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July 26, 2012

Thoughts on Aurora

It has been almost a week since the Aurora, CO massacre. What else is there to say, really, that hasn’t already been covered? It was a despicable, calculated and act by a hateful coward. The whole gamut of emotion and blame has been shamelessly presented by the media and pundits alike.  Special interest groups are ambitiously capitalizing on this shooting to further their cause.

Americans like to assign blame to horrific acts because we just don’t want to believe that an insane, hateful person can succumb to his own psychosis and open fire in a movie theater. No, that will not do. The easiest targets are gun control, video games, Hollywood and over medication. It didn’t take long for the media to try and politicize the event by trying to tie in the Aurora shooter with the Tea Party. Someone at ABC should be horsewhipped for that display of overt irresponsible reporting. But they won’t. The worst thing that will happen is an astute verbal bitch slap by Jon Stewart.

I never fully subscribed to the influence that violence in video games and our movies has on a person’s actions, especially when they become a meme for irresponsible behavior. How many video games did Ted Bundy play? How many violent movies did Hitler watch? I take a more old fashioned approach and apply a little personal responsibility. People that are so close to the edge of reality who would crack after watching a violent movie or playing a violent video game were doomed to commit their heinous acts regardless of the convenient triggers we have pushed on our society.

 I find it interesting how often drugs are mentioned in the wake of these events- specifically anti-depressants. What a cruel joke on us when the medication that is supposed to bring people out of a depressive state will cause them to go crazy and kill. Columbine is a noteworthy example- the pusillanimous behavior of these high school seniors was traced back to mind altering drugs. Imagine that- high school students on anti-depressants. That is a sad commentary on our nation’s social status.

Many will disagree with me, because the animals who commit these atrocities against their fellow man also don’t want to believe they have no control over their lives, so they blame movies, music, video games. It is much more convenient than facing the reality of much deeper seeded issues. Parents are especially guilty of this behavior as the alternative might appear to be a reflection of their own inadequacies of being a parent. For example, Tiffany and Chris Hebb are spreading the word about how dangerous washing machines can be after their toddler fell inside one when Tiffany was doing laundry. The 2-eyar old climbed up and fell into the top loading machine after opening the lid. The mother, like most parents, had a suspicion something was wrong when it was too quiet for too long. Yes, blame the washing machine, not their lack of parenting. No charges were filed and now a national campaign is being stages to put tighter controls on washing machines- costs that manufacturers will now incur and pass along to us.

So what is the connection, or the point, I am trying to make? Eventually, the media will turn the Aurora shooter into a victim- he didn’t have enough toys to play with, his coach fondled him during gym class, he was addicted to prescription medication, he smoked pot, his girlfriend dumped him, et al. It will come and people will agree. In unison with these frivulous and asinine excuses, will be the equally asinine demands of tighter gun controls, tighter video game ratings, and tighter controls over Hollywood. Of the three, I will bet the gun control wins out. Liberals hate guns and this gives plenty of ammo for their cause- pun intended. Opponents of gun control argue that had even one person in that theater had a concealed weapon permit, perhaps the death toll would not have been so severe. Is that premise valid? If evil doers do not have knowledge of the hidden guns in a room, will they be as likely to commit their crimes? There is some merit to that line of reasoning.

Eventually, the religious start to ask the age old question- how can a just God allow something like this to happen? How can he allow a school bus of children to fly off the road and explode into flames? What about the Holocaust? You tell me and we’ll both know. These questions bother people who believe God is omniscient, who believe God controls every movement of every creature, the soft footsteps of every ant on this planet. If he does have this much control, then where does free will come in? I suppose it depends on the accepted definition of omniscience. I believe He is everywhere, knows all things and sees all things, even the blackness of our hearts. But I not believe he pulled the trigger in that Aurora movie theater. I will let the philosophers debate this one.

So what are we to do? People want answers and guns, video games, drugs, etc. just have to be the answer. We want to feel safe, even if it is a false sense of security- which is why we like TSA. There will be some who will never go to another midnight movie viewing just as there are some that will never eat raw cookie dough because 77 people, in a population of 300 million, got sick from eating it. I make no apologies when I say that I will take my chances- living in fear is not my style. The reality is that we cannot be truly safe in a free society and people must come to grips with that. Unless people want their rights taken away and allow this nation to become a nanny state, we will always live in a degree of danger. Sadly, there are people (some in high places) who would rather us live in a government controlled nation. In fact, they will try reelect their champion in November.
As soft as he is on the bumbling Obama, Romney hit a home run with his comments on Aurora. He made it about the victims, their families. The antithesis of the spirit of Romney's speech was found in President Obama's politicking. The Aurora shooter needs to fade into oblivion, his name mitigated as much as possible in the impending Wikipedia entry. I do not wish capital punishment as that would be too easy on him. Death row is just too costly on our fragile economy. Send him to jail for life, although he definitely won't make it to a fraction of that. He will suffer the same fate as Jeffrey Dahmer- succumbing to injuries from a jailhouse beating. If there is any justice in this world, this will come to pass and the honor among thieves will be upheld.