Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s Guns don’t kill people, rappers do is a bit of fun, but I can’t help wondering if there’s some inadvertent truth in the humour. I’m listening while reading HM Government’s Preparing for emergencies (e.g. what to do when al-Qaeda hit this place) and thinking of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine: the one with Bush saying, ‘Today the Justice Department did issue a ‘Blanket Alert’… in recognition of a general threat… etc.’.
Bowling for Columbine’s often read as a simplistic anti-gun movie, but Moore goes elsewhere. Canadians have even more guns than their neighbours, he explains, yet don’t shoot each other in the US sty-lie. In Moore’s world it’s a culture of fear that breeds violence; stranger-danger, it-could-be-you… kill or be killed. Similarly, while I often enjoy hip-hop from the safety of my middle class life, there’s no doubting that it does explore an often violent culture and that exploration can be mistaken for celebration.