Misplaced Focus in dialogue of gun violence in the wake of Aurora massacre

Crisis stirs action, or at least conversation.

It’s the unfortunate and tragic truth about the complacency of a society steeped in the belief that unless something really bad happens, the systems we have in place are working just fine.

The irony here, of course, is that in times of sudden tragedy or peril, cooler heads tend not to prevail, especially on cable news.

That’s why ABC made the horrible mistake of citing the Aurora shooter as a middle aged Tea Partier despite the fact that it was not only inaccurate, but irrelevant that he was affiliated with the conservative organization.

It’s also why we began the discussion about gun laws, followed by the blowback of arguing that this would be an inappropriate time to have such an argument.

Furthermore, we fought about whether or not this horrible tragedy is being politicized by having such a discussion.

Progressives will blame media violence and violent video games, mostly because they don’t believe anyone is responsible for his or her own actions.

We also have 80 years of media studies to suggest that there’s a weak correlation at best between additional aggression and violent movies or video games, much less the development of homicidal tendencies.

In fact, we are the least violent, as a country, that we’ve been in almost two generations. The violence is magnified because people in Florida can hear about a shooting in Chicago minutes after it happens.

How quickly we forget that walking the streets of New York, just 20 years ago, was something you did at your own risk.

Arguments for and against gun control tend to miss the point that when someone like James Holmes wants to murder a group of innocent people, he’s going to.

It’s rare that murderous monsters like him go to Gander Mountain to get their guns.

Most gun violence between gangs or drug dealers comes from stolen guns, contraband, or unregistered weapons (in some cases all three).

There’s discussion about Holmes’ 6,000 rounds of ammunition, but most sportsmen buy ammunition in bulk for the same reason you buy cereal or potato chips in bulk: it’s cheaper that way.

Putting caps on those types of things would only grow the illegal market for guns and ammunition.

Are there more rigorous background checks needed for certain purchases? Probably.

But let’s not blame the guns or the ammunition or the video games or the music for this crime: let’s blame the man.

Chris Rock has an old bit about the Columbine shooters and the incessant need to find out what they were listening to. His response, “Whatever happened to crazy?”

The sad reality is some people are going to do horrible, heinous things and no law will prevent them from doing it.

It’s pathetic for those who feel the need to justify it for any other reason than that Holmes was psychotic, a man whose brain chemistry had failed him and it resulted in the death of so many.

Arguments like this one, that the white male privilege perpetuated an entitlement to kill in public, are trolling, inflammatory hogwash, done by a man who is more concerned with keeping tenure at Pasadena City College than he is with actually providing insightful analysis.

I don’t know about his parents, but mine never raised me to expect that my voice be heard any louder than anyone else’s or that I belonged anywhere simply by being who I am.

If anything, my parents taught me that in order to be heard, I needed to have something worth listening to.

We can’t try to justify the actions of a lone killer.

We won’t solve mass-killings like the one in Colorado with anything simple. Furthermore, the gun violence on the streets of South Chicago or East Los Angeles dwarf the problems we have with random middle-class white dudes going on rampages.

Chicago is in the midst of one of the most violent periods in its blood-filled history.

There are far more important issues going on constantly that we refuse to address, but when one guy loses it in a mall or a movie theater, the world is coming to an end.

In some ways, it’s a positive step that these sorts of mass-killings are aberrations, but as such we ought to react to them in kind. The problems of drug violence and gang wars weigh on communities across the country every day.

Those are the issues worth facing, not worrying about what DVD’s James Holmes had in his collection.

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One thought on “Misplaced Focus in dialogue of gun violence in the wake of Aurora massacre

  1. […] the Aurora movie theater shooting happened, I wondered aloud what people thought the solution should be. I implored people to be deliberate in their thinking […]

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