“Bowling for Columbine” essay

“Bowling for Columbine” is the documentary that brought a tremendous success to its director, Michael Moore. However, it is not only the awards the film has won that make the film particularly noteworthy but it is also the message the director conveys to the audience through his film. At the same time, Michael Moore reveals a number of biases which are deeply-rooted in the American culture and influence dramatically the life of Americans. The director has managed to show that such biases are really dangerous and may lead to tragic outcomes such as the Columbine massacre.

Bias through Selection and Omission

First of all, the author attempts to stress the impact of violence on the younger generation of Americans as well as on all citizens of the USA. Throughout his film, Michael Moore attempts to show the availability of gun to Americans and the lack of control over guns that actually leads to tragic outcomes. In this respect, the beginning of the film is quite noteworthy since the director shows a bank in Michigan which would give customers a free hunting rifle when they made a deposit of a certain size into a time deposit account. In such a way, he intentionally selects a very eloquent example which proves the availability of gun, which provokes the violent behavior of Americans. Thus, he shows that any American can get weapon and use it. At this point, he shows that biases concerning the security of people, associated with weapon and banks are wrong because weapon cannot be given without a strict control.

At the same time, Michael Moore does not reveal the full scope of the bias concerning the effectiveness of the system of gun control. He does not show in details the entire system. In fact, he let the audience to make judgments concerning the effectiveness of the gun control in the USA, but he just shows that this system does not work. As a result, Columbine massacres can occur frequently.

Bias through use of names and titles

The title of the film is also very symbolic and proves the bias concerning the responsibility of policy makers. It was supposed that the offenders played bowling the day they attacked the school, a Michigan militia used bowling pins for their target practice, etc.  In fact, bowling is a symbol which the director uses in his film to show that bowling is as responsible for attacks on the school as Bill Clinton who launched bombing attacks around that time. In such a way, he shows that the widely bias that national leaders are responsible for such tragedies as the Columbine massacre is wrong. Instead, he shows that it is each individual and the indifference of people to the violence surrounding children as well as poor education of children that are the main causes of such tragedies.

Bias by source control

Finally, Michael Moore reveals the bias concerning the power of law enforcement agencies to control the distribution and use of gun. In fact, when he interviews two young residents of Oscoda, Michigan he shows that guns are relatively easy to come by in the small town. Hence, it obvious that police is unable to control the use and distribution of guns.


Thus, Michael Moore raises an important problem of gun control and reveals biases which create a false impression of safety of Americans. While revealing these biases, he warns the audience that they may lead to such tragedies as the Columbine massacre.

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