Kris Koenig introduced himself to me as “the only national public television producer I know of with a concealed carry permit.”
It was a way of establishing his credibility while seeking an interview on the book by Todd Masson and I wrote.
“The Great New Orleans Gun Grab” exposed the thuggish behavior of civil authorities as they set out to disarm every law-abiding citizen by confiscating their firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Citizens were brutalized and harassed, and had their guns stolen at the very time they needed them most.
Koenig had read the book, and wanted to interview me and some of the subjects in the book for his documentary film on the Second Amendment and the unprecedented attacks on gun ownership in this country.
Having worked in and around media most of my life, I have a healthy distrust of the working press when it comes to gun issues. But when he told me Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation had signed onto his project with a huge monetary donation, that did more for his creds than any exhortation of like-minded worship of guns. The SAF is one of the strongest supporters of gun rights in the U.S.; if Alan Gottlieb thought they were all right, well, they pretty well had to be.
Gun control is the topic of Koenig’s documentary, but it is studied and discussed in ways most folks have never considered. He brings out a lot of little-known history about gun rights in this country. With two Emmies for previous documentaries, he has produced a film that educates and argues for the good guns do in our society.
How many people know, for instance, that the laws preventing slaves from owning firearms were simply relabeled and used to keep free blacks from arming themselves, and then used to write laws limiting gun rights for all law-abiding citizens?
Or that banning firearms for self-defense put three particular groups at peril: women, the elderly and disabled, and gays?
The Outdoor Wire, a daily e-newsletter for the outdoor industry, said this about the movie: “It’s one of those ‘inconvenient truths’ that gun ban supporters either ignore or dismiss as ‘for the greater good.’ And it’s another of the facts laid out irrefutably by the film. Instead of a ‘gun problem,’ many viewers may realize the country has a bigger problem: the government’s continual encroachment on our civil rights and, ultimately, our liberty.”
Koenig has produced a documentary that will be a rallying cry for the gun culture. It’s an exceptionally well-documented, heavily researched piece of movie footage that stands in stark contrast to the shrieking hysteria of such productions as Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” — a hatchet job so filled with misstatements, half-truths and massaged statistics that it was an embarrassment even for the anti-gunners who wanted to support it.
New Orleans and the disarming of her citizenry is saved for one of the last major sections of the film. Several people who were the subjects of “The Great New Orleans Gun Grab” are interviewed for the movie, and there are chilling videos of beatings and gun confiscations that will stir strong feelings among the survivors of those times.
In counterpoint, Koenig presents the Korean community — which armed itself in the face of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles’ South Central area that was burned and looted, much like areas of New Orleans suffered horrendous looting. But the Korean community armed itself and protected their businesses from harm.
The entire thrust of the movie is to show the good guns do in our society, enriching our lives in sporting ways and protecting our lives against the criminal elements that would steal, pillage and kill if we did not have the protection of the gun.
Koenig and Ice-T (the narrator) make the emphatic point of telling important moments in U.S. history when firearms played deciding roles — and showing the original intent of the Founding Fathers was to write the Bill of Rights enumerating our God-given rights opposed to granting these to us by governmental edict.
Originally planned for public television, the movie was determined to demand a more-important audience, and was released nationally in June.
The film is also being shown nationwide in special screenings through Tugg, a Web platform that lets individuals, organizations and non-profits host their own events in their local communities. You can learn more about that at www.tugg.com/titles/assaulted-civil-rights-under-fire.
This film is a powerful endorsement of our Second Amendment, and its never-ceasing role in the formation of America’s character, growth and success.