July 21, 2012

Aurora Shooting -- Random Thoughts

Permit me, if you'd be so kind, to get the obvious out of the way first.

We gun owners and shooters and firearms enthusiasts are not heartless and we do feel great sympathy for those killed in this act of violence, their grieving families, and those who were there but not killed.  To be amid such violence must be unnerving, and we care for their well being and wish them strength in this most difficult of times.  Their lives will never be the same.  

I'm thankful that nobody was injured by the booby trap bombs at his apartment, and kudos to the local police, bomb squad, and FBI for handling that properly.  But I wonder: If someone HAD been killed because this scumbag mixed some chemicals into a 2 liter bottle and inserted a detonation switch, would people be crying for tighter restrictions on 2 liter bottles?  

Let's also dispense with the usual tripe about "If a law abiding citizen with a legal CCW was there..."  You don't know that, you can't know that, and any such commentary is pure speculation.  I train a fair amount with my EDC pistol (not as much lately, I regret to admit), but I highly doubt that if I was in a crowded theater -- where a flash-bag went off and tear gas is pouring out and people are screaming and running everywhere -- that I could hit much more than the floor.  You're not Jason Bourne.  MAYBE a legal CCW holder MIGHT have been able to stop him sooner.  But we don't KNOW.    

Also, for those that don't know Aurora, CO, odd are that SOMEONE in that theater WAS carrying a concealed pistol.  Perhaps not a legal CCW Permit holder, but in a theater that seats 100, it's pretty safe money that says there was at least one pistol, if not two, on the body of a patron.  

The guy seemed to give up pretty quickly and without much fuss.  I almost wonder if he WANTED to be caught.    

Think about the cops, firefighters, EMTs, Doctors, Nurses, and other healthcare professionals who responded when the call came.  All the folks in the theater are getting assistance, counseling, therapy, and interviews on the tele.  The medical folks who had to respond are getting back to work tonight, gearing up to answer the call of another person in need.  

Read a story on some website or another about how one of the victims that survived went back to the theater to see the movie.  That's the way to do it, young man... you get knocked down and you get back up again and you don't let any crazy sonofabitch or his actions change your life.  

Imagine this young lady's grief.  I don't have the words.  

Finally, while you say a prayer or send some vibes to those injured, and the families of those killed, maybe think about sending one to the parents of the assailant.  Their son killed a dozen people and wounded dozens more, and they're probably sick with grief, wondering "What did we do wrong?"  They'll be under a microscope for the rest of their life, and that can't be fun.  


Mule Breath said...

I'm with you about 98% of this post. The only place we depart is in your 2-liter logic. The way you posed this is strawman logic. Folks have seen gun violence in this country daily for decades, but 2-liter bottles used as weapons is an occurrence I cannot recollect.

Guns are not the problem, we both understand that to be true, but your 2-liter analogy fails the flight test. What you didn't address, and neither has it been addressed by any of the talking heads I've had the displeasure of hearing, is the fact that this country is failing badly in the recognition and treatment of mental illness.

A sane person could not have committed these acts. How did a person with such obvious mental defect not get noticed?

Old NFO said...

Well said JB, and thoughts and prayers ARE said for all involved.

Jeff B said...

"A sane person could not have committed these acts. How did a person with such obvious mental defect not get noticed?"

From what I've been able to find and from what I've read, this fellow showed no signs or symptoms of mental illness until this act. I don't think we can say he had "obvious" mental defects, since none were manifested until this.

I agree with that point, MB... that we should be able to screen, recognize, and treat mentally ill people better. I think part of the problem is that some folks like this are also quite smart, and able to disguise/conceal any mental illness or instability they may have. This fellow was a PhD student for a time...

In a discussion with a (very) politically liberal friend, I asked a simple question: What law could have prevented this horrible event?

As yet, I haven't gotten an answer.

Bobball said...

Well said, JB

Mule Breath said...

The mental defect was obvious to someone. Although I cannot locate it now on the morning after there was a report of a law enforcement contact with a relative of the shooter. The report mentioned that the relative made a comment (paraphrased) that they had "the right person." If that report is correct, someone noticed something.

Jeff B said...


You said "The report mentioned that the relative made a comment (paraphrased) that they had "the right person.""

That's not entirely accurate, since we are once again misled by the media, who love to take snippets of information out of context to fit their narrative:


"Lawyer Lisa Damiani said her client Arlene Holmes knew nothing about the mass murder in Denver when she was awakened about 5:45 a.m. PDT Friday by ABC News. Damiani said the reporter asked whether she was Arlene Holmes and whether her son was James Holmes. Reading a statement from Arlene Holmes, Damiani said: "I said 'Yes, you have the right person.' But I was talking about myself.""