Under the Gun
Katie Couric (narrator), Ted Cruz (archival)
…heartbreaking and infuriating, Under the Gun is a definite must see…
Under the Gun is a sobering documentary which uses the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shootings as the first step towards trying to understand America’s relationship with firearms and the much cited second amendment. You may have heard about this documentary late last year when a defamation lawsuit was drawn up by some of its subjects – all gun owners – who felt they had been misrepresented by director Stephanie Soechtig and edited to push an agenda. Indeed, accusations of editorial bias aside, the film does have an agenda: it doesn’t want to take your guns away, it wants you to be proactive in their control. As the parent of one of the victims of the Aurora shooting says pertinently towards the end, ‘I don’t want your prayers. I want your action.’
In order to get her message across, Soechtig takes time to interact not just with victims of gun crime, but also those who fight against gun control, seeing it as an affront to old fashioned American freedom. She gives voice to those people who do own guns, believe in the second amendment, but also want legislation to stop the wrong people having access to things such as assault rifles and body armour. The director also highlights the history of the NRA, showing them to not always have been the overly vocal opponents of gun safety.
If you have a strong dog in the fight of gun ownership – something which has reared its head again in Australian politics of late – then Under the Gun will either fall on deaf ears or be considered preaching to the converted. However, the variety of people Soechtig speaks to means she manages to chip away at the black and white arguments that have polarised gun debate for decades. In a way, the director has managed to find an overlap between the intimacy of Kim A. Snyder’s Newtown and the primal scream of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine.
Both heartbreaking and infuriating, Under the Gun is a definite must see.