For those of you who believe the film should never be made, we’re not sure who you’ll be more irritated with — filmmaker Jagger Gravning for not giving up or CHS for giving him more attention for the project. But with Monday’s deadline for fundraising approaching and the Capitol Hill Massacre project Wallflower still more than $3,000 short of the $10,000 goal the filmmaker is seeking, we have received this statement and a video made by Gravning. The words and the video, Gravning says, are his attempt to respond to the wave of criticism expressed on CHS and to explain his rationale for making a film about mass murderer Kyle Huff. The effort seems unlikely to change many minds. Here is what Gravning sent us:
There are some people who believe that this film should not be made. They feel the subject matter is not appropriate for cinema. While we understand and respect this point of view, we feel equally as strongly in the inherent value of this project.
Apart from personal connections to this tragedy, and being an invitee to that party myself, there was violence in my own home. When I was young, a man broke into our home and stabbed my mother. There was also a shooting in my own home.
My mother, as a survivor of attempted murder, is one of the biggest proponents of this film.
After the shooting on Capitol Hill my mother took in one of that tragedy’s survivors for many months, even getting her a job at her own work. My mother brought her along when she moved to Alaska, in order to help that girl (a childhood friend of mine) with psychological rehabilitation.
Another survivor of the Capitol Hill Shooting, who I had not known before, came forward asking to help with this project in any way she could — as did two other friends of those who were murdered.
Others have communicated to me the importance of addressing grievous mental health issues as the underlying cause of many mass shootings.
We may not be able to predict the shootings themselves, but we are able to see when someone in our life is suffering severe depression or other mental health issues — and we should feel that it is our responsibility to ensure these issues are treated, despite the difficulty and frustration taking on such a task can prove to be.
Being vigilant in treating the causal psychological factors is our best bet at preventing these sorts of tragedies. Like fires, they will never be prevented in every case — but we can prevent some or many when we focus on the real causes, which are actually well studied and understood. (See the Panel Report on the Capitol Hill Shooting by the nation’s leading expert on mass shootings, James Alan Fox, who has studied hundreds of cases: cityofseattle.net/police/Publications/Special/CapitolHillPanelReport.pdf)
All involved with this production have legitimate reasons for wanting to help this film get made.
Please let others know what we are trying to do, and ask them to support us as we count down to our final days of our Kickstarter campaign.