Random thoughts at the end of a media-blitzed day…
* More gun control isn’t necessarily the answer. Someone willing to spend six months piling up weapons (and who, chillingly, may actually believe he’s the Joker), would certainly have been willing to illegally buy the same guns he bought legally. It wouldn’t have stopped Holmes. It might have changed his tactics slightly (perhaps he’d have built a bigger bomb and taken MORE people out?).
* Less gun control also isn’t necessarily the answer. The self-styled gunslingers who believe they’d have taken Holmes out, if only Cinemark allowed concealed weapons, are fooling themselves. In a darkened theatre, with tear gas and bullets in the air and several hundred panicked people stampeding in all directions, it’s extremely unlikely that anyone could have calmly stood up, aimed, fired, and been sure they hit Holmes. The odds are greater that any vigilante would have also taken out innocents — and people who die from friendly fire are just as dead as people who die from hostile fire. Remember, the LAST thing police generally want to do is shoot into a crowd, not the FIRST.
* Just once, I’d like to see a newsmaking event that doesn’t fall right into the extreme-left vs. extreme-right cold war that is destroying our country’s progress. The talking heads on both sides all but walked on the still-warm bodies in Aurora to make the same asinine talking points we’ve been hearing for years. About the only statesmanship today came from the two Presidential candidates, who took the high road and turned off the campaign rhetoric for a day. It’ll start up again soon enough, of course. In the interim, nitwits from both sides of the red-blue divide stepped in and buried their feet most of the way to their stomachs.
* Of course, the overreactions started right away. Because Holmes wore a costume (either because he believed he was the Joker, or to blend into the movie crowd), at least two theatre chains have now banned costumes. One wonders if they realize that Holmes would still have shot up the theatre without a costume. I kind of understand armed guards at some theatres, as we’re at risk of copycats for a few days. But banning costumes? Seriously?
* Now, something I’ve wanted to say for a long time… Simple question, really. How many people died in America today? If you listen to CNN, FOX, MSNBC, et al… exactly 12 people died. The reality is that hundreds of people, if not thousands, died across the country today. They died in traffic accidents, shootings, stabbings, and beatings. They died of Alzheimer’s and SIDS. They died of AIDS, cancer, and heart attacks. They were all forgotten today. Please don’t get me wrong, I grieve for those who died in Aurora, and with those who survive them. But they’re not the only people who died today. And everyone who died today had a story, a family, and friends.
* And the next time someone does this, just ask yourself… will the next shooter be driven by the deranged fantasy of getting as much television time as James Holmes? To a sick mind, the post-shooting jail time (or, more likely, saving the last bullet for themselves) is a small price to pay for living forever in notoriety.
* In the end, we are all going to die, and we have no control over when or how (unless we take the easy way out). Demanding lawmakers “save us” is fool’s play. Banning guns and costumes, or going the Wild West route and arming everyone, won’t change that. We will all still die one day. Maybe if we stop worrying about how we’ll die, and focus on how we live, we’ll all be better off.