Friday, July 20, 2012

How much longer do we have to take this?

The shootings in Aurora, CO, hit me in a way that very few things ever have before. You see, I used to live in Aurora. In fact, I lived within a mile of that theatre and saw a number of movies there before I left. As I was watching the news early this morning, it actually took a while to sink in that this was the same theatre. It just seemed so unreal. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that if I had not moved away and was a fan of the Batman series of films, it would have been very possible that I could have been in that theatre. I do wonder what it will take to have an honest, civilized debate on gun laws in this country. This morning I heard Louis Gohmert, the idiot congressman from Texas who can always be counted upon to say something stupid, wonder why there weren't other people with guns in the theatre -- they could have stopped it, he said. Yet all the reports I've heard so far say that the shooter, who was wearing a gas mask, set off tear gas cannisters to sow confusion before he started shooting. The idea that anyone else with a gun would have done anything other than contribute to the carnage is an astonishing idea. In basic training in the U.S. Navy, we were exposed to tear gas without wearing a mask. Trust me, not one of us could have done anything even remotely resembling helping the situation, with or without a gun, when exposed to tear gas. Your only thought is to get some relief for your eyes. On top of that, every gun that Holmes had was a legally purchased firearm. Every single one. Think about that the next time you hear Ted Nugent or Wayne LaPierre talk about how only criminals commit crimes with firearms. Holmes had no criminal record. He didn't become a criminal until he started blasting away in a crowded movie theatre at innocent victims with legally purchased guns! If James Holmes had been holding a knife or two, or even two fucking samurai swords, do you really think he could have killed 12 people and wounded, some critically, 59 people? If you really believe that, then you must believe that the superheroes portrayed in the type of movie they were attending must actually be real -- because he would have had to possess some sort of super powers to kill that many people without an automatic weapon. How clear does this have to get before we do something about this as a society? We refused to discuss it after Virginia Tech. We refused to discuss it after Fort Hood. We refused to discuss it when Gabby Giffords, along with several other innocent victims, was shot. How much carnage do we have to endure before we end the stranglehold the NRA, the tea Party, and the GOP have over our gun laws? Do any of you really want to see one of your parents, siblings, children or friends die because we don't have the political courage to stand up to these people?

No comments: