Part 3 Gutterballs Six Through Nine

Larry Pratt

Gutterball Number Six: Wrong On Bombs vs. Books

On his website, Bowling for Columbine (BFC) producer Moore says our children are not safe “because we live in a country where we value bombs and missiles more than we do textbooks and teachers.” The facts: during the school year 1999-2000, total expenditures for public education came to nearly $382 billion, according to the U.S. Department Of Education’s National Center For Education Statistics. This figure does not include private and home schools. In late October of 2002, President Bush signed into law a $355.5 Pentagon budget.

Gutterball Number Seven: Wrong On America’s Stinginess

On the Oprah Winfrey show (11/1/02), Moore, once again, attacks America saying that our ethic is “every man for himself… me, me, me, me, me.” But, is this true? How, for example, does our “ethic” compare with his beloved Canada?

Canada’s Fraser Institute think tank has issued a report titled “The 2002 Generosity Index: Comparing Charitable Giving In Canada And The U.S.” Here’s what it says, in part:

About the same percentage of tax-filers in Canada and the United States donate to charities. In 2000, 27.8 percent of Americans who filed itemized taxes and 25.2 percent of Canadian tax-filers gave to charity.

There is, however, a substantial difference between the two countries in the percentage of income donated. In the aggregate, Canadians gave 0.65 percent of their personal income to registered charities, while Americans donated 1.60 percent of their income, nearly 2.5 times more than Canadians.

In addition, it is said that: “all 10 Canadian provinces trail American states by a striking margin. In the top-ranked U.S. state of Wyoming, of those who donate… the average gift to charity is $9,084. This amounts to $7,890 (almost eight times) more than Canada’s top-ranked province of British Columbia.”

Gutterball Number Eight: Wrong With A Big Lie About The Vietnam War

In one scene in BFC we see a real B-52 on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy. Moore tells us that a plaque describing this bomber “proudly proclaims that the plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve of 1972.” The implication is that civilians were bombed. Not true. According to Pam Ancker, who is in media relations at the Academy, this plaque reads as follows, in its entirety:

B-52D Stratofortress, ‘Diamond Lil,’ 1957-1983. Dedicated to the men and women of the Strategic Air Command who flew and maintained the B-52D throughout its 26-year history in the Command. Aircraft 55-083, with over 15,000 flying hours, is one of two B-52Ds credited with a confirmed MIG-kill during the Vietnam conflict. Flying out of Utapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southern Thailand, the crew of ‘Diamond Lil’ shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during ‘Linebacker II’ action on Christmas Eve 1972.

The Vietnamese people turned out to be a uniformed soldier in combat.

Gutterball Number Nine: Wrong On Canada Being A Crime-Free Heaven-On-Earth

In BFC Moore asks a policeman in Windsor, Ontario, if he’s ever heard of anyone shot in Windsor? Answer: “No.” Any murders-by-gun? Answer: “Fifteen to 20 years ago.” Says Moore: Therefore, there are “no Canadians shooting other Canadians” in the Windsor area which has about 400,000 people.

But, once again, this is wrong. A story distributed by the Canadian Press Newswire (3/17/2000), datelined Windsor, Ontario, reports two convictions for murder and one for attempted murder. The weapon used in these murders and attempted murder on December 4, 1997, was “a silver revolver.”

There have also been other horrible crimes of violence in Windsor but to Moore they don’t count, and aren’t mentioned, because they did not involve guns. He is interested in demonizing only guns. In another Canadian Press Newswire story (3/2/2000), also datelined Windsor, Ontario, we’re told of a woman who killed her abusive husband by plunging a 7.5 centimetre paring knife into his chest.

And in yet another Canadian Press Newswire story (2/2/01), datelined Windsor, Ontario, we’re told of a man convicted of second degree murder for torturing and killing a co-worker who he beat, hog-tied and nearly decapitated with a serrated knife.

In another part of BFC we see Moore, in Toronto, expressing his amazement that people in this city don’t lock their doors. He even goes to a few doors, tries them, and, sure enough, they are not locked. Get it? Crimewise, all is well in Toronto — except that it isn’t.

An article in the London Free Press (11/2/02) refers to “Bloody Sunday” in Toronto in which there were, recently, “four frightening fatal shootings…. four shocking murders” in one night. Shootings?! Yep, these murders were committed with guns.

An article in Canada’s National Post (11/28/02) says:

Toronto’s recent wave of street murders — more than 40 since the beginning of 2001 — debunks the claim that Ottawa’s gun registry is making Canadians safer from crime…. Nearly all of the Toronto murders have been committed with handguns. Yet the guns have been subject to registration since 1934. In fact, registration has done nothing to stem the use of handguns in murder: In the past 15 years, the proportion of all firearm murders committed with handguns has nearly doubled in Canada from just over one-third to nearly two-thirds.

Moreover, Canada’s handgun registry is a dismal failure in solving crimes. As in the States, cops find guns used in crime when they find the criminals.