They loved and they were loved

By now, many of you know, many of you have heard that a few miles outside of Denver in a town call Aurora, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater, and dozens more are being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

… Now, even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living. The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another.

It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. At the end of the day, what we’ll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others. That’s why we’re here.

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(I avoided the news this morning to write today’s Left Behind installment. After seeing the news, I’m now rewriting today’s installment. I hope to have it up later this evening.)

  • flat

    it’s okay I can wait

  • Koolbeans

    Beautifully said. Thank you. I’ll be sharing this….

  • http://noiselesschatter.com/ Philip

    It’s pretty scary…that cinema is not far from where we live. My girlfriend and I even talked about going to the midnight premiere. I don’t want to oversell the drama or anything, because we may or may not have ended up at THAT theater, and it’s not like we couldn’t wait until later to see it, but it still kind of hammers home the fact that you’re not really in control of your destiny. Fires break out and planes crash and earthquakes happen and all that stuff that human beings don’t really have control over. But then there are human beings who assume control, and decide, for no other reason apart from the fact that you are there, that you will die. And that’s a terrible thought…to know that you’re only ever somebody else’s decision away from being killed.

    So far I don’t know of anyone who was there, but I do work with a guy who told me yesterday he was going to that very showing. Luckily for him, it was sold out and he couldn’t get a ticket. Unluckily for someone else, they got the last ticket.

    Another colleague’s cousin’s roommate was there, and is now in the hospital and not doing well. A three month old baby was shot there and is in another hospital where a friend of ours works. It’s a really tiny world. And a lot of the time, there’s no logic to it. We didn’t go to the theater, but that doesn’t matter. Those who decided to go just wanted to watch a movie…they didn’t choose to die. Instead my girlfriend and I had dinner with some friends, and stopped at the supermarket beforehand. A gunman could have just as easily targeted the supermarket, and then that could have been us.

    There’s no logic. That’s a terrifying thought.

  • Tonio

    So comforting to know that the killings are already being exploited:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/louie-gohmert-aurora-shootings_n_1689099.html

    My first reaction to Gohmert was roll my eyes at such obvious
    demagoguery. C’mon, going to jail for mentioning God at a graduation
    ceremony? But his reference to “his protective hand” suggests that what
    he really wants is not God, and not Batman, but Superman. Gohmert seems
    deeply terrified by the shootings, which is a perfectly normal reaction,
    but he seems hopelessly lost in denial, desperate for a reason why such
    horrific tragedies happen.

    My message to Gohmert is that bad things happening is just a part of
    life, and sometimes we can prevent these but often we can’t Wishing for a
    rescuer is pointless. All we can do at this point is to offer our
    support for the people who lost loved ones in Colorado. It doesn’t do
    them a damned bit of good to exploit their misery to push sectarianism
    and theocracy.

  • aunursa

    Live your life to the fullest.  Don’t put off your dreams.  Let your family and friends know how much you love them and how much they mean to you.  Tell them again – they cannot hear it enough.

    On October 16th my younger brother seemed to be in perfect health when he liked my Facebook post.  Fourteen hours later he was brain-dead.  We disagreed on politics and on some of our personal decisions in life.  But, and although I miss him every single day, I am comforted by the fact that he never missed an opportunity to explore the world.  He lived his life the way he wanted to live.   The last time I saw him I let him know how much I loved him and that I was very proud of him.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends.

  • hapax

    Fred Clark didn’t attribute the eloquent passage he quoted above;  it came from President Obama’s remarks on the tragedy at a cancelled campaign event this morning.

    Full transcript, also including the Romneys’ response, are here.

  • LouisDoench

     I had avoided crying over this all day… Karin can always help me cry though. Thank you Fred.

  • VMink

    I’m ignoring all the people who are trying to make this about politics today.  That can wait.  Right now, it’s enough that there was an awful tragedy.  It’s more than enough.

  • Vermic

    But his reference to “his protective hand” suggests that what he really wants is not God, and not Batman, but Superman.

    His argument that the attack could have been stopped, had the theatergoers been armed themselves, certainly indicates comic-book thinking of some kind.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    I live in Colorado (up in the northeast corner of the state, about 2 hours driving distance from Denver) and everyone here is absolutely stunned by this.

    The shooter’s name is James Holmes.  He’s 24 years old, has no criminal record, and no motive has been announced yet.  Police are currently trying to enter Holmes’s apartment, but apparently the entire place is booby-trapped.  They’re having to send in robots to disarm the traps.  Holmes’s apartment building, and the five neighboring buildings, have all been evacuated.

  • LMM22

    A friend of mine died during college, years ago. When I heard, it seemed so unbelievable that what would determine your future — what would determine everything you would *ever* do, everything you would *ever* accomplish from then on — was not any of the big choices that you spend hours contemplating but which seat you sat in on the way back from a movie.

    It didn’t make sense at the time. It never does — perhaps now moreso than ever. People don’t just *die* like that anymore, until they do.

    In this case, it’s different — there’s a killer, someone who was responsible for this. But the realization that this could have been *anybody*, that making a simple choice could have changed things completely — that’s the same.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Gohmert also said the tragedy could have been lessened if someone else
    in the movie theater had been carrying a gun and took down the lone
    shooter. Istook noted that Colorado laws allow people to carry concealed
    guns.”

    What is it with this hero-in-one’s-own-mind fantasizing that these people do when it comes to gun violence?

    If the theater was dark, how on God’s green earth would anyone have been able to see the shooter? Even if the theater was NOT darkened, a panicky crowd – you’re in the middle of it and you have a gun – chances are you’re not going to be able to get a clean shot without risking bystanders.

    This is why police officers, for all their faults, at least have one thing in their favor: They’re trained how to properly respond to panic and to be able to use their weapons effectively.

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    Sorry, I’m too appalled for a sophisticated response.

  • Kadh2000

    My first reaction was sadness.  My second reaction was horror at how many people responded with negative comments about what Romney and Obama have said.  My heart goes out to the victims’ families and friends.  I know what they’re going through.  I was at Virginia Tech.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett


    I’m ignoring all the people who are trying to make this about politics today.  That can wait.  Right now, it’s enough that there was an awful tragedy

    I’m going to go with what digby said:

    We aren’t shocked anymore when children are killed. It’s become a normal part of American life. The taboo has shifted from horror at the shootings to horror attalking about shooting. This is called “politicizing tragedy” as if these mass murders are an act of nature rather than an act of human evil or madness (or both) enabled by easy access to the tools of mass murder.

    But let’s not go there. We will mourn the casualties the way we mourn the deaths of those in hurricanes and tornadoes. Gun violence is now a “natural” event in America, as unpredictable as the weather, and there’s nothing we can do about it except gather together in the aftermath to help the victims. Indeed, the only enduring threat these events foretell is from those who would question a culture that deifies the gun as if it were a religious symbol rather than a lethal weapon.

  • Mary Kaye

    We had a similar shooting here in Seattle a few weeks ago.   You find out very quickly that even in a supposedly impersonal big city, you are only a few degrees of separation away from the victims.  It must be even harder in Aurora.

    There was a huge outpouring of love here afterwards.  You can’t make it to have not happened, but at least there’s that reminder of love and life to hold on to.

    Aunursa, I am very sorry to hear about your brother.

  • friendly reader

     It depends on what you mean by “make this about politics.” If that means avoiding partisan finger pointing, of course we should.

    If that means avoiding looking at why this happens, why this sort of things happens, why it happens so frequently, and why it happens so much here in America and not in other places around the world… that’s irresponsible. That ignores potential future victims of this same kind of tragedy.

    That said, I feel shocked, I feel saddened, and I feel angry. I maybe we should have the conversation/debate when we’re all more settled down. I just worry that we’ll do what we usually do and forget about it all when we’re less emotional.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Oh, yeah! Multiple, uncoordinated gunfire in a crowded theatre! Good times!

  • VMink

    Pretty much how I view it.  Partisan finger pointing needs to be kept out.  I don’t consider asking ‘Why did this person do what they did, and what enabled them to do it?’ to be partisan.  Of course, I’ve been outvoted before. :(

  • VMink

    Again, goddammit: I don’t consider asking ‘why did this person do what they did and what enabled them to do it’ to be partisan so it’s something that should be said.  Thank you very much for saying I think this is a natural and inescapable thing that ‘just happens.’  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     But that’s not what’s going to happen.  It’s never what happens. 

    There isn’t going to be a calm and rational discussion about, say, what empirical evidence there is about the effects of gun control on crime, and how to use that to shape gun control policy to try to best balance public safety and individual rights.

    With the possible exception of a brief flurry of “violent movies are bad” there’s not likely to be a discussion of any other factors, either.

    Instead there’s going to be people on one side shouting “GUNS ARE EVIL!!!!!!!!” and on the other side shouting “THE GOVERNMENT IS EVIL AND WANTS TO TAKE MY GUNS!!!!!!” and nothing will happen.

    Yes, I’m cynical.   What can I say, I grew up near Columbine high school and was living there at the time, I’m not expecting things to play out differently this time.

  • friendly reader

    Because for some people, that’s exactly what they mean when they say “don’t make this political.”

    And this isn’t particularly partisan. While the GOP may be more gun-friendly overall, many Democrats are not particularly anti-gun either. It’s also entirely true that insane or evil (for lack of a better word) people will figure out how to commit massacres no matter how much you restrict guns – look at Norway almost exactly one year ago. And several years ago a man managed to kill multiple people in Japan with a hunting knife.

    But the thing is, in Norway and Japan it’s extremely uncommon. In America, where guns are easily available, you have a record like this: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf/major-shootings.pdf

    I feel terrible that this happened, and I don’t want the victims to be used as political props. But the overall pattern must be acknowledged, or this will continue to happen time and time again.

  • JonathanPelikan

    I agree with the first part: It’s just one manifestation of how broken our culture has become. We don’t have rational public debates about anything anymore. We barely even pretend to. And guns? Oh, man. And it’s quite predominantly one side’s fault that things have reached this level. See: The NRA being on precisely one of the two Gods-damned sides.

    Any time somebody fails to agree that every gun and every bullet is sacred, they are crushed without any relent until nothing remains. We can’t even begin to have a conversation on this issue because of THAT. I recall listening to Rachel Maddow in the wake of the Gabby Giffords shooting, which wasn’t all that long ago. Her argument was not ‘Guns are evil’. Sure, people believe ‘Guns are evil’ but show me the congressmen that say that. Show me the elected officials. Show me the prominent commentators, even. For every one I can show you literally fifty people for whom the mention of ‘gun control’ warrants some response about watering the fucking tree of liberty. These are the same fucks mentioned upthread whose response was ‘everybody in that theater should have been armed’, much like the fuckpipe who suggested after Gabby Giffords was shot that they deputize the Senators and make sure they were all packing.

    At least you admit BothSidesWillDoIt is cynical. Centrism? Fuck that. That can be used as an excuse for the way things are currently, like ‘the poor you will always have with you’, instead of a demand that we need to do better. I’m not saying you’re doing that at all but that’s the natural result of a Centrist-type argument.

  • Tricksterson

    “What is it with this hero-in-one’s-own-mind fantasizing that these people do when it comes to gun violence?”

    Because they can’t tell the difference between what Hollywood puts on screens big or little and reality?

    Oh, and Gohmert, for coming on like a cut rate Jerry Falwell, trying to exploit a tragedy and blaming it on this country not being “righteous” enough?  Go fuck yourself with a rotorooter.

  • Twig

    “the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled
    back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country
    under a swift sunrise.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    It can be.  Or it can be used as a way of saying you think public policy should be based on evidence and not an emotional response.

    I guess my question is:

    Are various gun control laws that are proposed based on empirical evidence?  Or are they based on knee-jerk reaction that something terrible happened with a gun, thus we must pass some sort of law involving, without considering whether the proposed laws are actually effective in reducing these sorts of crimes?

    I suppose I view it sort of like abstinence-only sex education.  In some quarters it clearly seems like a no-brainer that if you want to stop teen pregnancy, you want to stop teens from having sex and that abstinence-only is the way to do it.  But when to look at the evidence, it turns out it doesn’t work.

    The thing that frustrates me about the gun control debate is “will gun control prevent crime” is treated as an ideological question, not an empirical one.  To the extent I usually see evidence used in this argument, it’s limited to “there are other countries that have fewer guns and have less violence” from one side and “there are other countries that have as much access to guns as we do and have less violence.  (Both observations, to my knowledge, are true, and neither of them constitute a well-designed study.)

    But it IS an empirical question.  Personally, I think we should err on the side of NOT banning something without some evidence that banning it will do any good (see how well the War on Drugs worked out re: making something illegal not necessarily making all associated problems go away).  If that makes me a fuck who wants to water the fucking tree of liberty, so be it.  :shrug:

    (Incidentally, re: both sides DON’T do it.  I agree that there are more wacko conspiracy theorists in the anti-gun-control camp than the pro-gun-control camp — though as is usually the case, I think the wackos look more abundant than they are because they’re the loudest ones.  But it’s by no means the case that pro-gun-control people don’t do things like, say, calling people who disagree with them names.)

    Anyway, I’m standing down.  I’m not really up for this sort of thing at the moment.

  • britkiwi

     Empirical evidence maybe but the UK has very tight gun control laws and the murder rate is much lower and certainly the murder rate involving guns is lower still. But this is not a time for such things this is a time to have sympathy with the families who have lost loved one in this terrible event. I don’t really have the right words to express how I feel

  • GlennyG

    I don’t want to live in a country where people don’t attribute quotes properly.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There’s a limit to how much grief any one mind can hold and mine’s full up already at the moment. But regardless, this terrible news evokes no shock. I’ve been wondering when the next US gun massacre would be since the last one, and now the clock is reset for the next one. When there’s not enough will to change the same things will happen, and all one can do is idly hope that it won’t happen to you or someone you love.

  • Ursula L

    And to bring in another political issue around this event – how many of the victims have good quality health insurance, and will it cover their expenses?  

    A lot of people are going to be facing some pretty serious medical treatment.  

    A lot of people have already incurred steep medical bills, in some cases, tragically, with the victim having died when medical care couldn’t save them.  But the bills will still be there, draining the resources of their estate and leaving their families hurting financially as well as emotionally. 

    Others will face long-term treatment, perhaps permanent disability. Some young people will find that their parents are having to care for them as they recover, while the parents are also struggling to care for and support elderly grandparents.  

    Not only will we not have the serious discussion of gun control reform on a national scale, and the sort of cultural transformation in our relationship to guns that might reduce the frequency of this sort of crime, we’re not going to have the discussion about the costs that the victims of this sort of crime face, discussion of how to address the costs of illness and injury in a systematic way, the cultural transformation of our relationship with modern medicine that might help victims avoid having the damage be financial due to our culture’s failings, as well as physical and psychological due to the nature of the crime.  

    At most, there will be fund-raisers and donations to help this set of victims, at least for a little while, for this high-profile crime.  While other victims, whose cases don’t get the same national attention, suffer both from trying to pay their medical bills and from lack of care when their problems are serious but not serious enough that a hospital emergency room will provide treatment even if you can’t pay.  And there will be a lot of smug self-satisfaction from people who see the generosity that is directed towards high-profile situations, and use that as an excuse for why the larger problem isn’t a problem. 

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    So far as I can tell, no one I know personally was in that theater. But one of those bullets hit close to home regardless. I was to skate in a roller derby bout tonight that was being heavily promoted by and partially produced by a local sports radio duo — if you’re local maybe you’re familiar with Drive Time with Mac & Doog on Mile High Sports radio? Well, one of their interns is among the victims.

    The bout was canceled, of course, to be rescheduled for a later date. As I put it elsewhere, this is like an obnoxious disappointment sauce (“insult”) poured liberally over a big ol’ heap serving of Crushing Heartbreak (“injury”).

    Connections are everywhere. We are all lessened.

  • VMink

    Y’all are right; we can’t separate the ‘politics’ from the tragedy.  Because politics caused this tragedy, and politics will perpetuate this tragedy.  And we can’t get out of this cycle until we do something about the politics, where we can’t even have any sort of rational discussion without it being turned into an all-or-nothing knock-down-drag-out winner-take-all argument

    I hate this world.

  • friendly reader

    I am in favor of strict guns laws, but so long as guns are doing what they are meant to do, they are not evil.

    If a hunting rifle is killing deer, then it is not evil. It’s doing what it’s designed to do.

    If a pistol is being used to defend oneself from deadly force or by police to stop a criminal, it is not evil. It’s doing what it’s designed to do.

    If an assault rifle with a hundred rounds in the clip is used to massacre dozens of people, it is not evil. It’s doing what it’s designed to do.

    The problem is with the people who let it be sold legally to anyone who passes a basic background check, thereby allowing anyone without a record to have access to a weapon of mass destruction.

    We need to get the assault rifle ban back in place. I would love to see something as basic as that take place… even though the NRA is committed to this not happening.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Warning (self-evident): gun violence

    A gun is not evil because it’s an inanimate object.

    However, I think you’re being a bit generous with your descriptions of what different types of guns are designed to do. A pistol is not designed to help legitimate authorities stop criminals or innocent people defend themselves against attack. A pistol is designed to propel a bullet at high speed into a solid object. Whether that object is an inanimate target, the body of a person willfully engaging in criminal activity, the head of the person holding the pistol, or a child is immaterial from the design point of view.

  • friendly reader

    Oh I know that a gun’s “design” is more functional that I describe here. Hand guns cause far more accidental deaths than they prevent crime. I had to take the phone call when my mom was out that an accidental shooting had happened to children at her middle school, and it’s still a moment that haunts me (I was about 15 or 16 at the time).

    Perhaps I should have used the more teleological “purpose” rather than technological design. What’s the purpose of owning this kind of gun, in the eyes of the owner?

    It’s my poetic way of saying that some kinds of guns can be used for responsible or reasonable things. But assault rifles are designed for something that is irresponsible and unreasonable in the hands of anyone outside of a war zone. Like a pistol, they too are designed to launch a bullet through a barrel – or rather, many bullets in sequence, quickly, and without reloading.

    There is only one purpose that can serve: killing lots of people. We should not act shocked that, when they are legal, they are used for that purpose.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I think what you’re looking for is justification. How does one justify owning and/or carrying around something designed to propel a bullet at high speed into objects, including people?  The answer is probably different to how one justifies owning a weapon designed to propel hundreds of bullets into objects, including people, at high speed  in a very short period of time.

  • friendly reader

    Thanks, justification works perfectly. And yeah – there’s no justification for assault rifles, extended clips, etc. all the WMDs we sell here in the US.

  • Donalbain

    It’s OK. We know what the cause is. As always, this evil event was caused by gays, liberals and abortion.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/afa-news-director-says-liberal-churches-media-share-responsibility-colorado-shooting

  • Lori
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I… wow.

    I normally don’t like using this word, but really? The fact that people are seriously blaming gays, liberals, abortion and evolution for the violent gun deaths is frakkin’ crazy.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    The fact that people are seriously blaming gays, liberals, abortion and evolution for the violent gun deaths is frakkin’ crazy.

    Far less so than blaming that stuff for hurricanes and earthquakes, which people also do.

    Mostly what it is is narrow-focused. If my primary goal is to oppose political group X, I will tend to interpret everything that happens in terms of opposing X.

    In this spirit, when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series I was fond of claiming (tongue firmly in cheek) that this was God’s way of rewarding Massachusetts for legalizing same-sex marriage.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    In this case, I think the term “evil” is the appropriate one, not “crazy.” “Crazy” implies a lack of being able to take responsibility, a lack of the ability to plan and act rationally. These people are doing what they’re doing for rational reasons. They want to push their own agendas. They’re starting fires on purpose. They know that the same people who think restricting assault weapons ownership might be a good idea tend to also support marriage equality, women being in charge of our own bodies, and teaching science. So they start fires that we feel we have to put out, leaving us too exhausted to bring up restricting assault weapons.

    They know what they’re doing. They’re evil, not crazy. 

  • LMM22

    You know how everyone says “this is a tragedy, we shouldn’t bring politics into this.”

    Fuck that shit.

    This is an institutionalized issue — one with a hard-core, border-line evil organization championing one side of it and no one is doing anything when those policies result in massacres.

    They want to blame it on gays and abortion and evolution? Time to stop mocking them.

    Time to take the initiative. They want to make this related to their laundry list of political stuff? We make this related to the real issues.

  • JonathanPelikan

    Yes it is.

  • Jurgan

    As I think about it, I realize Fred’s post the other day sums it up for me: A lack of anger illustrates a lack of love.  And I’m angry, but not really at the shooter.  I don’t know what causes a man to do such a thing, but it’s so irrational that I can’t be angry at him, as I feel he must be a deeply troubled man.  But I’m angry at politicians who won’t even broach the subject of gun control, and I’m angry at our media who are so afraid of being called “liberal” that they won’t even suggest that as a possibility, and so I’m angry that we’re not going to have any sort of national debate over how to stop this, and so I’m angry because I know it’ll happen again.  We’re watching reruns, and no one is doing anything to stop it.  People aren’t angry enough, and nothing is going to change until they get there.  What can we do, though?

    http://i.imgur.com/AiD2L.jpg 

  • BaseDeltaZero

    But the thing is, in Norway and Japan it’s extremely uncommon. In America, where guns are easily available, you have a record like this:

    Not to quite the extent you might think – you can find a pretty long list of gun killings in Europe, if you look for it, and a longer list of non-gun killings.  Not the most reliable source, perhaps, but this [1] lists an average of 12.5 people killed in gun massacres per year in Europe, compared to America’s 10.6. When adjusted for population, it’s works out to a modestly lower rate.  They have fewer mass-murders, yes.  But this probably has more to do with the fact they have generally lower crime.  

    From what I’ve seen of the statistics, it don’t seem to so much suggest that a higher concentration of guns leads to higher crime (though, somewhat obviously, a higher concentration of guns leads to more violent crime being gun crime), as a higher concentration of squalor and general economic misery leads to crime.  Perhaps complicating the issue is the fact gun control tends to be a liberal issue, and opposition to gun control a conservative one.  So when a republican politician gets into office and goes about dismantling gun restrictions and welfare, and crime goes up… well, it’s hard to tell which one is the principal cause.

    These are the same fucks mentioned upthread whose response was ‘everybody in that theater should have been armed’, much like the fuckpipe who suggested after Gabby Giffords was shot that they deputize the Senators and make sure they were all packing.

    This is a little daft, although it is suggested in 1 that the worst massacres take place in areas civilians are not allowed to carry guns… I suspect that’s part of the case (Ft. Hood is the obvious counter example, but the perpetraitor targeted a hospital – if there was anywhere on a military base where I’d expect an absence of weaponry, it’d be a hospital).  Another part of the case is that the worst shootings are always in public areas where it’s easy to hurt a lot of people by firing blindly, and hard to shoot back without making things worse – a movie theatre, for instance, where no one would be able to see a damned thing.

    There is only one purpose that can serve: killing lots of people. We should not act shocked that, when they are legal, they are used for that purpose.

    Shooting a target at a distance.  Supression fire…
    While an assault rifle is definently made for killing people efficiently, It’s not really made for ‘killing lots of people’ per se – that’s a job for artillery, or *maaaaybe* something like a submachine gun, though it can be used that way.  But that’s a technical nitpick – make rifles, even semi-automatics.  Maybe allow specially liscenced ranges to rent ‘military grade’ weapons to those who really need to destroy encroaching watermelons at full auto… but if you ever find yourself needing an assault rifle to defend yourself or your property, something has gone beyond badly wrong.

    [1] http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/229929/gun-control-and-mass-murders/john-r-lott-jr?pg=1

    [2] http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    [3] http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm

  • Emcee, cubed

     In the “yes they can get even more vile than I thought possible” category, WBC is planning to protest a prayer vigil for the shooting victims.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/westboro-baptist-church-aurora-shooting-vigil_n_1693375.html

    A wall of love is being planned. I encourage anyone in the area who is able to attend and help out if WBC shows up, to do so. I’m sure they can use all the help they can get.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Can you, or anyone, explain to me what else anyone would use a gun for besides kinetically killing something that moves?

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Can you, or anyone, explain to me what else anyone would use a gun for besides kinetically killing something that moves?

    Kinetically destroying something that moves?  Killing something that doesn’t move?
    (Though there are things like signal/line guns)…

    Obviously, guns are weapons.  They’re made for breaking things, and no one is going to deny that… but that doesn’t mean that people don’t have a right to defend themselves, or to hunt…

  • Atwinters

    Invisible neutrino.

    As a cop myself (and for all my apparent faults) I couldn’t agree more.

    I carry a gun everywhere I go, and I do believe there may be situations where even off-duty I might be able to make a positive difference with it. That said, anyone who seriously thinks they would be able to accurately stop the threat of a man in body armor and an assault rifle in a crowded, panicked theater which was dark and filled with CS gas, using only a concealable handgun; knows nothing about tactical considerations.


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