“Michael and Me” and why I love the web

Friday, August 26th, 2005 9:22 am by Neal

Check out Larry Elder’s self-promoting article about his new movie “Michael and Me”, a documentary about Elder following Michael Moore trying to get him to answer this question:

“You tell us how many gun deaths there are in America, but how many Americans are alive because they were able to use a gun for self-defense?”

Michael and Me is a stylistic rip-off of Moore’s “Roger and Me” that challenges the premise of Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine.” A major distinction is that, unlike Bowling, Elder actually cites numerous facts and real statistics in his movie. The interviews with victims and historic quotations alone are worth the price of admission. An avid collector of quotes, I particularly enjoyed these,

Vladimir Lenin said, “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

Mao Tse-tung said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

Joseph Stalin said, “We don’t let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?”

Adolf Hitler said, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their fall by doing so.”

Good stuff, but there’s more. While reading the movie reviews on amazon.com I was intrigued by a paragraph from a post entitled, “…shall not be infringed,” :

I hoped that Larry would have proposed a scenario to the nay-sayers on the street..imagine you are shopping at a grocery store in an idyllic suburban community and a person takes out a Samurai sword and starts slicing people to death with it. I’m in the store and I am in the same aisle as you. The attacker starts running towards you, you’re next to die. What do you do?..run!! Of course. Now imagine that just two minutes earlier I gave you this interview and in it I mentioned that I always carry a gun. Now, the attacker is coming after you, you’re next to die, I’m still in the aisle what do you do? You scream, Larry shoot the guy!! Of course.

“Good God, another nutjob that will make all gun rights advocates look crazy,” I thought.

Not willing to let it go at that, and considering that I’d read all of this stuff on the Internet, why not continue? The next paragraph provided more specifics, so I googled on “Irvine, CA Albertson’s samurai” where, lo and behold, this appeared:

Man Kills Two Former Coworkers in California Grocery Store – 07/01/2003

A grocery store turned into a slaughterhouse on June 29 when Joseph Hunter Parker, armed with a samurai-type sword, killed two former coworkers at an Albertson’s supermarket in Irvine, Calif.

Parker wounded another employee and two customers before being confronted by police. When Parker allegedly started toward one of the police officers sent in to subdue him, he was shot by several officers. He died at a local hospital.

Police said approximately 50 shoppers were in the store at 9:30 a.m. on June 29 when Parker entered the store carrying the sword and wearing a trench coat and beret. Parker allegedly approached the store manager to ask for some time off. As he walked away, he pulled out the sword and began attacking those people standing near him.

He killed Judith Fleming, 55, and John Nutting, 60, who were both long-time employees of the store. Parker quit his job bagging groceries at the store about two weeks before the incident.

Eyewitnesses described the murder scene as mayhem, with store employees and customers trying to defend themselves with items they pulled off store shelves. One man told the Los Angeles Times, “There were trails of blood everywhere.”

Googling on “samurai grocery store” finds at the top of the list the article, Three dead, three wounded in sword attack.

What would we do without the Internet (besides get more sleep)?

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