A Conversation on Guns in America- “Assaulted”
The movie “Assaulted- Civil Rights Under Fire” is not the last word about guns in America, but it is an excellent place to start the conversation. The conversation they chose is about gun laws and the legislature, about rules and our rulers. The right of self-defense exists to protect us from our government as well as against criminals. “Assaulted” shows us where the government violated civil rights to suit those in power. The film showed a dozen embarrassing examples, spanning the whole of American history.
The government wrote discriminatory gun laws to disarm freed blacks after the Civil War. It is one thing to know this as a historical fact. It is another to see pictures of a city street filled with men marching in white sheets and black men hanging from trees as ordinary citizens looked on. I wish that sort of bigotry were unthinkable now.
More recently, the behavior of the government during Hurricane Katrina broke the social contract between the government and the people. Politicians seemed ineffective during the emergency. The politicians ordered law enforcement officers to disarm honest citizens who needed firearms for their own protection from looters. The politicians protected their image in the news media and sacrificed public safety.
There are dozens of examples in between, and they’re not easy to watch. “Assaulted” is not politically partisan. Neither political party can rest comfortably on its record. The producers deliberately avoided the polarized claims of battling statistics over crime rates. Instead of statistics, they showed incontrovertible examples where the government denied the inalienable rights of citizens.
Yes, it happened in America. It happened in my lifetime. It could happen again when politicians and the government serve themselves and ignore the rights of the minority. You could argue that it happens now in Oakland and New York.
The way to avoid repeating the past is to learn from it. “Assaulted” includes short pointed examples of politicians and infotainment-journalists demanding that citizen be disarmed. According to these self-serving celebrities, only government is trustworthy. Yikes. Some of us learn from history and some of us refuse to learn.
Go see the movie. You can find out where it is showing by going here and clicking on the Theaters link. Bring your friends and plan on talking after you’ve seen the movie. You will have plenty to talk about.
Disclaimer- I tossed about 200 dollars into the Assaulted KickStarter project.. and drank with three of the producers.
Rob the temporary movie critic