. Federal law states that all interstate gun purchases must be processed by a federal firearms licensee (FFL). Under federal law, FFLs must confirm that prospective buyers have passed federal background checks prior to transferring ownership of guns to those buyers.

    violating law for ratings huh?

    • Refuse refused says:

      ps. that’s the producer Soechtig
      then she changed her story details after that.. but it is recorded in video as she gave both differing stories….

      • Refuse refused says:

        More People die every year in usa from DUI and related injuries.. also more die from OBESITY and related diseases then do By Homicide By Firearm…
        ya wanna save lives? start harping on DUI laws and perhaps a 3 day wait for the overwieghters 20 piece McNuggets…

  3. C kenp says:

    Poorly done! You have to live with what you put out there for people to watch, but seriously how stupid do you think American citizens are?! Shame on you Katie Couric!!!!

  4. Dave Skinner says:

    Oh, my goodness — “cutting through talking points to get at the truth?” No, this is probably some of the worst, most blatant political agitprop I’ve ever seen. The balance of interviews is incredibly skewed, the handling of the token “pro gun” people was profoundly unfair and materially biased both physically and temporally. Well, I don’t take Variety as a serious news source, justifiably so it seems. No biggie. You skunk and we all know it. Enjoy your increased irrelevance.

  5. Mike Hagans says:

    Deceptive. There is a place where Couric asks gun owners about the possibility of terrorists or felons getting guns through non-background check purchases, and the video only shows their silence. However, there were FOUR minutes of back-and-forth immediately following her question where respondents answered her in numerous ways. This was selectively edited out, no doubt in an effort to portray gun-owners as mind-numbingly stupid and Couric as brilliant for thinking of a question that no gun-owner could possibly have ever thought of. From the Washington Free Beacon, which has audio of the actual interview:

    “However, raw audio of the interview between Katie Couric and the activists provided to the Washington Free Beacon shows the scene was deceptively edited. Instead of silence, Couric’s question is met immediately with answers from the activists. A back and forth between a number of the league’s members and Couric over the issue of background checks proceeds for more than four minutes after the original question is asked.”

    So, a typical hit-job by a liberal ‘journalist.’

    • Mirgc says:

      In that respect, I guess the film is representative of the gun control movement. And this is on top of the FOUR HOUR interview they did with John Lott, but left the entire thing on the cutting toom floor because there wasnt anything in it they wanted to use. Sounds mire like they could not find anything to distort.

  6. Jill Slife says:

    The NRA is over 100 years old. My father-in-law was a member of the NRA, as is my husband. I resent the implication that NRA members are in any way responsible for criminal behavior by others. There has always been evil in this world and anyone who thinks they can legislate it away is very naive. Our problem in this country is the trend to not hold people responsible for their actions. Plus the “news” being so obviously slanted. This show was so one-sided and full of bs slant. We have background checks. We have laws against murder. It’s the criminals who don’t care. There are millions of gun owners who have been minding their own business, going through life causing no problems and holding jobs and raising families and living next door to you and no one thought about it. Until some asshole kids decided to live out their video game and violent movie dreams. This has nothing to do with the rest of us law abiding gun owning citizens. Luckily there was the National Rifle Association, around for over 100 years, to be the voice for all of us, to be our lobby against those who can’t put blame where it belongs. And It’s laughable, Hollywood types who make millions of dollars off gun violence being all anti-gun. I myself worry about those I love being on the road and getting killed by a texting driver.

  7. Richard Foy says:

    The very core of this debate is the following: There are 2 things that children can not do: (1) Rationalize irrational comments and/or acts by authority figures; i.e., parents. (2) effectively communicate their needs; i.e., mommy I want to be hugged. If these go unchecked, the child grows incapable of effective rationalization; i.e., knowing right from wrong and deprivation of love; i.e., I’m not lovable. History shows that if these conditions, noted, exist the results end up at the extreme extensions of the “Bell Shaped Curve;” Abraham Lincoln visa vi Adolf Hitler, Andrew Carnegie visa vi Al Capone e.g. Oprah Winfrey visa vi, Adam Lanza. To go one step further, for adults too try to rationalize the unnatural is in itself irrational. Winning a war with a house divided; e.g., have a happy home when spouses are at opposite extremes of what is best for the family, mothers to limit nurturing and men become nurturing; e.g., you can’t rationalize instinct. Until we reverse the current core values; God (believed or unacceptable) is the essence of love, man is the essences of evil. Since Sandy Hook, I’ve spent countless hours to allow me to say the same thing publicly, and have had no invintation.

    • I’m not agreeing just to agree with you, with that I mean (LOVE) is everything. The only problem is (LOVE) doesn’t grow on tree’s. I believe things will get better as long as we truly brand the awareness of Gun Control. See, what happens in society is things get better with awareness, than being normal we tend to believe we’ve made a difference after such awareness. Thing’s settle down our spirits rise and than some stupid way a kid get’s his/her hands on one and we start all over again (hopefully). Things will get better.

  8. Robert Auer says:

    After seeing all of the NRA minions with their ‘balanced’ rejoinders about the documentary, I’m reminded why you guys are called conservative. Liberals want to have an open mind about issues in the world. Conservatives have no opinion… except what the NRA says it is.

    • Sean says:

      No Robert, liberals just demonize anyone who does not agree with them. They are angry and illogical when it comes to the firearm issue. First, all handguns sold through a dealer go through a NICS check. There is no gun show loophole. A private citizen may sell a rifle or shotgun to another citizen. The movie lied when they said you can buy a Machinegun and walk out of a gunshow with it. Same for Internet sales. Those weapons are shipped to a dealer for transfer. However, it’s ok for those liberal lies if it gets you what you want. I am the NRA and I vote.
      It’s horrible when folks are killed or injured. However, the truth is that more guns equal less crime. Read John Lotts book.

    • Jill Slife says:

      Don’t cha just love generalizations and blanket statements and assumptions

      • Mirgc says:

        Jill, I hit the reply to you, but the comments were meant for Robert.

      • Mirgc says:

        Wow, that’s a lot of stereotype.

        What I’ve seen is that the gun-control side, led by “progressives” (the noun, not the verb), want to have a monopoly on the truth. Unfortunately for them, a lot of people that are gun owners (including many liberals) have the capacity to think and analyze, and have determined that focusing on gun control is not an effective method to reducing crime.

  9. sam says:

    Ummm, I’m pretty sure we have universal background checks now…

  10. Robert G says:

    It’s obvious the film is just another piece of gun hate propaganda. That is obvious when you criticize the NRA in any way. All the NRA does is promote gun safety and stand up for the constitutional rights of the law abiding American. But then liberals don’t believe in the rights of the law abiding.

    • Tammy says:

      We do not have universal background checks. There are major holes like everything else. Did you even watch the documentary? Bit odd you can be on a no fly list but still have access to guns. Your NRA does not represent YOU and your opinion…..that too is in the documentary. People especially children just want to be loved, protected and safe. I personally do not think humanity is asking too much here. Common sense, close the loops and save a life. It may be your own!

      • Sean says:

        The late Sen. Kennedy was flagged for being on the no fly list, and while he was many things, a terrorist he was not.

      • Sean says:

        Tammy, you have to have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or adjudicated mentally deficient to be ineligible to purchase a firearm.
        The no fly list is a guess list or a maybe list. Many folks are incorrectly on that list. That is why they are not nor should they be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.

      • Sean says:

        Tammy, just because it’s in Caties movie doesn’t make it true. 40% of all firearms sold are not without a background check. Most criminals steal their weapons. If you buy more than 2 hanguns at a time, there is a notice sent to ATF. Since 1994, the Brady Act has required all handguns sold through FFLs to go through a background check. In PA, all sales go through PICS unless it’s a private sale of a shotgun or rifle. Catie lies my friend.

  11. Sean says:

    What’s sad is that this is not a documentary. It’s a liberal journalist pushing her anti-gun, anti- NRA agenda on the American public. Couric could care a less about promoting the truth about our 2nd amendment. The true problems are our mental health system, allowing those who commit crimes with firearms to go free, and our gun free school zones that make our kids sitting ducks. Resolve the problem, don’t violate my rights.

  12. Kendahl says:

    Gun violence and gun accidents have been falling, not rising, for a generation. The violent crime rate was twice as high 30 years ago. This has occurred while the number of firearms in private hands has doubled and going armed in public has been legalized almost everywhere.

  13. Jim says:

    The only people that will pay any attention to this film are the “true believers” for any and all gun control causes. The reality is there is no difference of opinion between the NRA leadership and membership on the issues. 95% of the NRA’s money comes from members, not gun companies. But keep spinning the lies, the true believers to your gun confiscation cause will be highly sympathetic.

    • Sean says:

      The problem is that folks ate giving her credibility as a journalist when she is nothing but a hack. Who gives a damn what her and her liberal fu$$ friends think.

      • Mike RG Chandler says:

        your partially correct: this is ‘big’ for the gun-control advocate that believes anything Bloomberg tells them.

        The trouble is the 4-5 friends that have no education or history with guns, or gun-control, who see this as balanced presentation and think “oh, now I know, and I think I support gun-control. It makes ‘common sense’!!”

  14. Lucinda Webb says:

    Let’s make a substitution. Instead of guns substitute “nuclear weapons”. How many nations would tolerate the U.S. being the only nation able to have hydrogen bombs and fisson weapons. Does anybody think other nations would accept that?It is the same with firearms. It is not about hunting ,rather it is about keeping government honest.

  15. Lou Gots says:

    Anti-gun people are a bad joke. They remind one of that ridiculous elementary school guidance counsellor on South Park; “Don’t do guns. Guns are bad, M’kay.”

    What it is, they assume that they are right, and that the only people who disagrees with them are, either stupid or evil . It is sort of like that joke about the so called “progressive” bemoaning the Reagan landslide, “I can’t see how Reagan won–nobody I know voted for him.

    Take this firm, for example. It is predicated upon a blatant falsehood, that crime with guns is increasing. Of course such an obvious falsehood is soon revealed for what it is–anyone with internet access can reach the truth in seconds. What kind of fool expects to get away with such an obvious lie?

  16. Dave McConnell says:

    Yet more proof that the liberal gun grabbers know full well that they cannot win using truth, facts, and logic. So they continue to resort to outright lies, half truths, false or misleading statistics, and wage a campaign of fear mongering to further their agenda.

  17. “Rise” in gun violence??? Since when? It has DROPPED in the last 20 years or so.

    Background checks–they are ALREADY the law. Dylan Roof in South Carolina got his guns because the FBI SCREWED UP his background check. That isn’t a call for more laws–it’s a call for more competency.

    • impartial says:

      Are you able to point to statistics on this. Interested to know, as this site shows a rise over the last 3 years.
      Obviously this may not be compiled by a totally impartial host, so interested to know where you get your statistics from.

  18. “is an essential primer on the rise of gun violence in the U.S.” Then its already wrong. According the FBI Uniform Crime Report we have reduced homicide in the US by 50% over the last 20 years or so. But such fact seldom stop anti gunners for their emotional rhetoric and from completely ignoring the real issue.

    Let’s start addressing the real problem. The lack of morals, the lack of ethics and the lack of respect for the sanctity of human life. Then we have the breakdown of the family unit and kids that are being raised by the (often violent) TV and Xbox, often undisciplined and with no respect for authority. On top of that we now have a generation exposed to the idea that if a human life is a bother to you, it’s a right to end it. (Abortion if you didn’t catch on.) On top of that is the entitlement mentality that a growing segment of society has and sometimes when one of those individuals doesn’t get what they think they deserve they believe the whole world hates them and they decide to go on a shooting spree. But no, these subjects seem be taboo, instead there is only discussion about my 2nd Amendment rights, the hate of the NRA and law abiding gun owners.

    Gun control, the solution of tyrants and the simple minded.

  19. Jerry says:

    If they’re portraying the NRA as the boogie man, it’s an anti-gun piece.

  20. Dennis says:

    Those on the left say they want to have a honest debate about “gun violence” but the truth they don’t. They fabricate lies and manipulate data to come to their predetermined conclusion. This film is nothing more than propaganda.

  21. Arby says:

    The film is pure deception, when it isn’t trafficking in lies that are so baldfaced they aren’t even deceptive. Katie and her producer claim that they “bought” a gun over the ‘Net across state lines without having to do any paperwork/background checks. That may well be true; they may have contracted for delivery of a firearm and paid the purchase price over the ‘Net. But they did not take actual delivery of any firearms that crossed state lines without either a) picking up the gun from a licensed dealer who did in fact require a background check before handing it over or b) committing a FederaL felony under the present law as it has existed since 1968. This “review” is nothing more than a continuation of that mixture of deception and flagrant lies. The author reveals his own flagrant bias through both content and language (eg adoption of that now painfully trite “common-sense gun regulation” phraseology).

  22. Jim Rucker says:

    This whole article is a lie. Violence has been decreasing for 25 years. Just another hit piece for the hysterical, hoplophobic gun grabbers.

  23. Gun violence is not rising. It’s falling. The entire premise of this “gun violence, epidemic” is based on false information and outright lies perpetrated on the American people by hoplophobes and powerful anti- 2nd amendment liberal politicians with an agenda (that being, disarm the masses for better control of them). Anyone who can read English and has an IQ over 60 can understand this Liberal concept is deadly to a free America. Remember, you remove the 2nd, the 1st and 4th will be the very next ones they take away, and it won’t take years,,, it will be weeks. “A government of, by and for the people” remember???,,,, not, “above, around and in spite of the people”.

  24. Dean says:

    So this film says it does not use political rhetoric. But it is using political rhetoric, it is still lying about gun violence. Per FBI statistics its been dropping for decades.

  25. Icedman says:

    Let’s start off with the largest error here, the so called rise of gun violence. It isn’t rising. At all, actually, it’s decreasing despite more guns than ever being in civilian hands, with the record for most sales in a day being broken multiple times over the last few years. Even the FBI director admits this (1). Meanwhile, more Americans than ever support either keeping the laws as they are now, or loosening them, not tightening them, in recent polls (2). To suggest the astroturf campaign funded by Bloomberg and Co. has any actual bearing with reality is shocking, to say the least, when the countering groups outnumber the largest anti gun group for likes on Facebook, and despite spending significantly less, the NRA almost always wins it’s battles.
    1)http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/05/14/disarming-realities-as-gun-sales-soar-gun-crimes-plummet/#4ffb29a97de9
    2)http://www.vox.com/2015/12/16/10287884/gun-control-assault-weapons-poll

  26. butch fraser says:

    and nothing (nada, zip, zilch) was mentioned/said about the gangs and “career” criminals who use
    guns continually as they wish. nothing was said about making usage of guns in crimes having
    mandatory prison sentences. also nothing was said about ALL of those “shooters”, columbine, sandy hook, etc., were DEMOCRATS (or their siblings)……..

  27. Mike B. says:

    ““Under the Gun” is an essential primer on the rise of gun violence in the U.S. ” – Umm…no. The rate of homicides committed by someone using a gun (suicides included, which account for 60% of all gun-related homicide stats) are almost 50% lower than they were in 1993 and steadily declining, per FBI and CDC stats.

  28. Lisa says:

    This headline “news” and political “primer” is nothing more than a ploy to politically prosecute millions of law abiding citizens whose only “fault” is to legally own guns.

    Gun violence is on the decline in the past 20 years while the responsible gun ownership are on the rise. This fact completely eluded the Left propaganda machine.

    But since they are losing the election, the Left’s only pathetic attempt is to attack their political opponents who are pro-2nd Amendment, so as to scare the uneducated sheeple to their side.

    The real double standard is:

    The Left accused all of the America of islamophobia, yet they shamelessly and sinisterly fear-mongered and spread hate against law-abiding gun owners. Just visit the Left Coast and you can see there are communities which are so paranoid that any people got pulled over and discovered to have firearms in these places would completely lose their rights of due process, because the media and the Liberal LE would harp on their 5 minutes of social frenzy on “yet another arsenal” discovered. And CA continue to use San Bernardino Terrorist Attack as an excuse to pass more unconstitutional laws to oppress their political opponents.

    Never mind that none of their so-cal gun-control laws did one iota to curb any gun violence where terrorists, or derange mental persons, or violent criminals give a finger about these laws when they commit any heinous crimes where they would die doing so.

  29. mirgc says:

    ” is an essential primer on the rise of gun violence”

    Wait, what? Did someone not tell the CDC and FBI? Per their data gun-homicides went down 49% between 1993 and 2012 (it’s over 50% now). All gun related crimes are down something like 75% How can I believe anything else this movie has to say if they cannot even get that basic fact right? Must be a part of the 56% of people who THINK it’s getting worse. I wonder what else the movie gets so blatantly wrong?

    Google to LEARN more: PEW Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware

  30. Matt says:

    Why does the author feel the need to misrepresent the truth regarding the rate of gun violence, which is actually decreasing rather than increasing? Ah yes, because it feeds a narrative – a narrative that helps sell what he peddling.

  31. Gregg Barnes says:

    They left out a fact. On the same day the Manchin – Toomy bill was voted out, a Rep from Texas and the NRA introduced a bill that allocated money to states to bolster the background check system. The Democrats voted it down, because it didn’t ban the scary black rifles, and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. This is a Democrat problem.

  32. Gary Schwab says:

    Only problem is “Gun Violence” is down.

  33. Katie Couric is a Damn Liar……

  34. kelly says:

    What rise in gun violence? It has been dropping every year. Down 50% in the last decade. These agenda driven jokers call themselves journalists? Pathetic.

  35. Jim says:

    Another left wing fascist so called documentary of crap.

  36. Larry Thoreson says:

    There is no such thing as “gun violence”. There is however something called “violence”. Its extremely important to know the difference. One is a term coined by liberals in their fanatical obsession to eliminate all firearms from existence, the other is a very real problem that needs to be addressed thru mental health care, severe (and unreduced) penalties for criminal activities involving firearms, as well as severe (and unreduced) penalties for all criminal and anti-social activities, such as terrorism….whether it involves firearms or box cutters.

  37. Jeff Brown says:

    I was going to comment, but I see the idiocy has already been noted. Rising gun violence, indeed, what idiocy. Agenda exposed, truth delivered. Thank you all for fighting the good fight.

  38. Linkovich Chamovski says:

    Hmmm, I have yet to see a gun, ANY gun, commit an act of violence.

    • Sunny Kim says:

      And I’ve never seen anyone die from being shot to death without there being a gun involved. (Get it, you can’t have gun-related violence without there being a persona AND a gun involved. Takes two to Tango)

      • Ed Elder says:

        Geoff Berkshire – – – bullshit coming from you and others who don’t have a clue. Especially Couric.
        AND ALL THESE (choke) ”EXPERTS” (choke, choke)likely don’t own a firearm, have never owned a firearm, have never shot a firearm and never hunted day in their miserable lives ! ! ! Pathetic an sickening ! ! !

      • Dave McConnell says:

        Nice job of hair splitting, Kim. What you failed to mention is that a violent criminal NEVER has any trouble getting a gun. Give me a suitable bankroll, drop me in any major city in America, and within 3 days I can buy enough guns to outfit a small army. They won’t be “legal” guns, but that fact will be of small comfort to the victims.

      • There are quite a few non firearm related homicides that have nothing to do with firearms. Are these murders any less tragic, important, or any less violent? Where is the cry of knife related violence, cudgel related violence, stomping related violence? Where is blame on knives, steel toed boots, and wooden baseball bats? Should we place laws that ban spare bricks and pieces of rebar from areas that the general public may access them, in the case they are used for random violence? The US’s non firearm homicide rate is higher than most developed nations total homicide rates, meaning that the US is simply more violent and murderous without firearms?

        Miss Kim, please tell me why firearm related violence is isolated and concentrated upon, while all other forms of violence are rarely spoken of, and almost buried? Is it not because gun control has everything to do with guns, and nothing about violence?

  39. Craig Gibson says:

    The “Rise in gun violence”??? lol. Gun murders are going down, not up, in spite of loosening laws and massively increasing gun sales. This empirical fact DESTROYS the anti-gun propaganda. Period, end of story.

    • Mike B. says:

      Ignore ‘Sunny Kim’. It/he/she is a known anti-gun troll, which can be found on any firearms-related internet article comments section. It/he/she goes by many names, usually “Sun Kim”.

    • Sunny Kim says:

      Craig, did you just use the term ’empirical facts’ after using a far fetch correlation? Talk about hypocrisy.

      • Michael L says:

        What’s ‘far fetched’ about Craig’s reply? It’s a fact, supported by FBI and CDC data, that violent crime has decreased to historic lows over the past two decades. More than three times the number of people are murdered with knives than are killed by those ‘scary black rifles.’ Double the number are murdered by an assailant’s hands and feet than are murdered by all rifles. Those are facts that destroy the anti-gun left’s propaganda.

      • Dean says:

        So out of everything he said, including gun murders dropping. Him using the term empirical fact is what is wrong with this comment. Ladies and Gentlemen this shows you how weak the anti gun argument really is. Cant refute the facts so they just try and heckle the delivery.

  40. Does any one REALLY BELIEVE that criminals and lunatics will be deterred by more gun control laws? Only an idiot really believes that. Gun control laws only burden the law abiding. Self-defense is a human right and the ability to be armed for self-defense is a civil right. Gun control laws are immoral in that they restrict human rights and civil rights. Why don’t we provide more help for the mentally ill and severe punishment for violent crimes? We should all be able to support that as a solution.

    • Sunny Kim says:

      Phillip…how do U.S. federal and state gun laws effect the firearms black market since the legal firearms market is a large source for the black market? If criminals are getting their guns from the black or legal market in the USA then their ability to purchase will inevitably also be impacted by laws that impact the legal market.

      • Michael L says:

        Are criminals getting their guns from the legal market? According to studies done by the ATF and DoJ, most criminals get their guns from corrupt dealers and through friends and family (straw purchases). Both are already illegal. SO how would you stop that?

      • Dean says:

        So your plan is to punish the legal law abiding citizens as a form of possibly hurting the criminals…. Well how is that working in California? Last I checked they still have the most gun related homicides of all 50 states.

      • Sean Malahy says:

        So by your logic, you believe that making it harder for sober, law-abiding citizens to get a driver’s license will reduce drunk-driving fatalities.

      • Gun control is in full swing in Latin and South America, places with the highest murder rates in the world. Russia has strict gun control, and this off of decades of communism which disarmed the citizens, yet it has a much higher murder rate then the US. It also appears that western nations that enacted strict gun control had the same murder rates before and after, meaning they did not create a peaceful state of life, they were implemented gun control when guns weren’t a problem int he first place. There has never been a single cause/effect between gun control and lower gun related homicides, and in fact the US is currently seeing homicide rates drop as legal conceal carry and gun sales rise.

        So, Miss Kim, if gun control is so effective, than how come nations with the strongest gun controls see the highest homicide rates and a nation like the US arming up with surging gun sales sees declining homicide rates? Perhaps gun control does not stop gun crime, as evidenced in such places as Brazil, Russia, Nicaragua, ect. Perhaps small arms proliferation does not increase gun crimes, as states with high gun ownership such as North Dakota or Wyoming show low homicide rates, and low gun homicide rates, while states with high gun homicide rates and low gun ownership rates exist at the same time, and how nations with low gun control can show low murder rates and some nations with high murder rates have strict laws?

        Guns are a scapegoat for societal problems, and gun control has not been shown to work.

  41. Escape Echo says:

    A documentary on gun violence that apparently doesn’t address that 1/2 of all gun violence is gang related? A focus on active shootings which are a very small percentage of gun violence? A discussion on background checks when studies show that criminals overwhelmingly buy their guns from their ‘social networks’ (i.e. black market).

    To the initiated, this sounds like a very poorly done documentary that regurgitates common tropes.

  42. Lou Gots says:

    Anyone familiar with criminal trials knows that victims of crimes, and especially the survivors of homicide victims, are commonly stricken from juries. As a matter of common sense, we recognize that their grief may cloud their judgement. Just as we do not seat the grief-stricken on our juries, so we are not to let them write our laws.

    • Sunny Kim says:

      @Lou….riiiight. How foolish are we to let our human emotions get in the way of writing laws that govern human behaviors?

      • Dean says:

        Pretty foolish. That would be like banning free speech because someone said something that made you cry.

      • Michael Jelleberg says:

        People who let their emotions get in the way of intelligent decision making have brought us wonderful things like hanging innocent people from trees, burning witches at the stake, and smash hits like the Holocaust. Mr. Gots is correct, without reason we let passion run wild, and passion is not known for justice or restraint. This is why cooler heads should always prevail.

    • Excellent point I am sorry for their loss, but that does not provide justification for restricting MY rights and the rights of the millions of others who had nothing to do with the criminal acts that resulted in the death of their loved one.

  43. mike says:

    the solution for gun violence is to punish violent criminals severely. a felon with a gun can get 5 years or more just for possessing the gun and doing nothing else, yet it never happens, cops could go in and clean up places like Chicago and Detroit and get these bad people off the streets yet they refuse to do so.

  44. bill says:

    More liberal left propaganda.

  45. Sir says:

    Why is it that the FBI reports that crime is dropping and yet Variety prints this?
    ” But the goal here isn’t to change minds; it’s to reignite the anger …”
    Just when has emotion solved anything?

  46. Congress was not unable to make gun control laws, they were just obeying the constitution, and honoring their oath of office, to uphold the constitution and our civil rights.

  47. gpyle2010@yahoo.com says:

    The fact that this article starts out with a statement about the “rise of gun violence” proves that there is no data or science behind this film at all. In fact, FBI has shown violent gun violence has gone down the past 10 years. Only known violent gang/drug areas have seen an increase.

    • Sunny Kim says:

      How does our level of gun related violence compare to 40 years ago?

      • Dean says:

        Less. 40 years ago it was 1976, we are at 1960s levels of gun violence per FBI statistics.

      • stringmuse says:

        Sunny Kim,

        While Obama illegally issuing his infamous “executive orders” on guns. He consistently ignored NRA’s and local LE’s calls to sweep the inner cities on felons in possession of illegal gun.

        You probably don’t know that if we make sure felons don’t own guns, the homicide rate would drop a whopping 90%. The United States would be the third country from the bottom of list when you list all the countries with the highest murder rate.

        Instead, the Left consistently blames that Chicago’s gun problem came from neighboring states with loose gun laws.

        The fact is, this complete false claim has been exposed many times over: None of the states neighboring Illinois allows people to purchase gun without a background check in the gun shows. Obama’s executive orders were based on complete lies, as he conveniently wiping his fake tears signing them, and violating the U.S. Constitution while doing so.

        The truth is, the Left also conveniently neglected to broadcast the fact that NRA is the only organization calling for a working background check. NRA’s mainly opposition to Obama’s illegal executive order is that the current background check is a complete farce in implementation, like so many Democrat implemented policies. You have 400,000 applications failed background check during Obama’s terms, with only 8 prosecutions resulted in jail time.

        Makes you kind of wonder, either the current administration is deliberately laxing on prosecution, or they are carrying on a more sinister agenda to further their anti-2nd Amendment fear mongering. Either way makes the President and his staff looked completely phony or incompetent, take your pick.

      • mirgc says:

        Good point. It was rising. Currently we are near a 50-55 year low in gun homicides. If we keep the trend going, in another 10 years (hopefully less ) we will be looking at the lowest rates in over 80-90 years.

      • Tom says:

        Sunny Kim: Dramatically lower, why do you ask?

    • Sir says:

      But this won’t fit with the Variety fanbase – those who often make their living in action films but decry self protection for ‘little people’.

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