Same old same old…

Well, unfortunately, “concealed & Crazy” and “Wounded Madhouse” blog entries are quite relevent owing to the ghastly shooting rampage in a movie theater this past weekend. Another notch on the wall of history that counts as an act of evil. Also, an assault weapon, among other guns, was used, rekindling the debate on banning such weapons. 12 dead. As I said in an earlier posting, evil can’t really be quantified, though the body counts speak of orders of magnitude. For those that feel numbers do count, literally, well then the 20th century produced three mass murderers on steroids in Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Everyone else is a piker by comparison. But evil is evil, writ large or small in scope. As far as James Holmes goes, he hasn’t revealed his motivation for manning a Kevlar vest and packing the firepower (and gas canisters) that turned a superhero fantasy into a super shitty reality. Stay tuned.

As for the logic behind making it legal (James broke no laws, apparently, until he started shooting) to own an assault weapon, well, I’m unable to find any. Why would anyone need an assault weapon who isn’t police/military, etc? Who needs an ammo clip that holds 300 rounds? Is someone going hunting for an entire clan of grizzlies? But don’t hold your breath waiting for congress to reform our gun laws. The NRA owns congress. Nothing will change. Money talks. Remember, this is the country that, even after Ronald Reagan was shot in a failed assassination attempt in 1981, refused to promote harsher restrictions on the manufacture and sales of even cheap handguns. Now, the NRA true believers, as well as more and more non-NRA member citizens demand the right to not only own a gun, but to carry one around in public. The “logic” goes that when that thug whips out a pistol, the superhero citizen will cap the mofo, right? Well, in the James Holmes scenario, our pistol-packing freelance fearless guardian of the public would have needed to be attending the Batman movie with his/her own gas mask, too. Absent his/her own Kevlar vest, and with assault weapon fire spraying around, good luck, Citizen Avenger.  Or even if half the crowd in that packed auditorium was packing heat, what odds would they have had of finding Holmes amid the fog bomb curtain and shooting at that target? Odds are it would have just increased the body count.

So, evil, which operates 24/7 is hard to repress given its seeming inherent character trait of mankind . And we are a gun crazy, contemporary culture that is convinced that the more guns there are, the safer we are. Sure. Is Holmes crazy? The fact that he picked an ultra violent movie like Batman, and waited for one of its loud shoot-em-up scenes to start before he commenced firing would strongly point to a rather rational mind, not one that is no longer the true possession of its owner. He bought the guns & ammo legally (now that’s crazy). It doesn’t matter if he’s looney tunes or just a cold-blooded young man who’s really, really pissed off. The fact that, whatever his mind-set, he had legal access to an arsenal points to a reality that too often plays out as a nightmare on innocent people who pay the price for such irresponsible legislation.

There will always be evil acts to recoil from, to ponder and process. There but for the grace of… Regrettably, we live in a country with a shoot-em up mentality. “We”re gonna smoke ’em out!” said George Bush. Someone, at this very moment, is likely buying another arsenal. Gotta play it safe. Can’t run low on ammo while defending that 2nd Amendment from misguided pacifists…

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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