Friday, July 20, 2012

The Batman Shootings

The shootings at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie are sure to re-ignite the national debate over gun control. At least for a little while.

As this is written the shootings are less than nine hours old. Twelve people are known dead, with dozens of others wounded. The alleged gunman is in custody.

Reports I've seen are calling this horrific incident one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. And I suppose it is. But the sick truth is that incidents like this are all too common in the United States.

And they happen because in America, we are armed to the teeth.

Here's what I think will happen. For a brief time we'll hear from gun rights advocates arguing that if there had been an armed movie-goer present, he or she could have shot down the asshole responsible for these murders, and thereby prevented this crime from reaching the scale it did.

Gun control advocates will respond that if deadly weapons were not so readily available in the first place, then persons of unstable minds might not be able to do these terrible deeds.

Piers Morgan will devote a program to a debate featuring responsible parties from both sides of the issue.

And then the whole thing will blow over, until the next mass shooting.

This crime is striking closer to home than usual, because it happened not too far from where I live. A dozen or so years ago we were all stunned by the shootings at Columbine High School. Last night's crime is especially frightening for me because my son was among those attending the midnight opening of Batman – although at a different theater.

Shit like this will continue happening in our violent and gun-obsessed society. It is a symptom of the deep societal sickness with which we all must live. I have commented on gun violence elsewhere on this blog, in regard to the shootings in Tucson, the murder of John Lennon, and the NRA.

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