“I never thought I would have to, a decade later, stand here and say that that film of mine did no good. That to me is personally heartbreaking,” Moore said Tuesday night while on the red carpet at National Board of Review Awards.
His 2002 documentary, which won an Academy Award, was inspired by the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.
Moore says he has no interest in making a film about last month’s shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults dead.
“No, I’ve made the film I wanted to make with ‘Bowling for Columbine.’ Every word in stands true to this day, which is the saddest thing,” he said.
The Sandy Hook tragedy has reignited the national debate on guns; President Barack Obama has appointed Vice President Joseph Biden to help come up with a solution.
The “Fahrenheit 9/11” filmmaker said that certain weapons need to be banned, and gun ownership should always require a license.
“The short term solution is we have to ban the assault weapons, ban the semiautomatic weapons, ban the magazines that can hold more than ten bullets. That’s it. That should be the bottom line of what we need to start with,” he said. “We should be licensing everybody with a gun. I have to have a license for my dog. I have to have a license for my car. If you’re going to do my hair later you have to have a license ... We don’t require a license to own a firearm?”
He also said America’s violence issue runs much deeper than gun control laws.
“We are a violent people,” said Moore. “We as Americans believe it’s OK to kill people. We believe it’s OK to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. We think it’s OK to invade a country where we think Osama Bin Laden is and he’s in the other country. So we just go in and we just kill. And we have the death penalty, we sanction it. Not talking about the insane people now. We’re talking about out government which is of, by and for the people — says it’s OK to kill people. So why is it a surprise when the unhinged, who live in the same society, go ‘I feel like killing some people today?’ I think we need to take a look at ourselves.”