A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, July 23, 2012

America Shrugged*

So it has comes to pass, again. Another multiple murder at the hands of a psychotic who bought guns legally has happened in this freedom-loving country of America. Now we as a nation will feign shock at this loss of life.   Some of us will use the event to put forth their views on how the tragedy could have been averted; yes, the speeches will be long and flowery with sentiment, and surely there will be calls for more gun control laws with the counter-arguments of reforming law enforcement.
And after all this is said and done, exactly nothing will happen.

The reactions in the media began even as the first reports were coming out of Aurora, Colorado. Before the day was done, one GOP Congressman from Texas by the name of Louie Gohmert decried the massacre as another example of the assault on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The congressman also wondered aloud during the same radio interview why someone else in the theater didn’t fire back. Both thoughts are typical conservative talking points about anything they feel threatens their perception of the good old days when the “guvmint” minded their own business. 

An assault on Judeo-Christian values? Well, that didn’t take long for the Christian evangelicals to get their beliefs twisted up in their panties over this latest national tragedy. It would not surprise me if, by the end of the week, another evangelical leader (my money’s on Pat Robertson or perhaps the son of the Chic-Fil-A founder) links the shooting to this country’s growing tolerance towards gay marriage. The problem with this argument is the early report that the shooter, James Holmes, was raised in a God-fearing household. So much for attacking Judeo-Christian values!

Gohmert then puzzled over why no one shot back. Surely Holmes could not have been the only one in the theater armed with a gun, and, therefore, someone could have shot back. This logic follows the NRA’s contention that everyone in America has the right to own a gun, and, therefore, everyone should own a gun. Okay, so why didn’t someone shoot back?

There may be a couple of reasons, all of them quite logical and immune from political hyperbole. First, we should note the series of events of the tragedy. Holmes entered the theater auditorium by a side door, threw a smoke bomb at the front of the theater which obscured everyone’s vision, shot a large capacity magazine of rounds at the audience, and then left as quickly as he appeared. One report had the entire shooting lasting only ninety seconds, or a minute-and-a-half for those who insist on being technical.

For one thing, when an unexpected, traumatizing event happens to us, we probably think about self-preservation first. This is what happened in Aurora; everyone instinctively ducked for cover. The key word here is instinctively. There was little time (remember, ninety seconds) to think clearly enough about the situation to realize that the situation may warrant retaliation.

Okay, so let’s - for conservative argument's sake - allow that there was one fast-thinking person who not only had the foresight to bring his/her own firearm into the theater, but who also quickly assessed that they could fire back. So, they draw their weapon and shoot…at whom? In what direction?
Remember Holmes - or, as he has called himself since the shooting, the Joker - threw a smoke canister. Can Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Fast-Thinking-and-Resourceful-American perceive in what direction the shooter is coming from through the smoke? Is the Joker on the right? On the left? In front? In the projection booth? In…oh, sorry our ninety seconds has expired.

Or should they throw caution to the wind and just shoot in all directions. Surely they will hit someone, maybe even the shooter, or maybe they will cause more casualties among the innocent audience members. Perhaps it would just be better to stay under cover, and once they perceive the danger has passed, attend to the wounded amongst us. I’m guessing that these instinctive thoughts took control of every audience member in the theater, and that they reacted accordingly.

There is also an argument to be made as to why no one else brought a gun into the movie theater. Many of us don’t believe carrying guns everywhere is the answer. Many of us believe that no one would want to shoot at us because we have no reason to shoot at them. You know the old Do unto others philosophy...oh, wait, that is part of the Judeo-Christian values that I as a liberal am suppose to be assaulting!

Yes, some of us live by the arguably naïve notion that believes that goodness exists in everyone. This naïve notion is otherwise known as FAITH.

Granted, faith is tested every day, particularly in this country where our love of firearms (as Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine ably demonstrated) is greater than the Judeo-Christian value of faith itself. Our gun culture cannot ever be comprised or abridged, according to the NRA’s dubious interpretation of the Second Amendment. Paradoxically, the greatest defenders of the sanctity of life when it comes to unborn babies can also be the greatest defenders of the right to possess a tool which can take a human life. Go figure!

Like everyone else in this country, I am saddened at the loss of life in Aurora, but please keep the hypocritical notion that all lives are sacred, yet don’t do anything to keep guns out of those who do not have good motives away from me. I know where all of this hand-wringing by both sides is going: nowhere. I may come off as callous or insensitive, but instinct tells me that nothing good will be learned from Aurora. In the end, most of us will think that’s it’s all too bad and maybe we’ll even shrug our shoulders out of apathy.

My faith in humanity does have its limits.

(Thank you for reading. *Take that, Ayn Rand!)


Post a Comment

<< Home