There are actually people out there who think that a wild-west gunfight in the Colorado theatre would have been a much better thing because if more people were packing they 'could have taken this guy down'. The shooter might be dead and once again there would be no answers. There would have been even more chaos, likely more injuries and deaths (the shooter was heavily armored in Kevlar so some heroic stunt was VERY unlikely to bring him down...not to mention that it would be very hard to get a precise shot off on a moving target in the dark being jostled by panicked parents with children and babies) and many police personnel may have been killed in this idiot's heavily booby-trapped apartment (he warned them of his bombs). What I want to ask these people is....ARE YOU STUPID?!?! There are several answers but a fire fight is not one of them. Yes, you may have to have your damn toys regulated. But that's just too bad, isn't it. It doesn't mean you can't go out and play in the shooting ranges. Brad does and I have no problem with that.( I also have no problem with long guns used for hunting). But he also doesn't feel the desperate need to carry the goddamn things around with him or have a stash of combat weapons in case the government 'gits uppity.
This is what I hear a lot of. That, in case there is some sort of government uprising, I have to have a stash of military grade, automatic assault rifles and handguns so I can defend what's mine. Let me tell you something Mr. Smart Guy. That's not how it works. In the US they apparently are (if they're not already) aiming to fly drone planes over their own soil. Military precision strike weapons that are REALLY good at taking out a target without anyone actually having to get up off their ass. If they "git uppity" in the way that you have in mind, and think that you and your little private militia passion play are a threat, you don't stand a chance.
This kid in Colorado bought his weapons legally...6000 rounds of fire power. He likely found instructions on how to build some pretty sophisticated incendiary devices on line. He was likely steeped in violent imagery and paranoia...a mix of things really. He was obviously mentally ill...who knows if he or his parents had coverage to get him the help he needed if there was awareness of this. But one thing is true. He had some wrong ideas in his head about who he is, about who the people in the audience are and were and he was able to easily and readily obtain the equipment to carry out an assault on innocents. And yet, instead of this being criticized, I'm hearing the condemnation of the people who took their kids to see Batman. "Why do they have their baby there in the first place?" Are you f***ing kidding me? You are blaming the people who took their families to the movies?
Let me paint the scenario for you that some of you not-smarts are clamouring for if everyone were carrying a side arm.
We have a darkened, crammed movie theatre with extremely loud surround sound. The movie is full of noise, gunfire, and there are people in costume as part of the Batman fun. Your kid is an officianado of violent video games so a little violence in Batman is nuthin'...so you toted him along. So did a lot of other people. Suddenly a guy gets up in front of the movie screen dressed up vaguely like 'Bane' in the movie. He's perhaps shouting that he's the Joker. He's armoured and is carrying a couple of bad-ass looking weapons. Most people think it's part of the opening...even after he starts firing. Then the guy next to your kid explodes in a shower of blood.
(Here's where you and a few other packin' patrons get to play hero)
You suddenly realize that this is for real. You're under attack. Your kid is screaming in terror (video games didn't prepare him for the head of the girl in front of him to spatter him in blood). But you have your Glock on you. You pull out your weapon. You will save everyone and take this crazy sucker out. There is screaming, running, utter pandemonium all around you but you think you can get a good bead on him. You take aim. Another guy behind you has the same idea, but as he's about to get off a round, a woman falls forward while trying to escape. She hits him just as he fires and his bullet slams into a teenage boy in the isle, taking him down. This doesn't phase you though . You are a hero. You tighten your grip, but the guy up there sees you and aims his long gun at you. You duck to cover your little son and the bullet meant for you hits a woman crawling along with her baby. Others in the theatre begin to fire at each other, thinking this is a terrorist plot. The guy up front in the meantime is flipping off automatic firepower. He's taken a couple of slugs but the Kevlar was a great purchase...glad he thought of that. You are laying there on your son in the meantime because the Joker now knows where you are. There is gun fire all around coming from every direction. The floor is slippery with blood and you are jammed in between bodies. Your kid won't stop screaming so you can't even play dead.
Here's the part where you hopefully grow the hell up.
Do you know what happens in a society where everybody is allowed to have weapons on them for "protection"? Not too many of the bad guys are taken out but a whole lot of innocent people die accidentally or when an altercation that might have ended in a bloody nose ends in body bags instead.
I have a pretty cool collection of swords and other sharp weapons. Some are real and real sharp...some are replicas but no less cool for all of that. I do not have the need to carry them around. I do not feel the need to lobby to have the right to carry a huge knife on my belt. Because it is just as likely to be used against me. You people who think that you're living in the movies. That is not reality. That's what happened with young Mr. Holmes. He took his confusion about weapons, movies and the real world too far.
He is alive and not taken out by a pot shot. Those who lost family members and loved ones will wish him dead and in hell with all their might and have every right to do so. But those who are removed from the situation have the luxury of letting cool heads prevail. We can now find out what the hell is wrong with his head. We can study the situation and begin to learn how this kid went so wrong and perhaps be in a position to prevent the same thing occurring again. This was not a terrorist attack. This kid has parents and a family who want answers as badly as anyone else. We need to prevent this shite from happening in the first place. To do that, guns need to be regulated. I have heard the arguments that criminals will get the guns anyway.
Well, that may in some cases be true. And people get in the crossfire. But this kid was not your typical criminal. He was an obviously extremely ill person who easily and legally obtained weapons and explosive information and material. If he had been required to go through stringent assessments and a long waiting period, these people would likely be alive today.
The fact is that where guns are not readily available and sitting in everyone's handbag, nightstand, under the bed and in the kitchen drawer, there are FAR fewer gun related deaths, either accidentally or because someone grabbed it out of passion. If there is no gun in the house, a three year old is unlikely to shoot and kill his father. (see news last week).
I suppose the NRA is right though. People have short memories, which is what they are counting on. The news about Tom Cruise's new girlfriend will push out this tragedy until the next one. Until the next crazy buys up a truckload of weapons and opens fire on a school or a daycare or an office building or a Christmas party. We ignore all of the domestic gun violence and casual stuff. If only one, two or three people are killed, that's nuthin'. Just par for the course right? Wrong, you jackass. This is preventable. And if you stand up and cry out that guns MUST NOT be regulated, you spit in the face of every person massacred because they wanted to go and watch their hero on the big screen. You spit in the face of every abused woman shot by a lunatic husband. You spit on the grave of every child who accidentally shot themselves because their idiot parent didn't bother to unload the gun and lock it up "they thought it was locked up...they forgot...". And as far as I'm concerned, how does that make you any different than the one who pulled the trigger if you are going to jump up and down in defense of a weapons free for all?
No one had to die Friday night. But anyone in America can obtain a weapon meant to do no other thing than kill another person or many people. Until that changes, this WILL happen again and again and again. Hopefully it won't be somebody you love that goes down in a spray of blood because they were at the same mall frequented by a delusional person with a wrong idea in their heads.