Sadly, We’ve Been Here Before


The tragedy which beset the Colorado town of Aurora Thursday night/Friday morning is unthinkable.  A gunman, as of this writing for an unknown reason, unleashes tear gas in a crowded theater setting then randomly opens fire.  Shooting people with no discretion one after the other.   I cannot imagine the horror.  The story ran chills down my spine because my own 16-year old son was at a midnight showing of the same movie premier at a similar theater here in West Virginia.

I have learned as I have aged, there’s no sense to be made of such an act.  When something like this occurs, people try and search for a root cause.  We do so because human nature tells us nobody could actually do such a horrendous act without some reason or provocation.  When we reach the inevitable conclusion there is no rational explanation–people start to fabricate one.  A myriad of psychological theories, cryptic indications from the gunman’s past, and a wave of sociological mumbo jumbo generally become mainstream discussion.  It becomes hogwash for cable news channels to chew on in the hours between media briefings.

We’ve unfortunately been here before and typically the raw emotions put law abiding gun owners in a defensive posture.  Columbine, Virginia Tech, and others are incidents which have come to be "tragedies of opportunity" among those who relish the chance to erode the Second Amendment and advance gun control legislation.   Gun owners come to expect politicians to dance on a fence until finding which direction the wind blows.  Then carefully craft a position to put them in the most favorable light.   Through this seedy process bills are crafted aimed at keeping it from ever happening again.   Again, hogwash.

The reality is and has always been regardless of how many laws are on the books if one is willing to shoot up a crowded theater, one is willing to break every law put into place to get a firearm.

Dare I suggest the thought an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit could have lessened the death toll of this tragedy?   Before dismissing my thought, consider for a moment this guy with his loose screw starts tossing tear gas then pulls his gun.  But before he can select target number one, he’s suddenly confronted by somebody in the crowd.  From their boot, pocket, or purse a law abiding American citizen produces a legal firearm and returns fire.  At the very least it would have distracted the gunman from his deadly intent–possibly long enough for others to subdue him.  

The same may have made a difference at Virginia Tech where a Virginia State trooper who saw the victims in the aftermath told me personally, "they looked like sheep lined up to be slaughtered."  

I cannot say how having armed citizens in that crowd would have played out.  There’s no way of knowing how anything will play out when the factors of insanity, panic, and raw fear are involved.  

But there is one thing for certain because it’s a proven fact.  Another layer of gun control legislation isn’t going to do anything to prevent this from ever happening again, because Aurora, Colorado was the "next time" the laws passed after previous tragedies was supposed to prevent.


Your Comments