Opinions are like butts, so the saying goes. Everyone has one, and they all stink. And certainly there is no shortage in the aftermath of the Colorado theater shooting. The Right has been hysterical, using this to spread falsehoods and encourage irresponsible misogyny about gun slinging patrons taking out the bad guy in Hollywood-style shootouts. The Left has also used this, and both have played fast and furious with the facts as well as reality. So here’s a few facts and observations for a bit of rational clarity:
For the hysterical Right, it was both a massacre and a tragedy. Too many Righties on the radio have admonished callers and guests for the use of the word tragedy in describing the shooting. Talk about political correctness. Theirs is just more emotion based, as opposed to dignity based on the Left. You claim to be originalists on everything else, the Bible, the Constitution, try it with Websters Dictionary for a change.
Police reacted and reached the theater within 90 seconds. By that time, the gunman had fired better than 90 rounds and was almost at his car.
Nearly everyone in the theater, including the police-who are ready for criminal behavior-were still confused and struggling to figure out what had happened when the shooting stopped.
Unless you arrived at the theater that night with your own assault rifle with armor-piercing rounds and were sitting in the front row directly in front of the shooter, rifle at the ready and were miraculously not touched, bumped, shot, trampled or caught unawares, your chances of dropping the guy were pretty good then. If now, you’d likely have been shot.
The gunman wore head to toe body armor, had planned this for sometime, and was already in that moment. Those in the theater did not come for a gun battle, but to watch a movie.
Such crimes are exceedingly rare in American society, despite media panic. Your chances of being in that situation in a movie theater again or even once are less than your chances of winning the lottery…twice.
That said, violence is random. It is always good to have a plan.
Planning for Armageddon is counterproductive to any plan.
Having a gun without any immediate threat relieves you of reason, and in most dangerous instances, options provided you by forethought and reason.
Guns can be useful tools.
Guns are not useful tools for idiots.
Not being an idiot is a matter of opinion.
If your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail.
In a dark and loud and smoky theater of panicked, screaming, running, wounded people, multiple shooters, however well-meaning, only create more crossfire, more confusion, more potential harm and more unknown targets for each other and the police.
If you are that brave, all of you would-be Rambos should rush the gunman. He probably won’t get all of you. Truly brave people will sacrifice their life for a righteous belief, not skulk parnoid through life with guns in a desperate attempt to cling to every last second of breath.
If you want a better safer world, that takes work and insight, not blasting your way through to the end.
Colorado does not proliferate in guns. 34.7% of Colorado households have at least one weapon, below the median for all 50 states.
The devil is in the details.
Colorado has no limit on the amount of assault weapons someone can own. There is no ballistic fingerprinting. Guns may be purchased without a license or permit, and do not have to be registered with law enforcement.
Crime in Colorado is lower now than in the first half of the Buch and Clinton administrations. There were 120 murders in 2010 in Colorado, roughly the same number as in 1969. Per capita, adjusting for population growth, Colorado is safer now than in the much heralded golden age 1950s when White people ruled the nation unchallenged.
The top five gun stores by sales are: WALMART, KMART, SPORTS AUTHORITY, GART SPORTING GOODS, BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS.
Walmart and the NRA worked on and against legislation designed to protect or promote gun sales.
Planning to do battle with an eventual tyrannical government is a stupid, naive and unpatriotic belief. We already have a mechanism to stop a tyrannical government. It is called voting.
The US is last among democratic nations for voter turnout.
We are first in outside and corporate money overwhelming and discouraging the voice and vote and access of the individual citizen, but number one in gun sales. Yeah, America!
The Tea party supports unlimited corporate money in elections.
The news media, virtually all run and owned by corporations now supports the Tea party and attacked the Occupy movement who argued against corporate money in elections. You decide that one.
More people with more guns in an increasingly stressful world will lead to what, boy’s and girls? Your answer here:________________
Is the gunman evil, insane or deeply troubled? It doesn’t matter in his case because he’ll never see the light of day again. Calling him evil closes the door on understanding, and perhaps one day some sort of solution or intervention. Evil is a stop word, like in stop thinking. Someone doesn’t want you to think when they use that word. They want you to react. that robs you of your own intellect and freewill.
Guns will likely not go away, and neither will mentally ill people and criminals. We must find a way to rationally deal with both. Turning your home into the Alamo won’t work. The Alamo was eventually overrun. Learning to identify, intercede, treat and intervene before violence occurs won’t be a 100% cure, but its a damn sight better than the spectre of hair-trigger gun battles erupting everywhere from scared and paranoid people.