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Bowling for Columbine is a documentary by Michael Moore about gun violence in the United States. In the movie, he explores the possible reasonings leading up to the massacre at Columbine High School and many other mass shootings. His research takes him across the country from Hollywood to visit influential celebrities, Canada to compare differences, and his hometown, Flint, Michigan, to find out the source of the American gun obsession. Moore had many underlying themes in his movie which include gun accessibility and media coverage of gun violence.
These themes are also present in the song, Paranoia, by Chance the Rapper. Michael Moore opens his movie entering a bank offering a unique deal. At this bank in Michigan, for every new account opened, the customers will receive a free gun. Moore then proceeds along the process to see if it really as easy as it sounds to get this gun.
After opening this account and having passed a background check, Moore receives his own free gun.
This theme is also seen in the song Paranoia where Chance the Rapper sings, “Down here it's easier to find a gun than it is to find a fucking parking spot.” Living in the ghettos of Chicago, Chance reminisces on the ease of getting a gun in his hometown. Both artists are subtly calling out the gun accessibility in America. Guns are everywhere, even in places as opposite as Flint, Michigan and inner city Chicago even though one of which is considered considerably more dangerous.
The only difference is that instead of guns being handed out for free in the banks, they're being handed out for free in the streets. Moore and Chance also both call out media coverage of gun violence in America in their own way. Michael Moore addresses this when he shows police being called to a situation and the media coming almost as soon. He then asks the media, “Why not air a story about light pollution?” They reply saying it's simply not an interesting enough story assuming that the American public would prefer to see violent images on tv that learn about things harming the environment around them.
Moore also learns that after visiting Canada, Americans have three times more violent images on the news than in other places. On the news, there is tragedy after tragedy which instills fear into the public. Moore suggests that there is not enough coverage of the right things. Chance the Rapper has somewhat of a similar point but also says that a lot of inner city violence is still looked over. He subtly says that the media is quick to cover a shooting in your white suburban backyard but what about in the poor inner cities that need the most help? Where is their relief fund? He questions the media's true motives and who they are actually helping. He raps, “They murking kids, the murder kids here. Why do you think they don't talk about it? They deserted us here. Where the fuck is Matt Lauer at? Somebody get Katie Couric in here.” As the song goes on, Chance suggests that these major anchors are willing to go into foreign war torn countries but not a dangerous city within their own country. As if a place like Chicago is more dangerous.
The media is quick to cover violence, but what are they doing to help these communities but instill fear? Michael Moore and Chance the Rapper had many underlying themes in their arts about American gun violence including the accessibility of guns and media coverage. They both made very important points that almost sound like a cry for help. With the highest gun violence rate in the world, both are looking to answer; Why?
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