Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

When evil arises

Written By: Bob - Jul• 21•12

The man who shot up a packed theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie managed to kill 12 people and physically wounded nearly 60 more, while managing to psychologically hurt many more.

It takes a certain kind of predatory evil beyond simple mental illness to plot out such an attack. An insane person would not likely have been able to so carefully conceal his preparations, execute his attack with such grim, methodical determination, nor rig his apartment with explosives and incendiaries without immolating himself in the process. He may not have been thinking the way your or I or other normal people do, by he was not insane. He decided to be evil.

I’ve been verbally sparing with people on Twitter that claim if we had strict limitations on ammunition purchases, or more intrusive background checks, or a ban on assault rifles/magazines/shotguns/handguns/all guns, then something like this wouldn’t happen.

It seems that there are two kinds of people making these demands. There are those that are truly worried about violence and honestly think that such restrictions would in some way deter the criminally violent from being able to carry out mass casualty attacks. And there are those that have a predisposition, phobia, or politically-generated hatred of firearms that look at this event as a chance to affirm their predisposition.

The later group simply isn’t worth engaging. Those that have irrational fears of inanimate objects can’t be talked down off that ledge without professional intervention, and it matters little whether the item in question is a firearm or a blender. They are immune to reason and logic.

The former, however, I feel compelled to try to instruct and educate.

Firearms are tools, nothing more or less. Incremental restrictions chipping away at the right to bear arms have been proven ineffective repeatedly. A 100-round magazine such as that used by the shooter does not make the weapon fire any faster and as a practical matter introduces mechanical complexity into the equation, increasing the likelihood of the weapon jamming. Reducing magazine capacity means the shooter has to carry more magazines, and changing magazines takes just 1-2 seconds. The victims of the Virginia Tech shooting were just as dead when shot with the suspects 15-round magazine equipped Glock 19 as there were with the 10-round equipped Walther P-22.

Nor would a complete ban on firearms deter those cooly intent on mass murder. Neither Timothy McVeigh nor Mohamed Atta used firearms in the mass murders that made them famous, nor did  Julio González, who needed just a single-dollar’s-worth of gas. Millions were killed in concentration camps like Treblinka with nothing more complex than carbon monoxide.

Man is a brilliant animal, even the most malevolent and barbaric of us. You will never be able to pass enough laws to stop those intent on mass murder.

You can, however, ensure that laws and tools slanted in our favor so that when evil arises, citizens have the capability to end the threat as efficiently and quickly as possible.

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  1. captainfish says:

    Was there statements that the shooter had a 100-round magazine? Course, I did not realize that those magazines were sold. But, like you say, it makes no difference to genius level evil people. This person took months to plan and no one had the slightest idea. No one around him felt the lest bit nervous around him.

    He had also planned to have very loud music to start playing right at midnight while he was at the theater. It sounds as if he was hoping his neighbors or someone would open the door and set off the apartment’s explosive traps. His downstairs neighbor almost did open the door.

    Everything he had was legally purchased.

  2. Les says:

    Norway has all kinds of strict firearms laws, yet one man went on an island and killed a large number of (safely unarmed) young people. He too, planned in advance. Their answer? Well, stricter gun laws of course.
    The Israelis have shown what works.

  3. Everybody's Dad says:

    Why didn’t the exit function as one could expect in a theater?
    a. door opens and fire alarm sounds
    b. movie stops
    c. house lights come on
    Would this scenario have changed our local psycho’s target selection ya think?

    Why mess with others rights when simpler solutions exist?

    • captainfish says:

      Many theaters, built now to hold more people, need more available exits. While these are locked to prevent access from the outside, they easily allow people to exit.

      However, your query does bring up an interesting dilemma. Had the shooter left out the door and the lights come on, what would the people have done?

      Knowing people, I believe they would have sat there and griped. They would have sat there waiting for a reset as many would not have seen the person leaving through the door.

      How often do\did people remain in their seats when the old film reels broke and had to be spliced? How long did some wait before walking out to try and find someone to fix the problem? Most people stayed seated and made jokes.

  4. Brass says:

    Funny you should mention the fact that Beta-C mags can cause a jam. That, and he probably didn’t clean the protective grease from the gun after buying it.