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Bowling for Columbine (Documentary) ( 2002) 2003 by Raymond Weschler Major Characters

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The Tragedy of Columbine.

I’m most comfortable with assault rifles.

A powerful type of rifle (To assault a person is to physically attack them).
Very close-knit community we have here. Everybody looks out for everybody.

If a community is “close-knit,” people feel close and connected to each other (knitting is a type of sewing). If one person “looks out” for another, they are always making sure that they are safe and doing ok.

Two young people made very bad decisions , and

there has been international notoriety as a result of it.

“Notoriety” is the state of being well known or famous,

but only for having done something bad or horrible.

South metro Denver has about the same amount

of sunshine and precipitation as Southern California.

“Metro” is short for “metropolitan,” which is an adjective that refers

to all the urban areas, including suburbs, that surround a big city. “Precipitation” is one way of referring to rain fall.

The burglar or the rapist is still here in the neighborhood, somewhere.

A “burglar” breaks into people’s houses in order to steal things.

If I was to try and stab you through this, you’re gonna have to be really close.

“To stab” a person is to push a knife into them (usually to try and

kill them). Note that “going to” -----> “gonna” in rapid speech.
Here’s the bottom line on this… :: What if I had a spear?

“The bottom line” is an excellent expression that means the most important or basic point about a particular conversation or subject.

A “spear” is a pointed weapon with a long shaft or pole, that is often thrown at an enemy.
The criminal has to break through the door, so

you’ve created another barrier. :: An ax would do it.

A “barrier” is any material or physical object that blocks passage or moving forward. An “ax” is large hammer with a sharp edge that is

used for cutting trees.

There’s something overwhelming about that kind of viciousness,

that kind of predatory action. That kind of indiscriminate killing.

If something is “overwhelming” it is so extreme or powerful that it is hard to accept or deal with. “Viciousness” is extreme cruelty. If an action is “predatory,” it is designed to cause great damage or harm, often just for personal profit. If killing is “indiscriminate,” it is random or arbitrary, with no rational reason for why one person is killed and another left alone.
The other major facilities where our

employees work are here in Littleton.

“Facilities” refer to a group of buildings that are designed for a particular purpose related to work, such as a hospital, school or office building.
I suppose you can say that what happened at Columbine high

school is a microcosm of what happens throughout the world.

A very small or tiny example, reflection or symbol of a larger world.
I think we embody that spirit, that were all members of this community, and

it behooves us to help out one another and reach out and assist one another.

“To embody” the spirit of something is to have that spirit within you. If it “behooves” you to do something, it is advisable, necessary or proper that you do it because it will help you in the long run.
No one in Littleton, including the executives at Lockheed, could

figure out why the boys at Columbine had resorted to violence.

An “executive” is a high level businessman in a company, such as a

Vice-President. “To figure out” a mystery is to solve or understand it.

“To resort to” something is to decide to do it, often after hesitating

to do it because one would prefer not to.
We became aware of a program that provides anger-management training.

A class or educational process in which people are taught how

to control their anger, especially so they will not resort to violence.
They don’t say to themselves, "Gee, dad goes off to the factory everyday

and he builds missiles. These are weapons of mass destruction”?

“Gee” is a gentle way of expressing surprise or other emotion. “Weapons of mass destruction” refers to those that can kill thousands of people in minutes, such as nuclear bombs or chemical and biological weapons.
Governments do things that annoy one another, but we have to learn to

deal with that annoyance, or anger or frustration, in appropriate ways.

“To annoy” a person is to bother, irritate or anger them (Note that the noun is annoyance). “Appropriate” is an important adjective meaning especially suitable, proper or reasonable, given the situation.
1953: US installs Shah as dictator.

“To install” a dictator is to put them in power.

1973: US stages coup in Chile.

“To stage” an event is to plan it and carry it out. A coup (short for

coup d’etat) is a French word for the overthrowing of a government.
Oh, my word.

One way of expressing great emotion, such as anger or shock.

There sits an actual B-52 bomber. The plaque underneath it proudly proclaims

that this plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve, 1972.

A “B-52 Bomber” is a fighter plane that is well known for being able to drop lots of bombs. A “plaque” is a flat, thin piece of metal that usually has something written on it. “To proclaim” is to declare or say publicly. The “eve” of any holiday is the evening on the day before it (Thus, New Years Eve is the evening of December 31st).
It was the largest bombing campaign of the Vietnam War.

In this context, a “campaign” is a connected series of military

actions that mark a certain phase or part of a war.
And now, a massive radioactive dump.

“Massive” means extremely big or huge, “radioactive” means filled with radioactivity, which is the type of atom that makes atomic or nuclear weapons so dangerous. A “dump” is a large place where huge amounts of trash and other material is buried.

A few miles away, buried inside a mountain, is NORAD, which oversees

our nuclear weapons, many of which dot the Colorado landscape.

NORAD, which stands for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is responsible for making sure no nuclear weapons are fired at the US and Canada. “To oversee” a job or project is to be responsible for it. “To dot” an area is to be present in many different places within that area (In this case, there are many nuclear missiles throughout Colorado).
Deadly cargo was dropped on the residential part of the village.

“Cargo” refers to any product that is transported in a truck, plane or other vehicle, such as food, furniture and, yes, bombs. The “residential” part of a village is where people live in their house (as opposed to the industrial part, where products are made, or the business part, where people work in offices).

We’re striking hard at Serbia’s machinery of repression, while

making a deliberate effort to minimize harm to innocent people.

“To strike” is to hit forcefully. “Repression” refers to the act of taking away people’s freedom, as is done by a government led by a dictator. “Deliberate” means intentionally, or done with great care.
We’ll wait for events to unfold, and they’ll be more to say.

If events “unfold,” they continue to take place over time.

They’ve got pipe bombs, Uzis, you name it.

A “pipe bomb” is a small explosive placed in a metal pipe, and an Uzi is famous type of powerful machine gun. “You name it” is a slangy way of saying “anything you can think of.”

You’re shitting me! :: I’m not.

“To shit” a person is a very slangy and somewhat

vulgar way of saying to lie to them. Fun, but rare.
We have automatic weapons, OK?

A type of gun that can fire hundreds of bullets in just

a few seconds, without having to stop and reload the gun.
Can you guys send lots of paramedics?

A person who is trained to deal with medical

emergencies, who often drives an ambulance.
Jefferson County, 9-11.

A “county” is an administrative division of government that is

bigger than a city (There are many counties in every state). Note

that 9-11 (“nine-eleven”) is the phone number to call for emergencies, though today, people also think of the 9-11 terrorist attack.

I could patch you through...You can tell us on the air?

“To patch a person through” on a phone is to try and connect them to somebody else. If you say something “on the air,” it is said live, not recorded, on radio or TV.

I was on hall duty, I saw a gun, I said “what’s going on out there?”

The job of walking down the halls and corridors of a

school, to make sure the kids are not causing trouble.
He’s firing shots from the library!

A shot is a bullet or a loud blast from a gun.

I called four times to find out where to go and they put me on hold forever.

If a person puts you “on hold,” they are making you wait on the phone.

Calm down! :: I think we’re entitled to

the information on where are children are!

If a person is “entitled to” something, they have a right to it or deserve it.
We have a lot of units out there, right now.

A “unit” is a particular quantity, or a single thing or person,

or in this case, it is a reference to the number of policemen.
I don’t have any information. :: Why the hell not?

This is added to Wh questions to show emotion such as anger.

He’s a member of what they call “The Trench-Coat Mafia.”

A “trench-coat” is a large water-proof jacket, and the “Mafia” refers

to any type of organized crime, especially Italian crime families.
Have they picked up anyone yet?

In this case, “to pick up” a suspect or possible criminal

is to arrest them so that the police can question them.
I just heard that term on TV.

Another word for a word or expression.

Dozens of others were wounded by the 900 rounds of ammo that were fired.

A “dozen” is twelve. If a person is “wounded,” they are injured or physically hurt. A “round” of gunfire is a series of gunshots, and

“ammo” is another word for bullets.
Some may characterize that as too lazy.

“To characterize” a person is to describe them in a certain way.

In the end, they turned the guns on themselves.

One way of saying that they shot themselves, or committed suicide.

Despite the pleas of a community in mourning, Charleston Heston came

to Denver and held a large, pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association.

A “plea” is a desperate appeal or request, or perhaps the act of begging for something. “Mourning” is the act of going through great sadness or loss, often because somebody close has just died.
As Americans, we’re free to travel wherever we want in our broad land.

Another word for large or wide.

Something is wrong in this country when a child can grab a gun so easily

and shoot a bullet in the middle of a child’s face, as my child experienced.

“To grab” something is to quickly or forcefully take it.
We have work to do, hearts to heal…and a country to unite.

“To heal” a person’s heart is to take away their anger, and to heal

in general means to get better or healthier after having been hurt.
We the people….secure in our land of the free and home of the brave.”

“We the People” is how the US Constitution begins. To be “secure”

is to feel safe. The rest of the words are from the National Anthem (official song) of the United States.
They had the convention a week after Columbine in Colorado. :: The NRA?

A “convention” is a large assembly or meeting between

people who come together to discuss a particular subject.

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