Lovers of the Second Amendment will likely be delighted to know that a new documentary about the gun control issue, "Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire," is soon heading to theaters across America. TheBlaze recently interviewed Kris Koenig, the film's director, to learn more about the movie and his take on the nation's ever-contentious gun control debate.
Produced by Koenig's Dead Patriot Films, the documentary brings together some intriguing voices. Narrated by Ice-T, an actor and rapper who has a fascinating career and personal story, the film tackles one of the nation's most divisive contemporary issues: gun control.
"Assaulted's" official overview claims that viewers will experience, "An eye-opening look at the genesis of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, leading the audience to rethink the issues surrounding gun control, and the effect on civil rights and liberty."
Koenig believes that gun rights are monumentally-important -- much more so than they are given credit for by many on the American left.
"It's as important as freedom of speech [and] as gay marriage and abortion issues," he said of Second Amendment rights, going on to ask whether Americans are really willing to give up an important civil right for a false sense of safety.
Photo Credit: Dead Patriot Films
How the film came to fruition
The filmmaker also told TheBlaze that the foundation for the film was set when he and another filmmaker were working on a regional documentary about urban street gangs in Northern California. One day after filming, he said that a local deputy sheriff told him, "I sure hope you have a concealed-carry permit."
It was at that point that Koenig decided to get one, but in the process, he soon realized that "we are not all created equal under the eyes of the law in terms of our Second Amendment rights."
This led the documentarian to explore the differences that existed in various counties when it came to gun control. As he was looking at these dynamics, the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, unfolded. The resulting national discussion is what further laid the groundwork for "Assaulted."
What the filmmaker hopes to accomplish
Koenig's central goal in producing the film was to give viewers a new perspective on gun control. Rather than focusing only on the logistics of firearms, he said that a grander discussion about historical constructs and personal freedoms needed to take place.
"I'd like the public to walk away and look at gun control not as a mechanical device issue, but look at it as a civil rights issue," he said. "It is part of the Bill of Rights -- it's part of our natural rights as human beings to have the ability to have self-defense, and yet our lawmakers have looked over that civil right and are willing to embrace restrictions in the name of votes."
His pointed statements about the matter likely won't resonate among those on the far left or individuals opposed to current gun rights, but regardless, Koenig claims that he wants Americans to take a more critical approach to examining the issue.
As for the focus on mass shootings that has been at the center of the gun debate of late, Koenig said that some of the most common and rampant instances of gun violence are often ignored by politicians.
"There's over 20 children killed every weekend in Chicago and nobody seem to care -- so we do bring that out. We do talk about the hypocrisy," he said of the film's focus. "We're not dealing with the gang issue in this country. There are no Senate hearings on gangs."
Actor/rapper Ice-T and Coco attend the screening of ''Once Upon A Time In Brooklyn' at AMC Empire on April 29, 2013 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images
To make his points in the film, Koenig employs Ice-T's narration and mixes in expert analysis and reaction from people who know the gun issue well. As far as the rapper's inclusion goes, Koenig said that he is a talented voice that added profoundly to "Assaulted's" intended goals.
"Ice has got an incredible voice and when you hear it against the words that we wrote it just really, really works," he said, going on to note the importance of including African Americans, especially in light of past civil rights offenses. "He's also a bridge to the black American community ... the Second Amendment was denied to blacks in this country all the way up to the 20s."
This theme of gun control and its impact over the African American community is addressed overtly in the film as well. In fact, Koenig told TheBlaze that the first third of the movie deals with this sole issue. In the end, the film seeks to answer two, key questions that are explicitly tied to one another: What's the point of gun control -- and do current proposals hold any hope for helping save lives?
"Assaulted" will be released on June 20 -- and Koenig is hopeful that all Americans will turn up to educate themselves about one of America's most revered civil rights.
"I really think it's important for the public to come see this film, because it really provides a different look at this problem -- to lift ourselves up from the mechanics of the gun and to look at what it means to be an American," he said. "I really hope that people go see the film, because they want to see this issue differently."
Koenig said that politicians should be looking beyond the rare mass shootings at gang violence, education and the epidemic of the broken family. He noted that the factors that are causing young people to commit crime should be priority.
"I think it's really disingenuous that we turn our back on the mental health issue," Koenig added.
Find out more about "Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire" on the film's official website.
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