Former ABC, CBS and NBC anchor Katie Couric takes on the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment supporters in a new film entitled Under the Gun, which will debut at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, on the Epix pay cable channel.
Currently an anchor for Yahoo! Google News, Couric is an executive producer and narrator of the documentary, which -- according to the movie's website -- “examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase.”
In case there was any inkling that the liberal activist has gone “fair and balanced,” the website also states:
Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista and Tucson, as well as those who experience daily gun violence in Chicago, the documentary looks at why politicians are finding it difficult to act and what is being done at the state and local levels.
The film is executive produced and narrated by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig.
“In the gun debate, truth is the ultimate weapon,” is the film's tagline.
In a glowing review for the Variety website, Associate Editor for Features Geoff Berkshire stated: “Cutting through political talking points to focus on facts and firsthand accounts,” the documentary “is an essential primer on the rise of gun violence in the U.S.”
“While Under the Gun is firmly on the side of stronger gun regulations, it’s not anti-gun,” Berkshire asserted.
“There’s an attempt to be as inclusive as possible,” he then bizarrely asserted, “and time taken to explain why common refrains by the opposition -- that certain government leaders want to take away everyone’s guns, the real problem is about mental health and not guns, or that the only way to prevent gun violence is to own a gun -- are easier said than defended with factual information.”
“But the goal here isn’t to change minds,” Berkshire then claimed, “it’s to reignite the anger of the silent majority -- those familiar feelings that bubble up and then dissipate whenever another mass shooting occurs.”
“Under the Gun understands the typical cycle of shock, outrage, hopelessness and complacency that follows such events in the 24-hour news cycle,” he stated, “and aims to channel those initial instincts into action.”
Director Stephanie Socchtig “proves her knack for crafting advocacy” and acknowledges the solutions to this ongoing problem are neither easy nor obvious, while persuasively arguing that more, surely, can be done,” Berkshire continued.
“Under the Gun potently combines statistics, expert commentary and personal stories into a well-researched and easy-to-consume piece of nonfiction filmmaking,” the editor stated.
“The core frustration fueling this film is one shared by many Americans,” Berkshire noted. “Even after an event as horrific as the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the U.S. Congress demonstrated its complete impotence in dealing with the issue.”
“When a popular bill mandating near-universal background checks on gun purchases died in the Senate, it was a wake-up call for many,” he asserted.
However, the Variety editor stated, the “steady pace of mass shootings since has only underscored the urgency of finding grassroots solutions to the problem.”
“Sandy Hook parents Mark and Jackie Barden, who lost their youngest son, Daniel, in the shooting," Berkshire noted, “are the first among many family members of gun-violence victims profiled by Soechtig.”
Nevertheless, more than just tragedy “is uniting the diverse group -- from urban Chicago mother Pamela Bosley, whose son is one of numerous black youths in the city whose murders remain unsolved, to conservative gun owners Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter Jessica was killed at the 2012 movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.,” Berkshire noted.
“Again and again, the film’s boogeyman is the National Rifle Association,” Berkshire stated before adding: Soechtig attacks "the lobbying organization's leadership, who have close ties to gun manufacturers and actively work to block the most common-sense attempts at gun regulation.”
Meanwhile, he stated, the film also deals with “the rank-and-file membership” of the NRA, “who are presented as more supportive of responsible measures (like background checks) in national polls and man-on-the-street interviews.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, this isn't Couric's first foray into liberal advocacy.
In 2014, she attacked the food industry in a documentary entitled Fed Up, and while promoting that film, she admitted her own activism regarding that cause and many others.
If Couric and her cohorts are so anxious to eliminate gun violence, perhaps they should start in Chicago, where almost 900 people were killed with guns in the first 100 days of the year. When that's taken care of, perhaps then we can actually have a meaningful discussion of the problem.