Batman doesn't use a gun…but crazy people do

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Obviously we’ve all woken up to a national tragedy, and one that will be connected to an iconic comics figure and a triumphant comic book movie series for all time. In this post, I don’t mean to in any way diminish the needless death of the people killed and and horror of the wounded, and the survivors. My heart goes out to everyone touched by this disaster. That is story #1.

I haven’t turned on the TV yet to see what is undoubtedly the beginning of the forensic inquiry into the mind of the shooter. But, it’s unlikely that the shooter went into a random midnight movie for his rampage. For worse (there is no better) people are going to search for the connection between the films and the event. The killer used a gas canister before opening fire, and connections to the Joker are going to be made. And analyzed. Endlessly. Revelations are to come.

I’m going to try to avoid the instant analysis. A picture is going to emerge. And it’s going to be awful.

On the level that hits us all…that could have been any one of us. As I was flying home from LA last night I was jealous that the timing meant I couldn’t see the final Dark Knight film at a midnight screening. Ben and I went to see the Avengers at midnight (there was a baby in the theater then, as there was in Aurora, a three-month old baby who was wounded.) Taking infants to midnight screenings isn’t the most sensible idea in the world, but nerd couples still want to go to the movies and can’t afford a babysitter. It’s how things are.

Nerd World has become a way of life. Between this and the Twi-hard struck by a car in San Diego, it’s now become a way of death, too.

As far as the Second Amendment goes, I think it’s as relevant to today’s world as the Third Amendment. That’s the one about not allowing soldiers to be quartered in your house. When the founders drafted the Constitution, that’s what they had in mind, right up at at the top along with free speech and unreasonable search and seizures. James Holmes wan’t part of a “well regulated militia,” no matter what you tell me.

Once again, my heart goes out to everyone touched by this tragedy.

Comments

  1. Roberto Briceno says:

    Just can’t believe the shoot. The youngest was a three month old baby.

    Prayers for the families in this horrible moment.

  2. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Taking an infant to a late movie is bad parenting. When you have a kid your life isn’t completely yours anymore and the child’s health (a good night’s sleep) should not have a lower rank than seeing whatever cool new movie is out at midnight release. Not being able to wait for the home version or another night for a babysitter is just another example of spoiled first world entitlement thinking.

    Also, a gun is just as much an inanimate object as comics, movies, video games, and whatever else the reactionary media (already trying to blame Frank Miller as I type this) wants to pin this on rather than the true culprit: the guy who actually did the crime.

  3. i have no problem with folks using guns to hunt for food or to keep a species’ population from getting out of control (hunting for sport is another story), or folks having guns to defend their homes. there are too many guns available to the public that have no other sole purpose than to kill people (ak’s, gloc’s, cop-killer bullets, etc.), that are just way to easy to obtain. until we as a society decide to have a meaningful and grown up consersation about what to do about these types of weapons, sad to say, tragic incidents like this will continue. what will it take to get this conversation (and finally some action on this issue) going? we’ve already had these kind of shootings in high schools, chuches, and just about every type of business there is. do we need this to happen in a hospital, old age home, or a grade school before we get serious about this issue? enough already!

  4. @ Johnny Mnemonic: “Taking an infant to a late movie is bad parenting.”

    “Not being able to wait for the home version or another night for a babysitter is just another example of spoiled first world entitlement thinking.”

    Really? You’re going to say this right now?

  5. The second amendment is the right to bear arms, not the right to slaughter unarmed people.

    I think the second amendment is absolutely still valid, because crime has not vanished, people are no less violent than when this country was created, and people (I wouldn’t want to ever hold a gun) would like to protect their homes.

    A gun in the hands of an untrained citizen can lead to tragedy, but so can a criminal bearing an illegal weapon, barging in on a family who do not own a weapon. There are more than a few people who still breathe air today because they owned a legal firearm.

  6. @Johnny Memeonic: “Also, a gun is just as much an inanimate object as comics, movies, video games, and whatever else the reactionary media (already trying to blame Frank Miller as I type this) wants to pin this on rather than the true culprit: the guy who actually did the crime.”

    And how many people do you suppose he could have killed with a stack of comics, movies, and video games?

    I think he might have gotten as high as one. If he’d had a copy of a really big comic book — say, one of those Absolute Editions — and swung it really hard.

  7. Synsidar says:

    Psychologically, the gap between people unwilling to use deadly force and those who are is probably greater than the gap between those willing to use deadly force appropriately and those willing to use it inappropriately. Everybody has heard about people being killed over games, or arguments in bars, or an ex killing his one-time girlfriend. People who buy guns with the intention of using them to defend themselves can’t resist the desire to use deadly force when it overwhelms them. Having guns makes using deadly force much easier.

    SRS

  8. Huh? Because you own a gun, you have a big itch to use it on someone? Please, read me the facts and figures on this, because I do believe you just manufactured this conclusion out of thin air.

  9. Synsidar says:

    Please, read me the facts and figures on this, because I do believe you just manufactured this conclusion out of thin air.

    I’m not manufacturing anything–just pointing out the psychological differences between people who are ready to use deadly force and those who would shudder at the thought of actually firing a gun at someone. If someone is taught how to fight as a child, it’s probably with the expectation that he’ll be getting in fights later on and he has to know how to win them. Other people avoid fights, or threaten lawsuits or call the cops. The psychological benefits of owning a gun are probably more important to the owner than the likelihood that he’ll actually need it to save himself.

    SRS

  10. Torsten Adair says:

    It’s already begun to get complicated.

    The suspect moved to Denver to work on a Ph.D., but dropped out of school.

    His apartment is booby-trapped with explosive devices.

    His record is minimal, although something might be uncovered in San Diego.

    And while authorities say there is no link to a terrorist organization, no one is discussing the pattern of white males killing multiple people in public spaces (Columbine, Oklahoma City, Omaha).

  11. “it’s going to be awful.”

    I could not agree more. No one is quoting comics experts yet, but we know what this is, and what will come. Movies are the one place left where we can communally escape and empathize and cheer — like church or a sporting event, only completely different. But when you take that away, there is no more escape from reality. As story #8.3 goes, this will affect everything here.

    But can’t get past story #1. Those poor people — mourn them, celebrate them, for they are our own.

  12. arrowshaft says:

    Right now petty argument about gun control or bad parenting is stupid, inane comments can start up at another time . The thoughts and prayers should be with the people killed and family in this senseless tragedy.
    Tomorrow is another day and you can bitch and rant about the world and give your own views.

  13. Honestly, there are no words for this…say a prayer for those lost to us. Jesus, what a horrible, horrible thing to wake up to.

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

  14. I was up in the AM hours last night working on my book and I caught this story as it developed. Sad all around. But until more details come out I will stray from any analysis. Bottom line: it’s quite tragic, no matter what the view.

  15. AK Benjamin says:

    A message from those of us in the geek community. We feel your pain today. It truly could have been any of us in that theater last night. Giving heartfelt wishes and shout outs to the victims and their families. To quote my favorite logical Vulcan, “I grieve with thee.”

  16. Jackie Estrada says:

    Torsten: Four incidents over the course of two decades is a “pattern”? What percentage of the population is white males, for goodness sake?

  17. What-Ev says:

    “people (I wouldn’t want to ever hold a gun) would like to protect their homes.”

    “People” need to get a dog, then. “People” don’t need guns to protect their homes.

    Dare to compare the number of people killed by accidental gunshot wounds to the number of people killed by a homeowner shooting an intruder. I’m thinking column A is going to be way bigger than column B. Homes are at their greatest risk whenever the homeowner isn’t there.

    If you think that the sad tragedy of it all is what most of the country is talking about, then you’re sadly mistaken. Most people are talking about guns, movies, comics, and smart white people gone crazy. I guarantee that there’s a large number of people whose first thought was “Obama is going to use this to take our guns away. Better get to Wal Mart and stock up.” People mostly care only about what affects them and theirs. It’s being written about here because it’s comics-related, but in the interest of proper manners, this article started off with talking about sympathy for such a tragedy and whatnot. And in fairness, most people also initially react with some type of sympathetic response even if it’s just “wow, that’s fucked up,” but quickly it becomes “how does this affect me?” Pretending that it’s not true and criticizing others for skipping the formalities is only an attempt to retain the high ground with an air of superiority. I’m not saying anyone is a bad person for what they’re saying or for trying to retain that high ground. I’m just talking about human nature.

    That guy is a murderous dick, and he should get his comeuppance. On that, I think we can all agree.

  18. horatio weisfeld says:

    I can’t miss the sad, terrible irony inherent in the BLACK SWAN tragedy that has occurred here.

    First, in 1988, Warner Bros publishes Alan Moore’s Killing Joke, at the climax of which, The Joker, and then, in the last moment, Batman himself, seem to embrace the idea that the fate / world is driven by Anarchy. See word for word animated version below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0U8-JZyLg&list=UUOmMUjaCM5koM_nSJ1KVg5Q&index=6&feature=plcp

    Then, 3 years ago, TW releases The Dark Knight, at the climax of which, a bunch of poorly rendered characters seem to be acting out a paper-thin anti-thesis against The Killing Joke; refusing to destroy one another, and (or so that story tries to tell us) put the lie to Moore and The Joker’s ideas about mankind.

    So here we are three years later, and Warner is just beginning to release the new Batman film, in which, according to a promo I was reading yesterday, “..Batman battles an anarchist ..” — but the forces of Anarchy (nature?) seem no longer interested in what WB thinks or puts on screens: Anarchy (something that is NOT a political view, as Moore sees it – but an unavoidable FORCE OF NATURE) is now in the audience.

    Empiricism (aka:reality) seems to have now (very sadly) shown up WBros and its recent Batman films for what they are.

  19. >> Taking an infant to a late movie is bad parenting. When you have a kid your life isn’t completely yours anymore and the child’s health (a good night’s sleep) should not have a lower rank than seeing whatever cool new movie is out at midnight release.>>

    Bullshit. Three month old babies may not be sleeping through the night yet in the first place, and aren’t going to be watching the movie. They’re likely going to be sleeping in their mother’s lap.

  20. Scribe9 says:

    Jackie Estrada: Here is a list of 19 of the worst mass shootings worldwide: http://www.kvue.com/news/163171376.html

    17 of the 19 were committed by white males.

  21. It seems like EXACTLY the time to have a debate about gun control. We need it.

  22. “Bullshit. Three month old babies may not be sleeping through the night yet in the first place, and aren’t going to be watching the movie. They’re likely going to be sleeping in their mother’s lap.”
    Granted no one takes an incident like this into account, but as a father to a toddler the last thing I would’ve done is bring my daughter to a loud theater where I would be strolling out into a mall parking lot at 3a.m. Regardless of the child sleeping or not. Generally speaking Johnny is right. It’s simply not prudent. The risk of any crime goes up as the night goes on.
    That said it truly is tragic and horrific and my heart does go out to all the victims. Especially the children who were victims.

  23. horatio weisfeld says:

    @jay:

    I’m sure the folks @ Warner Bros are starting to think gun control a GREAT idea.

    Are you sure that gun control is really what we should all be debating — that there might not be a deeper cause at the root of things like this??

    It seems to me that the country has been voting about nothing but “guns” and “abortion” (and a couple of other social issues) for most of my life, yet politicians (who otherwise appear to take hard lines on either side of the already mentioned issues) seem to have no problem seeing eye to eye on leading our country to something VERY close to financial ruin — ripping apart the fabric of our society… how bout maybe just a little discussion in that context?

  24. “…no one is discussing the pattern of white males killing multiple people in public spaces…”

    Then again, white males aren’t the only ones who committ murder, so maybe we need to open our minds a bit.

  25. Seen on Twitter, from Brian Keene:

    “Neither less guns or more guns are the answer. What we need is greater emphasis on mental health services, both preventative and ongoing.”

  26. Joe S. Walker says:

    I wonder what the effect will be on DKR’s box office, in the long term?

  27. Jackie Estrada says:

    Scribe9:

    So, since 1966 (going back nearly 50 years) there have been 19 major shooting incidents in the WORLD (because you included Finland, Australia, Norway, and other countries) involving white males. And that’s a pattern? Not according to any statistics textbook I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a few, as an editor of college textbooks).

  28. horatio weisfeld says:

    “Neither less guns or more guns are the answer. What we need is greater emphasis on mental health services, both preventative and ongoing.”

    >>

    @Kurt Busiek:

    90% or 99.9% (??) chance that “mental health services” will turn out to haven given the “shooter” meds he stopped taking.

  29. What-Ev says:

    “Neither less guns or more guns are the answer. What we need is greater emphasis on mental health services, both preventative and ongoing.”

    Fewer guns is AN answer. An answer I’m okay with.

  30. When it comes to mental instability then the sky is the limit. No guns required. If not a gun, then home created explosives, if not that then poison in the popcorn, whatever. It’s not the tool it’s the mind behind the tool.

    We’ve seen what people can do with a hand full of box cutters and commercial airplanes. But that’s the rub, isn’t it? We often can’t see something like this coming until it’s too late.

  31. Synsidar, you are still not believable. I took martial arts for 7 years. I am not a member of an underground fight club, have never been in a street fight, and don’t even watch wrestling anymore.

  32. horatio weisfeld says:

    Fewer guns is AN answer. An answer I’m okay with.

    >>

    @What-Ev:

    So is having less Batman and/or Batman movies or any sort of movies or movie theaters… The government could run all sorts of emergency background checks on everyone who’s ever used a credit card to pay for seeing a Batman movie or paid for any sort of Batman related item – especially stuff featuring The Joker. Anyone who has ever bought any sort of Joker stuff and also has any connection to guns (or any number of other things) could be more carefully investigated.

    …I don’t think those are particularly wise answers.

  33. william F says:

    Vichus -you don’t win an argument about averages by pointing out exceptions. Sure, like you, people can have guns with no intention to use them but that’s not most people. Having guns makes using deadly force much easier. And in the US guns are much much easier than explosives, so yes they are just a tool but they’re very easy to get and use

    And as What-Ev pointed out there may be some people saved by having guns but there’s a lot more people dead because they did

  34. The Beat says:

    Jackie: You’re right about the stats…however the most notorious shooter incidents (aside from Virginia Tech) here and abroad, have been white guys. Coincidence? Maybe. Judging by the above list, Finland is the most dangerous place on earth. Something to do with depression and SAD maybe?

    Since we frown on racial profiling at The Beat can we all agree that the most notorious shooter incidents have been committed by MEN and leave it at that?

  35. Torsten Adair says:

    Perhaps not “pattern” since there never seems to be one… but there seem to be a lot of angry white males (or just angry males) doing this sort of thing, yet I don’t see the media asking if there are similarities between the many events.

    This makes the fourth incident in Colorado since 2006 involving white males:
    * Platte Canyon High School
    * New Life Church in Colorado Springs
    * Dear Creek middle school in Jefferson County

    My hometown of Omaha saw two recently:
    * Westroads Shopping Center in December 2007
    * Millard South High School in January 2011

    Geez… I don’t even recall hearing of the lone gunman attack in Binghamton, NY, in 2009.

  36. Apollo9000 says:

    I think that the discussion after a tragic event such as this should be about mental health and security in public venues.
    Hearing how the London Olympics might not have proper levels of security put public safety in my mind recently.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to any and all touched by this sad event.

  37. horatio weisfeld says:

    Sure, like you, people can have guns with no intention to use them but that’s not most people.
    >>
    @william F:

    What about Liquor? — probably about, what.. 1,000 (5,000-10,000?) times as many people commit violent acts as a result of Liqueur than “legal guns” — what should we do about that?? One guy takes a drink — and gets more relaxed — while the guy down the bar gets nasty and EVIL, goes home and stab his wife to death – but you won’t hear about it because there was only one of her, and he wasn’t dressed up as The Joker ..you want to take away everyone’s PBR?

  38. Shannon OLeary says:

    @The Beat – I will be the first to 2nd you on agreeing that ALL notorious shooting incidents have been committed by men. But how about we cast the blame not on men but on THE PATRIARCHY? The Definition of PATRIARCHY
    1
    : social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power

    Men, get fucked over in that kind of a system too…and sometimes do crazy, senseless things as a result.

  39. The Beat says:

    Nutters are always going to be violent whether its with a club a knife, a gun or an assault rifle.

    Some of them do more damage than others.

    I see that cosplay has now been banned at movie theaters. A small price to pay against 12 lives and 71 people wounded I think.

  40. Torsten Adair says:

    There’s a lot of anger percolating in this country, has been since 1994 and the Contract With America.

    Anger mixed with powerlessness is like mixing gasoline with fertilizer. It won’t immediately explode, but it is dangerous.

    Take that powerless fear, prime it with the proper mythology or folklore (Protocols of Zion, Turner Diaries, Death Wish, religious dogma) or facts and soon people start to believe the craziest things.

  41. jacob goddard says:

    The second amendment is a tricky thing. It was put in place to overthrow a tyrannical government, and stayed in place in case the common man needs to overthrow a tyrannical government again.
    Hasn’t happened yet (though some people might argue the southern cause during the civil war at the time) and we’re certainly no where near it now, but I’m not comfortable with anyone removing that protection.

    The root of this problem (i feel) is a mental health issue, though I don’t know any more facts about the situation than anyone else here.

  42. Now there are statements that he claims to be “the Joker”. Mental health issues need to be upfront and center on this.

  43. horatio weisfeld says:

    most notorious shooter incidents have been committed by MEN and leave it at that?

    >>
    @ The Beat:

    So most of the terrible violence in history has been committed by evil men — NO ARGUMENT — and 100% of the money I’ve wasted on dates was facilitated by (strictly my opinion) not so great woman — yeah- so- and ? Here’s some news (if you didn’t know it): males tend to be (ON AVERAGE – across all species) more aggressive — yeah- so- and ?

    I try to never bully anybody, EVER — you want me to also take female hormones? … or maybe the gov should make me??

  44. jacob goddard says:

    Y’know what, maybe it is time we take a long hard look at what think of as entertainment and its effect on the more mentally delicate among us.

    That being said, kids are still reading The Catcher In The Rye in school.
    Which makes me think reducing it to something as simple as “violence in the media” won’t address the actual problem.

  45. horatio weisfeld says:

    Y’know what, maybe it is time we take a long hard look at what think of as entertainment and its effect on the more mentally delicate among us.

    >>

    @jacob goddard:

    Ok: … Seems to me there was much, much more violence in the “big hollywood movies” years ago — Clint Eastwood was the top star when I was a kid — all he did was blow bloody holes in folks — and NOBODY EVER killed 12 people in a movie theatre back then.

    TV is MUCH (!!) more violent and bloody but I haven’t heard of too many people watching TV and then engaging in a lot of wholesale slaughtering + main the character on CSI Miami, the most violent + blood soaked show of all, has the same name as me .. so I gotta like it.

  46. horatio weisfeld says:

    I see that cosplay has now been banned at movie theaters. A small price to pay against 12 lives and 71 people wounded I think.
    >>

    @The Beat:
    I’m sure that will stop trouble in its tracks.

  47. horatio weisfeld says:

    I see that cosplay has now been banned at movie theaters. A small price to pay against 12 lives and 71 people wounded I think.

    >>

    @TheBeat:

    ..but what about ComicCon ??

  48. After the recent shooting in Colorado do you think current gun laws need to be changed? Vote at Nationwidevotes.com

  49. Jarod says:

    I think that blaming guns for this tragedy is just as wrong as blaming it on Batman comics. When people are determined to hurt other people they will do it. People seem to get this absurd idea that criminals/lunatics/terrorists/whatever will obey laws and regulations before committing these atrocities. People who are determined to do these kind of acts don’t care about legalities, They will find a way to hurt the people they want to hurt, if it’s with explosives, chemicals, vehicles, whatever. Blame the person who did this, not the tools they did it with.

  50. Jarod says:

    I guess he called himself the Joker. I’m kind of glad that Jerry Robinson didn’t have see this.

  51. horatio weisfeld says:

    After the recent shooting in Colorado do you think current gun laws need to be changed? Vote at Nationwidevotes.com

    >>

    @Nwovtes: The biggest terrorist in American history was a gun nut — but he used fertilizer — and he killed ten times as many people as the guy did last night .. should everybody vote on fertilizer, before (mere) guns?

  52. Dave Hartley says:

    A publicity seeking police commissioner in a city 1600 miles from Aurora says the shooter painted his hair red and claimed to be the Joker. Just like the green haired Joker in the funny books. So that must be true then.

    Bad enough some people rushing to embrace the idea that the most important thing about this awful event is that it might be a threat to comics. Being ‘glad’ that Jerry Robinson is dead and can’t see the ‘legacy’ he didn’t get own ‘tarnished’ by an as yet unconfirmed rumour really takes things to a new level of classiness. It’s right up there with the people wondering how this will affect Dark Knight’s box office.

  53. @horatio weisfeld: wow, you’re spending a lot of time taking apart any and all suggestions on how to deal with the issue of guns in this country, so i’m curious, how would you deal with the problem of mass shootings like the one that took place in colorado, and please don’t say with more guns. that’s like saying you’ll fight lung cancer by smoking more cigarettes.

  54. horatio weisfeld says:

    how to deal with the issue of guns in this country, so i’m curious, how would you deal with the problem of mass shootings like the one that took place in colorado

    >>

    @abc:

    I don’t think the problem necessarily has much (or anything) to do with guns (in and of themselves). I suspect that if this guy had not been able to get his hands on some guns – then he might have backed a truck bomb up to the theatre, and we could now have 10 times (or 20 times) as many dead… Who knows?

    Otherwise:
    I don’t think I necessarily have to provide (or necessarily has there to be) any answer (for the moment) to your (reasonable) question.

    What do you think of what I (earlier) mentioned about mass meds – or that the last Batman movie tried to make the Terrorist mass-killer intellectually appear the “bad guy” — and yet he was the only interesting/colorful character in a movie otherwise full of “boring elite” — so naturally aren’t some (disaffected) people going to want to be “just like him” (?)

  55. horatio weisfeld says:

    @Dave Hartley:

    Just like the green haired Joker in the funny books. So that must be true then.

    >>

    Yeah, ain’t that great ? People in the theatre said he had on armor and a mask — couldn’t be he was actually dressed as…maybe ..the bad guy who appears in the movie you paid (with your life) to see ?

    >>
    ‘glad’ that Jerry Robinson is dead and can’t see the ‘legacy’ he didn’t get own ‘tarnished’ by an as yet unconfirmed rumour really takes things to a new level of classiness.
    It’s right up there with the people wondering how this will affect Dark Knight’s box office.

    >>

    Local news in New York went on and on about what a tragedy — yet they couldn’t seem to help but run all the Warner promo stuff across the screen while they babbled on– pictures of, you know.. all the cool characters, in weird outfits, walking toward you, looking cool, in the movie that, don’t forget…you (dumbshits) still want to see.

    Whaaat a fuckin disgrace!

  56. @horatio weisfeld: while i agree with you (and jarod) that people that are hell bent on harming other people will always find a way to do so, it doesn’t mean we should make it easy for them to do so. and yes, i realize that in preventing crazy (or hateful) people from obtaining certain items in their quest to do harm it could turn into a slippery slope of curbing our personal and civil liberties, but there are ways to do it. example: when graffitti was becoming a huge problem in the late 70′s/ early 80′s,(at least here in nyc) spray paint was no longer allowed to be sold to minors (the main culprits of grafitti). now did this stop graffitti completely? no,but it did make it harder for vandals to get the items they needed to commit their crimes, the amount of graffitti being produced did start to slowly come down, and the law didn’t stop any adults from purchasing spray paint. there are ways we as a society can curb (and yes i know,but not completely stop) the current violence without stepping on civil liberties, it’s just gonna take some work and willingness from both sides of the issue to listen to each other, who essentially want the same thing: less victims of senseless/hateful violence.
    as for the batman movie, sorry, but i haven’t seen it yet, so i really can’t comment on it’s content.

  57. horatio weisfeld says:

    @abc:

    I can’t really argue with anything you said in the last post — it’s just that (again): My guts tells me that guns really have little or nothing to do w/ the issue here. The movie TAXI DRIVER was probably about as complete a picture as we’re ever going to see of a misfit who goes down the road of violence — do you really walk away from that movie thinking: “Boy, all that stuff surely wouldn’t have happened..if only that traveling salesman guy hadn’t sold Travis those guns”? … I ..don’t.. think so.

    Also: I haven’t seen this new and exciting Batman classic either — It was the last one that I (repeatedly) said was a total, complete and mind-numbing intellectual disgrace.

  58. What-Ev says:

    “So is having less Batman and/or Batman movies or any sort of movies or movie theaters… The government could run all sorts of emergency background checks on everyone who’s ever used a credit card to pay for seeing a Batman movie or paid for any sort of Batman related item – especially stuff featuring The Joker. Anyone who has ever bought any sort of Joker stuff and also has any connection to guns (or any number of other things) could be more carefully investigated.

    …I don’t think those are particularly wise answers.”

    I agree that all of what you suggested is unwise. Fewer guns, however, is incredibly wise.

  59. What-Ev says:

    “Since we frown on racial profiling at The Beat can we all agree that the most notorious shooter incidents have been committed by MEN and leave it at that?”

    I hope that was a joke. Not the factual nature of what you said, which is obvious, but the implication that racial profiling is frowned upon by The Beat, but gender profiling, especially targeted at men (or MEN), is just fine. And the women around here have the audacity to throw the term misogynist around all the time.

    And here’s your exception: Aileen Wuornos.

  60. What-Ev says:

    horatio, it’s obvious that you’re willing to go to great lengths to spread your gun-love, and you’re welcome to do so. However, your arguments are nothing but a prime example of a faulty comparison. Guns only exist to kill things. Unlike fertilizer, knives, and household chemicals which can be repurposed into deadly explosives, Death IS their purpose. I support a high level of personal liberty, but I draw the line at death machines. They’re unnecessary. A gun is deadly from inception, whereas PBR is only deadly during inebriation.

    Ridiculous gun proponents making skewed comparisons only makes me want to get rid of guns more because these individuals can’t even be responsible with a conversation ABOUT guns, nevermind actual gun ownership. Guns DO kill people and with minimal encouragement…and indiscriminantly, I might add. I swear, it’s like talking to a five year old that doesn’t want to let go of his/her blankie.

  61. the Dagman says:

    What I am left wondering is: Who was paying his bills?

    They say he could not find work, so he went to graduate school at his mother’s behest. So I am left to assume he was not earning any money himself and that his parents picked up the tab. Including his credit card bills.

    Over the last couple of months, he bought the guns. I could see maybe paying cash for a Glock. But two? And assault rifles aren’t cheap either. What about all the chemicals he had to have purchased for the booby-traps in his apartment the police still haven’t been able to disarm? And then there’s all the ammo purchases online. Which had to have been on a credit card. Where was this money coming from?

    His parents did not question these expenses? And his mother’s response when the media called her, she was not surprised it was her son that had unleashed this horror upon Aurora.

    So why did they not do something about this closeted psychopath they had raised? Why did they not contact the Aurora police and file a 5150 on their son to place him on an involuntary psychiatric hold for up to 72 hours so he could have been evaluated by a psychiatrist? If she was not surprised, then they had to have suspected he might do something horrific like this. And with all the guns and ammo purchased over the last couple of months, purchases that would have been listed on credit card statements, they had ample evidence to back up such a conclusion.

    This sadistic psychopath fully holds the blame for the lives he has taken and the damage he has wrought. But it appears to me his parents hold a degree of culpability for not stopping him before it came to this. His parents had a moral obligation to society to do something about it. And maybe, they could have saved their son, as well as everyone who died, if they had.

  62. Shawn Kane says:

    What happened in Aurora was a terrible thing and while I don’t consider myself “a ridiculous gun proponent” I don’t think taking guns away prevents murderers from murdering people. A week ago, Samuel Williams stopped a robbery by two armed men in a Florida internet cafe. If guns were illegal, I’d argue that only one of the three people in this article would have been unarmed.

  63. horatio weisfeld says:

    horatio, it’s obvious that you’re willing to go to great lengths to spread your gun-love, and you’re welcome to do so.

    >>

    @What-Ev:

    You don’t seem to be reading what I’m saying at all. As I stated before: have no gun love. I don’t own guns, don’t shoot guns and pay attention to pro or con gun politicians.

    I’ve given you plenty of ideas to challenge — why put words in my mouth?

    Here are more ideas, against which I will be interested to see a thoughtful attack – and bored to see a lazy (or otherwise specious) attack :

    What I do embrace, to a degree, is a bit of the logic that gun proponents put forth, in that, yeah, gun and fertilizer actually don’t kill people – people do, and the country REALLY was founded by people who clearly wanted a well armed citizenry – to be counter balance to the ever creeping fist of government.

    Maybe those sound like right wing gun nut ideas to you — because, to a degree, yeah, those ideas have been hijacked by (what some call) right-wing nuts or perhaps because you’ve been spoon fed a lot of garbage by a cross section of people, with various agendas and a bankrupt sense of fashion – but for me they are not necessarily bad ideas – or otherwise ideas I think shouldn’t be ignored, as we rush to impose new laws, because of the actions of a tiny, tiny few upon a tiny few.

    Our present society involves accepting a number of risks, one of which is the (state to state) availability of guns, the chance of which one will kill you (legal or illegal) seems to be about 1 in 40,000 in a given year, in the overall USA — another risk is the availability of strong drinks, which is legal everywhere, and the odds of which leading to your being killed in a drunk driving incident seem to be substantially higher than your being killed by a gun (certainly a legal gun) — and so what’s really the point of dwelling so much on guns? Me thinks because you hear about these (still VERY rare) high profile incidents – where as you almost never hear about any number of other things which are far more likely to kill you, on any given day. Why? Partially because gun politics (pro and con) keeps huge number of people employed on either side of the issue, as it is an easy topic around which to raise funds — as opposed to, say, America’s potential impending insolvency, which actually takes work to understand, and none of our politicians want to talk about any way — because they are mostly on the same side.

    I live in NY, where guns are all but illegal and people will continue to enjoy the illusion of security — until, for whatever reason fate brings along.. they won’t.

  64. horatio weisfeld says:

    It’s right up there with the people wondering how this will affect Dark Knight’s box office.

    >>
    @Dave Hartley:

    I think this is certainly worth talking about in the context that the people who spoon feed us “news” presently seem to have a strong vested interest in the “entertainment business.”

    Big media may go on about this shooting for a day or two– but they would otherwise seem to have vested reasons to make America forget about the whole thing as quickly as possible (AKA: Our parent company has a film devision and we don’t want to impact on revenue).

    Frankly: Overall, I find this conflict MUCH more bothersome than lone “nuts w/guns.”

    What do you think?

  65. When looking at the gun argument, should things like automatic assault rifles still be legal? I mean automatic assault rifles don’t fit anywhere in the hunting or guns for protection arguments, so why are they legal in the US?

  66. @ Horatio Westfield: I wouldn’t use TAXI DRIVER in making a pro-gun argument, considering that John Hinkley shot President Reagan to “impress” Jodie Foster, as he’d become obsessed with that movie.

    Arguing that “if he didn’t have guns, he’d have found another way” is just a strawman argument, because we’ll never know, will we? But we DO know that he was able to LEGALLY buy assault weapons, and that’s what he used to kill twelve innocent people.

    If anyone is interested, I posted my own (admittedly emotional) thoughts on my own blog: http://dinosaursinf14s.blogspot.com/2012/07/on-guns-and-violence.html

  67. @the Dagman “And his mother’s response when the media called her, she was not surprised it was her son that had unleashed this horror upon Aurora.”

    I think the media has completely misconstrued her words here. The news asked her if she was the mother of James Holmes and she replied “you have the right person.” It was a confirmation of her relationship to him, not a condemnation of his mental state.

    @Matthew Fabb “I mean automatic assault rifles don’t fit anywhere in the hunting or guns for protection arguments”

    Agree 100%. The police chief said that one of his clips unleashed 60-70 rounds in a matter of maybe one minute. And now there’s reports that the suspect bought 6000 rounds of ammunition online.

    And the knee jerk reaction to this was to add security to movie theaters and ban costumes. COSTUMES.

  68. I see some pro-gun advocates are making the straw man argument that “sensible gun restrictions” = “taking away all guns.” I don’t believe that. What I do find baffling is that you can buy an assault rifle as easily as a hunting rifle.

    Assault rifles are meant for killing as many people as quickly as possible. Just like this guy did. Can someone PLEASE explain why they need to be legal in order for me to defend my home or catch a squirrel for dinner once in a while?

    And please do not use “zombie apocalypse” in your answer.

  69. Torsten Adair says:

    It’s not difficult to purchase guns in Colorado, or in most states. If you appear to be a sane individual with no criminal record, then no one will or can prevent the purchase.

    The federal assault rifle ban lasted from 1994 to 2004. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle, using a .223 caliber bullet. The high capacity magazine clip used was also banned during that time.

    What is a bit more troubling is that nearly 7000 rounds (bullets) and multiple magazines were purchased online. The AP reports that all of his purchases were legal, and that the Colorado gun retailers complied with all regulations. Also that 50 rounds a minute could be fired from that rifle.

    His psychological profile and online trail is still a bit unclear (except for a few pictures from AdultFriendFinder). His purchases all occurred this month, and he was in the process of leaving the graduate program at the University of Colorado at Denver. Was there an inciting incident? Or was there a longer trail of foreshadowing?

  70. Heidi, one thing I’ve noticed in relation to the Second Amendment that’s on the rise is that there seems to be a general fear of the government. We saw it recently with Joe the Plumber’s ads for Congress where he’s shooting a rifle and doing a voice over blaming gun control for the Holocaust, saying that citizens were unable to defend themselves from the German government at the time.

    We also saw it with Sharron Angle’s bid for Congress and her potential “Second Amendment remedies” for the “Harry Reid problem.”

    I think there is a general fear out there of our government invading homes and taking our citizen’s rights away. I don’t understand it but I’ve read it across the board from simple Facebook posts to people running for Congress. It sounds completely made out of fear and fearing change.

  71. Shawn Kane says:

    “I see some pro-gun advocates are making the straw man argument that “sensible gun restrictions” = “taking away all guns.” I don’t believe that.”

    I don’t disagree with you but just as the pro-gun side has the “you want to take all my guns” people, the anti-gun side does want to take them all away. Simply put give some an inch and they will take a mile. Where I live guns are a common thing. I no more question why my brother has an AK-47 than he questions why I own a katana. Neither of us plan to ever use them on anyone but I train with mine for recreational purposes and he shoots his for recreation.

  72. seth hollander says:

    Yeah, Shags, you are so right there. It’s like people think the “black helicopters” are coming to make them buy health insurance… The Right Wing is pushing hysterical paranoia into the mainstream. Of course, that opinion is based on my Left Wing biases , can’t be confirmed, and will be arduously denied by anyone of Right Wing biases.
    I am totally supportive of “gun control” and particularly of Assault Rifle control, but what bugs me just as much in this case is the body armor. I know the Republicans freed the Assault Rifles for public purchase a few years ago (perhaps their Supreme Court will eventually adjucate that Assault rifles are people too, with all the attendant rights and freedoms), but I thought personal possession of/sale of body armor by/to non-Law Enforcement/Military personnel was illegal.
    What’s up with crazy-boy having body armor? His gun purchases are clean and legal due to our fucked up laws, but someone oughta go down for providing him with his armor!
    And yes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But guns ARE THE GO-TO OF CHOICE for mass-killing! Yes, bombs can do it to, but they are ALREADY ILLEGAL. This incident could have been a crazy with a knife stabbing 6-7 people before being taken into custody. But GUNS made the casualty total what it is.
    Mass-killings are not going to stop. In the face of that we-the-people will want greater efforts toward safety in public. If we don’t reduce people’s gun “rights” in the interest of public safety, we will have to reduce their other rights, i.e. “you have the right to own a guns, but you will have a huge tax burden to pay for the public security teams that strip search you every time you enter any public use area”.
    OK, I am ranting now. I will take a breath and stop.

  73. Jesse says:

    The assault rifle argument is unfortunately pointless. Assault rifles in the US are essentially neutered. The become more or less hunting rifles, they just look more menacing. The fully automatic feature is disabled. Not withstanding the high capacity clip arguement, etc. The problem is we live in a free society and because of that we have to deal with tragedies. Mass murderers have used all kinds of devices to execute their goals poison Tylenol, the impotent bastard that mailed politians Anthrax, commercial airliners. Making laws to limit what people can and cannot buy just makes you feel better. Charles Whitman killed 16 people with a Remmington that was a hunting rifle but also had both military and police versions, bolt action not automatic. I guess you could take all guns away and then “only criminals would have guns”. However the cops and military would still have them. I would go into a long list of police excessive violence, Rodney King anyone? The Fort Hood massacre, the other soldier who snapped and just killed a bunch of civilians in Afghanistan. My point here is that people are wonderful but unfortunately a few are just fucked from the word go and no amount of legislation can fix that. I guess it’s easier to blame gun owners and you can say it’s them, they are the problem they created the easy ownership environment that allowed this to happen. I would suggest they are no more responsible than American Airlines was for 9/11. The Bush administration used these same concepts to make unprecedented encroachments on personal liberties after 9/11. Easy answers are alluring and ineffective.

  74. horatio weisfeld says:

    @ Horatio Westfield: I wouldn’t use TAXI DRIVER in making a pro-gun argument, considering that John Hinkley shot President Reagan to “impress” Jodie Foster, as he’d become obsessed with that movie.

    >>

    You accept some NUT’s actions, supposedly based on his interpretation of art as having meaning ? ..That’s sort of interesting.

    Otherwise: Facts seem to be these: As the law stands now, we each have about 1 in 40,000 chance of being killed by a gun, – We can leave things as be — or we can change the law, and have to deal with whatever (BLACK SWAN) ramifications may come with our re-working the 2nd Amendment.

    Frankly, I think everybody should be a little more concerned with the potential financial calamity that is coming up in a few months. I think it reasonable to say: We all have about a 1 in 1 chance of having our lives altered by that one. ..Perhaps, a year from now, some people, who are now so worried about too many guns and the batman nut, will be clutching rifles, as they worriedly glare out of their broken condo windows.. I sure hope not.

  75. Jesse says:

    Alcohol, tobacco and cars kill more people in the US every year than guns, separately. For that matter so do illegal drugs. If we made guns illegal I am sure it would be as successful as our prohibition of drugs.

  76. horatio weisfeld says:

    Yeah.. and when one of the Republican candidates, earlier this year, actually had the guts to advocate we legalize drugs– because, as he STATED VERY CLEARLY — our use of illegal drugs is leading to untold numbers of drug killing (AKA: GUN KILLINGS) in Mexico– I didn’t here him get the slightest peep of support from the United States anti-gun gang.

    Once again… WHAT A FUCKIN DISGRACE!

  77. Why do so many other democratic countries have effective gun control?

    Is it because of our rebellious national history? The pioneer spirit fueled by Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism?

    Maybe we do make too big a deal of these mass killings. But then, we make a big deal when a plane crashes or people die in a fire, so maybe not.

  78. @ Shawn Kane “but just as the pro-gun side has the “you want to take all my guns” people, the anti-gun side does want to take them all away.”

    That’s a very one-sided blanket statement there. I’m very liberal and very anti-gun. I don’t like guns but don’t wish they were *all* taken away. I do recognize the Second Amendment of our Constitution. I just want there to be stricter restrictions. There is no need for assault weapons or large amounts of ammunition in our society. The people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights could not have foreseen the evolution of firearms 200 years in the future, yet we are sticking to their words as if they wrote them yesterday. We do very little when it comes to adapting to tragedies like this.

    And people can say that a lot of other things kill more people than guns every year but does that lessen the impact? We’re not just talking about 12 dead. We’re talking about 12 families and friends of theirs that now have to deal with this loss. We’re talking about 58 other people physically injured and their families who are now suffering with them (I think 11 are still in critical condition with one family saying their relative is now paralyzed). We’re talking about the people who escaped physical injury but will be scarred with this memory in their life. We’re talking about the police who were first on the scene to witness the outcome from this madman. And we’re talking about the family of the suspect who is also suffering on some level.

    A great quote from a New Yorker piece: “How does one argue with someone convinced that the routine massacre of our children is the price we must pay for our freedom to have guns, or rather to have guns that make us feel free?”
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/07/aurora-movie-shooting-one-more-massacre.html

  79. Do me make guns illegal, or more controlled?

    Do we make gun laws tougher, so that only the proper people (as defined by society) own guns?

  80. Jesse says:

    We live in a country that is becoming a proxy government controlled by multinational corporations. Wars are fought to protect business interests, strategic business interests, oil. Approximately, 80-90% of incarcerated Americans are imprisoned for drug related crimes. While shockingly the single largest trade show in the US is the Prison and Police industry. The same industry that attempted to write mandatory prison sentences into illegal immigration convictions not one year ago in a shameless attempt to further bloat prisons and extract more money from the system. Partnership for a Drug Free America is Philip Morris and Anhueser Bush, what irony. We sell the poor highly taxed cigarettes, alcohol and state lottery tickets and then talk about lifting them up. We foolishly worry over an impending financial crisis completely manufactured by BOTH political parties in a thinly veiled attempt to both distract you and solidify their power. Create a financial crisis from tax code you pass and implemented and then cry “Fire!”. We are running into a presidential election and all the issues are created by two parties to further establish their own power and distract you from reality. In very short order abortion will become a hot topic to further divide and distract you. The media news cycle now serves you murder, mayhem and gun control more issues that distract you and enthrall you.

  81. Skyhawk says:

    Unfortunately, we’re just going through the motions of outrage and talk about gun control. The public has to be serious in calling on their elected officials to create policies to minimize future incidents. And, there has to be political will to tell the NRA to go f- themselves. Until then nothing is going to happen.

    All events have a tipping point. I shudder to think what will it take to address this problem. Regulate does not mean taking away. Something the rw gun nuts refuses to comprehend. It’s not a one or the other proposition.

  82. >>>My point here is that people are wonderful but unfortunately a few are just fucked from the word go and no amount of legislation can fix that.

    I see no one has explained WHY we need assault rifles except that they are not really assault rifles and if you take away one gun you take them all away.

    It is perplexing to me that when it comes to gun violence in the US — which is at an outrageous level more akin to the third world than the greatest country on earth — people just throw up their hands and say “Well it’s human nature. Nothing we can do!” Except ban costumes, grab our junk when we go onto planes, make us buy auto insurance and use automobile license plates, make us get driver’s licenses, and so on.

    As the New Yorker quote above shows, the freedom to own a gun is SO IMPORTANT that we will put up with ANY AMOUNT OF DEATH AND MAYHEM TO PRESERVE IT. Because our government might turn on us at any moment.

    I quoted a column at Hullabaloo before and here’s another quote:

    When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, nobody said that we should just pray for the victims and do nothing about it. When terrorists used planes full of people as missiles and killed thousands of Americans, few suggested that it was an inevitable tragedy that shouldn't be politicized. The country took action to prevent those things from happening again. In fact, the nation went far beyond the bounds of decency and reason to do so, locking up entire races of Americans, starting needless wars and ramping up an expensive and unnecessary police surveillance state. Multiple Constitutional rights were and continue to be violated.
    If foreigners with brown skins were killing out children in movie theaters we’d be doing everything possible to stop the brown skinned people from coming to this country and getting weapons.

    But when a crazy white dude does it — a crazy white dude who was, sadly, obviously influenced by Batman movies — well…that’s just the price of freedom.

  83. OH and PS: I’m not a zero tolerance for guns type. I’ve shot rifles and I’m a pretty good shot. (My gun safety awareness is appalling however, I’ve been told.) If I lived in a remote area I would consider owning a rifle for protection from wild animals and the like. My family that lives in a remote area owns a shotgun but the only thing its ever been used for, as far as I know, is putting some dying pets out of their misery.

  84. Jesse says:

    @the beat I hear you on the assult rifles but the point is legislation would have made no difference. If there was control he could have still used a hunting rifle. He has no criminal record so he would have been sold the gun anyway. This guy made freakin’ tear gas and turned his condo into a bomb. How the heck was gun legislation going to stop him? The shocking level of gun violence in the US is ENTIRELY due to drug trafficking. Drug trafficking not mentally dysfunctional people. I am completely lost at how folks think “controlling” guns will work. Like we control cocaine? We cannot effectively control anything. Please look at the prison system look at who is in it and who benefits from it.

  85. Jarod says:

    I saw the 20/20 thing with a CGI animation recreation of the shooting. The animation showed the guy strafing the crowd with a fully-automatic machine gun. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! According to the police, it was a SEMI-automatic rifle. That means that he had to pull the trigger each time he wanted to shoot a bullet. I think that a lot of you have been misled into thinking he had some kind of machine gun. He didn’t. Those are illegal to own unless you have a special license and are extremely regulated. They said that he used a shotgun, which I think would have caused most of the deaths and injuries instead of the rifle.

  86. Jesse says:

    Also Norway has much stricter gun regulation than the US and that bastard Andres Breivik or whatever his name is killed 77 people, 69 children.

  87. @Jesse “How the heck was gun legislation going to stop him?”
    AS Torsten pointed out here http://www.comicsbeat.com/2012/07/20/batman-doesnt-use-a-gun-but-crazy-people-do/#comment-207325 , the high-volume magazine clip he used had been previously banned under the Assault Weapons Ban from 1994-2004. Not saying he wouldn’t have tried to use something else, but we can only speculate at this point. Your argument that legislation would make no difference doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Or should we just throw our hands up in the air and wait for the next massacre and act shocked and surprised when it happens?

  88. Jarod says:

    So taking a couple seconds to change clips more often would have stopped him from doing this? Give me a break.

  89. Jesse says:

    @shags. No brother I don’t think we should throw our hands up. I think we should focus on things we can fix. Little girls and boys get shot and killed in Chicago every month it’s disgusting. We pursue drug policies that literally rip families, minorities and other countries to pieces. All to support a police and prison system that lines politicians pockets. Where is the outrage of all the people in Chicago who were murdered last month. No it’s their fault for living where they live. Middle class people get killed in a movie theater and we need to make a change. Poor black people get killed in Chicago and it’s business as usual. Just say NO to drugs! Can you not see how fucked up this is? You can regulate drugs you can break the black market and stop the violence. That is something we could do and literally save thousands of lives. Or we can try and figure out when the next crazy will pop off….

  90. @Jarod “So taking a couple seconds to change clips more often would have stopped him from doing this? Give me a break.” A couple seconds could have allowed people to run away or take cover. Or he could have dropped a new clip and allowed someone to tackle him in the process. We can speculate about different scenarios all day but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

    @Jesse But what you’re saying you want to fix has absolutely no bearing on this incident whatsoever. You just keep saying there’s no way to fix it. I’d rather we at least TRY to fix this problem then just standing with our arms crossed saying it can’t be done.

  91. will naslund says:

    Kind of surprised (and frankly a little disappointed) that this anti-2nd amendment talk is still going.

    As per usual, Kurt Busiek won this thread a couple dozen posts back when he quoted that line about the Aurora shooting illustrating the weaknesses in our mental health care system, not in our gun control regime. If you want to make a liberal policy argument in the wake of this disaster, make that one — don’t regurgitate a lot of tired anti-gun rhetoric that has little basis in reality.

    Violent crime has actually declined significantly in recent years as the drive toward gun laws has lessened in intensity — and while I wouldn’t go so far as to argue that their is a causal link there, I do think that makes it clear that violent spree killings aren’t likely to be thwarted through conventional crime/gun suppression strategies. Even if you were to somehow able to preemptively deny a spree killer access to guns, they’re *exactly* the sort of person that would move right on to bombs, improvised explosives, or similar instruments of mass slaughter. Holmes clearly had both the intellectual capacity and the patience (early indicators suggest he purchased his guns and body armor over the course of weeks/months) to cobble together something equally (if not even more) deadly than a handful of guns if he’d had to.

    And, as someone else noted upthread, Norway’s spree killer was able to rack up an even high gun death body count in a country known for its draconian anti-gun laws. Where there’s a will to acquire guns for criminal purposes, there’s a way — most gun laws only make it harder for responsible, law-abiding folks to purchase weaponry.

    Additionally, all the gnashing of teeth over the expiration of the federal assault weapons ‘ban’ is also seriously misguided. Most states have equally (if not more) restrictive gun laws on the books (try getting a high capacity mag in California sometime) even as we speak.

    If Holmes had an AR-15 as reported, it was nothing more than a M-16-shaped rifle built to only fire single shots — which would likely make it markedly less lethal (given the circumstances of the Aurora shooting) than the shotgun he was also reputedly sporting. To call an AR an ‘assault rifle’ or ‘assault weapon’ is to entirely miss the point of its very existence.

    Spree killings are by their very nature, terrible tragedies, but statistically speaking the odds of dying from one are microscopically low. Most people arguing for a crackdown on guns in the wake of this debacle are being irrationally reactionary, and need to revisit the ‘liberty vs. security’ arguments they trot out when whining about the Patriot Act or TSA policies.

  92. There have been an estimated 334,168 gun deaths in the United States since 9/11.

  93. will naslund says:

    “There have been an estimated 334,168 gun deaths in the United States since 9/11.”

    That comes out to roughly 30,400 deaths a year. Drawn from a total population of roughly 308,745,538.

    In other words, the total number of gun deaths account for about .0009% of our total population.

    By contrast we lost 33,800 people to automobile accidents in 2009. I eagerly await your oh-so-earnest attempts to ban the sale and use of cars (extra points if you can work in ‘for the children!’ into the body of your plea).

    Numbers are fun and all, but they’re more fun with, you know, context and a sense of scale.

    Feel free to keep up your liberal hand-wringing though. Or read and reflect on Benjamin Franklin’s thoughts on those who prize security over liberty. Whatever floats your boat.

  94. @Shags What I am trying to say is if you look at most of the arguments save few, they are couched in the language of Democrat and Republican. That is the problem this is unfortunately going to become a gun control vs. 2nd Amendment argument. This is intentionally done to distract you from reality. If you are horribly shocked by the senseless deaths of 12 innocent people you MUST be concerned by the deaths of thousands more.
    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2012/03/drug-war-related-homicides-us-average-least-1100-year
    I don’t know Bill Conroy but thank god someone is talking about this.

  95. “I hear you on the assult rifles but the point is legislation would have made no difference. If there was control he could have still used a hunting rifle.”

    However, wouldn’t he had to reload the weapon taking him longer to shoot as many people as he did with the assault rife. Even if he had to hit the trigger ever time he fired a bullet?

    There was a shooting recently in a shopping mall in Toronto, where the gun laws are stricter. Gun laws are a lot stricter and my understanding is assault weapons are illegal. So in the Toronto shooting only 5 people were shot and one out of the five killed. So, yes stricter gun laws won’t stop the shootings, but could help lower the casualty rate.

    Meanwhile, Toronto’s biggest problem is illegal guns from the US. Approximately 70% of weapons recovered by police that were used in crimes were smuggled from the US. As it’s easier for criminals to get guns smuggled from the US with their loser laws, than to try to get their guns in Canada.

  96. Way to politicize a horrible tragedy. Just for once I’d like to have news on an event like this be ONLY about the event itself, and not have it blamed on gun rights, violent movies or comic books. The only thing that caused this tragedy was the misguided individual who walked in to that theater with the premeditated intent to cause harm.

  97. What-Ev says:

    “To call an AR an ‘assault rifle’ or ‘assault weapon’ is to entirely miss the point of its very existence”

    Not at all. Its point is death. It succeeded. Also, isn’t “assault rifle” redundant. I assume it’s to point out the difference between a rifle made to shoot game and one made to shoot people, but whether you’re assaulting a person or a possum, it’s still an assault.

    People love to talk about odds and percentages, but it’s so easy to forget that those percentages and those that beat the odds are human fucking beings. These politicians will support legislation that requires invading a woman’s vagina if she wants an abortion, but when it comes to someone touching their guns, it’s all “LIBERTY, FREEDOM, CONSTITUTION!!!!”

    I, too, grew up around guns. I’m not related to anyone that has been the victim of a gun tragedy. I’ve fired a handgun, shotgun, and rifle in my time. I wasn’t freaked out by the experience. I’m uncomfortable with the power of life and death in the palm of my hand, and I am definitely uncomfortable with the power of MY life or MY death in the palm of THEIR hand. I don’t give a crap how comfortable with it you gun nuts are nor how many gun safety courses you’ve completed/taught/watched-on-tv.

    Kurt Busiek didn’t win. Kurt Busiek doesn’t always win. You just think so because he’s Kurt Busiek and said something you agree with. Mental health is only one of a long list of things which contributed to this horrific incident, and it’s not even NUMBER 1. A crazy person can only do so much damage, but a crazy person with easy access to guns which only exist to perpetuate death can do so much more and with much less effort.

    Guns serve no purpose but to end life. I have no use for people that care more about ending life than preserving it.

  98. horatio weisfeld says:

    As per usual, Kurt Busiek won this thread a couple dozen posts back when he quoted that line about the Aurora shooting illustrating the weaknesses in our mental health care system,

    >>
    @will naslund:

    Let me get this..
    You (and Kurt.B) think the killer should have gone to see mental health services .. so that way he could likely have been prescribed/been taking even more drugs than the ones he has been revealed to have been taking?

    Otherwise:

    If some people would actually open their minds, and then take another look at:

    1) all the gun killings in the USA — and then remove all those incidents that resulted directly from people fighting over what are illegal drugs here – but are not illegal in, say, England

    And then those open minded people:

    2) Looked at all gun killings in which “prescription medications” are involved — like say the Batman movie killing on thurs night – and removed those from the list as well..

    …Then those open minded people might begin to suspect that there isn’t really as much of a “gun” problem as they once thought.

  99. horatio weisfeld says:

    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2012/03/drug-war-related-homicides-us-average-least-1100-year

    I don’t know Bill Conroy but thank god someone is talking about this.

    >>

    @Jesse:

    Actually, as I pointed out earlier, one of the Republican candidates went on and on (and on some more) about the issue, earlier this year – The brave man went about lecturing members of his party at every turn – And, unfortunately, he received absolutely no attention (forget about support) from the anti-gun movement in the USA- despite the fact that his argument was largely a morale plea to Americans to legalize drugs so as to stop gun/narco violence in Central and South America. (heard any “liberal” or “democrats” suggest anything like that lately / LOL

    After watching this I (quite sadly) concluded that the people who call themselves “anti-gun” in the USA are not concerned with preventing gun violence at all (at least in so far as it is inflicted on the poor folks south of our border) – the main agenda of the “anti-gun” movement seems to be to disagree with anything said by a “Republican” (or maybe just to be able to watch Batman with a sense of absolute security?)

    ..In places like Juárez, it’s like watching the Batman premiere in Colorado, every day and every night.

  100. horatio weisfeld says:

    What we’re discussing here may not be what a lot of other people are thinking:

    This evening, after reading the “gun debate” raging across this “comic book” board, I went to dinner with a buddy; a real working class, middle aged guy who has no interest in comic books or guns.

    Off the top I asked the guy what he thought about the Colorado shootings, and he shot back: I JUST KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING SICK ABOUT THOSE BATMAN MOVIES!

  101. Dave Hartley says:

    Preventative Mental Health Care sounds great until you ask what it means. Mandated psych evaluations in schools ? Who draws up the checklists ? What can you do about it if people do ‘tick the boxes’ ? Forced medication ? None of that’s going to go wrong or be abused, is it. How likely is it to pick up high-functioning psychopaths or psychotics ?

    The gun issue is indeed secondary, but that doesn’t make it any less obvious that some of the arguments in this thread boil down to “You can prise every other freedom from my warm, live hands, just don’t lay a finger on my penis substitute”.

  102. Synsidar says:

    As per usual, Kurt Busiek won this thread a couple dozen posts back when he quoted that line about the Aurora shooting illustrating the weaknesses in our mental health care system, not in our gun control regime.

    In a perfect world, improvements in the mental health care system might be a solution. But if you’ve followed national politics, you’ll know that Republicans generally oppose Obamacare and any meaningful reforms in the national health care system. Screenings cost money. Treatment costs money. Institutionalization costs much more. Where is the money for all that supposed to come from, aside from the basic problem of determining which people are supposed to be screened? At least some of the Republicans say that the solution to Aurora-type shootings is more citizens carrying guns.

    SRS

  103. Since I don’t live in the US, I have no vote and no real “countable” opinion.

    Preface aside, of course, the question of how a person could allegedly purchase 4 weapons in 2 days is one of the elephants in the room. (elephant gun?)

    That you can legally purchase an assault weapon at all is astonishing, since its name alone indicates it is not intended for self defence or for shooting wild turkeys.

    What a senseless waste of human life.

    It all has nothing to do with comics, movies or Batman of course, and that is the other sad coincidence: now Batman is a bad bad man.

  104. jarod says:

    Just think what could have happened if someone else in that theater had been armed. A lot of lives could have been saved.

  105. >>>Just think what could have happened if someone else in that theater had been armed. A lot of lives could have been saved.

    Because the average gun owner is trained in military response. We had dudes abandoning their own children — correct behavior isn’t always proper in a stressful situation.

    And with that, we’re done. Thanks for the civil discourse, everyone, and I mean that seriously.

    What we have learned: we live in a nation where costumes are dangerous but a gun isn’t and is in fact as useful and ordinary an object as a car to the average family. And mental health screening solves everything — even though the shooter showed NO SIGNS WHATSOEVER OF BEING A NUTTER, even by crazy shooter standards. And that every precaution to prevent such an incident in the future should be taken except preventing someone from buying 7000 rounds of ammo over the internet.