Thursday night a young man in Aurora, Colorado made manifest his insanity and when the smoke cleared inside the movie theater 12 eager Batman fans were dead and 58 others were on their way to the hospital.
The hysterical response by the media was immediate and, in stereotypical fashion, unerringly irresponsible. ABC’s Brian Ross pulled a connection between the shooter, James Holmes, and the Tea Party out of his ass and let it fly on the air. A short while later an apology was issued but that doesn’t help the innocent man named Jim Holmes who IS a relatively recent member of the Colorado Tea Party (and happens to be a former law enforcement officer who clearly understands the gravity of making false accusations).
The social media exploded in tweets and Facebook posts of real anguish and quickly descended into the inevitable arguments for and against the 2nd Amendment. The vultures of the left are still circling the bodies of the victims, seeing another opportunity to swoop in to push for anti-gun legislation; blind to their freshest hypocrisy of 300 dead Mexican citizens and Brian Terry as a result of the government’s nefarious back-door gun-control attempt of Fast & Furious. The armchair quarterbacks on the right tap out their claims that if more people were allowed to carry guns, someone could have stopped Holmes before so many died.
It’s all as insane as James Holmes.
The inconvenient truth remains that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will carry guns (example: Chicago). Not to mention that the Century 16 theater already has a “no weapons” policy that obviously meant squat to James Holmes – in the same way all “gun free zones” mean squat to any criminal looking for an easy target. By all accounts, Holmes is extremely intelligent and as such would have found a way to wreak deadly havoc no matter what anyone allowed him to purchase if wreaking deadly havoc on innocent others was his intention (examples: Bulgaria last week; 9/11).
Another inconvenient truth is that the 2nd Amendment is to protect the people from tyrannical overreach of the government. While it’s decidedly both good and appropriately responsible to be able to defend ourselves against home invaders and thugs on the street and to keep those we send to Washington respectful of the citizenry as a whole (ok, at least in some measure), not enough people carrying guns take the time for training that instills the appropriate reactive instincts required in a situation like the one in which those moviegoers found themselves. Indeed, unless you served as a military sniper, Navy SEAL or spent your days clearing away insurgents for military convoys your first reaction will be wet pants, not the fondly imagined efficient killing of a random madman who has unexpectedly flung chemicals in your direction and promptly started shooting at anything that moves.
The bottom line is that everyone needs to take a deep breath and simply shut up. This was horrible, this was a tragedy, and so many families will never be the same because of the actions of a single madman. Such madmen have always and will always walk amongst us; their insanity will forever be unfathomable, unexpected and there isn’t a damned thing we can do about it. At least there is nothing we can do without inflicting serious pain on everyone. As the old Star Trek movie once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one”. In America that translates to one thing: trampling the Constitution is never the answer.