Senseless Slaughter

Another tragic, senseless slaughter has occurred on American soil and I can’t believe how so many people, including President Obama and Mitt Romney keep side-stepping the main issue: assault weapons. I’m sure they both checked with their campaign managers to consider the repercussions of any language the NRA might find objectionable.

Obama gave a speech wherein he paid minimal lip service to the concept of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals but couldn’t find the guts to say it flat out: Assault weapons should not be in the hands of civilians and the government needs to pass new laws to make it so. And Romney said basically the same thing; we don’t need any new laws.

Twelve people died in Colorado and another 58 were wounded. I’ve heard every lame rationalization possible about how if someone wants to kill people they can always find a way, so making these weapons illegal won’t change anything. One person online even suggested a criminal could use a dump truck to commit murder if he were so inclined. I may be wrong but I doubt that a dump truck could fit through a theatre door. Another person brought an example of how someone in China murdered twelve people with a knife. Are you telling me that one person with a knife could come into a movie theatre and kill or wound seventy people?

Look, yes, there are always ways to commit murder, but some just make it a whole lot easier, and assault weapons fit into that category. We don’t let civilians buy land mines or rocket launchers or their own personal nuclear device. Wny not? Why not hide behind the constitution on these weapons? The point is: where do we draw the line?

I realize there is a certain segment of our society that will never give up their weapons. I’m fine with individuals owning a pistol or a hunting rifle and I think it’s safe to say most people would agree with this. But nobody needs a weapon that can bring about the kind of destruction we saw in Colorado. The only people who benefit from these weapons are the ones who manufacture and sell them. Personally, I’d rather see them lose a few bucks than watch innocent men, women and children gunned down.

I’m not naïve enough to think that new laws will completely eradicate this kind of slaughter, but what if it only stopped one incident? What if this kid in Colorado couldn’t have bought his weapon because he was unable find one on the streets? We’d be reading a story about a college graduate who tried to knock down a movie theatre with a dump truck and subsequently fell on his own knife, sustaining serious injuries. No other casualties were reported.

If I can use the cliché, freedom doesn’t mean you have the right to yell “fire’ in a crowded theatre. The same holds true for opening fire in one. Enough is enough.

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28 Responses to Senseless Slaughter

  1. David Panno says:

    Great points. I’m a staunch supporter of the right to own a gun. Banning assault weapons doesn’t bother me. I can’t imagine the average gun owner would really object to that. However I don’t believe that any “bans” will prevent tragedies like Aurora from happening.

    I doubt that nutbags like Holmes get their ideas from looking at pictures of guns..I do think that access to graphically violent movies, television programs and video games are much more likely to shape their twisted thinking.

    The people who produce that kind of programming claim that it’s just entertainment and doesn’t have a negative affect. I doubt that any psychologists would agree with that. Any suggestion to ban such programming brings cries of “that’s violating our free speech rights”

    Just for fun the government should suggest that all guns and all violence in movies be banned. The Hollywood chapter of the NRA would triple in size.

    So, the debate rages on. Criminals and sociopaths will always find a way to get the weapons they need to kill innocent people. Hopefully the next time they will run into a crowd whose armed and waiting for them.

    • It’s hard to say where exactly someone gets the idea to start murdering people. I’ve watched a lot of violent movies in my life and have yet to feel the urge to go on a tri-state killing spree. That being said, I think it’s a good idea to keep children from being exposed to too much violence onscreen or in video games. On the other hand, violence has always been represented in one art form or another (read Macbeth) in society. When properly presented it can serve to illuminate the human condition and in the process leave one with a healthy disgust for violence.

      In the meantime, however, we should be doing everything possible to limit the arsenals of those who want to start shooting. And I have to say, I disagree with you regarding the average gun owner’s dispensation toward assault weapons. A lot of them don’t want to give up anything, and the NRA is leading the charge. It’s the old slippery slope argument: Assault weapons today, detention camps tomorrow. Meanwhile, twelve people are dead.

  2. Norm says:

    Love the alternative scenario, Mike.

  3. Cindy Jaeger says:

    I heard that Chris Rock says bullets should cost $5,000 each. I agree. I read that Colorado has NO gun registration laws. Years ago I read that Canada got a grip on this problem – don’t remember how, but I think it was restrictions on bullets. Senseless and tragic.

    • admin says:

      Canada and the rest of the Western World all have better gun control laws than the U.S. But then, we’re way behind on a lot of stuff: health care, GMOs, etc.

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  7. Matt says:

    yeah I like the alt scenario haha Good stuff Mike
    we’re on the same page
    The “2nd amendment defenders” – what an annoying bunch of F***tards

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  15. Jim Quealy says:

    America counts for 5 percent of the world’s population .
    Americans own 50 percent of the guns
    In every state where new assault weapon LAWS were enforced,
    gun violence decreased dramatically!
    I”m just saying . . .

    • We have over 10,000 murders by guns every year. If you include suicides and accidental shootings the number goes over 20,000. Japan on the other hand has about 40. When it comes to guns, this country is insane.

  16. Jim Quealy says:

    Yes, it does seem insane!
    Oh, just one more comment in regards to the Panno Brothers Debate.
    I believe David can own guns and not want to shoot anyone and that Mike can view the most glorified movie violence and have no desire to go on a tri-state killing spree.
    Unfortunately the same can’t be said for James Holmes.

    Another mass shooting spree in Wisconson, so I guess this isn’t”t the time to be talking about it!!!

    • mike panno says:

      Well, we don’t know what movies James Holmes watched. And just to clarify: I’m not interested in glorified violence in movies. I think a lot of directors get very self-indulgent in their use of violence. Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs comes to mind (actually, all his movies), or Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. That being said, Holmes didn’t walk into the threatre and beat people to death with a movie reel; he used a semi-automatic weapon. Who knows what influences crazy people to commit murder. I say let’s not make it easy on them by making all these weapons so available.

      • Jim Quealy says:

        I couldn’t agree more about the gun issue and we don’t know what movies Holmes may have seen but I wouldn”t be surprised to hear that he watched “The Dark Knight” (great movie) 200 times and that Wade Michael Page never entered a movie theater in his life.

        • Movies have only been around for a little more than 100 years. Violence, on the other hand goes all the way back to the cave. I suspect Holmes had murder in his deranged mind long before he saw “The Dark Knight.”

    • David Panno says:

      Thank you Jim for proving my point. David Panno and the rest of the law abiding citizens can own guns and not want to shoot anyone. My point exactly. Kids who are exposed to the insane amount of violence via movies, books, video games etc. get desensitized at sometimes a very early age. As I said I’m fine with the assault weapons ban. Taking away peoples 2nd amendment rights to own a gun will never work. Do you honestly think they will abide by some gun control law. The reality is, guns are here to stay. Maybe if people on the Left would vote for harsher punishments for convicted murderers, the shooter would think twice before pulling the trigger. It seems as though we’re too concerned about the criminals rights instead of the rest of us. Just sayin

      • Nobody is talking about taking away our 2nd amendment rights. That’s what the NRA screams every time someone tries to pass a bill banning semi-automatic weapons. They use the old “slippery slope” argument: “semi-automatic weapons today, and our handguns tomorrow.” And for the record, as far as I’m concerned the punishment for murderers should be harsh.

      • Jim Quealy says:

        You are welcome, Dave!
        I did think there was merit to your argument, but I must say I don’t think getting the guns out of the hands of fictitious villains is as important as keeping them from the real ones.
        I don’t think we can say violence in our culture is a result of some single factor. Gratuitous violence in film should be considered as well as in shoot‘em up Video Games, Sensationalized News, Extreme Sports, (see extreme wrestling), Reality TV (humiliate and eliminate), Banks, Lawyers and the “Us Versus Them” mentality that is encouraged by much of that media.
        All of these things bear some responsibility, but these are all just sources of the fear, frustration, hate, or desire for fame that instigate the violence. More often than not, guns are involved in closing the deal.
        An individual living in the home of a gun owner is 5 times more likely to commit suicide than that of a household without. 52% of all suicides in the US involve guns.
        Now if someone wants to kill themselves, they can find another method if a firearm is not available. 48% did! But do we really believe that all of that other 52% would have? We can’t know for certain, so I guess we are going to believe what we want to believe or what the loudest voices around us want us to believe! But, that’s just the good people with the good guns.
        Back to the bad people and the bad guns! You have no problem with a ban on assault weapons. If most gun owners feel that way. Then, what is going on? What I can’t figure out is why congress and the president decided to let the Brady Bill expire? Why was it so important for to let the general public have easy access to AK-47s? Ronald Reagan thought it was a really important thing to do! What Happened? Why is almost everyone in government afraid to mention it?
        Should buying a gun be easier than buying a little tiny bag of weed?
        Anyway Dave, I think we need to consider all of those factors mentioned above when discussing causes for violence in society, but it seems to me, any lobbying organization that has proven to be the source of the most controlling and powerful propaganda this country has ever known is scarier and much more destructive than the artist’s freedom of expression, in its most reckless and irresponsible form, could ever hope to be, even on it’s worst day.

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