The Right of the People (1986) - full transcript

Michael Ontkean's wife and daughter die in a brutal diner robbery. Stricken with rage, he pushes right-to-carry legislation through the city council. But will a well-armed populace create more problems than it solves? - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
I'm not gonna deny
that poverty can

Sometimes be factor
in criminal behavior.

But can you deny

that we live in a society in
which the majority support the law

and expect violators
to be prosecuted

According to punishment
set forth on those laws.

Maybe the law is out of touch,

maybe justice really is blind.

I don't think so.

You were at Berkeley in the
'60s, weren't you Mr. Booth?

Mmm-hmm. That's right..

You've come a long way.

You mean, because
I've stopped believing

that all the innocent
people are in jail?

You're the da,
you ought to know.

Well, isn't it possible that
somebody could end up a criminal,

Maybe because we've denied him the right or
the opportunity to become something else.

Except, how do we explain that

to the raped and the robbed,
to the survivors of the dead?

How do we tell them
to turn the other cheek?

So, how do I look?

Like a bride.

I love it when you lie.

Hey, that's what friends
are for.

Why don't you move back?

- And leave the paper?
- Yeah.

I got a better idea. Why didn't
you and Chris move to Washington?

- We've been talking about it.
- Have you really?

-Can't be now though. But, maybe, someday...

I don't know. We'll see.

Oh! That would be great.

I'm ready.

Oh, Katie, that's an awfully
pretty dress you wearing.

-Thanks. My mum bought it for me.
-Hey, what about your dad?

He paid for it.

Come on, mommy, we don't
wanna keep daddy waiting.

She's like this at six. Heaven
help us when she's seven.

- Hey, you're doing great.
- Oh...

- I'm gonna miss you.
- Me, too.

Why don't you break down
and make it permanent, Chris?

I don't have the time, Jay.

The kids are crazy
about you, you know that?

Got a case load that
could choke a rhino

it's hard enough trying
to get away with one night.

Come on, Chris! What
are your priorities?

What's more important
in the long run,

prosecuting felons or inspiring a
lot of good, young law students?

Well, I guess that depends, Jay.

Which would you rather have,
more bad guys or more lawyers?

- Have some time to think about it.
- See you next week.



I thought you were meeting
Angela and Katie at 7:00 for dinner.

I'm late. What are you still
doing here? It's Friday night.

Oh! I changed my
bath night to Saturday.

- Is there something I can help you with?
- Is this still alphabetical?

Yeah, but I was thinking about changing
it. You know, to the Dewey decimal system.

- So, what's homework for tonight?
- The Bowen case.

Ah, something new?

Yeah. I'm not convinced
we got a guilty defendant.

- Thanks.
- Everybody in this city thinks he's guilty, Chris.

Yeah. Well...

I'm prosecuting this
case. Not public opinion.

- Okay.
- Go home.


- You have a good weekend.
- You, too.

First one to move
gets his head blown off.

Shut your face, lady.
Shut your fat face.

Okay, purses and
wallets on the table.

Cash out! Jewelry out!

You got it? Then do it, now!

Go, go, go...



We found nothing.

Uh, find out and let...

- Chris.
- Mike.

God awful mess.

Did somebody
call you in or what?

- Angela and Katie.
- What about 'em?

I was meeting 'em here.

Count your blessings. 20
minutes ago, they would have been

right in the middle of all this.

They might have been
here 20 minutes ago.


We were supposed to
meet here for dinner at 7:00.

Well, maybe, probably they're
outside talking to greeny or shay.

I didn't look.

Well, then why don't we
just go out and do that, then?

Let's go out and
find them, all right?

- Angela!
- Chris.







- Katie!
- Come on, come on.

She's the one, if she hadn't started
anything none of this would have happened.

What did you do?

Get off me, what did I do?

- I'm gonna kill you!
- Get off me, you fool!

I'm gonna kill you!

- Chris.
- Get away. God! God!

- I'm gonna kill you.
- Come on.

I will kill you!

Get out! Let me go!

I'm gonna...


Flying high.

High, high,
high. Higher, higher.

Oh, god! I've been looking
for you for two hours.

-I came over twice. I
called -i shut the phone off.

Oh, Chris!

- I'm so sorry.
- Come inside. It's cold out.

Oh, I have
to call my father.

He is so worried.
Everybody is so worried.

Unplug the phone
when you are done.

daddy. Yeah, he's here.

The funeral will be
on Sunday at 10:00

At Glen Rose.

I spoke to the principal of
Angela's school about the...

Glee club there.

Friends are flying in tomorrow.

I'm not staying here tonight.

But where will you go?

Aren't you're supposed to go
back to Washington tomorrow?


It doesn't matter.

I'll stay as long
as you need me.


You should get the flight
back Sunday afternoon. I'll...

I'll drive you to the airport.

I think maybe, I should
just stay a little while longer.

Maybe, another week.

They're gone, Alicia.

A week isn't going
to change that.

Let's let that be
my decision, okay?

- Where are you going?
- I told Mike trainor I'd meet him at 11:00.

- Chris, what can you do there?
- What can I do here?

We found the car.

We've got the weapons. We've
got their height and weight.

Nothing else?

They wore masks, Chris, uh...

But we outta be able to
pull some prints from the car.

What's the count?

Eight dead,

seven hospitalized,

Three in ICU, and in that I only
got too much hope for two of them.

Why don't you go see the doc? Have him give
you something to relax, get some sleep.

Don't worry about me.

All right, um...

We're going under the assumption
that they haven't gotten out.

I've spoken to
the chief, and, uh,

We'll have the state police
with us and two more choppers.

If it comes down to it,
we'll go house to house.

If they're in, they stay...

It is Sunday
morning in America, a day of rest,

of church services,
of picnics in the park.

But here in St. Lawrence, it's a day
of darkness, and grief and mourning.

It has been just 36 hours,
since two armed men

became messengers of
violent death for ten people.

Including one family of four,

and a little girl of six.

It was a senseless massacre,
unprovoked, ugly as hell itself.

Police investigators have formally
identified the two gunmen as,

Ralph Charles Hubert
and Anthony Lee styles.

Ages 26 and 28.

Convicted felons who were released from
penitentiaries less than six months ago.

At this hour, both
men are still free.

Clergymen in St. Lawrence will
address their congregations today.

They will call for prayers
for the souls of the departed.

And they will ask
forgiveness for their killers.

May god give me the strength

to be that generous.

♪ I am sailing

♪ I am sailing

♪ home again

♪ 'cross the sea

♪ I am sailing

♪ stormy waters

♪ to be near you

♪ to be free

♪ I am flying

♪ I am flying

♪ like a bird

♪ 'cross the sky

♪ I am flying

♪ passing high clouds

♪ to be near you

♪ to be free

♪ can you hear me

♪ thro' the dark night

♪ far away

♪ I am trying

♪ forever dying

♪ to be near you

♪ to be free ♪

- Good morning, Chris.
- Rosalind, get trainor for me.

All right.

Mike, it's Chris booth.

Okay, I'll get it in my office.

- He'll be right back.
- Thanks.

Hi, how you doing?

I'm okay, what you got?

They were seen
in Wichita last night.

Solid ID's, knocked
over a liquor store.

Anybody hurt?

No, but they're on it
real hard back there.


You won't forget
about dinner tonight, will you?


Okay, 8:00.

Did Katie go to heaven?


Katie did go to heaven and...

And so did her mom.

Are they angels now?

I hope so.

- Chris.
- Good morning, counsel.

-How are you, Chris?
-I'm alright, Marjorie. I'll be fine.

- First day back?
- Second.

I was at a dinner last night
with Alicia frost's father.

He's having a
rough time himself.

Alicia and my wife were
friends since they were kids.

Yes, he said that.
He said he must have

A thousand snapshots
in the house, albums full.

Angela and Alicia
six, seven years old,

Ten, high school
graduation, college...

I never knew you
were all so close.

I'm glad you're back, Chris. If
there's anything, anything I could do?

Thank you, thank you.

Can we have lunch next week?

I'll have Patti call ros and
check your calendar, okay?

Good morning, Mr. Mayor

I didn't think you'd mind
my waiting in your office.

The people are angry, Chris.
The whole city is mad as hell.

And the worst part of this is
they've got no place to put it,

no way to vent it.

What I'm going to do,

I'm going to call an old
fashioned town meeting.

I'm gonna give the
people a chance to talk.

See, it's all tied up inside,

all the grief, all the
anger, all the fear,

it's tied up inside of you, too.

I can see that. I can feel it.

But we've gotta let
it go, Chris. All of us.

'Cause if we don't,
it's gonna tear us up.

I wanted to tell
it to you first.

I'm counting on you being there.

Tomorrow afternoon, council
chambers, 2:00, an open forum.

Anyone that wants to
speak gets a chance.

The Greeks called it catharsis.

It's a good word.

Bring it up, take
a good look at it,

yell at it, cry over
if you need to.

And then let it go.

Let it go, Chris.

How do you punish a man who
is a product of his environment?

Who's never had a chance,

who's been beaten over
the head so many times,

That he's lost the feeling
of pain, his or anyone else's.

- Does he know right from wrong?
- Meaningless.

- To who?
- To him and to us.

Right and wrong
doesn't matter to this guy.

He doesn't care anymore
because he's forgotten how to care.

What you gonna do

if this guy comes up
to you on the street,

and kicks you
right where it hurts?

Mmm? What are you gonna do?

Ignore it?

Or maybe you'll
apologize, you to him.

Because you're not feeling his pain
because you got some breaks and he didn't.

'Cause you're
young and he's old.

Because you're
white and he's black.

What are you gonna do?


Or are you just gonna just
haul off and kick him back?

Waste the fool.

Answer the question.
What are you gonna do?

I don't know.

You don't know?

It's never happened
to me before.

Stand up.

- What?
- Stand up.

Get up.

- Why?
- Just get up!

No way.

Well, congratulations.

You just set a new
world's record from liberal

to conservative
in just 45 seconds.

How does it feel?

You took a chance.

- I'm might have hit you.
- No.

- You would have hit back.
- Am I supposed to feel proud?


You just found out
you're not as good as god.



If the, uh...

district attorney
would care to speak,

we encourage him to do so.


You go, Chris.

There were 360 people
murdered in America.

- Louder.
- We can't hear you.

There were 360 people

Murdered in America last week.

1600 women were raped.

There was a burglary
every 11 seconds.

I don't think I can take that...


My wife...

Angela and my
daughter Katie are dead.

They never had a chance.

I don't wanna be
the next victim.

I don't care why
somebody wants to shoot me

or steal from me or
rape the wife of my friend,

because from this
moment on if anybody tries,

I'm gonna be ready
to fight back with this!

Until someone can
prove otherwise,

I am gonna maintain that this
society isn't mature enough,

isn't godly enough to
walk our streets unarmed.

And as long as there are a million savages
out there with murder in their eyes,

I'll be damned if I'm
gonna be open season.

If it's war, let's call it
war, and prepare for war.

If it is peace,

prove it to me, and I'll disarm.

But don't ask me

to join hands and sing
songs of brotherly love

When my family is
being shot down like dogs!

I am tired of being told
that fighting back is crude.

Tell it to the man
who points the gun.

Not to those of us who'll
only defend what's ours.

When he throws down his gun,

I'll throw down mine.
But until he does,

don't ask me to
sacrifice my life

because somebody out
there, doesn't care if I live or die

Now this issue...

Can be put to a vote,
a "yes" or a "no" ballot.

should any citizen
of St. Lawrence,

who's over the age of 18
and free of any criminal record

be allowed to carry a handgun,

openly or concealed,

anywhere within the
boundaries of this city?

Now this isn't...

This isn't a mandate
for lawlessness.

But a long...

Overdue recognition
of the facts of life.

Yeah! Yeah!

I might die for my
family. I might...

Die for my country. I
might die for a principle.

But in no damn way,

am I gonna die without a fight.

I'm going to fight
you all the way on this, Chris.

We're all gonna fight him.


It didn't sound like Chris had too many
enemies over there, 30 minutes ago.

What you heard, Marjorie, was
the sound of a decade of anger

suddenly finding a release.

Young Mr. Booth here held
up a great big punching bag.

And they'd beat
the devil out of it.

Maybe, out of it themselves at the
same time. What do you think, Chris?

I think we'll have to
carry it through to the end.

What end?

What are you talking about?

Is this some kind
of political stunt pull?

Is that what this
is really all about?

Now, calm down, Edward. There's
no need to raise your voice in here.

I don't know, Larry. Those people
look crazy. They're just crazy!

It scared the devil outta me,
if you wanna know the truth.

Well, it's a scary proposition
all around, won't you say, Chris?

Do you have a
carry permit for that gun?

Oh, for god's sake, ev!

I'm still the chief
of police in this city!

And I have every
right to ask the man.

Da or not, he's
a private citizen.

And unless this law
has already been passed,

carrying a gun in this city
without a permit is still a crime.

Yes, I have a permit.

Well, I'm gonna fight you all the
way on this, Chris. Right down the line.

That's your
privilege, Mr. Mayor.

More than that, sir,
it's my responsibility.

This is wrong, Chris.
This is so wrong!

You tell that to
Angela and Katie.

Oh, for pity's sake!

Since when does one
wrong justify another?

What happened
to the golden rule?

If you're gonna campaign
for law and order,

put the order in the hands
of the law, where it belongs.

The law isn't working, chief.

The law is working!

The law has not failed!

Well, look...

I don't know how anyone
else feels. But personally...

I don't think it would
ever have gone this far,

that Chris would ever have
made such a radical stance

if his own wife and
daughter hadn't been killed.

Now, am I right or wrong?

Thanks for meeting
with us, Chris.

We all have some thinking
to do, wouldn't you say?

Suppose we call
it proposition g?

For guns.

Come with a... a catchphrase.

You know, um... A call
to arms, kind of slogan.

One small step for
man, that kinda thing.

You got a lot of
heat right now, Chris.

If you want us to handle this,

I could guarantee a commitment.

A million dollars in two weeks.

Who from?

You know...
This isn't a political campaign.

You're not gonna owe
anybody any favors.

I'm gonna tell you
something, buddy.

I believe in what you're doing.

I'm on your side, Chris.

All the way.

- Got a call from Lipton this afternoon.
- Senator Lipton?

Wanted to tell me how sorry
he was about Angela and Katie.

What a terrible tragedy
it must have been for me.

What did he really want?

come a long way," he said.

But this issue I’m...

Promoting is actually
gonna be a law.

He says back 200 years, and we were
likely to have a rebellion on our hands.

What'd you tell him?

I said, "senator...

"The rebellion now and
then is a good thing."

You said that?

- I was only quoting.
- Quoting who?

Thomas Jefferson.


My plane got in
half an hour ago.

I haven't even been home yet.

I don't understand.

The security is really
bad in this hotel, Chris.

All it took was $10 to one of the
housekeepers and she let me in.

What are you doing here, Alicia?

I felt, I had to talk
to you face to face.

About what?

I need to know if you intend
to really go through with this.

Because if you do, I'm
gonna try to talk you out of it.

And if I can't, I'm
gonna fight you.

This your father's idea?

- I heard about it through him.
- Your newspaper?

They're paying my expenses.

This is not their
problem Alicia, or yours.

This hasn't been your
home for five years.

Whether this is my home
or not doesn't matter.

And you're wrong about
it not being their problem.

If proposition g passes,
Chris, it'll be national news.

It could have an effect on
everybody in this country.

You want something
to drink? Huh?

- Beer, soda?
- No. Thanks.

How long you
planning on staying?

That's up to you, I guess.

This isn't any good, Alicia.

We've known each other
too long. This is no good.

Angela was my
best friend, Chris.

Since we were seven years old.

And I loved Katie the way I
would've loved my own daughter.

But there's nothing we
can do to bring them back.

Did you take a taxi?

- Yes.
- Good.

Lets go, I'll drop you to your father's, let's go.

I want you to do
both of us a favor.

I want you to have
breakfast with your father

Then take the next
flight back to Washington.

- I can't do that.
- I'll buy you the ticket.

- We are in a fight for people's lives, Chris.
- We?

Who invited you? What do
you think you're fighting against?

The right of the people
to defend themselves?

No, an insane idea that if
you let everyone carry a gun

you're gonna reduce violence.

I'm tired, Alicia.

I am tired of listening to empty speeches
from empty headed flower children

About loving my fellow man, when my
fellow man has a .38 aimed at my guts.

Is that what I am to you? An
empty headed flower child?

- I wasn't talking about you.
- No, but you are not talking to me, either.

Should I be? Is
this an interview?

- You're not being fair, Chris.
- Are you?

You're here, as a reporter. You're
here to be impartial, objective.

To look at the issue from all sides, not
just the one that you happen to support.

- Is that what you're doing?
- What I'm doing has nothing to do with you.

Which means what? That
you don't have to be objective?

I'm living it, Alicia,
not reporting it.

I have a right to
be here, Chris.

This country was
born out of revolution.

But it is dying out
of... Indifference.

All I'm trying to do is
keep from getting infected.

Go back to Washington, Alicia.

Go back to your newspaper.

Tell them it was a mistake. Tell them
that what happens here in st Lawrence,

is not gonna be a shot
heard round the world,

because guns don't
start revolutions, Alicia,

they end them.


Who are you? What do you want?

You look awful.

Do you think it might
have been a cop?


They're running
scared, Chris. I'm scared.

What's a cops supposed to do
if this law of yours gets voted in

and half the people in the city start
walking around with guns in their hands?

How many times are
they gonna be able to duck

when every other Fender-bender
turns into a shootout?

It's gonna be civil war, man.

And the way some of
these guys are looking at it...

I'm gonna be honest with you,

you're the one who's
taken us right to the edge.

This doesn't have to
come to that anymore.

- Why?
- I just got off the phone with the sheriff in Wichita.

They picked up
styles last night.

- What about Hubert?
- Hubert's dead.

They tried knocking over
another coffee shop, didn't work.

Styles isn't fighting extradition, we'll
have him back here by 6:00 tonight.

So it's all over now, Chris.

You can let it go, all of it.

Got any smokes?

You're the public defender?

You murdered...

My wife...

And my daughter.

Is that a fact?

And eight other people.

If you say so.

It doesn't matter to you?

I didn't know 'em, did I?

What if it had been your wife?

Or your little girl?

Not mine, man.

I'm free as a bird

I'm asking you...

What if?


Then I'd probably do...

What you're only
thinking of doing.

Only you don't got the guts.

Look, I've been up
for three days, Jack.

So unless you got
something important to say...

Why don't you just broom off?

Tell them they can
wake me for supper,

but real gentle, okay?


What happened?

It's gonna make you wonder how
many more like styles are out there.

He's a three-time loser, he's
hardcore. They're not all like that.

Yeah, I know...

Just the killers.

What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna finish what I started.

Don't do it, Chris.

I'm asking you as a friend.

Give my love to Dianne
and the kids, will you?

- Chris...
- Oh! Good morning, Jay.

Well, how's it going?
I mean the campaign.

Well, we're gearing up.

Need any help?

What did you think, you
were alone out there?

I hadn't started counting yet.

Well, take my
word for it, Chris.

You got a lot of support...

A lot.

And I'm one of them.

So if you need any help, my
friend, just give me a call, will you?

- Morning.
- Good morning.

Did Phil Petroni call?

-Yes -and?

- The screenings schedule for this afternoon, at 2:00.
- Good.

- Rosalind.
- Yes?

We haven't had time to
speak these last few weeks.

No, we haven't.

We can take a few minutes now.

When you first spoke out, you
know, it was from anger and pain.

And I understood that.

But I thought it
would fade away.

It's never gonna fade away.

I'm sorry.

And not just for you, Chris,

but for all of us
if prop g passes.

If you just joined us, my
guest this morning is Alicia frost.

The subject, as it has been every
morning this week, proposition g.

Alicia is a native
of St. Lawrence,

but for the last several years

has been living and
working in Washington, D.C.,

Where she writes a
nationally syndicated column.

When you and I were speaking before
the show, you gave me some statistics.

Umm... yes. As we know, Liz,

proposition g would allow
any one over the age of 18,

who is free of a criminal record
or any history of a mental disorder,

to legally carry a
gun in St. Lawrence.

Now according to some of
the information I've gathered,

that means that over 75,000
people in this city would qualify.

Now, of that number, do you
have any information about

all those who own guns
that are legally licensed?

Regardless of what
that number might be,

they are not currently allowed by
law to carry their guns on the street.

What I want you
to try to imagine

Is what it would be like in
the city if preposition g passes.

And let's say... let's say only
10% of those people actually begin

To take their guns
out of their homes.

That will be 7500 people.

7,500 citizens carrying guns

to work, to the market, to school
and let's say it's more than that.

Let's say it's 20%.

That's 15,000 men and
women armed and dangerous

Walking the streets
of St. Lawrence.

But you say armed and dangerous,

do they necessarily
go hand in hand?

There were over 1,900

accidental shooting deaths
in this country last year, Liz.

But according to the second
amendment of the constitution,

the public has the right to keep
and bear arms, now isn't that true?

It's a matter of interpretation.

The amendment refers
to a militia, to an army.

Not necessarily
to the individual.

Then, it is open to debate.

And it has been debated
for nearly 200 years.

I wonder if it's possible, Alicia,
that the debate will end right here,

in Saint Lawrence when the
people go to the polls next month.

I need your help, lieutenant.

I need it bad.

Your friend booth is killing me.

Sit down, sit down.

I know the two of you are
close. Families were close.

Must been a rough on all of you.

But then, look, Mike,

Chris booth is the first man with
the short haircut, a suite and a tie,

who told people it's
all right to fight back.

- It's all right to shoot.
- I don't know what more I can do, sir.

I've talked to him, I've
just about pleaded with him.

Somebody tried to kill
the man for god's sake!

Didn't that mean
anything to him?

I don't think it was
an attempt on his life.

I think somebody was just
trying to get a message across.

And what kind of feedback are
you getting from the department?


You're telling me he's
getting support from the force?

Nobody knows better than the cop
what it's getting to be like out there.

And I don't know one
cop, myself included...

Who'll leave his own
house without his gun.

Would you?

This one doesn't have your
name on it, let's keep it that way.

Vote yes on g.

Well, what'd you think?

Let's run it.


And whose law was it?

And whose law was it?

In the first place, that
ordered us, not to carry guns.

- Was it yours?
- No.

- How about you? Was it yours?
- No way!

- Was it?
- No way.

Then whose law was it?

Who voted for it?

And when?

I wasn't there...

- Were you?
- No!

Was it 50 years ago? Was it 70?

- No!
- Was it even in this century?


Is there any one...

is there any one still alive

who's willing to
stand up here tonight

and tell us, the
law he voted for,

god only knows when,

Still applies?

Then why...

Then why are we living with it?

And more than that...

And more than that,

why are we still

Letting ourselves get
killed because of it?

That's insensible!

May I speak?

Because you did not vote for
a law does not make it invalid.

This is not the old west,

you're not gonna end an
argument with a shootout...

Yes on g!

- Are you willing to throwaway 100 years of civilization?
- Yes on g.

Yes on g!

- Who is it?
- Alicia.

I want you to tell me if you
really believe in what you're doing.

Okay, all right.

When I said that guns
don't start revolutions,

Alicia, I meant it.

Poverty starts revolutions

and greed and corruption
and hate and suppression.

Talk to me about you.

Tell me what you
feel, not what you think.

I'm telling you what I feel.

Alicia, as long as there
are people out there

who are expected to live
their lives without hope,

without chance and with
nothing to look forward to

expect more of the same,

None of us is gonna be entirely free.

And every one of us, no matter
how innocent we think we are,

has the same chance
that Katie and Angela did

of ending up the victim
of somebody else's anger.

- That's how I feel.
- What are you saying, Chris?

That if there were total equality
there would be no crime in this country?

That rich people don't kill,

don't steal, don't buy drugs?

- That's not what I'm saying.
- Oh, then what are you saying, Chris?

That we should fear
everyone? That we should...

we should forget about trust,

about basic decency,

About love, about all those things
that we've always wanted to believe in?

You asked a question,
Alicia, I answered it.

Talk to me like a friend.

Not like an enemy.

What kind of friend? What...

Good friend, close
friend, best friend?

What have we ever been to
each other, Alicia? Tell me.

- Well, if we haven't been close, let's start now.
- Why?

Because we need
each other, Chris.

Because we're both hurt.

And that is what
all of this is about.

That isn't what
this is about, Alicia.

All I can tell you...

is don't stop believing in
fairy tales and happy endings

except for the
ones that tell you

that believing in things
makes them come true.

Food doesn't come from dreams.

A decent place to live won't
come out of a wishing well.

And if someone
doesn't have any... any...

happiness or
self-respect or love

don't expect him
to wait forever.

He might end up hating me and
you because we got what he didn't.

And he can't figure out, why?

You don't see much hope, do you?

Not like this.

I'd fight for another
way if I knew one.

Well, I don't think you
ever are gonna find it, Chris,

until you stop fighting.


Whether we're for or against

the controversial proposition
being voted out today,

We're surely witnessing a powerful
reaffirmation of the Democratic process.

What began just a short time ago

with the personal outrage
and pain of one man,

one citizen of one
community in America,

will end at 8:00 this evening with
an echo that may well be heard

beyond the borders
of St. Lawrence.

Will it be the start
of something new?

Or will it be the end
of something old?

We'll have to wait and see.


you won by a landslide.

God help us all.

looks like you made a smart
decision buying this gun two weeks ago

and getting the background
check out of the way

before this place
turned into a mad house.

Can you believe this crowd?

You had a good choice, too. This is
a beautifully balanced little automatic.

Here, take it.

That's it.

Feels good, doesn't it?

Now, the full clip,

the gun weighs less
than two pounds.

Magazine holds six shots,
one more in the chamber.

Very little kick,
nice trigger action.

And this little push button safety
here is about as simple as they come.

I feel so...

I don't know... Sometimes I
wish I hadn't even bought it.

Believe me I know how you feel.

We get customers in here all
the time who feel just like that.

It's not something you want. It
might be something you need.

Uh, how do I, um...

- Uh, I mean, do I need a license of some kind?
- No.

It's all taken care of. Paperwork
you filled out two weeks ago.

But don't I have to, um... I mean,
isn't there some kind of a test

- that I should take?
- Test?

Yeah, uh, well I
thought, you know,

when you drive you have to
give a test before you can drive.

Oh, like a shooting test? No,
no, nothing required by law.

Well, may be a good
idea to take it on the range

and practice a little shooting
as to get familiar with it.

But there's no law.

I can just fix you up with a box
of ammo and...

You're on your way.

You can't keep beating
a dead horse, Ev.

We got a Democratic process here,
they had a ballot, they had a vote.

Now, you just got to relax
old-timer, that's all there is to it.

Good morning, Chris.

- Mr. Mayor.
- Well, congratulations, young man.

Whether we like it or not,
the people have spoken.

Let's just pray that
it doesn't backfire on us.

Well, I'm afraid I don't
share the mayor's generosity.

Now, Ev, there's nothing
we gain by disparagement.

Disparagement, hell!

We're not in some kind of a
popularity contest here, this is life!

And this guy's
trying to kill us.

Haven't you
figured that out yet?

Hasn't anybody?

Has everyone lost their minds?

Am I the only sane one left?


Damn it.

- What time is it?
- It's day time.

Yeah? Where are we?

- St. Lawrence, some place.
- Where the hell is that?

- Somewhere.
- Yeah? Great!

We've got work to do, man.

What the hell! Nuts
in this town or what?

What's going on?

Did somebody call a
walkout and forget to tell me?

It's just real quiet, Mike.


Now we've got two, maybe, 3000 people
walking around outside with guns on.

You're telling me it's quiet?

It's a fact, Mike.
Quiet as a tomb.

Like everybody is waiting around

For the other guy to be the
first one who pulls the trigger.


But maybe, old Chris knew
what he was doing all along.

- I
- have Alicia frost on line two, Chris.


Well thanks, I...

You don't exactly
sound like you mean it.

Sure! I'd like that.
Can I pick you up?

Alright, I'll see you at 8:00.


- Mom.
- Hmm...

Will grandma read
me a story tonight?

- Well, did you ask her?
- No.

- But if you ask her, she will.
- Okay.

- Mom.
- Hmm?

What are putting in your purse?

Oh, it's nothing honey.

According to the city
clerk's office, Tuesday's voter turn out

for the controversial
proposition g ballot

was one of the highest
in St. Lawrence's history

of the registered
voters in the city.

Good evening, Mr. Booth.
Please come in, sir.

Thank you, Henry.

Miss frost asked me to tell you
that she'll be down in a few minutes.

All right.

Congratulations on
your victory, Mr. Booth.

Well, thank you, Henry.

- What side were you on?
- The losing side.

But I can understand why so
many people voted the way they did.

Why do you think they did?

Because they're
white, Mr. Booth.

I believe the actual figure
for this state is 90% white.

I wasn't, uh, aware
of the exact number.

The curious thing is black people and
Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and Cubans

have been shooting up
one another for a long time.

But nobody ever seem to pay
much attention or do much about it

until it was the white folks
who started getting killed.

your evening, Mr. Booth.

Thank you, Henry.

Hi. You look very pretty.

Thank you.

Oh! Sorry.


I'll probably stay through the rest
of the week and leave this weekend.

I got an offer on my
house this afternoon.

- I didn't know you put it up for sale!
- Mmm-hmm.

Are you going to take it?

I got no reason to keep it.

Chris, you can't live in a hotel
room for the rest of your life.

The rest of my life.

All right, everybody freeze.

Go clean them out.

Hold it!

Who else,
who else wants to be a hero?

Talking to
Robbie Curtis here.

Now, Robbie, uh, he was
responsible for the shooting,

uh, actually, four
shootings here.

- Robbie, I want to know...
- Yeah.

How did you happen
to be in the area?

What were you doing
around here at that time?

Do you have a lot of
experience with guns before, uh, Robbie?

But what I
really want to know is...

Can we have a comment
from you, Mr. Booth?

Uh... Miss frost
and I just arrived.

Are you aware of
what happened here tonight?

Well, apparently there were two dozen
witnesses to armed robbery and murder.

Four dead in the car and
one live hero, is that accurate?

Yes, sir.

Then, I don't see any reason
and I don't have any intention

of wasting taxpayers' money
on a likely investigation.

We heard the two men who
were shot by the killers, they had guns.

Did you know that, Mr. Booth?

Would you care to
comment on that, sir?

The people voted guns
to protect themselves.

Tim Reese, who was
the checker, 24 years old.

The other man, the one outside,
who's 26, and both of them had guns,

Both of them fired
first, Mr. Booth.

But neither of them hit
what they were aiming at.

Would you tell us how
you feel about that, sir?

Are you having any second
thoughts about prop g?

Do you have any
comment at all, Mr. Booth?

Mr. Booth?

You got something you
wanna say, Alicia, say it.

All right.

I think what you have done, Chris, is
exploit the deaths of Angela and Katie.

I think you've capitalized
on your sorrow.

I think you have become a symbol
for all the worst qualities in all of us.

Do you remember when you told
me about all those hopeless people?

The ones with no
past and no future.

You've become part of 'em.

The only thing that you
have really accomplished

since you've started all of this

is to drag people
down to your own level.

You didn't want to suffer alone so
you made other people suffer with you.

Then tell me how
to stop suffering?

Angela and Katie are
dead, Chris, you are alive.

Start living again.

Oh, come on, give a guy a break.

It's 3:00 in the morning, Chris.

What's going on?

You know about tonight?

- The market? Yeah, I just got the bell a half an hour ago.
- Yeah.


And what?

Was it my fault?

The check on
the guy out front...

Maybe if they hadn't
had guns, who knows?

I don't know what
to tell you, Chris.


The last thing me or any other cop
wants to see is more guns on the street.

It doesn't matter whether it's in the
hands of the good guys or the bad guys.

But you can't blame
yourself, Chris.

No more than Henry Ford gets blamed every
time somebody piles their car into a tree.

You figure it was my fault.

You don't have to nail
yourself to a cross, Chris.

If you want out, all
you got to do is jump.

The law is only as good
as the people behind it.

If they don't like it, they can
change it back to the way it was.

If they like it any
better they don't...

The future's in their
hands not yours.

What's that quote you told me from
Thomas Jefferson, the one about rebellion?

Mmm-mmm. I don't think
he was talking about this.

Styles wants to see you.

Don't look at me. I'm just
passing on the message.

You can do whatever
you want to do about it.

It makes me nervous
if you don't sit down.

They told you I
wanted to see you, huh?

I'm here.

I didn't think they would.

What do you want?

I'm sorry about the kid.

Are you trying to
cop a plea, styles?

Just want to get
your attention, Chris.

I know who you are, man.

I know about that
law you got passed.

That's a good law.

That's a real good law.

It won't be long...

You'll have more blood
on your hands than I do.

You got anything else
you wanna say, styles.

I got places I'd rather be.

Me, too, Chris.

But you know,

for guys like me and you

Those places ain't much
better than right here.

You tell the mayor,

if he goes through with this,

I'll not only defy him publicly,

but I'll walk.

Is that clear, councilwoman?

Can't you look at this as
good public relations, Ev?

Public relations?

We make a formal
presentation, nothing big.

It doesn't have
to be ostentatious.

And we give this young
man, Robbie Curtis,

a little medal of some kind.

We say it's for bravery,

courage, good citizenship.

Think about it, Ev.

The eyes of the country are on St.
Lawrence these days. You can't deny that.

And you also can't deny that
the boy did something unique,

a noble selfless deed.
Let's commend him for it.

That's all we're suggesting,
just a simple commendation.

This boy you're talking about,

Fired ten rounds from a pair of
.44 magnums into a moving car.

- Ev, I think you're...
- Not another word, councilwoman.

Not another word!


Here you go, Robbie.

From the grateful people
of the city of St. Lawrence.


We're proud of you,
very proud of you.

Good job.

Brave citizen.

Hell with it!

Let them try and fire me.


Do you have a few minutes?


I'm going to be leaving, Chris.


I'm frightened, Chris.
It's as simple as that.

I... I don't want to live
in this city anymore.

Things are gonna
settle down, Rosalind.

We just have to
give it some time.

Last night when I came home,

the building
superintendent he was, uh,

wearing a gun.

And at the coffee shop where I
have breakfast every morning,

The cashier had a gun.

And there was another shooting
today, Chris, at Willis point.

I can't live like that.

I'm not that brave, I guess.

Will two weeks'
notice be enough?


Look, I've always
tried to find the best in...

In a person, you know.

I, uh... and maybe
it's naive, I don't...

But I've always lived like that.

I still have hope
for this world, Chris.

But I can't live
where hope is dead.

I'll get it, Henry.



I was just packing.

When are you leaving?

Tonight, around 10:00.

I was hoping I could spend
some time with you, before you left.

I thought maybe we
could try talking about...

Something different,
anything different.

I wonder if that's possible.

We should try.

Did Angela ever
bring you up here?


This used to be one
of our favorite places.

We used to ride our bikes
up here when we were kids.

Tell each other
our problems and...

Make all sorts of promises
we probably never kept.

This is where we came the
afternoon my mother died.

I just cried and cried.

Angela just held me.

This is where we came when we first
tried smoking cigarettes, too.

Angela was better
at it than I was.

At least she looked
better at it than I did.

Who quit first?

Well, she did.

That's the way she was, right?

The first to try something and the first
to be gutsy enough to admit it was dumb.

I didn't sleep much last night.

Maybe not at all.

Yeah, me neither.

For the first time,

I thought about how Angela and
Katie would have felt about prop g.

Angela would have
hated it 'cause she...

Hated violence of any kind.

And Katie...

Katie would have
felt the same way.

Because when you're six,

you love everybody.

Except, even now, Alicia...

Even now, I still don't know
if the alternative is any better.

What's better, Chris?

What's got to be better
is believing in people.

I don't mean a blind faith,

Or a child's faith, but believing
that there is more good than bad.

You're still a little kid
yourself, aren't you?

In some ways? Hmm?

Yeah, I guess, I am.

I hope I always will be.

You know, I may be
back home over Christmas, but...

What would you think about coming
to Washington for Thanksgiving?

How's your stuffing?

Oh, it's better than most.

I asked you nicely to put out the
cigar until we were finished here.

You gonna make me
take it away from you?

Sue me.

Say it again...

Big mouth.

Oh, my god!




Yes, I understand.


That was Marjorie Lucas.

City council might
call for another vote.

People are having
second thoughts.

Does that surprise you?

Maybe not.

Maybe you should think about
staying around a little longer.

I've done all I can this time.

What are you gonna do?

- I don't know.
- When are you going to decide?

I don't know, maybe
we're just going to have to...

Wait till all of us are walking
around ankle deep in blood.

Before we wake up to the
idea that if we don't start

fighting the problems
instead of each other,

Nothing's ever gonna change.

What good is the right of the
people, Chris, without the heart?