Denver shootings

Not that I’m in any position to comment on the savage events that happened yesterday in Aurora, Colorado during the late night screening of the new Batman film, but it’s all over the news and it deserves a moment’s thought. It is awful, and I feel nothing but sympathy for the victims and their families; in a way I guess I also feel sympathy for the family of the shooter. None of their lives will ever be the same again

I doubt the irony of such an occurrence at the screening of a film about a man who dedicates his life to fighting such criminal atrocities will be lost on many. I love comics and superheroes as much as anyone, but it’s a brutal slap in the face from reality – perhaps we need a few more real heroes in the world, ones who perhaps don’t resolve violent atrocities through violence, but work at it patiently and peacefully, through empathy, education and love.

It would be interesting to hear from those in the States who have any opinions on gun ownership and usage. I guess it’s a pretty divisive issue, enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, and part of the fabric of the country, it has had a large hand in shaping the U.S. as it is today. I don’t have much of a grasp on the pro and anti-gun advocates’ arguments, so I wouldn’t presume comment on the right to own a gun, but two observations I would invite opinion on:

–  Surely guns and bullets are designed with one purpose in mind – to kill efficiently?

– Is there not a difference between being able to own a small handgun to keep in the house for self defence, and possessing a military assault rifle, with 30 round clips?

Anyway, to ensure a bit of perspective amidst it all, I guess it’s worth bearing this in mind.


About odiousghost

Successfully going from failure to failure since 1767
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6 Responses to Denver shootings

  1. Yeah, we’re about 47% crazy over here, with 3% undecided and the other half more or less normal. I think the whole gun control debate, which continues to rage along, is not the fundamental issue, though. Like so many other high-profile arguments, it’s just symptomatic of a deeper disease.

    I think this one is really about social isolation masquerading as independence: I think it comes out of America’s paradoxical ideological roots–ostensibly independence and democracy, but fed from the start by genocide, slavery and judgmental forms of Christianity like Puritanism and evangelism–combined with the sheer magnitude of land and natural resources laid open for plunder by those forces. The individual is glorified here (along with his guns and his right to pursue the mythical American Dream–whatever he thinks that is, or whatever he thinks God is telling him it is); but at what cost?

    At the very beginning, we exterminated Native cultures in which mutual long-term sustainability over thousands of years was a primary value, and grew instead a massively successful short-term economy (hundreds of years) based on exploitation. Lately, as the seemingly endless US horizon has shrunk, as economic opportunity has been outsourced, as what social structures and supports we had managed to build after the Great Depression and WWII crumble, as education and health care–including mental health care–become largely unavailable, what are we left with? It’s a mentality of self-reliance gone rogue because it has no social context, having grown from a national history of violence toward others and a modern-day epidemic of paranoia, blame, and self-justification. The individual feels cornered, and Rambo is his role model.

    Well, you asked. 🙂 That’s my off-the-cuff two cents worth.

    • odiousghost says:

      Wow – great thoughts there. I never really thought about the irony that ‘the land of the free’ was founded on, as you say, slavery and genocide –but I suppose most cultures have some pretty violent and bloody times in their pasts. I know Britain has more than it’s fair share. I suppose it’s that process of social evolution that counts
      I guess the role models a society holds up as emblematic is a big part of it too. Fortunately we don’t really have any Rambo type over here – but unfortunately, ours are more like Mr Bean…

  2. I agree with the above comment – there are far too many wannabe Rambos out there.

    I just read this which I can’t believe is true. More guns?


  3. HaLin says:

    Barbara summed it up well. Cornering and violence is in our (humans’) DNA. Looking back through the arrow of time, one might find varied manifestations of this basic impulse. Guns are, a medium. More is definitely unwelcome, which is an idealist’s wishful thinking. Given the current state of affairs, the path of least resistance is more guns, more gore, zestful mindlessness. We humans are hurtling towards extinction. The pace is accelerating and it is horridly safe to posit that destructive catalysts will gain in attention.

    Things have been going downhill, ever since we began attaching a higher value to thoughtless action over thoughtful inaction.

    In praise of idleness.


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