The Firing Range Near Ferguson
Feb 10, 2015
The Ultimate Defense Firing Range sits less than 30 miles from the street where, last August, Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson. Filmmaker Laura Bult visited the range last fall—after protests had shaped into the #BlackLivesMatter movement—and interviewed gun owners about a popular course that simulated "deadly force scenarios."
According to owner Paul Bastean, Ultimate Defense saw a 600% increase in firearm sales compared to the same time in the previous year. That trend continued after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson, he told Bult: "It's a lot of people who, two years ago, would've never considered having a gun. [They] now feel that it's important that they learn how to defend themselves." A New York Times story published reports that, at the time of the grand jury decision, the firing range was selling "20 to 30" guns a day, compared to typical daily sales of three to five.
To learn more, Bult wrote extensively about her film at the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
Author: Chris Heller
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A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic