There have already been many stupid things said about what happened in Colorado and certainly there is more to come. I understand why the citizens of Aurora don’t want the name of the killer spoken; our society has made a fetish of murderers for far too long, but we will continue to do so. While a fascination with darkness and madness is understandable as simple curiosity, violence is easily romanticized and made to be more significant than it is, which is nothing more than an animal act. Conversely, our most noble human acts are often derided and mocked; for some, witnessing selflessness is discomfiting as it mocks their cynicism in a way they cannot accept so they try to return the insult yet hilarity rarely ensues.
Guns exist and because they exist they are necessary for free societies. Tools cannot be uninvented any more than Santa Claus can be re-believed in (though there are rare and notable exceptions to this notion amongst isolated island societies). The proliferation of nuclear weapons to nations such as India, Pakistan and North Korea demonstrate that no technology can be contained indefinitely; eventually every genie escapes their bottle. Any adult who believes that human beings would abandon a tool as widespread and useful as guns are may as well believe that humanity would do without the wheel or fire. This does not mean that guns should be distributed to everyone, but it does mean that no practical solution to the over-proliferation guns can include the elimination of guns. This also means that the fear of having guns taken away by the government that the NRA stokes in its members is histrionically irrational.
In large part this is why it has not been possible to have a rational conversation about guns in the United States for the past quarter century or more; witness how the most fervent uncontrolled guns advocates were out angrily yelling about the notion of anyone even talking about any changes in the law despite this psych patient being able to legally obtain assault rifles and absurd amounts of ammunition completely legally. When the advocate for uncontrolled guns may or may not have shit his pants to avoid military service and suggests that the solution to the problem of crazy people shooting up movie theaters is for the patrons to be armed, it is time to reconsider our position as a nation. Our politicians have been bullied by the most extreme faction of the NRA into total submission-during the Obama Administration there has not been a single new proposed law or policy curtailing gun trafficking or ownership, yet sales have been through the roof as the myth of a government hell bent on taking their guns away permeates the culture. In the same way the right is complaining about taxes when they are at the lowest rates they have been in generations, the gun lobby perpetuates a myth of persecution even as guns flood the nation.
What are your ideas on the subject? I’m genuinely curious.