Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Tragedies and Idiotic Responses (L-o-n-g Rant Warning)

Originally written 7/20/12
          So I get up this morning, and proceed on my normal routine of eating breakfast and checking the only 3 things I basically ever look at online (email, FB, Blogger) and see a mention in my FB newsfeed about a shooting at the premier of Batman in Colorado.  Of course, this link is a bit lacking in details, so I Google it, and read like 6 different reports on the incident, all of which contain the same basics of the incident as known at the time.  My prayers go out to those in Aurora and elsewhere who are experiencing pain and loss as a result of the shooting.  As I read the heart-wrenching details of blood and gore, fear and confusion my compassion for the victims became mixed with indignation at the manner with which some details were reported and the reactions of those who spoke out in reference to the tragedy.  
          Now, I do realize that in pretty much every age such tragedies are more often than not seized upon by some one or other for some sort of gain.  This seems to be a part of human nature, but that does not mean that it is not annoying and reprehensible.  Though I personally do not think politicians of any sort need to be involved in such a tragedy at any level, I do understand how upon hearing of one, people in public office might desire to issue a statement of condolence of some sort.  It is a human desire as well so offer succor in such instances.  But for the president to say that his "administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time.  We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded." (quote taken from second to last paragraph) is a bit overreaching to me.  His administration should have nothing to do with it; yes, the F.B.I. is involved, but they would do the same job whether the administration was there or not.  There is no reason for the federal government to get involved.  None.  In case you were wondering about bias, I would be critiquing any president in office who would speak so, not just the current one.  
          It also irks me immensely when people use tragedies such as this as their soapbox for why we need gun control.  I sort of understand where many are coming from on this issue - countries with strict gun control have fewer gun related crimes.  But that does not mean that the actual crime level is lower, only that fewer guns are used.  In general, criminals feel more secure knowing that a potential victim will be unable to prevent said criminal from doing what he will.  Further, as criminals do not obey laws, banning guns does not necessarily keep them out of criminal hands.  Sure, it might make them a bit more difficult to obtain, but not impossible.  Furthermore, in countries such as Britain where there are strict limits on guns, much of the time the victims who do try to defend themselves as best they can end up charged with assault on the criminals.  There was even one report of a man who found a weapon left by a fleeing criminal on his property, brought it to the police, and then was charged with criminal possession of said weapon.  Severe gun restrictions often result in more harm than good.  Then there are those who maintain that concealed carry is the only/best solution.  Perhaps, in many situations, yes; but I"m not so sure in this situation.  In a dark theatre with panicked people, I think the chances of "friendly fire" would have been very high.  Success rate would probably have been better had a bunch of them just jumped the guy; fewer accidental casualties that way.
          Finally, my annoyances at the reporting.  It is frustrating how much focus invariably ends up on the children who are either injured or killed in tragedies, especially considering the 3 month old mentioned could have been killed legally 7 months or so ago if the mother wanted to.  Yes, I understand the deaths of the young pull at our heartstrings more than the deaths of those older, but it doesn't change the fact that 12 people are dead.  People were murdered.  Focusing on the youth strikes me as a bit utilitarian.  It is also interesting that we are called to pull together as a country when a certain number of people die tragically together, considering the number of people who die or are murdered every day.  Are we called to stand in solidarity with their loved ones?  No.  But perhaps I just don't get the national day of mourning type stuff.  
             Now for my idiotic response, unless you already consider what I had written as idiotic then this is even more so:  I wonder why no one attempted to stop him.  

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