The tragic shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, has become the centerpiece of the current discussions surrounding gun control laws. Many are calling for stricter laws aimed at curbing civilian access to powerful, military-grade style arms, while others are seeking more relaxed open and closed-carry laws. The contrasting views, no matter how opposed, through different means seek to achieve the same ends – the ensured safety of the public.
I came across an article on the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership website, which made me ponder my views on the current debate, and I think I came to a few conclusions. To begin with, I’d like to quote the last paragraph of the piece:
“We will find out in time what motivated this particular lunatic, but the essential lesson is that only the ARMED intended victims of a mass shooting can interrupt the shooter in time to make a difference. The same goes for government-sponsored genocides, as the Jewish people have learned too many times in history.”
Ignoring the irrelevant Holocaust plug, this particular bit has a great amount of relevance and insight. The only way the people in that movie theatre could have hoped to defend themselves was if there were someone in the audience who both possessed a capable weapon and possessed the proper training with which to use said weapon. It’s either that or metal detectors, backscatter x-ray machines, and TSA agents touching your swimsuit areas.
If this is the America I know, we’ll stand for that sort of crap in an airport, but buttered-popcorn be damned, the movie theater is where we draw the line!
Seriously, though… if it becomes necessary to show up to the theater three hours early and be fondled in order to see Man of Steel, I’m just going to stay home and pirate the film. I can literally get the same experience without all the time wasted standing in line.
Here’s the thing, folks: We all want peace and we all want safety, and what it boils down to, as it always does, is people treating each other the way they would want to be treated. You seriously think kids go off the deep-end out of the blue like this? Not a chance. It takes years of either screwed up parenting, bullying, or straight-up neglect on the part of people who are supposed to be taking an active interest in these kids’ lives – parents, teachers, counselors, social workers… the list goes on. There are warning signs that go unnoticed. There are instances where these kids are denied proper counseling or treatment. There are times when these kids are in desperate need of someone to simply listen to their issues, but the adults in their lives are either too busy or too disinterested to take an hour out of their time to stop their child from fulfilling a romanticized fantasy of bloodshed perpetuated by an entertainment news media that turns these sickos into celebrities in the eyes of teenagers who’ve been on the receiving end of just one-too-many schoolyard beatings.
You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned the suspect’s name in this article, and there’s a good reason for that.
I honestly couldn’t even tell you the kid’s name as I’ve made a point not to remember it, or his face for that matter. The suffering that was brought upon the victims and their families should be remembered; however, the kid who thought he could achieve notoriety by slaughtering innocent people in a movie theater should not be granted his wish.
Let’s stop making martyrs out of murderers. Let’s start fostering a community where kids don’t grow up wanting to murder their classmates, or anyone else for that matter. Let’s start taking responsibility for the lives of others. Let’s stop and pay attention. That’s all it takes.