Unforgiven was an Oscar winning movie when it came out 15 years ago or so. I finally saw it this weekend and found it quite thought provoking.
Among its issues were forgiveness (obviously), guns, duty and valour, law and the beauty of living in a world governed by it.
I don't like movies like this, in general, I mean, too much violence, too much senselessness, but... at the same time, there is a lot to be said for what is being presented here.
It was an interesting weekend, I sat in on a riding meeting for a certain political party. One of the issues raised was guns and the "right" to bare arms. To me it was as disturbing to hear the conversation go on (unargued, might I add) as it was to think of what would happen if they were wrong. I don't see the American system of gun ownership being particularly great, and yet here were people openly advocating that we go that way. Perhaps it is the joy of living in rural Ontario, as opposed to a little closer to Jane and Finch, (notorious gang hot spot in Toronto) as my school is.
The gun culture of Unforgiven makes a stark comparison. The only guy we see who is not carrying a weapon is often displayed as mercenary and weak. Those who carry guns though end up dead, all but two, and even then they claim to be either dead or dying.
Sanctity of human life was brought up at the political meeting. I sat wondering what that meant to them. Does that mean that human life is important, sacred even (whatever that means)? Or does it mean that God gives it and takes it on His terms? If its the last, I'm with them. Yet, at the same time, adopting a gun culture in which you're allowed to carry a concealed weapon or at least have one for self-defense does not extend the idea that human life is sacred. It simply says that my life is sacred, and the life of someone threatening me or my property is not. The idea that guns cure anything is pretty risky. I know guns don't kill people, people kill people. I know that the government has no right to ______ (fill in the blank yourself). Do we really know what we're asking for though?
Watch Unforgiven if you dare, and think carefully.
Feel free to comment below. I'd be interested in hearing a dissenting view.