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Guns Are for Killing (1966)


Sound | 1966

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  •  The narrator, Ray Miller, worked in both the radio and television departments of KPRC from 1938 until 1999. He is perhaps most famous for creating and hosting The Eyes of Texas, the longest running TV program in Houston's television history. 
  •  History of presidential assassinations 
  •  The claims made by Dr. Walter about the increased likelihood of people with personality disorders and 'eccentrics' committing violent crime likely derives from popular psychological research of the day, such as Manfred Guttmacher's The Mind of the Murderer and Samuel Kirson Weinberg's Society and Personality Disorders 
  •  The magazine held by Max is the July 1964 issue of Guns Magazine
  •  The clipping Max chooses is from the Hunter's Lodge, a gun shop from Alexandria, Virginia that was a member of the Interarmco group, an international firearms dealer that was responsible for arming several dictatorial regimes around the world, profiting off of the apartheid system in South Africa and Cuban turmoil as he sold to both Fulgencio Batista and his successor, Fidel Castro. 
  •  Lee Harvey Oswald similarly purchased the rifle that was used to murder President John F. Kennedy from a mail-order ad in a popular gun aficionado's magazine: the February 1963 issue of American Rifleman.  
  •  Jack Ruby's .38 Colt Cobra, originally retailing for $62.50, sold at a New York auction in 1991 for a whopping $220,000 to Anthony Pugliese III, a Florida-based real estate developer and private collector of historical and celebrity-owned artifacts. In 2008, Pugliese sold the gun at an auction in Las Vegas, with the starting price reported to have been approximately $1 million.  
  •  R.L. Sargent, at the time of the film, was an officer for the National Rifle Association (NRA). Previously, he had been president of the Texas State Rifle Association. He and his wife, Inez Sargent, were both major figures in statewide and national competitive marksmanship circuits, winning several awards and even funding a scholarship at Texas A&M University for the most accomplished marksman on the pistol team.  
  •  The bill Justice Cone is referring to was Senate Bill 1975, or "A Bill to Regulate the Interstate Shipment of Firearms", from 1963, which ultimately failed to pass through Congress but is recognized as one of the foundational pieces of legislation for the later Gun Control Act of 1968. 
  •  Narrator Ray Miller is mentioning what came to be known as The Great Train Robbery of 1963, a theft of £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train by a 15-man group of robbers and is still the largest train robbery in London history. 
  •  The grounds for the receipt of a firearms permit in the United Kingdom described by Franklin reference several statutes in the Firearms Act of 1937, including that which states that self-defense is not adequate reason for purchase. 
  •  The audio is a 1946 recording of John Donne's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Orson Welles, director of Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil, from Decca Records' album No Man An Island
  •  The director of the film, Bob Marich, served as a producer and director at KPRC throughout the 50s and 60s, helping kickstart popular talk shows such as Matinee and Midnight with Marietta, the latter of which starred his wife, Marietta Marich. Mrs. Marich, later in life, would go on to perform the roles of Luda May in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Mrs. Guggenheim in Wes Anderson's sophomore film, Rushmore (1998).  
  •  Charles Conner only has one other known screenwriting credit: a Vietnam-era melodrama titled Fulfillment, Something Worth Remembering (1969).  
  •  Jim Langwell, credited here as "James", later founded Lanco Sound, which worked primarily in sound mixing on several low-budget horror movies, including two sequels to the cult classic Sleepaway Camp
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Produced by Houston’s KPRC-TV, this television news documentary asks “Isn’t it time for us to make a sincere endeavor ... to bury some guns forever?” Broadcast in 1966, three years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the production questions the lack of legislative action to curb gun violence. Host Ray Miller, news director for KPRC, first identifies the two necessary ingredients for murder: a person and a weapon. Looking at statistics from 1963 as an example, Miller reveals that more homicides were committed with guns than any other classification of weapon. He then demonstrates the ease with which anyone can purchase a gun by either mail order or through a dealer and the problems therein. To better understand the effectiveness of gun regulations, Miller concludes by looking at countries with stricter laws, such as the United Kingdom. Congress would not pass substantial gun control legislation until 1968—after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy—with the Gun Control Act.
Newsman Ray Miller (1919 - 2008) began his broadcasting career in 1938 in his home town of Fort Worth. He relocated to Houston soon thereafter, where he joined KPRC Radio. When KPRC purchased Houston’s first television station in 1951, Miller adopted the burgeoning medium, eventually winning a Peabody Award. In 1969, Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. Miller retired in 1979, serving as news director at both KPRC Radio and KPRC-TV for over 40 years. During his decades-long tenure at KPRC, Miller mentored a number of journalists, including Dan Rather and former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
After retiring from television production, Miller became a local historian, writing several books and travel guides about historic attractions in Houston and Galveston. He also worked with the Harris County Historical Commission to secure markers for numerous sites.