Moore's reply:

"The Truth: In the spring of 2001, I saw a real ad in a real newspaper in Michigan announcing a real promotion that this real bank had where they would give you a gun (as your up-front interest) for opening up a Certificate of Deposit account. They promoted this in publications all over the country ­ "More Bang for Your Buck!". . . .

When you see me going in to the bank and walking out with my new gun in "Bowling for Columbine" ­ that is exactly as it happened. Nothing was done out of the ordinary other than to phone ahead and ask permission to let me bring a camera in to film me opening up my account. I walked into that bank in northern Michigan for the first time ever on that day in June 2001, and, with cameras rolling, gave the bank teller $1,000 ­ and opened up a 20-year CD account. After you see me filling out the required federal forms ("How do you spell Caucasian?") ­ which I am filling out here for the first time ­ the bank manager faxed it to the bank's main office for them to do the background check. The bank is a licensed federal arms dealer and thus can have guns on the premises and do the instant background checks (the ATF's Federal Firearms database-which includes all federally approved gun dealers-lists North Country Bank with Federal Firearms License #4-38-153-01-5C-39922).

Within 10 minutes, the "OK" came through from the firearms background check agency and, 5 minutes later, just as you see it in the film, they handed me a Weatherby Mark V Magnum rifle ."

Hmmmm.... I thought the point in the movie was to illustrate how Mike just saunters into the bank, deposits money, and is handed a gun. Now it develops that the bank holds a Federal Firearms License, Moore had to take out a twenty year CD, had to fill out the federally-required paperwork, the bank had to run a criminal records background check on him through FBI. . . . you know, that casual attitude towards a gun transfer doesn't sound quite so casual any more.