An Essay on Michael Moore and School Violence at Columbine High School in Littleton, Co.

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School violence in America has been a very contentious and serious problem over the last decade. However, probably the most appalling was the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, in which two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed 12 schoolmates. Michael Moore, an active filmmaker, bases his feature on this horrific incident, focusing on the causes that drive children and adults to commit violence, and offering his own solutions to this problem. Moore analyzes the social structures of the United States, the impact of the media, and the role of the Government in fostering the fear that is instilled in the American citizenry.

Moore reveals his sociological imaginationan awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider societythroughout the film. He emphasizes the effect that the social structure in impoverished areas had on the shooting of a six-year old girl by her fellow classmate. The young boy who committed the crime was at the time staying at his uncles house because his mother was forced to work miles from home cleaning homes and waiting tables. Thus the social structure pushes those with little money even further into poverty, not allowing them the opportunity to overcome master statuses forced upon them by stratification. Because this young boy was not allowed the care of his mother, he was left in an unsafe home with little supervision.

Also revealed in the film, was the fear instilled in us by the media and the government. Moore takes our society and views it as an outsider would, taking in everything and being shocked and even ashamed. His segment What a Wonderful World takes a look at the violent history of the United States. From overthrowing and installing corrupt dictatorscausing the deaths of billions of people across the worldto war, bombings, and assassinations, he effectively shows the result of our fears. Many seem to believe that our country is more violent because of our history, but if this were true wouldnt many other nations be equally as violent as us? Surprisingly, the answer is no. In comparison to many other countries around the world, gun violence is a much larger problem in our country. This problem Moore contends, could be accounted for the increase of sensationalism by the media. While the incidence of violence has in fact gone down, media coverage has increased by 500 percent.

Moore believes that if media would show more important local issuesas in new speed bumps in Canadathan shootings, murders, and other crime perhaps much of the tension of the people would be relieved. Perhaps if adults would listen, help and try to understand the problems of their children, rather than ignore them or pass them off as unimportant, these incidents of school violence could be stopped before they ever occur. Marilyn Manson, shock rocker whose music was blamed as a possible cause for the shooting at Columbine, said in response to what he would say to the people of Columbinel would listen to them, because nobody else did. Society often overlooks the true causes of violence and uses excuses as scapegoats for the real reasons for the problem.

While I knew that our government has had its flaws in the past and even today, I was shocked to discover the events that had taken place in our history which were violent and horrific. For some reason, we have taken it upon ourselves to police the world. Our government seems to think it is the United States duty to tell people what to do, how to act, and whom to follow. We installed corrupt leaders, killed many in an effort to stop the spread of communism, and even given aid to those who recently attacked our country on September 11, 2002.

This documentary is shocking, informative, funny, and at some times will even make you cry. The history of violence in our world is disturbing and the continuance of the violence is even more worrisome. Americans live excessively in fear as a result of media images and government regulations. Until we are able to accept responsibility as a society and a nation for the crimes and attacks in the United States, this problem will continue.


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An Essay on Michael Moore and School Violence at Columbine High School in Littleton, Co.. (2022, Dec 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/an-essay-on-michael-moore-and-school-violence-at-columbine-high-school-in-littleton-co/

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