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Factual America | Mass Shootings and Gun Violence in America | Ft. Dr Peter Squires


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enjoy Factual America with our host Matthew Sherwood. Matthew: Welcome to Factual America, a podcast
that explores the themes that make America unique through the lens of documentary film
making. We’re brought to you by Alamo Pictures,
a London based production company that makes documentaries focused on the US from a European
perspective. Now, here at Alamo Pictures and Factual America
we’re all about searching for truth and opposed truth society which is easier said
than done, but so that will bring us to our topic for today which is, I hate to say it
pains me as in America to talk about a gun violence and all the issues around it, in
the United States, I don’t know what it is, it’s obviously a problem and an issue,
and in lot of people’s minds across the world defines the US, in many ways it is a
problem that rears its ugly head, not just periodically, as the stats I’ll share you,
I think it’s increasingly a problem, even, and yet, as a collective culture nation we
seem uniquely incapable of doing anything about it. So that brings me to our guest today, professor
Peter Squires. Peter is a sociologist by background and professor
of criminology and public policy at the University of Brighton, he’s ran after publications
that, among many things put gun crime in a global context, he’s self-described himself
as a relatively obscured British academic, but he’s anything but, I would say, as someone
who lives in the UK, he’s sought after by international media, he participates in debates,
you might have seen him in Huff Post, he’s gone mono à mono with Wayne LaPierre, from
the NRA Chief Executive Vice President, we may talk a little bit about that later, and
he puts his money where his mouth is, so he works for various police organizations in
the UK, including the London Met and he served as a bureau counselor. So, without further due, Peter, welcome to
Factual America. Peter: Good to meet you, thank you. Matthew: It’s a pleasure to meet you, as
you know how we roll here at Factual America, we ask all our guests, even those who are
not necessarily documentarians or filmmakers, to pick, or select a film that would at the
very least serve as a backdrop for this conversation we’re going to have. Now you’ve picked “3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets”,
first of all I want to thank you for picking that, I know I didn’t have a chance to see
that until this last week, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, you can find
it on Vimeo, it came out 2015, won a special jury award at Sundance, what we like to see
here to Factual America, at Alamo Pictures is that it’s directed by Marc Silver, who
is a British cinematographer and director, who brings a uniquely British European perspective
to the story, you may also know him from directing Who is Dayani Cristal, in 2013 which starred
Gael Garcia Bernal. So Peter, maybe you can tell us a little bit
why you chose this film? And why you use it as part of your teaching? Peter: I’ve often used films, documentary
films, with classes of students, and what I particularly liked about this film, I mean
it’s powerful, and just as the title says, it’s three and a half minutes so many people’s
lives changed around the firing of ten bullets into a car. But I like the way that the story around the
incident builds and it’s useful in class, because I take the students, I show them the
first fifteen minutes of the film, where we get all the evidence, we get all the perspective,
we see the trauma of the victims and then the jury goes out. And I like to ask students, you know, what
verdict do you think would you reach, what were the most compelling pieces of evidence,
what verdict would you reach. And then I try to trick them a little, by
saying, well what do you think an American jury will decide, and would it be the same
as an English jury. And sometimes I throw them off the neat opens
up some of those incorrect assumptions we might make about Transatlantic justice. Matthew: Yes, yes, I think it’s a very good
point, I think the audience itself, even if you’re not in Professor Squires class, you’re
asked to do the same thing, you’re watching the film and in your mind you’re weighing
up the evidence. And it doesn’t take up a particular slat
from the very beginning, it just presents it, so that you can come to your own conclusions. Maybe for those who haven’t seen it, could
you give us a brief synopsis of the film? Peter: Yeah, sure, it all happens on a gas
station, a white guy and his wife pull up to go to the store that had the gas station,
and the guy, I think, filling his car, another vehicle pulls up, with three young black men
in it, they are playing, what’s described as very loud rap music. The white guy, seems to take offense on this,
you can see this on the gas CCTV system, he takes offense on this noise and he asks the
young men to turn the music down. You can’t tell everything that’s been
said, but I’m sure they’re abusive back to him, and refuse to do so, at which point
he goes to the glove box of his car, pulls out a gun and fires ten shots into the other
car, in the process killing one person, wounding another. Matthew: So he ends up killing Jordan Davis,
one of the young black youth in the car. I mean, is this- in the whole trial all hinges
on this Law of Florida, that’s the Stand Your Ground law, maybe you can say a little
bit about that. Peter: Well I think that’s a degree of ambiguity
about that, because I don’t think the Stand Your Ground law comes up in a very specific
way in the trial. I mean certainly isn’t really the basis
of his defense, although, a much vague notion of the fact that he felt intimidated by these
three African American guys, he claims to the police that he saw what he thought was
a shot gun barrel in the vehicle window, he claims the fact that they were listening to
gangster rap music was the fact that they were gangsters, and he, you know, his approach
to them was about to be met by force from them. And he claims he was scared and he acted rather
quickly, rather intemeperately, obviously, and just aimed his gun into the vehicle. So I think the Stand Your Ground law is there
almost as a set of background assumption, although I don’t think the case itself hangs
directly on it. Matthew: I think, actually that’s very interesting,
I think that’s a very good point, it is really- what he keeps stressing is that he
felt- he was defending himself, he felt scared, he thought, obviously these guys are about
to shoot him and his fiancée, as he was claiming. Peter: Oh, that is in a sense part of the
defense that someone’s claiming, the right to stand by ground defend myself would do,
but he doesn’t quite make that explicit, which I think it’s interesting the way in
which- a law, we’ve talked early about it, whether it was badly or clearly drafted, the
law exists, but the whole set of the half-understood assumptions circulate around it, which influence
people’s action. Matthew: Yes, I think it’s a good point. Just to say more about the film too, just
like any great documentary, it deals with so many different issues, and there’s issue
obviously with race here, issues even with faith and religion and the mass media and
these things. So, I do highly recommend, I mean, looking
at this- depending on your definition, this could count as a mass shooting. It’s always dangerous when we start getting
into statistics on this subject, and as an American I have unique sensibility on this,
but I know the Gun Violence Archive which is a non-profit, defines a mass shooting is
four or more people, so I guess, if it is only three in the car maybe doesn’t count
in this case. But four or more people, excluding the perpetrator
are shot in the same location roughly at the same time. Now I know, for most of you that are might
getting a bit briskly out there, the Washington post and congressional research service, define
a little more narrowly, you have to, actually be killed in order to be count as a victim,
but that seems like a pretty good definition to me, I don’t know as an ailment, and what
I was surprised to see was that up to latest data go to 2014 September this year, and we’ve
had 334 mass shootings in the United States. Okay, some of those are murder suicides, but,
there you go, that’s one point, that still more than one per day, and we’re talking
about 377 deaths so that’s obviously more what than one per day and over 1300 injured. And notably in August alone we had Midland-Odessa
in El Paso, Texas, and we had Dayton, Ohio. Peter: I had another spin on that actually. I recently went on Tucson for Gun Violence
Conference, and while there I went to Tombstone where you can, three times a day you can watch
the gunfight at the O.K. Coral, performed by actors in front of you. And what always intrigues me that 39 movies
have been made that feature the gunfight at the O.K. Coral although it’s America’s
most iconic gunfight, it probably wouldn’t count as a mass shooting, cause only three
people died [smiling] it’s kind of an irony there. Matthew: [smiling] Exactly, I mean, this is
a question we often ask our guest, and I’ll bring it up here since you bring up Tombstone,
I mean, growing up what were your- even before you got into this field, what were your impressions
of America, did you had- you know -? Peter: I’ve always been fascinated by America,
my father was an avid John Wayne cowboy film watcher, and I was thoroughly indoctrinated
in that and all the series that went with it, and still I’m in way fascinated by that,
particularly the kind of- the notion of the Wild West and through my childhood probably
had a kind of completely inflated sense of how that relatively short period in history
has left down a mark and had a profound ideological impact on how the people think about themselves
and their safety. Matthew: And I think to some of it we’ll
get to just a little bit later but I think from what I’ve read of your works, feel
free to correct me, but later I think- you know, it’s not just one solution, it’s
a bit of a nuanced view of what, why the US has this issue and/or has the inability to
or hasn’t been up until now, hasn’t been able to tackle it, but before we do that I
thought it would be good to just a- one last thing from the film is to maybe see a little
clip here, and I think there’s one in particularly said this quite good in terms of, sort of
setting up the whole piece, do you mind showing- Peter: Yeah, it’s simply- this is after
the event, the shooter has been, I think arrested, he’s certainly in the police station, in
an interview room, facing two cops who are asking him about what happened and the order
of events. And he’s vary pally, very chatty with them,
and I find it fascinating that, despite what he has just done, killed someone, fired nine
more shots into a vehicle, a yard or two away, he still doesn’t seem to get that he’s
done anything wrong. And that might be a degree of bravado, it
might be, sort of shock or trauma afterwards, but he feels he’s in the right and I don’t
think he sees a murder charge coming. Matthew: Yeah, and I think he maintains it
almost throughout the whole piece. So let’s watch that now. Attorney: Mister Guy I told you he believes
that evidence is going to show. Well Mister Guy didn’t tell you that Jordan
Davis threatened Michael Dunn, with a shotgun barrel sticking out of the window. Or a laid pipe, whatever it was it is a deadly
weapon, we’re not here to change the laws. We’re not here to say that anybody deserves
to lose their life. But under the law it’s justified. And Michael Dunn had every right under the
law to not be a victim, to be judged by twelve rather than carried by six, that’s law and
it’s justified in the great State of Florida. Interrogator: What’s going on with your
life that -? Michael Dunn: Oh no, my life is great, I got
a place on the beach, I got a great job, I got a great girl, we just got a little puppy,
I mean, the way I see this, this is a- I was scared for my life and I fought that. And you guys are seeing this as murder. So I- do I need to get a lawyer? I mean it sounds like I’m in deep shit. Matthew: Alright, I think that’s a very
good piece and it really does help set out the whole story there. I think- let’s then move into these sort
of media issues that we opened and discussed today. I mean, first of all, why are the mass shootings,
gun violence, why are these so prevalent in the US? I mean there’s few things we could discuss
there, I mean, for our listeners some are US based, some are European based, you can
contrast the whole gun buying experience in the US versus say, the UK or Europe. Europeans think, pretty much, people sell
guns on the street left and right, in America, you might argue it is not too far off of that,
there’s some Americans that think that not even the French Army is allowed to have guns,
you know, and I know I’ve lived there, it’s a very different story. So maybe you can- if you could maybe lead
us through that, I mean, there are other countries where there is high levels of gun ownership
but they don’t have this problem. So, maybe you could say a little something,
what your research is. Peter: Yeah, sure, I mean, my most recent
research, my Magnum Opus if you like, the gun violence in the global context. Look, I’ve tried to distinguish between
what you might call civilized and uncivilized, decivilizing gun regimes. So places like Switzerland or Norway, yeah
there are a lot of guns, there’s this European, highly civilized, highly regulated license
and they have relatively low, internationally speaking low crime rates. But they don’t have that kind of culture
and history. So, switch back to the States, this is a former
frontier society where guns had a purpose, where guns were celebrated, where guns were
used, increasingly now, I see the language of genocide being used to describe white advancement
across America. I mean it was called a civilizing process
at the time. And that kind of- as guns fire off as a sort
of reverence, you know America set itself free by the power of the gun, kicked out the
British, civilized the West, ended slavery all by the power- so the gun is vindicated
as a force for progress in a sense. But, that’s tradition, that’s history,
the gun is celebrated in the Second Amendment, although I think, over time, the meaning of
that is being shifted quite considerably, but by the time we get to the 1970s the hunting
and the shooting and the Wild West kind of sporting heritage that is part of the firearm
culture, is shifted to a self-defense rhetoric. And the self-defense rhetoric founded upon
crime, later terrorism, but I think both of those notions are a bit of a- you know they
sometimes call it a dog whistle politics, which are really about race, which are really
about being in the city. So I think a lot of people are arming themselves,
as a sort of last resort, you know, you could see it in the little house on the prairie,
but I think that mindset is still part of many people’s resort of personal protection
with firearms today. Matthew: I think that’s an interesting point,
not that this is just about mass shootings, but you can use mass shootings as a sort of
statistics, I mean, they were very rare, like they are in another countries up until sort
of 70s and 80s and it really taken, well, not taken off but certainly its frequency
is much more prevalent in sort of 90s and even in terms of gravity, in terms of fatality,
I think the top nine or ten mass shootings more I think all but two since 2000. Peter: Yeah, but you can’t take the gun
out of the picture, and there’s an up step in gravity and seriousness when we were starting
to talk about semi-automatic firearms, the high caliber pistols large, I mean, in magazines. I think the second step comes around in 2000
when we see increasingly mass shootings perpetrated now by what we call the assault rifles, they
do what it says on the tin, they are incredibly- the biggest mass shootings have all been perpetrated
with assault weapons. Matthew: I mean, you’ve mention Scandinavia,
I mean obviously there was an event in Norway not too long ago, in Switzerland, but these
are very homogenous societies, you think that has a- it’s easier in societies like that
too sort of regulate this. You know and maybe in the US, maybe that’s
the flip side of the- sort of the race issue, I don’t know. Peter: I think it comes down to an issue about
political culture I think homogenate population is an important issue, and that’s why I
think in some of these societies which are beginning to get a bit of the islamophobia
within- across Europe, some of that might be breaking down. But I think, homogenate is an important issue,
yet, clearly in the States, we have significant ethnic religious North-South divide which
are often fought lines for, a lot of the gun politics and why mass shootings, I think it’s
become almost a copy-cat phenomenon, I don’t want to sort of talk about this as lightly,
but people have begun to see this is a way of enacting a kind of revenge, resistance,
certainly via tax by white supremacies it’s become a way of fighting their cause and many
of them sight Breivik and the Norway shooting likewise the shooting in New Zealand. So, they reference one another, they produce
podcasts, they have diaries, so it’s become a way of effecting a kind of grief, or resistance,
or revenge, or- and in a sense, a way of doing it. I think I coined the phrase dark celebrity,
to capture. You know [smiling] in an X Factor world, people
could become a dark celebrity very quickly by a horrific act against society. Matthew: But I thought I mean, again do correct
me if I’ve got the wrong impression but I think something you wrote was about how,
these perpetrators, something about, you know, it sounds cliché, but they’re loners, and
something about how the difference between American society and maybe other societies
where if you start seeing someone who is having these mental breakdowns or whatever they are-
there’s more of a support system, can you tell us a little bit more about that? Peter: I think that’s a- I think the issue
of community mental health support is certainly a factor, the perpetrators of mass shootings
do appear to have fundamental grudges, I mean, there’ve been cases where students shoot
their examiners, where people who’ve been fired shoot their bosses, or go back to the
school that fail them or kill the girlfriend that jilted them, so, it’s become a way
of enacting a really kind of lethal revenge, often quite inarticulate revenge. Matthew: Yes. Peter: But sometimes, and some of the sort
of femicide goes into these shootings, it’s often men exacting a revenge against the women
that have jilted them or belittled them, often backed by friends, I mean there’s a fascinating
case of a school shooting, and the preceding the shooting the guy is there with his gun
and his friends are telling him with “come one, go on, shoot the bitch”. I mean, it’s horrific. Matthew: Yeah, it is indeed. Peter: But it goes to a kind of culture where
this is a way of enacting something. I’ve been discussing the Virginia Tech shooting
from 2007, someone talked about violence being as American as apple pie, I mean, it’s a
really worrying notion, but it is a resource to which people can go to enact a kind of,
enraged powerlessness. Give them a gun and he’s powerful. Matthew: Hold that thought, Peter, we need
to take a little break here. You’re listening to Factual America. Subscribe to our mailing list or follow us
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shows. Check out the show notes to learn more about
the program, our guests, and the team behind the production. And now, back to Factual America. Matthew: So welcome back to Factual America,
we were just talking a lot about the “lovely” topic of the mass shootings in the United
States, I think what would be worth discussing, I think it would be good if we could just
maybe even pull back a little bit because, obviously mass shootings get all the publicity,
it’s when various US presidents over the years have come up and said, you know, this
is end, this will end now, we can’t let our children and sons and daughters be killed,
like this again, and then nothing happens. And even if there weren’t mass shooting,
there is a gun violence issue in the United States. So, what is it about the US that makes us
so uniquely incapable of tackling this issue, I think that’s a big broad question, really,
and then even, there’s I think other issues, mental health probably, we know in the official
statistics a lot of these mass shootings are murder suicides. So Peter why can’t we finally get to grip
to this issue in the United States? Peter: I think we’ve eluded into some reasons
already to do with tradition, people standing on their Second Amendment rights, their fear
of crime, I mean home invasion, I don’t know how often homes are invaded but [smiling]
people keep guns at home for that reason and they keeping increasingly powerful guns for
that reasons, carrying them in their cars to prevent carjacking, I think, what I’ve
said earlier, that, gun possession for self-defense, is about a fear of crime, it’s also about
a fear of terrorism, I think now has become an issue. So soon after 9/11 people were talking about
having armed guards on planes and of course armed guards, so the guns are the answer,
but the problem with guns is that people don’t see them as a risk. The idea is, “I have a gun to make myself
safe, but all the evidence shows, “I’m more likely to use my gun on myself, than
anybody else. And something like seven times more likely
to shoot a fellow family member than an aggressor, an outsider”. So that’s part of the misunderstanding,
guns are used in suicide, twice as often as they are in homicide. And that’s- the gun is not your friend,
the gun is a risk to your household. Matthew: Yeah, I mean, I think- to probably
a picture that some of our listeners are drawing who are maybe based in, or never been in the
US, we’re not talking about places that everyone is walking around with a holster
on their hip, I mean, second, the producer of Alamo and I were talking the other day,
he lived in Texas for around ten years, I’m from there, I don’t know- except for a policemen,
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone carrying a gun around, and certainly we didn’t
have it in my house, we’re more fishermen [smiling] but I think we had the gun rack
in the pickup but that was for the fishing pulls but not the- it’s an arm but it’s
not like it’s not like people, you know rampantly carrying guns, it’s not as- you
know even some societies you have brake-down like in Central America and other places,
but, at the same time, it is for a country, like the US, it is so- it is a relatively
prevalent problem. And what it is- you know, is it the gun lobby,
is that the main thing that’s standing in the way of -? Peter: I mentioned my trip to Tombstone and
what struck me there is that a lot of people are dressed as cowboys with six shooters on
their head but the one who surprised me was a guy in denim’s and a pleated shirt and
he got a glog [smiling] so he was a tourist but he clearly, Arizona and one of the Western
States where- but the bigger picture, people don’t often realize it, but gun ownership
as a demographic is falling. It’s about 30% of the households have a
gun, it’s almost entirely the man that owns the gun, something like 85% of the guns owned
in America are owned by a man, but this demographic is falling, what’s also interesting is that,
the people who own guns are buying more often, and I find that fascinating, how do you persuading
the guy who owns six guns to be the next one [smiling] and I think that’s been the marketing
strategy of the gun industry for last twenty or thirty years, I talked earlier about the
uplift of revolvers to semi-automatic pistols and I did a study on the marketing of those,
but I think the sales pitch now is all about the semi-automatic assault rifles which are
the next big thing that the gun industry is trying to sell you. Matthew: It’s almost like for a lot of men,
in technology, in cars, you want to know, what the next thing that can do, something
bigger and faster, and better in some ways. Peter: Yes, I’ve tried to explain it to
English audiences [smiling] by a reference to, “Do you play golf, how many golf clubs
do you have?” You know, no one only has one and they have
different functions. And that’s part of a sporting culture, yes,
but it’s also a sporting culture which is now oriented itself now in the self-defense
market. And that’s where the guns are being sold
today. Matthew: You’ve also looked at- I think
it was interesting, was to contrast Dunblane, which was, back to the mass shooting, in Scotland,
for those that don’t know tennis star Andy Murray was even a student at the school when
this happened, and how the UK addressed that, versus how Sandy Hook happens and lots of
politicians in the US say they are going to do all kinds of things, at the school shooting
in Connecticut but nothing really happens. Peter: Dunblane was the game changer in Britain. Although it was the second gun shooting we
had, in a way that it gave more political fraction to the idea that we can say never
again, this is not a knee-jerk reaction, it’s happened before and this time it was five-year
old children. But the political system initially tried to
respond to Dunblane by setting up a judicial inquiry that will look up the evidence- Matthew: Very British- Peter: And take both sides, you know, the
gun lobby and the gun control movement, and until Dunblane happened there wasn’t one,
and weighed out the evidences, but I think this was a turning point, because it was children,
the horror and outrage, the generation of a political campaign, the snowdrop campaign
about handgun ownership, and I think it also was a unique opportunity, cause Tony Blair,
who at the time was leader of the opposition was seizing the moment to be seen as- make
Labour the party of Law and Order. Matthew: Interesting. Peter: And took the issue, it fitted in because
he was- we were just coming up to our general elections so, Labour seized the issue but
there was such a ground swell of horror at the idea that a grown man could shoot children
like shooting the fishing barrel but even the outgoing Tory government legislated a
ban on higher caliber firearms, when Blair came in he completed that and 2-2 pistols
were banned as well. So it was a conjunction of circumstances but
accompanied by an idea that a political fix isn’t going to do it this time. And public opinion was well in support of
the handgun ban. And, you know when it comes to a question,
is people’s right to play Dirty Harry versus children safety in school is a no-brainer
and I think that was the way it was presented. Matthew: I mean, I wonder if things are going
to- we’ve been here many times before as I’ve said but the tide might be starting
turning in the US, I know in social media a few days ago there was a lot of uproar they’ve
targeted the big retailer in the US announcing that besides its manager, all employees at
all of its stores were going to get training on how to deal with a mass shooting or a violence
incidence in its stores and that’s caused some uproar about, is this something- you
know, no one should have to go through that kind of training you know, and I guess, my
point is we can change some US law or give you US passport make you a naturalized citizen
and make you a president. I mean what are the solutions do you think
to this? Peter: Well I’ve had a lot of hope and expectation. The kind of package of gun control measures
that the Obama administration were trying to push through the Senate, would get some
political spot. When does this mass shooting you see a kind
of ground swell of a public opinion for something to be done, but that seems to have a fell
in its short life, it sort of goes away, but a number of those proposals, filling the gaps
in the national instant check system, making sure that people with mental health hospitalizations
cannot access fire arms, because there have been a number of major mass shooting incidents
perpetrated by people who are really not allowed to have a gun, irrespective of their felony
record, they were mentally instable, they’ve pulled the gun. I mean this goes back to the Brady Law and
the attempt of Ronald Reagan’s Law. So I think filling those gaps, establishing
a better licensing system. I mean, I know some states go further than
others, so we have a patchwork, it’s hard to generalize. Matthew: State by state, right. Peter: But there are real issues in some of
those states that allow a secondary sales to go relatively unsupervised and again that
was part of the Obama package to have federal licensed dealers oversee the secondary market
sales. And I think there are lots of little elements
and I think to empower the ATF to do proper searching because according to the law, the
ATF cannot store gun records on the computer system. So it’s harmstrong by the idea that everything
got to be paper-check which slows weapon tracing down enormously, and it’s the fear, because
I know a number of people on the gun lobby side think that if you register guns if you
licensed them, the state will know where they are, and it’s one step more towards confiscation. So they have a fear of that. But it seems to me to disempower your government
law and order is in a way that, currently where they are, is crazy. Matthew: Yeah, I think- but maybe that, sort
of the hope that you were describing earlier is sort of, demographic trends that we’re
sort of seeing in the US and this fall in gun ownership, at least of what it turns out
in households, we do know in those households they want to be owning more, but you know,
maybe it’s a- I hate to say but it’s almost a weighting game, when you get to a point
where you have enough of demographic shift that you finally have enough politicians who
would be able to put these steps in place or at least help address some of these issues. Peter: Yes, I think it’s an issue that’s
moving in a glacial space [smiling] Matthew: Yes, it is indeed. Peter: But it’s a demographic one, what’s
interested me of late, has been the gun industry attempted to find new markets for guns, particularly
a market amongst women. I mean that’s an untapped market, so you
can buy a pink assault rifle [smiling] Matthew: It’s so condescending actually
[smiling] but, anyway they were- Peter: But that put a- or a, you know smaller
guns that can be put in a purse. Matthew: Sure, sure. Peter: And there’s future means for concealing
them around the body, so, looking for new markets is one thing, but I do think and it’s
certainly since the Parkland shooting in Florida, couple of years back, I think the emergence
of a more articulate youth campaign, that points to a demographic that feels being let
down, I guess we’ve been there before, feels let down by politicians. And that sort of inertion, especially in the
Senate, it seems to me, I mean even Trump looked like he was wavering for a while on
some gun issues, the bomb stocks, but I think he got stuck on it pretty quickly by an array
of advisors [smiling] but there seem to be a chink there with a number of companies that
is investing from gun related product. So I think there’s a slow burn issue here. The NRIA membership is white, getting older,
suburban, and it’s shrinking, one of the consequences of that ideologically is they
become much more partisan, much more extreme. But I think that’s also a sign of its decline. Matthew: Yeah, I think, what we’re going
to do now is, on that note, is a- actually, this is a podcast that references documentary
films, I think we’re going to see another scene from the film. What do you think Peter, this one where Michael
Dunn, who is the shooter, who was- well I will not give away the ending, probably everyone
knows the ending, he talks about- yeah I think they’ve asked him, as part of the trial,
why he- he doesn’t just shoot once, he shoots, as we say- as the title of the film tells
you, ten times, even as the car is driving away, he shoots at the back of the car. And I think there is a, he talks about why
he was so- why he kept shooting, what he was afraid of. So let’s see then. Interrogator: What did you believe was about
to happen to you? Michael Dunn: I thought I was going to be
killed but I still didn’t go for my gun at that time. I was just, like, gone, “Oh my God, where
is all this hostility coming from?” And it was at that point where he said, “This
shit is going down now”. Interrogator: In your wildest dreams could
you fathom being in that position over a coming curtesy? Michael Dunn: No. Interrogator: Okay, now, at this point, what’s
going through your mind when he said “This shit is going down now”? Michael Dunn: This was like clear and present
danger and I said, “You’re not gonna kill me you son of a bitch”. Interrogator: Okay, and as you said that,
were you looking at him or were you now moving to get the- Michael Dunn: No, I said that as I was retrieving
my pistol. Interrogator: Could you show the jury exactly
what you did? Michael Dunn: Well I found- if we say over
here is my glove bags, I’m looking out the window, and I said, “You’re not gonna
kill me you son of a bitch” and I shot him. Interrogator: Okay, and do you even recall
how many times did you shot? Michael Dunn: I do not, kind of was in a fixed
position, with the tunnel vision, I didn’t realize the SUV was moving, I was still aiming
at the rear passenger, and it didn’t register that the car was backing up. Interrogator: Okay, and at some point you
realize now there was no more red door in front of your face? Michael Dunn: This is when Rhonda started
coming to my mind because I know she’s heard the shots, I know Rhonda, um- [pause] It wasn’t
just my life [crying] it was hers I worried about. Interrogator: And at some point now, do you
see that SUV actually drives towards a different direction or tried to drive away? Michael Dunn: It did and this is where the-
now they’re back in line with that if they fire at me, they have to go at the front door
and this is where Ronda comes out. Interrogator: What was your purpose of firing
towards the back of that vehicle, were you trying to -? Michael Dunn: I was worrying about other blind
firing situation, where they would, you know, shoot over their heads at whatever and hit
me and hit me and Rhonda. I’ve stopped firing when it appeared that
the treat was over. Matthew: Welcome back to Factual America. At the break, Peter and I were talking and
he sort of gives something away here, it’s a 64 000 dollars question, a phrase that gets
used a lot in this country. If he himself lived in the US, would he be
a gun owner, gonna say something about that? Peter: That’s a real dilemma. I’ve never own a gun in the UK, I’ve taken
part at shooting competitions when I was much younger in the cadet force, I thought it was
quite a boring thing to do, I’m not very keen on hunting, shooting things for fun,
I find the whole shooting elite culture thing quite sickening but I suppose it would be
a question about where did I live in the States and how confident was I about the ability
of the police to get there on time, because I know there are these slogans [smiling] you
know, “when seconds matter the police are only minutes away” and all of that. And it does raise a predicament. So I wonder, I mean maybe not in one of the
big cities, but maybe if I lived out in the wilds some protection would be sensible. I know I’m havering here, I’m not sure. A friend of mine came over recently who lived
in Florida, was an ex-cop in Florida, and after five days I plugged up the courage to
ask him, did he have a- I mean ex-cop- Matthew: Assume, yeah- Peter: And he said, yes, he had this one and
he had another one [smiling] and he would never leave his wife alone without her having
access to a firearm. I went wow- but maybe that’s Florida. Matthew: Yeah. I just think of late uncle, may he rest in
peace, visiting, I was in college, and I was on my way home, usually stopped at their house
for a- cause it was a half way home, and he gives me a tour of the house where there is
a big camper and all this equipment. He’s got a wall full of like, all these
different ropes he use for repelling and rock climbing, and then he just said, he just pulled
one bag and he had semi-automatic there, and he goes “Just in case the shit goes down,
I’m ready” [smiling] So you just- I mean, there is, I guess what you’re touching at
is, you know there is, in some parts, sort of a- it can be somewhat understandable that
some people would have a fear of their safety. When my wife and I talk about it, we’ve-
probably are similar both, we’ve always said, well if we’ve lived out in the country
some place, yeah, we’ll probably would have one just to shoot the rattlesnake or two if
we need it for something you know, not that you need a gun to shoot a rattlesnake [smiling] Peter: Yes, that too. Matthew: [smiling] Peter: But I’ve said earlier, I was fascinated
with many aspects of American culture, you know, music and media. And what surprised me, I’ve never quite
caught under the fact but as soon as I started researching the whole gun issue, I was surprised
of how much soaked up about different types of rifles or different types of pistols and
this is all from media, film media, now, that is at the same time a problem when you’re
an academic researcher, because that is the same as saying, you’ve picked up a lot of,
you’ve picked up a lot of information about guns and maybe have other perceptions about
guns from a mythical Hollywood product, which is why I’d like to try and keep in the real
and talk about the kind of dangers, the risks associated with firearm ownership. I mean, I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m havering
here about the fact of, would I want to own a gun if a lived in the certain parts of the
States, but at the same time, no, on a logical level, that gun is a risk. It’s statistically more likely to be a risk
to me, than an asset to me. But knowing that, we have a- assumed as tremendous
ability to not taking those bits of information that we don’t like [smiling] Matthew: Indeed. Or maybe on that note, I think it would be-
unfortunately we’re going to have to maybe give it wrap here but, Peter it’s been a
pleasure having you on the Factual America podcast, really do appreciate that and your
insights into what a topic that can be- well it’s a serious topic and one that people
do need to be- people with much more influence you and I have need to get to grips with. I’d like to give a shot out here to Spiritland
Studios for their great hospitality, also if you want to keep track of Peter’s academic
work, his research, his website is petersquires.net he’s gonna- now he’s gonna be upset with
me cause now he’s got to go home and update it [smiling] and please check out the opponomous
website of Marc Silver the director of the film 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets which won a
jury prize at Sundance in 2015, and please remember to like us and share us with your
friends and family wherever you happen to listen to podcast. And without further due, this is Factual America,
signing off. You’ve been listening to Factual America,
this podcast is produced by Alamo Pictures, specializing in documentaries, television
and shots about the USA for international audiences. Head on down to the show notes for more information
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