Director’s Letter

 

Director Janet Fitch talks about creating these 3  films – with active lives of engagement and invites you to use them as tools to change the way we talk, think and act about gun violence in America

Hello & Welcome to our Website,

Thank you for checking out our project! My personal journey as a filmmaker in the sometimes surreal world of “Gun Rights vs Gun Control” began over a decade ago as a single documentary to cover the 2000 Million Mom March for Sensible Gun Laws. Once we began a dialog with the people who showed up from every corner of the United States, the project rapidly evolved into a trilogy exploring the issue through local, state and national lenses. The truth is, urban, suburban, small town and rural populations are all at risk in this American problem.

All three films have taken on active engagement lives of their own – and I’ve been privileged to observe first hand the response they receive. When diverse audiences become accurately informed about the more complex stories surrounding gun violence, they come away with a clearer understanding of why we desperately need a new framework to find preventive solutions to suicide, homicide, domestic, accidental and mass shootings. Meanwhile, overt threats and bullying continue to fill State Legislatures across the Country, often dividing citizens at their core beliefs.

The ACHIEVABLE  GOAL of this project – set through authentic engagement with thousands of Americans – is to reframe discussion of gun violence to a radically logical public health focus on prevention. This fresh and far less polarizing framework broadens discussion and invites us all into solution-based civil dialog. And, any movement towards healing the divide on this seemingly “unsolvable” problem – automatically creates a fresh space for organic, inclusive engagement on other critical issues confronting the United States and the planet.

PREVENTION is rarely even mentioned in today’s polarized political climate; however, public health professionals suggest it is the current no-win framework of “gun rights vs gun control” that divides rather than unifies the American people into solution-seeking action. “Change the framework – change the thinking” contend those who’ve reduced injuries and fatalities from other causes: drunken driving, unsafe cars and childproof caps are all examples. 

Critical thinking strategies and societal leadership skills are required to move us from a state of bewilderment on this issue – to a state of non-polarized, sustained, practical action. That’s where the films in this series are extremely useful. Personally, even as the current, polarized conversation gets more blatantly ridiculous – I am excited about the possibilities for change, once we actually get on with shifting the way we think, talk and act about gun violence.

The back-story of using these films as tools to convene authentic dialog at the heart of this issue is one of inspiration and faith in people to find ways to overcome political divides and combine forces to create change. For example, following the 2011 tragic shooting of Rep. Gabby Gifford and others who simply showed us on a Saturday morning to hear her speak, so many people called and wrote me to say: “The first thing I thought of was your films – please keep them circulating!” It is responses like this that keep me, and the wonderful people who add their talents to this project, energized and determined to maximize this timely opportunity to circulate the films and their replicable models of local and statewide engagement on a National level; group by group, state by state, until we reach a critical mass to change this conversation.

I invite you to consider hosting a screening/discussion for any size audience. Your action will add to others’ and the ground beneath our feet will eventually shift. Your participation makes it happen that much sooner – so please do become part of the solution. Contact me for a free consultation on your particular event. Because I’ve worked with people in so many different settings, I can help get you get going in a direction that will open new possibilities for you. FOLLOWING your event – be sure to connect again, to  share your newly discovered knowledge with the rest of us – and so it goes!

Peace,

Janet Fitch's signature