The Price of Freedom is a hard-hitting documentary that looks at how the National Rifle Association became such an important part of America politics. There are plenty of films that have covered the history of the NRA, and much of the same ground is covered here, but it also explains how the group developed and sustained a mythology that lasts to this day.
Freedom is the bedrock on which the NRA has pushed its agenda. To do so, American history has been manipulated to fit into a certain narrative. The Founding Fathers and the Wild West are often cited as how guns positively shaped the country. The organization often looks to the past and people to look back at the “good old days”.
As it turns out, gun control was a very important part of early America. The Price of Freedom effectively shows this through a map that shows what looks like hundreds of different gun laws across the country. This was even the case during the 1890s in the Wild West. The idea of every person owning a gun and controlling their own destiny was more an invention of Hollywood.
The Price of Freedom also demonstrates what part race plays in gun control. This is seen most poignantly in comments made by former President Ronald Reagan. During his 1980 run for President, he was endorsed by the NRA and often stated no American would ever have their guns taken from them. However, when he was Governor of California, he instituted strict gun control laws that seemed aimed at the Black Panther Party.
Everything culminates in the double barreled attack of increased mass shootings and Donald Trump’s election to the Oval Office. Powerful and disturbing scenes and interviews are shown as The Price of Freedom shows evidence of the terrible cost of the 2nd Amendment. Interviews from former President Bill Clinton, activist X González and former NRA president David Keene make this one of the most infuriating and emotional films of the year.
The Price of Freedom comes to theaters July 7.
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