Sunday, July 22, 2012

A moment of common sense...

Hi there, sorry that I've been missing for so long. In fact, writing this, I see I've been gone long enough that blogger's changed their layout, funny. It's not that I've run out of things to say - I've just been in self-imposed exile to work on another novel and focus on relaunching my first novel in a more organized fashion. Essentially, I'm hiding to lick my wounds. But, I had to come out and say something because two things that I'm really passionate about came together in a bad fashion and I just couldn't stay silent anymore: Gun Violence and Batman.

I'm not trying to make light of that by saying it that way, it seriously does bother me that Batman of all things became the scene of a crazed shooter. It's not because of the fact I'm a fan of Batman - it's because I'm a fan of kids. On that night in that theater, regardless of the rating of the movie or the fact it was midnight, there were going to be kids there because it was Batman. And you know what? There were.

This is Veronica Moser, 6 years old on the night some crazed gunman decked out in every weapon he could get his hands on in a couple months walked right into a theater and turned what was going to be an innocent and enjoyable event into the last moments of her life. She was there to see a movie about a hero and instead met a real life villain and a loser who couldn't deal with whatever the hell drove him over the edge. I'm not going to say his name, I'm not going to talk about what his possible motives might have been, I'm not even going to ask the stupid questions like "how could this man have gone so wrong?".

It doesn't fucking matter who this guy is because as of right now he is officially no one and hopefully he's going to stay that way for what's left of his miserable life. But you know who I do want to focus on? Ashley Moser:

This is Veronica's mother, still in critical condition the last I heard and asking about the status of her daughter. From the last report I saw...she doesn't know yet. Clinging to life, left on the verge of death by some loser with easy access to too much hardware and not enough supervision, she just wants to know if her daughter's okay. Could you blame them for not wanting to tell her what's happened? It's probably the only thing keeping her alive right now. But eventually they're going to tell her and she's going to have to go home (hopefully) and watch people talk about this event and what it means.

I was content with remaining quiet until I heard Representative Louie Gohmert from Texas say that the people in the theater were to blame for not carrying their guns into the theater. I apologize in advance to those sensitive to naughty language and, as a writer, I'm sure I could come up with something more abstract to say this. But once upon a time I was told a rather wise thing by another writer - strong words are strong words for a reason, don't ignore them, so here you have it:

Fuck you, Louie Gohmert, fuck you. That might not be polite or respectful, but there's nothing polite or respectful about blaming the victims in a situation like this. Oh, you assumed Colorado didn't have gun laws comparable to Texas? Fine. But when you're informed you're wrong about your assumption and then turn around and say they should have brought their guns to stop him, thus making it their fault? Fuck you.

I've seen and heard multiple times mow that the reason the midnight shooting at the TDKR screening happened was because there weren't enough guns there. I support the 2nd amendment because I don't think sane people should be banned from anything that doesn't bring harm to another person (such as hunting, target shooting, personal defense). But I need to say it somewhere or I'm going to explode.

Guys, there are 90 guns per 100 people in the United States, the highest number of guns per capita in the world, Colorado has concealed carry laws, the guy who attacked the place was able to purchase an AR-15, body armor and the materials required for improvised explosives freely and without restriction. The number of guns available in that region was not the problem, please stop saying that because you're just making the 2nd Amendment argument look stupid.

You want to support the 2nd Amendment? Here's something to consider: the 2nd Amendment says that a WELL REGULATED Militia is necessary to the security of the state. Right now our gun control is so lax that people on the Terror Watch list can still purchase a gun free and clear. Right now a guy can buy an AR-15 and 6,000 rounds of ammunition in a couple of months without ANYONE checking to see what he's doing with it. I'm not saying no guns for anyone, plenty of countries have guns without crazed killers running around. But let's have some common sense people!

I've heard from more than one person that "if more sane people had guns then the crazy people would get off fewer shots". Our rank in guns per capita says that's the wrong way to think about it. Sane people have guns and it's not working because sane people don't buy enough ammunition to clear a room and walk into a theater wearing body armor. So let me propose something: Let's stop worrying about sane people having guns and start worrying about the crazy ones having them. I like the idea of psyche evaluation for people who buy an assault rifle, take the guns away from the crazy people so they can't shoot the sane people. Reasonable?

It doesn't matter if you think there's a slippery slope that direction. You can't argue that more guns equal less deaths if we have more guns here than anywhere else in the world and stuff like this still happens. Protecting the 2nd Amendment means protecting people from assholes like the one that gunned down these people. Having the guns isn't doing it so find another way.

About now, I'd make a remark and leave a video to put a little spin on the end. Sometimes I tag in a music video because it punctuates what I was saying. But this feels like a time for a moment of silence to me. I'm still a nerd at heart though, so I leave you with a picture that's been going around the comic book communities for a couple days and, to me, fits the situation. I'm going back into exile for a while, nearing the time I'll start updating this regularly again, but for now, I leave you with what Veronica was expecting to find: Batman.

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