Column - Shooting cause is insanity, not poor gun control
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:07
When moviegoers funneled into the Aurora, Colo., Century 16 Theater for a chance to see Batman battle villains in the name of justice one last time, they had no idea they would soon become engulfed in more gunfire than their masked hero.
The story, as it panned out, has been played and replayed, dissected and evaluated since that fateful Friday night, and still there is much to discuss.
Let us step back for one second and think about how we move forward. Surely, you have heard the gruesome details, so I will not waste time repeating them.
Instead, let us push aside the human emotion of this event and focus on a debate that has recently been refreshed as a result of the shooting: gun control.
Let me preface this argument by stating: I am not a fan of politicizing a tragedy such as this. When one clearly insane individual decides to do something that is clearly insane, we should not and cannot dive too deeply into what laws could have prevented him or her from doing.
If somebody possesses severely hindered reasoning skills but still also possesses the intelligence to formulate and carry out a plan (albeit a sadistic one), he or she has the potential to "snap," regardless of the laws in place.
That aside, many critics are quick to point out flaws in our gun control laws after the theater shooting – a reasonable but, as I have mentioned, inappropriate response. When a man comes armed into a movie theater and opens fire on unsuspecting, indefensible bystanders, though, it is only natural to blame the weapons that caused the physical damage.
Add to this the fact the man came armed with not just a simple handgun but rather an assault rifle, a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun, and the situation is compounded with reason to believe gun control is the answer to our problems.
However, it is not.
The theater shooter, as I have alluded to, had the mental capacity to carry out a plan; he had his apartment rigged with explosives that were deemed "sophisticated" by the bomb squad on scene.
Compounding this, the man dyed his hair red in an attempt to emulate The Joker, a popular "Batman" villain, so to say his mental state was abnormal is not a stretch.
Add these two elements together and laws simply do not matter any more. The type of person who wants to, and does, carry out such a plan cannot be bothered by laws; he or she cannot even be bothered by his/her own sanity.
To assume gun control laws can cut down on this type of crime is ignorant, and such an assumption completely ignores the fact U. S. citizens use guns thousands of times per year to protect themselves or others from crime.
In the aftermath of such a tragedy one does not care about the positive side of statistics and that, too, is a natural human reaction, but it is still the wrong reaction.
Let us realize guns helped build our nation, they provide sport and recreation for millions of citizens and they have provided a culture that is uniquely American.
The problem with firearms is simply not the machine, it is the user behind the machine.
If we need anything, we need more extensive training for the firearms in question, not a total abolishment of our rights as Americans.
Let us not look further into this situation than need be. The theater shooting was caused by a mentally deranged individual, not a free-thinking weapon.