Michael Moore And The Sandy Hook Victim Photos: Why The End Doesn't Justify His Means

Dusten Carlson

COMMENTARY | Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore has the second amendment and the NRA is his crosshairs, so to speak. His latest rhetorical bullet regards the photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

Moore believes that they should be released to the public, because being exposed the gruesome images is the only thing, if anything can, that will galvanize Americans into revising or repealing the second amendment and kissing the NRA goodbye for good.

In a lengthy op-ed for The Huffington Post titled "America, You Must Not Look Away (How to Finish Off the NRA)," Moore argues that Americans have "done nothing to revise or repeal" the constitutional right to bear arms, which "makes us responsible."

" … and that is why we must look at the pictures of the 20 dead children laying (sic) with what's left of their bodies on the classroom floor in Newtown, Connecticut," he writes.

A very honest column written by Tommy Christopher for Mediaite titled "I Want Michael Moore To be Wrong About Newtown Crime Scene Photos," the author concedes that Moore makes a good argument for the release of the Sandy Hook victim photos, but argues that "releasing the photos without their permission would badly undercut the desired effect."

Christopher's central disagreement with Moore regards the notion that such photos should be published by the media without permission from the parents of slain Newtown children. It's a notion that Moore doesn't clearly support in his argument, and he continually makes reference to his hope that "someday a Sandy Hook mother" will say "I just want the world to see."

Unfortunately for Moore, he seems very unlikely to get that support. Many of the Newtown parents have spoken at committees and legislative hearings about gun control, the central issue in the debate over Newtown. They seem to be split on that issue. Many see the Newtown shooting as a clear call for greater gun control, while others don't think that such legislation is the answer.

One thing almost all of the Newtown parents agree on is that they don't want the Sandy Hook victim photos to ever go public.

"I would be very strongly against that," Jeremy Richman, who lost his 6-year-old daughter Avielle, told Fox News of Moore's proposal.

Another parent of a 6-year-old boy killed in the attack was outraged by the very idea.

"You can imagine what my reaction to that is," the mother said, declining to comment further.

Indeed, the only Newtown parent who could even be arguably open to the idea is Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah Pozner, the youngest victim in the Newtown tragedy.

Noah Pozner

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Veronique described the state of her little boy's remains as she struggled to bury him.

"He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth there was no mouth left. His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don't talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night."

Haunting words indeed, but Veronique's account was not political. It transcended politics. The philosophical musings of a mother who has inexplicably lost her child, the painful aching hollow of his absence, and the strength she found to lay him to rest.

Because of that, Veronique's words and her actions should not be retroactively made to pull a plow for a left-wing agenda. Unless she wants them to.

This underscores the danger of Moore's overzealous initiative. He can be upset over the Newtown victims and even a little bit self-righteous about it. But when you strip away all of the appeal to emotion, Moore is dubiously proposing that we use gruesome images of slain children, blown to bits by bullets from an assault rifle, as political props. Human shields to suit his radical personal vendetta.

Gun control

The problem with the gun control conversation? Everyone is lying about what they want.

Michael Moore (and even, to a degree, Senator Dianne Feinstein), want a world without guns. It's a beautiful thought, and I think everyone, gun owner or otherwise, would agree that it would be lovely to live in a world without violence. Remember, most gun owners cite "personal protection" as their reason for owning a gun. Comedian (and noted liberal) Bill Maher is himself a gun owner, but disdainfully so. He owns a gun because he feels like he has to.

The right, including the NRA, really don't know what to do with Sandy Hook. They hate that it happened. They're human. They feel the loss. But they don't want to admit any of it, because they fear they'll risk losing a demographic or appearing "soft" on the issue of guns.

Only a precious few in the middle, or perhaps even the so-called "silent majority," see what needs to be done even if they can't find words to explain why.

Do we have a problem with violence, not with guns, but with violence, in America?


Should we keep guns from finding their way into the hands of criminals and the mentally ill?


Could that be accomplished through background checks, a basic requirement even for the "right" to pursue meaningful employment?


Should responsible gun owners live without fear of punishment for a recreational right that they frequently exercise and enjoy?


Do many current political proposals regarding the issue of gun control willingly or naively expect responsible gun owners to abide by laws designed and inspired by our most horrifying and monstrous criminals, and treat them rhetorically with equal measure?


Should we see the Sandy Hook victim photos? Is that really what it will take to inspire action on gun control?


A gun-free world can only really be accomplished after we find ourselves in a violence-free world. Because there's nothing you can do about that, liberal activists like Michael Moore attack symptoms, not cause. You've heard it before. But think about it.

You need a triple bypass. Should we scrub up together and intervene surgically in order to save your life? Or should we perhaps consider removing your heart? What if it would prevent you from heart disease in the future?

Lastly, can we videotape it?