Those who dream of cowboy justice wake up to the reality of mass murder at the movies

Facing the facts on guns in American society completely demoralizes me, and no more so than when I have to view those facts through the prism of yet another mass murder committed by someone who legally purchased his weapons and ammunition.

Perhaps most depressing is the nature of the political discussion. The debate should center on the formulation of a mix of new gun control laws and regulations that could screen a nut like James Holmes, who killed 12 and injured nearly 60 during a midnight showing of a new Batman movie in an Aurora, Colorado theatre.

But the discussion in the news media is not about fixing the problem, but about the extreme unlikelihood that we will even consider stronger gun control laws.  At the root of every article about the inability of our political system to consider tighter gun control is the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the billions of dollars it has spent over the years to buy politicians and spew pro-gun propaganda to the public.

The NRA has achieved its goals. Compared to 20 years ago, more Americans currently support loosening our already sieve-like gun control laws. One of the weapons Holmes used was an assault rifle, which is essentially a light machine gun. The assault rifle is a weapon neither of the hunt nor of sport shooting, and yet a majority of Americans now support its legal sale.

As with global warming, healthcare reform and tax policies, a large portion of Americans prefer to ignore the facts of gun violence in the United States. Here are some I pulled from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence:

  • The firearm homicide rate in the U.S. is 19.5 times higher than rates in 22 other populous high-income countries combined, despite similar non-lethal crime and violence rates.
  • Among 23 populous, high-income countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States.
  • An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present.
  • A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide than to be used in a self-defense shooting; 11 times more likely to be used in a criminal assault or homicide and four times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting death or injury than to be used in a self-defense shooting.
  • Every year there are only about 200 legally justified self-defense homicides by private citizens compared with more than 30,000 gun deaths.

In short, loose gun control laws in the United States sacrifice the lives of 30,000 people every year, all to shield from prosecution 200 people who killed others with guns while protecting themselves.

These facts are never part of the core discussion concerning gun violence. And yet we hear—and the news media publish—the yahoos who propose that if more people had guns, perhaps fewer people would have died in the Aurora movie theatre or other mass murders.

Let’s play out the nightmare of which these gun supporters dream. You’re in the theatre and all of sudden the air is filled with smoke and gun shots.  So you pull out you gun and start shooting back in the direction you think it’s coming from. Someone on the other side of the theatre sees you fire your weapon and thinks you’re the shooter and starts aiming at you. Meanwhile, the hundreds of other people in the theatre now have gunfire coming at them from three, maybe even more, directions. I know that Will Smith survived the Mexican standoff at the end of Enemy of the State, but that was a movie.  Remember, all the other actors survived, as well, because the bullets were fake. Not so in Aurora. More guns shooting would have lead to one thing only—more dead and more injured.

Considering that it was gun-loving Colorado, I want to thank the x number of gun owners who were packing that evening who decided not to draw their firearms.

Gun control laws demonstrate the corruption our current political system.  Any number of politicians would be delighted to support stronger gun laws, that is, if enough people would pony up both the small fortune they would lose from the NRA and the large fortune to match what the NRA will spend to defeat them. It’s all about money and getting elected.

opedge
6 comments on “Those who dream of cowboy justice wake up to the reality of mass murder at the movies
  1. Ph.T says:

    well if those are the facts,
    no wonder they ignore them:
    they raise more questions than they answer!
    . are you saying that gun deaths are
    proportional to gun ownership?
    are we really the only high-income country with guns?
    . why does it matter to gun owners but not you
    that many crimes were prevented by guns,
    or were perceived to have been prevented
    by the threat of guns ?
    “(
    A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be
    used in a completed or attempted suicide
    than to be used in a self-defense shooting;
    )
    this reminded me that we are being
    hot-housed by capitalism:
    . there would be far fewer crimes, including murder,
    if they would support
    euthanasia, recreational drug use,
    and guaranteeing people a subsistence wage
    just for not breeding .
    . if you are going to run a free-for-all capitalism
    you need to act like you’re in
    the war zone you actually created .
    . why are we merrily laughing in the theatre
    with strangers all around us?
    — including the kids we mercilessly bullied?!
    . lastly,
    keep in mind America’s unique position:
    we are the place where all the warriors met
    to fight over a new treasure .
    . could it be that,
    we have far more murderers than europe,
    simply because we are the place that
    all of europe’s natural born murderers
    were sent to ?
    . how many of those gun deaths are hiafric-related?
    those of african descent are uniquely challenged,
    having their culture ripped apart,
    and then freed from slavery only to be
    given a chance to stand in our unemployment lines?
    at least the Natives got reservations,
    do we not have some real capital for the africans?
    it takes wealth to create wealth!
    and now china and automation .
    . they should be left selling dope?
    you’ll need a gun for that, my friend …

  2. SoCal_Jeff says:

    Jeff makes a good point… Things don’t happen in real life like in the movies. Or do they? In the weeks since the Co incident, one man and his gun foiled a violent takeover robbery of a Florida lounge. Another stopped a nut job’s stabbing spree in a downtown mall, and an elderly lady foiled a robbery/rape. Sounds like a potential reality show to me.
    But even more to the point we found out the CO shooter (I refuse to use his name just in case he gets off on it) was under the care of an on campus shrink/professor for no less than Schizophrenia. I wonder if that would be the same professor he mentioned in that tape, the one “mentoring” him in alternative realities? But I digress…
    The bottom line is the shrink/professor failed her duty to enter this joker (pun intended) into the DOJ/ATF data base that would have thwarted every legal firearm purchase he made. No, it wouldn’t have stopped his acquiring the gas and HE grenades. But the attempted gun shop buys would have tipped off both local and federal authorities.
    I have long held that it is possible for a person to educate themselves to a point far beyond their ability to use and apply the God given common sense and reason they were born with. And pseudo-intellectuals like Bill Mahr and the authors of gut-flinch anti-gun pieces like we are discussing continually prove me right. The problem is the left never “LEARNS” from their errors, holds to their misconceptions and totally ignores and/or rejects the truth. I believe there is a medical/psyc term for that… But again I digress..
    So now we find the shrink’s failure to use the system not the guns was the key fault. But instead of waiting to get the facts and apply critical thought and reason, the usual anti-gun leftists jumped to the usual conclusion. Which beings us to yet another definition of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
    Speaking as a (retired) licensed CA firearms dealer of over twenty years, I am the fist to agree that some, reasonable gun laws are needed to protect society from the Jokers of the world. But to ban all gun ownership for the wrongful actions of a few makes no more sense than totally ignoring the medical benefits of marijuana due to the abuse by pot heads. Or, banning the ownership of all autos due to the number of DUI deaths (which annually far outnumber gun deaths). Only to the closed minds of the fools and idiots does such logic present itself.
    I and others like me have offered to sit down with legislators from both sides to draft solid gun laws that make sense and protect constitutional rights. Sadly, the left has yet to take us up on our offer. Instead what we get for our hand out in cooperation is news like today’s of yet another gun, ammo, or in this case magazine ban/restriction… Being secretly slipped into a some Senate Bill in the dead of night, hoping it gets missed and eventually enacted! It that the transparency we were promised? Is that the kind of government YOU want and elected? Are YOU proud of such tactics? Or is are such tactics and behaviors perfectly fine with you as long as YOUR agenda is met? If so, then do your best to corral your hypocrisy when the same trick is used to restrict and deny your rights to enjoy or partake in whatever activity or possession you enjoy.
    I have to admit I don’t expect to change any minds, and I respect the posting of my comments along with the others, pro & con. But what I will be surprised to see is if there are any calls for restrictions, regulations and all out bans and revocations of medical/psyc licenses for practitioners who fail to report and ID such Jokers. And especially the license revocation and firing of the shrink/professor who failed to uphold her duty to society. For had she followed through, how many of the CO dead would still be alive today? Which children might be playing and the infant that would otherwise be held in the safety of her mothers arms?
    For without such cries of righteous indignation… Your HYPOCRISY abounds.
    So instead of calling for more laws that will only deny the constitutional rights of good and honest Americans… How about demanding your elected representatives finally sit down with us, in good faith, and together we craft sensible, enforceable laws we can both live with?

  3. Wonderful piece of writing. From a UK (and probably far wider) perspective, it’s baffling that an intelligent nation can allow a bunch of selfish, deluded and dangerous idiots to quite literally call the shots. SoCal_Jeff and his ilk would be laughed at in most other countries. In the USA it seems he’s the boss.

  4. Excellent piece. The compare and contrast with the “SoCal_Jeff” comment/rant certainly helps make your point.

  5. Jeff says:

    At Columbine High School, there was an armed and trained police officer on duty, who was not able to impede the killers one little bit. Yet there are people who are actually claiming that an untrained civilian could have stopped the Aurora murderer, who was both more heavily armed and more heavily armored than the Columbine murderers were and who filled the theater with tear gas. INCREDIBLE!!! Real life doesn’t happen the way things do in the movies.

  6. SoCal_Jeff says:

    Yours is the stereotypical reaction to this kind of crime. Without any empirical data or critical thought you go straight to denying others their constitutional right, if for nothing else that to protect themselves from just such a crime.
    You flaunt stats with total disregard to the truths of the world or realities of life. A simple web search will produce hard “truthful” stats of how many more thousands of people are killed (other than by guns) every year by:
    Drunk drivers, but you don’t call for DUI, drug addition and driving record background checks for the purchase of cars.
    Doctors & hospitals, but you don’t call for the open rating and/or public disclosure of malpractice.
    Bicycles, but you don’t call for minimum safety, training & safety equipment.
    And if you really want to go stat for stat… Any true new gun laws should be directed directly at the largest demographic of gun crimes… Black & Hispanic (like me) males under the age of thirty.
    But NOOOOOO. White liberal progressive socialists of the upper plantation owner (metaphor) class like yourself always call for the disarming of the poor and middle class. People like you, Pelose, Reid and Obama will always have armed guards, tall walls around your private communities and yes (like DiFi), the guns and permits to carry them you would in a bleeding heartbeat deny the rest of us!
    Nor will you even consider that a hand gun or rifle is simply a machine. It has no soul, no agenda, no politics, no brain, not even a chip or drive to store data or commands.
    However there is a school and university system that instead of educating, bombards our kids with political correctness, global warming lies & junk science to the point U.S. students math and basic science skills rank well below third world countries. So much so that in one well documented case, it wasn’t until a high school diploma was shown to a grandmother, that it was discovered the word “GRADUATE” on the diploma was MISSPELLED!
    Even then, college and university students are forces to literally regurgitate their professors politically correct and other agendized BS, without comment or challenge just to graduate. And whoa be it to those who might dare to speak out or have an original thought.
    The fact is, in any other environment such psychological oppression and manipulation would have another name… BRAIN WASHING… As literally defined and outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
    So let’s recap what might really be the true cause of an otherwise bright, normal kid going off as in Colorado…
    A gun that is simply a machine like a car or nut cracker. Or…
    The total immersion into an environment where all logic and critical thought is forbidden, even punished. Being forced to agree and repetitively regurgitate anything and everything placed before them. And in order to advance further (just like the CO grad student/shooter), renounce any and all remnants of personal beliefs and morality in order to conform to whatever PC blob is required to become acceptable to a university’s philosophy and/or agenda.
    But of all, your biggest offense to society as a whole is your flagrant swinging of your double edged sword with a total disregard to the collateral damage you will be directly responsible for on the reverse swing. Even to yourself. But then, that’s why liberals and progressive socialists write and enact laws that immunize their sacred ilk from those same laws that subjugate the rest of us.
    Just like Obama in his forth year still blaming Bush for the stimulus not working, you simply can’t accept that forces other than the legality of firearm ownership could possibly be the cause of the incident in Colorado.
    You also fail to see that people like me really do understand you and your kind. Back in college you were the black clad guitar and bongo playing, little red book reading, dope smoking, legends in your own minds… Who honest belied the only reason Communism failed was because “YOU” were not in charge! And still do today.
    You wallow in the comforts and conveniences capitalism has provided you, while at the same time denouncing anyone who might strive to become independently successful to a point where they can actually help and provide jobs for others less fortunate.
    In conclusion, you and your kind are the worst kind of hypocrites. And it’s the people you disrespect most that you have to thank for your continuing ability to speak and print your opinions. That really has to grate on you the most.

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