Mass Murder is not a Political Opportunity

The Batman Symbol (TM) (Brian Donovan)

Last week, at a midnight showing of Dark Knight Rises (the new Batman movie), a madman named James Holmes brutally opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 and wounding 58 others. If you haven’t heard the story yet, read it here.

I think one of the best quotes to reflect on is by Eric Golub in his article on Washington Times Communities,

The right thing to do is the one thing that normal Americans know how to do that the chattering classes have not mastered. We need to all be quiet, talk less, and listen more.

We do not have the facts. We do not know the motive. This is not a game. Innocent people are dead for trying to do something as harmless as enjoy a movie.

The best thing anybody without information can do right now is hug a neighbor and call a loved one to remind them of that love.

Unfortunately, Golub is right. Our society has not mastered being quiet. The media have offered speculation after speculation, even incriminating innocent people. When trying to look up the subject’s name on “social media”, ABC News found the wrong James Holmes and broadcast to the world that he was a part of the Tea Party. Unfortunately, that was absolutely and completely incorrect. It is this insistence to be right, this desire to incriminate a “greater cause” for what happened that leads to horrendous mistakes.

Who is at fault for this horrible tragedy? None other than James Holmes. Already, people have considered suing the movie theater, the company that produced the movie, even the university that Holmes worked at in an attempt to blame them for what happened.

Probably the biggest political argument that many have been quick to jump on is that this tragedy somehow indicates the need for more gun control. However, the theater was a “gun-free zone”. Aurora, Colorado already prohibits carrying guns, shooting them within the city, and storing loaded guns in the car. It would be wise to read the words of James Alan Fox from CNN,

Mass killers are determined, deliberate and dead-set on murder. They plan methodically to execute their victims, finding the means no matter what laws or other impediments the state attempts to place in their way. To them, the will to kill cannot be denied.

Fox goes on to explain how more gun control would not have stopped this killing. However, he also argues that less gun control most likely would not have had an effect either. In the chaos of the moment, especially with tear gas, it would be very difficult to mount an effective self-defense.

Either way, we should all do well to remember that the victims in this case are real people, just like us. There are real families grieving, and it is time we stopped using this tragedy to prove a point, as some have done. Instead, please continue to offer your prayers for the families of those affected.

205 responses to “Mass Murder is not a Political Opportunity

  1. Hmm… Even though I agree that this tragedy should not be used as a basis for sensation (which it has been anyway) or any kind of promotion, I still believe it is important to investigate WHY this happened. So that it doesn’t happen again.
    This is normally done after all tragedies, and I think this is not disrespectful of unethical at all, because, if I were a victim, I would really wish to know the REAL reason behind what happened. Not just the jounalists’ guesses and stuff.
    There’s a youtuber, truthergirl, she did excellent and unbiased analysis of the situation.
    Also, I think that the society has been hypnotised into crying about disrespect when there is no disrespect intended at all.!
    I see some war veterans becoming very aggressive when you try to convince others that war is evil. I see a lot of people who dare not investigate anything about 9/11, because “it’s disrespectful”. In what way? I’m laughing abt it? Not at all and quite the opposite! My wish to investigate it shows that I have serious intentions.
    Anyhow, very often people turn a blind eye to the truth, just because what they hear is too much for them.
    Of course, I’d never sit next to the victim’s relative and discuss the matter in a neutral and an unbiased tone. THAT’s disrespectful!
    But looking for the cause (everything has a cause) of what happened is an important thing to do, I believe.

    • I absolutely agree. I think looking for the cause is important. I just question if all of those arguing on Facebook about guns are doing that. Because it converts from a calm discussion into making everyone upset. I think the police and investigators will give us all of the facts we want, if we just give it time.

    • Well, enjoyed your blog and posters so much and spent way too much time on it in spite of our difference of opinion. You have sparked some fantastic debate. All the best and congrats on being freshly pressed.

    • Newstranslator you are right on:

      “Also, I think that the society has been hypnotised into crying about disrespect when there is no disrespect intended at all.!
      I see some war veterans becoming very aggressive when you try to convince others that war is evil. I see a lot of people who dare not investigate anything about 9/11, because “it’s disrespectful”. In what way? I’m laughing abt it? Not at all and quite the opposite! My wish to investigate it shows that I have serious intentions.
      Anyhow, very often people turn a blind eye to the truth, just because what they hear is too much for them.”

  2. You’re right . So many people try to blame others, which is pointless & counter.productive. Our leftist culture not only promotes this. It absolutely demands it.

  3. The problem with such tragedies as this one is the aftermath. People start to talk about outrageous topics such as gun control and their political opinions. The loss of lives occured because a man wanted to be something special. He couldn’t make it in medical school, so he went the opposite. Now, the entire country/world knows his face. And, he’s attempting to play off the insanity to get a lesser punishment for his fifteen minutes of fame. I hate the fact so many people have to suffer becuase of this man’s failure to make it in the world, and he may get a slap on the wrist instead of hard prison time where he belongs. I am sorry to find out so many people are suffering. The loss of a loved one is not easy, but to find out their last moments were spent pleading for your life, it really hits deep. Thoughts go out to the family members of the victims. Thank you for positng this. Keep up the great work.

    • “Outrageous topics such as gun control”??! Wow. You need to go read facts and statistics and develop some thoughts independent of the dogma that has convinced you of this. The reasons for the deaths which you give may or may not be true (as the original blog says, this is all speculative and a lot of talk right now) but the fact remains stunningly obvious that this carnage could not have occurred without all these freely-available weapons. The reality is, there’ll always be people snapping and plenty who want their fifteen min. of fame, but will they have access to unlimited military style weapons and whatnot? That’s up to you and other voters, who seem to be saying, YES, make it freely available because the 350,000 gun victims a year and their destroyed families are a small price to pay. Your country has an abysmal rate of gun violence that is way out of proportion with similar countries that do have gun control. There are crazies everywhere. But America lets them have guns, that is the difference. Go get some facts of your own and do some realistic thinking through..

      • Anonymous, no need to be confrontational. This is the point – rather than sympathy, everyone is ready to criticize anyone who disagrees. There are statistics on both sides of the gun control debate. There is no perfect way to determine causation for gun control and violence.

        • Yes indeed, by calling gun control discussions “outrageous” and people whose solutions aren’t the same as yours disrespectful of the victims and unsympathetic and so on. No perfect way, no, not a perfect one, if perfect is the standard.

      • Wow, you are obviously upset and angry at something, SOMEONE. But, the facts, you speak of are out there for anyone to check. Yes, America has higher violence rates compared to some other countries, but the guns are not the reason for this. Our gun ratio is no higher than Canada, yet their violence is dramatically less than Americas. Sometimes before you speak, you should probably take your emotions out of the “matter of fact” speech.

        I do believe this was a very unfortunate event. However, the gun control is not the reason this event too place. In fact, if guns were outlawed, there’d be more dangers to discuss, like bombs and homemade tools. The truth of the matter is guns are not the killers, people are. The people capable of preforming such a horrible event are capable of preforming it with other tools.

        That’s more of the point than gun control. Sorry, but I disagree with your preachings.

  4. To sum it up, I guess, “It’s wrong to talk about gun control in the wake of a killing that likely wouldn’t have been feasible without the ridiculous over-availability of military-style weapons to the public in quantities that could ONLY have been intended for killing many people”? ‘Kay, lets not talk about the obvious. Wise.
    That isn’t being politically opportunistic, it’s facing the obvious.

    With all due respect, “The theatre was a gun-free zone”??? Hahahaha. I don’t even know what else to say to that.

    • It may be “obvious” to you, but there are others who would vehemently disagree.

      That theatre comment was not meant to be sarcasm – it was meant to say that, regardless of the laws about carrying guns, they still were banned at the theatre.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

      • I was endeavouring to point out that “banning” guns in a theatre is meaningless when the entire surrounding area allows them! Criminals and delusionals don’t really care much about gun bans in specific locations, as far as I can tell!
        Yep, free speech gives people the right to vehemently disagree with overwhelming statistics–one of the great things about a democracy. And ostriches, you know what they do. It’s a free world as long as you aren’t dead.

        • “Criminals and delusionals don’t really care much about gun bans in specific locations, as far as I can tell!”

          That’s my point.. And there are overwhelming statistics on both sides. Truly.

  5. As someone who lives about 30 minutes from Aurora, I fully appreciate this blog. Once people start to get over the shock, then it turns into the blame game. People point fingers, and blame one another. They insult the president for making an appearance at the hospital, but would be even more upset had he not showed up at all. I believe now is a time for compassion, for healing, and to come together as a community. Please keep those who lost their lives, those fighting for their lives, and those whose lives have been forever changed by this incident in your thoughts and prayers. Talk less, and listen more. And be kind to your fellow man, for someone is always fighting a harder battle than you.

    • My sympathy to you, but “pointing fingers” is one label for “looking at causes”. You don’t think people should try to think of causes and find ways to prevent this sort of thing? Call it whatever you like; it would be profoundly irresponsible not to look for fault where it exists, causes, and ways to prevent. That’s the whole premise of having a justice system.

      • Exactly, that’s the point of having a justice system. It’s not for all of us to determine without any of the information. My point is to remember that the police and researchers will release the information to us, and we should stop jumping to conclusions now before we all start trying to push our agenda.

        Thank you both for stopping by! Have a great day! I hope you enjoyed my blog!

        • Well, let’s not confuse a justice system with voting and free speech. We need ALL of these things for a democracy to work. There are plenty of prior massacres in Colorado history that have been adjudicated and the facts are settled: guns were used and they were unrestricted and available to loopy individuals.
          When you say not to jump to conclusions and suggest I have an “agenda”, are you suggesting that we don’t know if guns were used in this crime yet? ‘Cause every article I saw quoted the police saying guns were used. Are you saying we don’t know if this guy was either a criminal or delusional? Are you saying we don’t know if these weapons were available to the public without restrictions? ‘Cause I saw a list in the paper (not the National Enquirer) listing the applicable restrictions in Colorado, and if you are suggesting there might be restrictions then maybe check again . . . .

          There are things we don’t know yet, relating to mental state, whatever, but we sure as heck know enough incontrovertible facts about the availability and use of guns to talk and have opinions. It’s a discussion that desperately NEEDS to happen; the status quo is a disaster.

          I guess saving lives could be labelled an “agenda”. Hm.
          I did enjoy your blog. Interesting to see the extent of attachment to this type of beliefs in the U.S. Here’s hoping for more logical analysis in the future.

          • The point is, people who completely disagree with you will say the exact same things about saving lives. They’ll point to two prior mass murders in Colorado that were recently averted due to civilians stopping the shooter with guns.

            Either way, everyone’s trying to “save lives”. So don’t talk as if everyone else is an idiot.

          • Consideragain, sorry if you felt I was talking down; I was trying to really focus on the straight facts and stats, which I feel are very overwhelming.

  6. I truly think that a society that has “mastered being quiet” is impossible, and not something to strive towards; questions need to be raised, we cannot ignore them.
    George Zornick wrote in The Nation about the ‘politicising’ of this. (http://www.thenation.com/blog/168986/colorado-shooter-likely-got-guns-ease)
    “When there are plane crashes, we talk about flight safety. When there are wildfires, we talk about fire prevention…” “So when one person is able to shoot seventy-one people in rapid succession before police arrive, it’s sensible to talk about whether it should be so easy.”

    • Agreed! The use of the right of free speech is the whole basis of a democracy. The plane crash is a good analogy.

      • Great comments. The fact that he was able to shoot so many people so quickly is alarming. There is no need for such weapons. Where does this right to bear arms stop?
        I’m off to buy a bazooka right now because I think Obama’s gonna get me.

        • I totally agree there’s no need for such weapons. Here we have a right that was put in the Constitition before 200 years of stable democracy when nothing like modern weapons could ever have been contemplated. The authors of the Constitution in no way intended the current state of abuse–they could not have imagined it The world has evolved. Gun laws need to.

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