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"Americans Kill People": Michael Moore on Newtown, Mass Shootings, and the U.S. Culture of Violence

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Democracy Now! airs comments made by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore about the Newtown shooting.

"Yes, we need more gun control. Yes, we need free mental health services in this country. But I really believe that even if we had better gun control laws and better mental health, that we would still be the sort of sick and twisted, violent people that we've been for hundreds of years," Moore said. "And to get that out of our DNA is going to take a lot more than passing a bill in Albany or D.C. That's not going to do it."

Moore continues:
"I like to say that I sort of agree with the NRA when they say, 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people,' except I would just modify that a bit and say, 'Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people,' because that's what we do. We invade countries. We send drones in to kill civilians. We've got five wars going on right now where our soldiers are killing people--I mean, five that we know of. We are on the short list of illustrious countries who have the death penalty. We believe it's OK to kill you when you've committed a crime.

And then we have all the other forms of violence in this country that we don't really call violence, but they are acts of violence. When you -- when you make sure that 50 million people don't have health insurance in your country and that, according to the congressional study that was done, 44,000 people a year die in America for the simple reason that they don't have health insurance, that's a form of murder. That murder is being committed by the insurance companies. When you evict millions of peoples -- millions of people from their homes, that's an act of violence. That's called a home invasion.

All the wrong people are in prison in this country. I can't believe we're just standing blocks away from the biggest criminal operation that this country has ever seen, right down that street, and not one of them has gone to prison for what they've done. When you have eliminated so many millions of jobs, when you've ruined communities like mine, Flint, Michigan, you have killed people, because--because having seen firsthand the effects of these corporate decisions--the alcoholism, the drug abuse, divorce, suicide, all the social problems that go along with this act of violence--but we don't call it violence, and no one's ever arrested for it--I think it's a real shame. And frankly, as an American, this is not how I want to be remembered."

Moore won an Academy Award for his 2002 documentary, Bowling for Columbine, about gun violence in the United States. Moore made these comments when he appeared at the public "Bring Leonard Peltier Home 2012" event at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, just hours after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

In October 2002, Moore visited the Democracy Now! studio to talk about his the film, "Bowling for Columbine" about the Columbine High School massacre and violence in the United States.

Click here to watch additional Democracy Now! interviews with Michael Moore.

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