You have to have been hibernating or living in a time-warp  not to have heard the news; There’s been another mass shooting and it came a day before the 1-year anniversary of the horror in Norway. I am only going to say two things about the event itself:

  1. I grieve for those killed and wounded; Especially the two guys that died trying to protect the lives of their wife/girlfriend.
  2. Hanging’s too good for him!

What I am going to rant about today is what has transpired in the wake of Aurora, Colorado.

To put everything in perspective, let’s go 13 years back in time. Right next door to Aurora is Columbine. In 1999, two wankers – with a capital “W” – managed to kill 13 people and injure – in one way or another – 24 more. They subsequently committed suicide. In response to the horror, J.C. Penney made a bold move by banning the sale of all merchandise related to Comedy Central’s show, South Park.

It didn’t work because in 2007,  Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 others. Although Cho was clearly off his nut, he was nonetheless a legal gun-owner. As a response to the massacre, the calls – both loud and numerous – came for an end to bans of firearms from college campuses. The theory was that if enough students had been packing heat, Cho would have been despatched post-haste. There was no estimate of how many students would have been killed or wounded by the crossfire. To bolster their argument, they cited the fact that the University of Utah allows students to carry weapons on campus. I cannot speak to that environment but I can attest to the damage inflicted upon South Hall at N.C. Wesleyan by drunken students. Allowing these testosterone fueled inebriates to carry firearms is unimaginable.

In 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. I don’t remember anyone calling for a ban of firearms from military bases but there were the usual post 9-11 demands that Muslims should be deported or at least banned from military service.

Now, in 2012, we have 12 dead and 58 wounded in Aurora, Colorado. In the wake of the movie theatre massacre, some theatres and possibly theater chains have banned people from wearing costumes to movies. In response to published accounts that AMC was one of the chains instituting the ban, the management put forth that they were only banning weapons; both real and fake. We can all relax now that light-sabres won’t be allowed on the premises.

I’m not sure why anyone would want to wear a costume to a movie but the fact is, the S-F-B who perpetrated the Aurora shooting wasn’t in costume save for his joker-esque red hair. Does that mean we should ban all gingers for safety’s sake? There have also been calls for metal detectors at movie theatres. You won’t have to worry about them buzzing due to the change in your pocket because – given the price of tickets & popcorn nowadays – you won’t have any. Neither of these proposed bans would have worked in this case because the S-F-B walked in like any other fan of the Caped Crusader and then stepped out through the emergency exit to lock & load and put his gear on.

A Texas Congressman opined that the problem was that there were not enough guns in the theatre and if the movie-goers had come heavy the gunman would have quickly gunned down. In an interview, Michael Bloomberg – mayor of the New York Nanny State – said that the congressmen’s idea was remarkably stupid; One of the few times I’ve ever agreed with hizzoner.

So what do we do at this point? Gun bans? Norway has extremely strict gun laws & yet the “perp” was able to obtain the necessary weapons to do the job. In all the cases I’ve cited, the killer or killers suffered from emotional or mental instability to some degree. Locking up all people exhibiting signs of mental instability would have the knock-on effect of incarcerating most political candidates; No necessarily a bad thing considering Michele Bachman.

Whatever the solution, it definitely does not involve banning costumes from movie theatres. The solution will, however, call for common sense; A commodity in short supply nowadays.

 

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