Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Dark Night

News about Friday’s shooting at the midnight showing of Batman has been constant on our 24 hour news cycle.  The untimely death of twelve and the numerous injuries are such a tragedy even more so when you think these people were just being “regular” and going to the movies. 

After reading some of the initial reports and subsequent articles a few thoughts started spinning in my head. 

As so many regularly allege, the 24 hour news cycle is the downfall of real news.  I can’t tell you how many reports from Aurora I’ve read in the last 36 hours that have reported incorrect information and had incorrect or poor writing and grammar – like rather than doing any fact checking or editing at all it was posted just to be first.  In this age of the internet and 24 hour news shows we are accustomed to finding out our information immediately.  However, a few times over the last day while looking for information on Colorado I had pangs of nostalgia about waiting around for the 6:00 news program or until the paper arrived the next morning AFTER they took the time to gather their facts before reporting. 

The stories all reported the number of children that were in the theater at this midnight show - 3 months old, 4 months old, 6 years, 9 years old.  Why on earth were all those kids at a midnight showing of a loud, dark, adult-themed, violent movie?  Certainly the parents had no idea what would happen once they got there, and it could have happen anywhere at anytime.  They can not be blamed for a crazy person showing up and doing awful things.  However, there is something wrong when parents forget they are parents and expose their kids to things made for adults.  Our kids have (hopefully) a very long time to be adults.  They don’t need to have it forced upon them too early by their parents.

In one of the stories I read yesterday, this one caught my attention…
Suspected Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told a news conference this evening.

"All the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally, all the weapons he possessed, he possessed legally, all the clips he possessed, he possessed legally," an emotional Oates said.

The chief declined to say whether the weapons were automatic or semi-automatic, but "he could have gotten off 50 to 60 rounds, even if it was semi-automatic, within one minute," Oates said

I haven’t a clue what it takes to buy a gun and/or ammunition, but it seems like the amount purchased by the shooter was excessive.  And the NRA says that we shouldn’t politicize this recent tragedy.  Really?  It’s probably a pretty good time (or after any of the other gun-related tragedies in recent years) to look at what the heck is going on in this country.  The number of gun-related deaths in the US is more than the rest of the developed nations’ combined. 

The NRA spouts we need guns to keep this a civilized society.  It’s interesting that during this terrible tragedy not one of the movie goers pulled out a weapon for protection.  The only person who had a gun in the theater was the insane one. 

Let’s face it, automatic weapons aren’t usually purchased for weekend hunting or protection by responsible gun owners.  They are purchased for violent crimes.  Of course, in a gun culture, it won’t stop all gun deaths, but if it would limit them wouldn’t it be worth it?


  1. Every time this happens the NRA gets up in arms...guns don't kill people...People kill people. It needs to be politicized, assault weapons need to be banned, and used only by the military. I know it won't happen in my lifetime, but this will happen my lifetime.

    1. Sadly, I think you're right. Those staunch 2nd amendment supporters preach that it's what the authors intended, but let's be serious. The kinds of weapons available now couldn't even have been imagined when the Bill of Rights was written. I know the lobbyists have so much to do with the government's apathy on this matter. And that's just as frustrating.

  2. Looking in from well outside and so having little oar in the water. What amazes us is not the gun ownership or even the home posession. There are loads of places with that. No, it's the pure volume that can be held at the home. It is ludicrous that Holmes could accumulate enough legal weaponry that he could turn his apt' into a mine.
    If a lassy/fellow needed for some reason to own twenty firearms why is there not an arsenal in every town where nineteen of them could remain so that it's a one in one out policy. A bit like a library.

    I do feel there is about 20 of legs in the present gun ownership methods. What I've read about the NRA and the like, they would seem to have decided they are in a siege, having taken a position and refusing to budge. The problem with such a situation is that American history is not on their side. And with each and every pronouncement from nutters that you wouldn't put in charge of a golf buggy they are losing support.

    Oh I know there are communities that have historic reasons for having a strong gun ownership. I'm thinking the Mormons here. And as plausible as is their reasoning. What would be the reaction should the Irish collectively decide they need arms. Or the African/Americans. Then you've the Hispanics.

    Anyhow, you have my sympathy.

    1. The size of this guy's aresenal is astounding and is exactly my point. If we're not going to do anything about who can purchase a gun, then there has got to be some safeguards put into place. What normal person needs an automatic weapon to keep in their bedside table? More than one? Why weren't authorities notified of this kind of purchase?
      I don't know, I hope you are right about the NRA eventually losing its ground. I would think it would happen sooner than later with what's been going down.

      And can you even IMAGINE if the Latino community decided take up arms? More likely than not these same gun supporters are the ones who wanted to build a double wall along our southern borders. They would be more terrified of this population than they already are.

  3. I don't know why people would bring children to a movie that was not rated for children...and at midnight, really? Yet an infant just a few months old, aside from the noise, would not understand and most likely sleep and nurse through the movie and not be bothered- unless a psycho with guns and a mission showed up. Apparently a troubled young man whose mother was just waiting for when he would explode.

    As for ammo- when I worked at a sporting goods store in high school/college certain ammo's were limited to an ammount that could be purchases and driver's license numbers were recorded. The internet must have changed all of that.

    So very, very sad.

    1. I'm thinking that the laws for buying guns and ammo must be by state??? I remember seeing a Michael Moore movie where he went to different walmarts around the country and bought shotguns and bullets. I don't think we can do that here, or maybe I've just never been in the gun section of Walmart.

    2. I don't know if Moore is the all that. His methods are suspect to my mind.
      A countrywide corp' in a country as huge as yours is bound to toss up some downright weird bits. There just is difference between Idaho and say White Plains. And Seattle and Lubbock, well.
      Still, who needs assault firearms.

      Did you realise it was almost to the day that that lunatic went nuts in Oslo on those kids.

    3. Yes! I saw that on the news today. A bit eerie isn't it.

  4. Why are assault weapons protected as fiercely as our freedom in America? What is the need for average citizen to even own such a horrific machine?

  5. Seems to me there should be a way to track what is purchased as well. Wouldn't that ammount of ammunition be a red flag to someone? You are absolutely right...not one person had a gun to defend themselves. This isn't the wild west.
    I tell you Kim, if we could rule the world...

  6. Exactly! Not that this would have prevented tragedy, but how about one gun per person, and a limited amount of ammo?

    They say guns don't kill people--people kill people. However one person could not kill and injure so many people with one handgun and just a few rounds.

  7. As a journalist (day job) I have to tell you how much it sucks. I loved working for a weekly because we could take our time and do it right. At a daily, quality control goes out the window b/c they're desperate to beat the TV and radio and tweet and throw stuff up on the site. I've realized, esp. w/ writing books, that the 24/7 writing publication style is crappy as hell. Editing has it's place, esp. in a situation like this. It's an amplified game of telephone.

    1. I bet you really saw that with a weekly! The immediate news that we get is convenient, but I agree with you that it's pretty crappy which makes it hard to know what's even correct anymore.