Title: A Girl & A Gun
Directed by: Cathryne Czubek
Running Time: 76 minutes, Unrated
Special Features: Music Video – Theme Song by Julia Haltigan; 6 Deleted Scenes
Gun companies have discovered a niche market: Women. A once thought of masculine object actually appeals to many women. This documentary follows several women who share their love for guns which they use for protection, as a hobby, and a bonding tool with their parents and children. Several of the subjects talk about their tragic interactions with guns, and still show they have no fear to use them. They talk about their guns as if they’re just another accessory like a designer handbag or shoes. Some of the items marketed towards women felt a little sexist – like pink guns and lipstick holders in camo gear, but they’re apparently top sellers.
The negative: The special features deleted scenes do not have an option to play all. There is no chapter selection in the feature film, however you can skip ahead. I wanted to see more of Sarah McKinley’s story. The documentary caught up with her within days of her near attack on her and her baby and the details of her ordeal was a little stagnant. Anyone who didn’t read up on her story or watch it on the news will miss out on a really intriguing story of survival only because Sarah was still trying to get her bearings after having to kill an intruder while on the phone with 911, where the operator told her to “do what she needed to do in order to protect her child.” The fact that I was familiar with the story helped me keep up, but her segment felt incomplete. Several of the stories and interviews felt one sided with a couple of anti-gun and gun control supporters sprinkled on top just because the filmmakers felt they had to, but weren’t enthusiastic about it. It was more like: Look at all these responsible empowered women who love their guns.
The positive: The documentary does cover a (minute) few stories of anti-guns, the misuse of guns and their tragic aftermath for the gun control supporters, but it also touches base that education on gun use is really necessary. People are so quick to pick up a gun and don’t realize the end result of that use is permanent. A woman talks about watching her innocent bystander daughter get shot in a gang related attack, and then the permanently disabled daughter provides her nonchalant views on guns and gun use. A woman in prison recalls when she shot and killed her girlfriend in an argument, and states that if she had only picked up a knife instead, her girlfriend would still be alive because she would not have had the courage to use it. One of the more fun and fluffy stories that should’ve been included in the feature was the deleted segment of “English Bev” who belongs to an old west cosplay gun club.
I’m one of the many 2nd amendment supporters, but I do believe in enforcing strict rules about guns. This documentary focused mainly on how important it is for women to be able to defend themselves when some women are too elderly or frail or just not confident in their abilities to participate in self-defense instruction. Cathryne Czubek had a good idea here with this documentary, however it was disorganized. I would’ve liked her to choose fewer subjects and get better in-depth stories, rather than churn out several similar stories with not much substance. It was very biased in my opinion. Even the deleted scene with a look inside the Smith & Wesson factory felt contrived.
Total Rating: B-
Reviewed by: JM Willis