Friday, July 20, 2012

Mass Shooting at Dark Knight Rises

For all of the importance and focus we put on terrorism from without, there seems to be little we can do about it from within. And when it comes to domestic terrorism, there is little more effective than a mass shooting. They seem to happen with disturbing regularity in this country. And without a seismic shift in public opinion, they're going to keep happening.

I'm usually ambivalent when it comes to guns, neither fetishising them as many on the right, nor being energized against them like. . .well, I'm not sure these days who is rabidly against guns. When it comes to tragic events like this, the gun nuts well get over-the-top defensive, and insist that if only more people were armed*, this wouldn't have happened. And for the most part, anyone who wants to be critical of guns or gun rights will soft-peddle what they want to say for fear of being branded anti-gun.   [Story continues below]

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I'm not sure how we got here, with this issue being so radioactive. Yes, we have a second amendment, but it doesn't say, "An unregulated gun collection, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear unlimited Arms without restriction or oversight, shall not be infringed." It says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  The first part is often left out, of course. And the word "infringe" is rather fuzzy and imprecise. It's surprising that it has become so ironclad. Also, you'd think the word "arms" could be defined to exclude weapons of mass destruction. It already is, in that you can't have a nuclear weapon, or a tank, or a dirty bomb.

This story is new, and we may learn some uncomfortable details--and in the meantime may hear some inaccurate ones--after the facts come in. The shooter could be right-wing, left-wing or completely politically unaffiliated. There may have been laws or regulations that could've helped prevent this, or it may be that no one could have seen it coming. I have to wonder though, why it is impossible to limit--or at least impede--just anyone from acquiring weapons capable of mowing down a crowd.


12 shot dead at 'Dark Knight Rises' screening in Aurora, Colorado

Twelve people were killed and at least 50 others wounded early Friday when a gunman wearing a bullet-proof vest opened fire during a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie near Denver, authorities and witnesses said. . .

Read more at:

* The "more guns" argument bugs me a lot. It belies a rather unrealistic mindset, where life is like a movie, and every "good" gun owner is John McClane from Die Hard. I'm not sure the reality would play out like an action movie.  

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