…and with that incendiary title, let’s step back and do this right, soething you’re unlikely to see/hear from the vaporous twitterings of the newserati.
There was a shooting at a Century theater during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises (Kurt Loder’s review on what is apparently a muddled mess of a film) in Aurora, Colorado last night. The shooter was James Holmes, who used some kind of gas to create confusion while he methodically blasts patrons, including a 3 month old child. At this writing there are 12 dead and 50+ injured. The shooter’s mother was apparently unsurprised to find out her darling wunderkind shot the crap out of a theater (a no-gun zone, by the way — see? No gun zones work! Wait…)
This will lead to the usual effluvia about motives, the availability of guns (convenient how whenever there’s a major bit of gun legislation, in this case the UN Arms Treaty, there’s always a shooting like this), and “how we could have averted the incident.” It will mostly be hand-wringing, emotional pap designed to scare the crap out of you to gain ratings and push policy.
Before you start fainting away like Fanny at bedtime over the imminent danger you are in, the current chance of you being murdered: about .0005% (4.8 out of 100,000 persons.) The chance you are involved in a multiple murder scene: 3.7% or less of that .0005%. (Here’s a gimme for the anti-gun crowd — “Doesn’t that show that you don’t need a gun; it’s so safe!”) Since the concealed carry trend hit in the mid-aughties, the rate of homicide and armed crimes has gone down. Simply put: you’re less likely to aggress a target that can shoot back. You might not like it, but it’s true — ask a criminal what kind of target they like. It’s amazingly similar to the same target meddling government types like: unarmed, placid, frightened, pliable.
Now that we’re past the political nonsense. Why? How could someone do this?
If you really have to ask this, you must be leading a charmed life. I don’t think I know anyone over the age of 40 who has not been that close to loosing their crap at least once in their life. Sometimes, life and the people around you just pile on until you can barely cope. There are some that simply can’t. Usually they have a good cry or yell at folks, or quit their job in a huff…some, however, snap and lash out like a beaten dog. They’re not crazy, but they’re not quite sane for that moment.
Some people have been knocked down so many times by life, their own bad choices, or the perception of persecution that they are uncontrollably angry or hurt. They want to make others hurt like they do. It’s childish narcissism at its finest. Their coping mechanisms are not mature enough to handle whatever is tweaking them. These are usually the young miscreants, like the Columbine killers or teenage poets that assault their comrades’ eyes with execrable art.
And there’s a last group: some folks are simply bad. They’re predators. Killers. The veneer of civilization keeps some of these sociopaths in check — they become Congressmen and -women. But if that veneer isn’t well applied…
Why did Holmes do it? Who bloody cares? What I want to know is why one of these folks, in a military town, weren’t armed so they could hunt cover and destroy this monster? Oh, that’s right…it was a no-gun zone.