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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Theater Security Theater

Maybe James Holmes hoped Hollywood would, ironically, make a movie about him and perhaps one day it will once they get some backing, an insurance bond and a decent treatment from a screenwriter. Someone's bound to write a book about it. No doubt, publishers and equally opportunistic literary agents are already licking their chops and rubbing their hands.

Who knows what Holmes' motivation was and who of any consequence should care to which political party or ideology he'd attached himself? Bloggers and pundits on both sides will always find the spiritual and mental fortitude to stop thinking about the 70 victims and their families as they scour the internet for any evidence whatsoever, circumstantial or otherwise, that will finally reveal his political party. And the mudslinging and deadcatting in this contentious election year will commence over the weekend while no real substantive and sustained dialogue on gun control will result from this latest gun massacre.

The New York Times will do what the mainstream media typically does and give house room to morons like Louis Gohmert and Luke O'Dell of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (whoever he or that is) and quoting them as if they have a valid alternative to the gun control crisis in this country. Unchallenged quotes such as this gem from O'Dell, who's on the same exact page, chapter and verse, with Gohmert:
“Potentially, if there had been a law-abiding citizen who had been able to carry in the theater, it’s possible the death toll would have been less.”

Heaven forbid the NY Times should editorialize or use the Gray Lady's grey matter for even a second to call out such a statement, as if shooting at a black-clad man in a dark, crowded theater full of children is a perfectly acceptable alternate scenario.

Then there's this chilling bit of detective work:
In the last 60 days Mr. Holmes had purchased four guns at local gun shops, Chief Oates said. And through the Internet, he bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition: more than 3,000 rounds for the assault rifle, 3,000 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition for the two Glocks, and 300 rounds for the 12-gauge shotgun. The guns were all bought legally, a federal law enforcement official said.

Here's an idea that would no doubt be dismissed by gun-clutchers as a liberal wacko harebrained scheme designed to steal peoples' guns: If a $10,000 deposit is enough to get the attention of the IRS and Homeland Security, how about a person buying up that many guns and that much ammo in such a short period of time tripping a red flag in the BATF and Homeland Security?

Oh, but we can't do that. "The guns were all bought legally." And here's where the inherent evil of the NRA comes into play.

I'm not talking about morons on Twitter who post then delete stupid shit like this but the NRA and their army of lobbyists on Capitol Hill that do everything in their power to hamstring the prevention of massacres like this from ever happening, the same NRA that went to Littleton 20 miles from Aurora to hold a rally just days after Columbine.

That would be an NRA that cows legislators on both sides of the aisle and effectively putting a permanent wet blanket on any meaningful dialogue regarding gun control, an insidious influence that seems to have even extended to the Oval Office since Obama has never mentioned the need for gun control even once in all his years of federal public service.

Instead, what we'll see is theater security theater that will give us yet another place to be afraid of, waiting for those stupid enough to bring guns they've already bought to a movie theater rather than making it harder for nut jobs like James Holmes to acquire those guns and 6300 rounds of ammo, not to mention the incendiary and explosive materials he'd also somehow invisibly acquired to booby-trap his apartment so thoroughly that even the Aurora Bomb Squad gave up trying to defuse them and sent in a robot.

The National Rifle Association is turning America and the firearms industry into a massive Fast and Furious, one in which we let the bad guys acquire as many guns and as much ammo as they want, then deal with the aftermath. And after every large-scale massacre, we pretend to have a meaningful dialogue but our elected officials, the NRA and the people know it's all theater, shadow-boxing.

We were supposed to have a sustained, substantive dialogue after Ruby Ridge but didn't. After Waco, in which four federal agents were killed. After Columbine. After Ft. Hood. After Tuscon. But we never did and never will until our craven, wet-legged elected officials (and yes, I'm looking especially at you, Obama) finally reject the NRA's money and constant veiled threats of withdrawing support for their next campaigns.

12 people are now lying on slabs getting their corpses torn apart before getting crudely reassembled so they can be processed by funeral homes, 12 innocent people, many of them young, who a little over 37 hours ago just wanted to see a highly-anticipated summer blockbuster.

The Brady Report (.pdf) lists all the mass shootings that have happened in the US since just 2005. Written before the Aurora shooting, it is 62 pages long. As of this writing, the Brady campaign's website gives us two horrifying statistics: This year alone 54,675 people in the US have been shot, 135 so far today (presumably not including the massacre 37 hours ago). Every year, roughly 17,000 of us commit suicide by gun and in 2007, 284 Americans were killed or wounded by gunfire... each day. Compare that to 173 people killed in Canada in all of 2009 due to gun violence.

Maybe Hollywood will base a movie on the Aurora shooting, maybe not. But if they do, I doubt they'll think addressing the very real need for gun control is any sexier than do our elected officials.
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Blogger Jimbo said...
The standard reply by the President and Romney, which has been characteristic of all such mass slayings is simply to pray to God and comfort one another. In other words, do nothing to address the problem. Just reflect for a second and move on because the NRA is all-powerful. They are an organization of bullies and psychopaths. In a sense, we need a Norquist-like pledge that elected officials will vote to restrict permitted guns to single shot pistols and rifles. Otherwise, the blood baths will continue and likely increase dramatically.