Friday, July 20, 2012

The Aurora shooting

The shooting at the Batman Dark Knight Rising is absolutely terrible, and of course I am as horrified as everybody else (I would hope that would be the word everybody would use).

I gather the shooter's name is James Holmes, and he was a PhD student in neuroscience. I also gather some enterprising journalists have made internet connections and made (mistaken) declarations about how Holmes is a radical or a conservative. Others have decried this as jumping the ... (ahem) ... gun. And they would be right, in my opinion.

I expect there will be some interesting pathology here. I mean, a PhD candidate, there is something weird going on here. Might be political, although it could just as easily be an apolitical pathology.

But I think there is one early comment of a political nature that could be made. If Mr Holmes had only had a lever action rifle (think the Winchester rifles you see in westerns) and revolver pistols, the death toll might have been lower. But the NRA has to allow Americans to buy files that fire 30 shots - one pull of the trigger for each shot, and for that matter pistols that can shoot perhaps seventeen shots, again one shot per pull of the trigger, and reloaded in no more than a couple of seconds. I think we have to admit that one of the arguments underpinning the NRA's defense of having these highly lethal weapons available to the public is that somehow we are supposed to be able to overthrow the government. We are supposed to kill the cops and soldiers who I thought we called heroes, in particular for doing things most of us only watch on TV and in the movies.

What's somewhat alarming is that there are apparently (at least possibly) members of the Tea Party who believe that such actions are necessary, at least as long as Obama is in office. If Obama is re-elected, I suspect some of these people might turn violent. And thanks to the NRA, they will be so much more lethal. Like James Holmes was. Just targeting the police.


Heir to the Throne said...

We are supposed to kill the cops and soldiers who I thought we called heroes, iolv
Would you like a list of "heros" who have engaged in police misconduct and violated people's constitutional rights.
Who afterwards are defended by FOP and Police unions.
At 2PJ who implied that FOP and Police unions do not always defend bad cops. Would you like a list of examples

EdHeath said...

oop, I had missed this comment. So HTTT now calls soldiers and the cops who ran into the Twin Towers scum of the earth.

Sure, give us a list of of police who have engaged in misconduct. Right after you give us a list of every cop who has taken a bullet for a civilian, who has died in the line of duty, not to mention all the soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq who thought they were fighting for our country and our freedom. every single name, then you can complain.

Dean Jackson said...

Going for a bit of context here.

Around 20,000 people were killed by drunk drivers last year, and around 250,000 were injured by drunk drivers.

The mass shooting in Aurora killed 12 people. It's awful, horrible stuff.. but peanuts compared to drunk driving, and not even a blink of the eye if you consider things like deaths due to diet or poverty.

The media is feeding us these things to make money for the media, and it works. But in this case - and many others! - the media's need to turn a profit warps our perspectives.

That said, one might expect if he was limited on how many bullets the gun could carry, he'd just bring a backpack full of guns. We have more guns than people in America, and that's not going to change, for better and worse.

Or, flipped around again, if we actually had socialized health care - with acknowledgement and treatment of things like depression - we *could* probably make a dent in the occasional mass killings. But that's a weee bit harder to pass than a knee-jerk gun control law.