EDIT: I changed the number of casualties from 13 to 12. An earlier report I saw had a 3 month old having died, but the 3 month old has been released from the hospital.
Last night in Aurora, Colorado a man (who I'm not going to name and give him any more fame that he may or may not have been seeking) opened fire on a theater that was playing The Dark Knight rises, with multiple guns, body armor and tear gas, and by the time he was done he had wounded 50+ people and killed 12. The man has been captured, and in the next few days and weeks at least there will be much analyzing of what he did and what his motives were.
There will also be much handwringing about the gun culture in our country and what, if anything, should be done about the idea of gun regulations. Now some would point out that "Hey, this guy legally purchased his FOUR weapons that he used -- including a handgun a rifle and an AR-15 (which incidentally was illegal under the assault weapons ban until 2004 when the congress reversed it)." as if that somehow negates any criticism whatsoever. As if any criticism of his legally purchasing the weapons means I'm virulently anti-gun and I must not want anyone to have guns.
The problem, for me at least, is not that people can legally purchase guns. I'm not a fan of guns, but I don't have a problem with people who buy guns for self defense. I think people should be able to defend their homes and their families from criminals who would seek to do them harm.
I understand that there are a lot of hunters out there, and I stipulate that while I don't like hunting or care for it, there are many who do. As long as they don't give me the bullshit historically inaccurate idea of "Hunting is a great sport with great tradition" or whatever, I'm fine. Hunting used to be about survival. It used to be about making it through life by hunting for food and clothing. You kill only what you needed to eat and use for clothing, and killing animals for "Sport" was looked down on.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
My problem comes in with people getting guns with no background checks, my problems are these loopholes such as gun shows where someone can just pay cash for a gun with no paperwork, no background check, no waiting period, nothing. [ED NOTE: Yes, I realize that not ALL people who sell guns at Gun Shows are illegally selling guns without getting proper documentation or background checks done. My issue is with those that are clearly selling guns to people who they should not.] My problems come with organizations like the NRA that insist that even people on the terrorist watch list should not have their right to have guns removed.
They want to prevent ANYONE from being prohibited from buying a gun. Mental health history sketchy? Who cares? Let them buy a gun! They have done their damndest to prevent any sort of regulation on the part of the gun industry. Sure, why not allow people to buy clips that hold 35 rounds. Who couldn't use that in everyday use right? Cause who's got time to reload every 8 or 9 shots?
All the while they keep smearing the President saying how he's going to take everyone's guns away when this guy hasn't done a damned thing the entire time he's been President. this guy has been the gun industry's best friend and they continue to fearmonger.
There have only been two court cases that have involved gun rights in the President's tenure and both have given MORE gun rights, including carrying guns in a state park and hand guns being legal in Chicago. President Obama was given 7 "F's" on their report card on Gun issues by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence when it came to standing up to the Gun Lobby in his first year on the job.
But those who are dead set on having as many guns as possible will continue to fight against this bullshit idea that "someone" is coming to get their guns.
And trust me on this, even though the gun industry needs some serious regulations on it, that will never happen. The gun thug industry will always be able to come up with ways to allow anyone in the country to come up with the weapons needed to massacre as many people as possible, and the NRA will just post up on twitter "Happy shooting!" like they did this morning when they "didn't know" about the Aurora shooting.
And spare me the nonsense about how "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." If he didn't have those guns, how many people would he have killed? Say he had a machete. Think 50+ people would have been injured and 12 would have been killed?
Get outta here with that bullshit.
However there are a lot of conservatives and gun owners that point to the old chestnut "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and will be sarcastically asking "where's the knife control laws, because people stab people all the time. You just said that someone could kill people with a machete."
According to the Census for 2011 in regards to murder victims and their causes of death and circumstances surrounding them, from 2000-2008 they have it mapped out how homicides have been comitted, and broken it down into specific categories.
Here is the summation: 66% of all homicides have been gun related (handgun, rifle, shotgun, etc) at a total of 86,112. Meanwhile ALL OTHER FORMS of weapons/methods such as knives, blunt objects, drowning, asphyxiation, poison, explosives, etc make up only 34% or 43,629.
Now while there's a good deal of homicides committed by those with knives and whatnot, that still leaves 86,112 people that have died by gun violence. And that's not all criminals killing each other, or someone being shot by the cops, etc. There's accidental gun deaths such as when a kid finds his dad's gun and accidentally shoots himself or a friend, or a family is arguing, and one of them grabs the gun and threatens the other and it goes off.
There needs to be serious regulations when it comes to who is able to get a gun. I know a lot of people who have guns who shouldn't be allowed to own a pocket knife much less a gun.
My prayers are with those who have lost their lives and loved ones in this senseless tragedy. I hope those who have survived will be able to find peace, and I hope the person who did this will spend the rest of their lives in prison with no possibility of ever getting out.
I also pray that one day we will get to a point in our society where it is not so easy to simply walk into a theater with full body armor and four weapons and tear gas and go on a rampage.
When we wise up to the knowledge that there is NO legitimate reason why a non criminal needs assault weapons, or extended bullet clips, and enact bans on them once again.