Overview: Collectively, episode 3 is entitled “Guns & Ammo.” The first segment under this theme is called simply GUN SCHOOL. In the piece we go to the New Life Baptist Church & Academy in Albuquerque, NM, where Pastor Larry Allen preaches guns and teaches guns. The Academy is a Christian School for pre-K through High School and part of the curriculum teaches how to be armed for the evil that is at hand. That means not just spiritually but physically. It means taking charge of your life and taking out the violent threat before it takes you out. A number of faculty and administration in fact are packing heat to do just that and preparing the children in their charge for that threat. It is a unique academic environment visited by VICE.
The other piece is TOXIC IRAQ. After ravaging Iraq over the past decade, the U.S. is finally exiting the country–leaving behind a toxic cesspool of military waste. VICE is there to explore the aftermath of war as it affects that country. Of course, the problems and strife are far from over there. One of the most evident places to find that strife is Fallujah General Hospital and that is where we find VICE.
Review: GUN SCHOOL reported by correspondent Thomas Morton. Wow, our first report from the U.S. A. itself and it is a rich one. Thomas handles himself well listening to Pastor Larry and his wife, the principal. Those people are so ready and mindful that violence will reach them when in actuality they have a better chance of getting struck by lightning or maybe bitten by a shark. It seems an extreme way of thinking even when they say it is for the protection of children. It clearly does not make the debate over guns any easier.
TOXIC IRAQ reported by correspondent Shane Smith. It fooled me. I wasn’t really reading the clues and I missed it. Clues nothing, I wasn’t reading the words. The segment is called TOXIC Iraq. I thought that this piece was about those injured and crippled by the war because of being shot or bombed and just left to struggle when we pulled out. The aftermath at issue is radioactivity and its long lingering effect. The “Ammo” in this episode’s title refers not to the littered casings and tanks that were left behind but of the radioactive ammunition used to carry out the war and how it has deformed and crippled the innocent children of Iraq. It is a sad commentary on modern warfare and U the U S A’s response. This is a piece that surprised me. I expected one thing and was led to a different story more surprising than I imagined. I thank you VICE; this is what keeps me coming back every Friday night. I need that punch in the face!
In Conclusion: This is an episode that calls for debate and comment. I think it does more so than the first two episodes. Do you like the concept employed by the GUN SCHOOL? Will we ever take responsibility for birth defects in TOXIC IRAQ? So come on, share your thoughts with us. What do you think of VICE Episode 03: Gun and Ammo?
Here is what Executive Producer Bill Maher had to say with the correspondents in The Morning After Clip.