We can’t fix ourselves, but we can mourn ourselves

Along with John Stewart, the venerable parody publication The Onion knows how to get right into the rotten, bankrupt heart of some stories – as they’ve done in this case, pointing to the real horror of yet another gun massacre.

WASHINGTON—Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold.

While admitting they “absolutely hate” the fact they have this knowledge, the nation’s 300 million citizens told reporters they can pinpoint down to the hour when the first candlelight vigil will be held, roughly how many people will attend, how many times the county sheriff will address the media in the coming weeks, and when the town-wide memorial service will be held.

Additionally, sources nationwide took no pleasure in confirming that some sort of video recording, written material, or disturbing photographs made by the shooter will be surfacing in about an hour or two.

“I hate to say it, but we as Americans are basically experts at this kind of thing by now,” said 45-year-old market analyst Jared Gerson, adding that the number of media images of Aurora, CO citizens crying and looking shocked is “pretty much right in line with where it usually is at this point.” “The calls not to politicize the tragedy should be starting in an hour, but by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow the issue will have been politicized. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter’s high school classmate is interviewed within 45 minutes. . . .

. . . “Oh, and here’s another thing I hate I know,” Brennen continued, “In exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never happened.

It goes on. In the same issue (today’s), they also bring us this story,

NRA: ‘Please Try To Remember All The Wonderful Things Guns Do For Us Every Day’

“While the events of last night are truly tragic, I sincerely hope that no one at any point forgets how truly terrific guns are, and how they enrich all of our lives on a regular basis,” said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, adding that the nation’s citizens must open up their hearts in this time of mourning and realize how simply unlivable a life without gun ownership would be.

62 responses to “We can’t fix ourselves, but we can mourn ourselves

  1. Brilliant piece. I (like every other blogger), posted on this too: http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2012/07/20/unexpected/

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  2. Perfect.

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  3. Unless you planned on totally disarming the American population, no gun control laws could have prevented this rampage. The sicko in question planned this for a long time and dotted all of his “I’s” and crossed all of his “T’s”.

    Likewise, the people claiming that armed citizens at the theater could have stopped this rampage are ignoring or are ignorant of the fact that the sicko was wearing body armor and all they would have done is add more lead to the air with little effect unless they were very skilled or very lucky.

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    • Until we ban assault weapons, we abet stuff like this. Your’re right jonolan, we can’t stop a determined criminal, but we are complicit unless his actions are illegal and punishable. So if he hadn’t hit anyone, what would the charge be? Diturbing the peacc? Attempted manslaughter?

      He wouldn’t have been able to do as much damage without that type of weapon. Had it not jammed, he could well have killed 20 or 30. No way would he get that many with pistols or shotguns.

      Drum magazine indeed. Rat-a-tat-tat.

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      • If he hadn’t hit anyone he’d still be up on enough charges to give us a good chance of his never seeing daylight again, Moe. 70-some counts of attempted murder plus a commensurate number of counts of assault with a deadly weapon come to mind as a logical start.

        He wanted to do this and all the laws in the world would have failed to make a single bit of positive difference. They might, if they were strict enough, even made a negative difference because, if you’re buying on the blackmarket why not go full auto.

        As for the bodycount – Fort Hood? Just a pistol there and an “impressive” take-down count. If the Aurora freak had carried two, three, or four such pistols (FN;s Five-seveN), he would have done at least as much damage.

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  4. Jonolan,

    How easy is it to get tear gas ?

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    • Very, very easy, Alan. You can buy 6oz tear gas grenades online for under $20.

      You can also, with little hassle, even purchase a 37mm grenade launcher (single, six, or twelve shot) and the rocket-propelled grenades to go with it or the reloading supplies to make your own.

      Note to the gun grabbers here – these are not even classed as firearms, so your average gun control gambit wouldn’t even apply.

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  5. “All the wonderful things guns do for us everyday.” They are without shame.
    When I went to the Million Mom March in Washington, I thought I was witnessing how our world was about to change. It didn’t.
    Then Columbine happened and I thought there would be a sea change. That didn’t happen either. God help us.

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  6. We’re back to the “common sense” gun control blather.This guy was squeaky clean. He wasn’t in trouble with the law ever. He planned this thing for God only knows why. Obama and the rest of the phonies will don sad faces and make comforting speeches and in reality they don’t give a rat’s ass about the victims .. unless they can benefit politically from it. I would be insulted if Obama called me if one of my loved ones was a victim of this tragedy.
    A person bent on killing a bunch of people at a movie theater could just as easily have poured an accelerant in key areas and set the place on fire. What then? Ban matches and gasoline?
    A guy in Japan went into a school with a knife and killed something like 13 kids … So ban knives?
    The day we allow the government to confiscate firearms from the citizenry we’re finished as a free society. Like it or not, liberty and freedom from tyranny for America was fought and won by men with guns.

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    • (The day we allow the government to confiscate firearms from the citizenry we’re finished as a free society)

      Like Western and Europe? Like Asia? The Soviet Union wasn’t brought down with guns; it was labor unions and protest marches.

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      • Precisely. Once again … regardless, without guns the 4th of July wouldn’t be celebrated here in America … well, celebrated by those that appreciate what it means.
        The Soviet Union??
        Okay, while we’re gettin’ off track here how about the poor woman that died after the abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic?
        I know, it’s “unfortunate” … for some reason I don’t see anyone calling for more restrictions or regulations on abortion…

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        • [Okay, while we’re gettin’ off track here how about the poor woman that died after the abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic?]

          Steve, abortion is a medical procedure and women die – not often, but it happens. Many more die in childbirth.

          [I know, it’s “unfortunate” … for some reason I don’t see anyone calling for more restrictions or regulations on abortion…]

          Seriously? You’re kidding,, Steve, right?

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          • I was being facetious Moe. But now that I think about it, isn’t it fair to say had there been more regulation and oversight of the abortion clinic perhaps that young lady would be alive?

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            • Steve – I think we always need to remember – and I don’t mean to be glib here – that ‘shit happens’. Much like the kid in Aurora, the lady who died in an abortion or the guy who gets hit by a truck – things happen. All we can do wtih laws is try to limit the opportunity and mitiage it.

              We can’t stop stuff happening. But we can do what we can to minimize. I don’t htink non military, non police should be allowed to purchase assault weapons. Might this guy have gotten them anyway? Maybe. Maybe not. But we still have an obligation to try to protect the rest of the population as best we can.

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              • I really need to do a bit more spell checking! 🙂

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                • Not to worry about spell checking my dear. I agree with you Moe as far as “shit happening”. Yes, it does.
                  You know I’m going to disagree with you on the “assault” weapons thing. What you’re referring to are simply glorified hunting rifles. And the second amendment does not mention “hunting” or target shooting. They are NOT fully automatic “machine guns” like Bill O’Reilly lamely and ignorantly claimed. ALL can be used to kill people. I think it’s a mistake to prohibit any law abiding U.S. citizen after passing the background checks that are already in place from buying the weapon of his/her choice.
                  I mean, why do we make it so easy for 16 year old kids to drive cars? Jeez, young people are involved in more accidents than any age group and it’s tragic when those accidents happen. There are a hell of a lot more people killed in auto accidents than by people with guns.
                  I’ve been to many, many gun shows and have bought scores of handguns and at least one “assault” weapon and believe me, you can’t just walk in and purchase ANY gun from a FFA licensed gun dealer without it being reported to the federal government. Period. And you know I live in Texas.
                  So we disagree on this a little. You’re still my favorite!

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  7. We’re back to the “common sense” gun control blather.This guy was squeaky clean. He wasn’t in trouble with the law ever.

    And that fact that this possibly loosely hinged individual had easy access to firearms is not problematic?

    Restricting access, regulating the permits on the acquisition of firearms is sorely needed. Keep your guns, but you need to demonstrate to society that you are responsible and accountable for your firearms and your actions while using them.

    Like it or not, liberty and freedom from tyranny for America was fought and won by men people with guns commitment to an idea.

    FIFY.

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    • And just how does one “demonstrate to society” responsibility with firearms sir/ma’am whatever you are? Like I said the guy was an upstanding citizen … but I’m sure an intellect like you would have seen this coming with your “demonstration to society” responsibility idea … Man! you’re smart!
      “people with commitment to an idea” … and that commitment was protected and instituted by what? Harsh words at fifty paces? Maybe an overwhelming force of pink g-strings being thrown at the British. Okay. I get it.
      I could have a great idea to move a big mound of dirt from my lawn … if I don’t get a shovel and get after it … that “commitment” isn’t worth a damn.

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      • And just how does one “demonstrate to society” responsibility with firearms sir/ma’am whatever you are? Like I said the guy was an upstanding citizen …

        Registering your weapons, and periodically demonstrating gun safety and knowledge to a acceptable standard. Imagine the DMV, but only for firearms.

        Would regulating firearms, like cars, have stopped this from happening? “Maybe” is the honest answer. With a few more official steps involved in legally acquiring firearms perhaps he would have reconsidered. Or perhaps he would have built the time it would take with the official process into his schedule. Speculation in both cases.

        Does needing a license for driving a car weed out all of the bad drivers? Obviously not, but it keeps some of them off the road and promotes a base level of knowledge and safety. Would this be beneficial with regards to firearms? I think the answer is “yes”.

        “demonstration to society” responsibility idea … Man! you’re smart!

        Another name for this, which might more palatable to your particular political sensibilities is “personal responsibility”. And thank you, I am smart, it isn’t regarded as a liability where I come from. 🙂

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        • Amen to speculation.
          I have to think that (taking a left leaning position here) the guide lines you’re suggesting for obtaining a firearm would create a hardship towards minorities and the poor. This kind of discrimination could be portrayed as racist …

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          • This kind of discrimination could be portrayed as racist …

            Then I suggest you take your message to the public and start protesting the DMV at once. This sort of racism is un-tolerable.

            Creating a caricature of a position and then bashing the hell out of the shite you made up says much more about your lack of honesty than the position/argument you are attacking.

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      • Perhaps….Sometime AFTER we apply those criteria to truly dangerous behaviors such as voting.

        Funny how the Left attacks the constitutional right to keep arms but defends the largely unregulated privilege – you actually have NO right to vote – of franchise, which is far more perilous to society than a thousand lunatic with belt-fed weapons.

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        • I actually read the following on a liberal’s blog as he was referred to restricting the Constitutional rights of individuals to own firearms if it means that some demented person won’t be able to obtain one … he (the liberal wrote this:

          Well, as far as I am concerned – – – By all means go ahead and restrict my freedoms! I am totally in favor of having some of my freedoms restricted by gun laws that might keep the ability to deal death out to the innocent out of the hands of the nut bags. Yes, bring on the restriction of my freedoms and prevent idiots from shooting me!”
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          I know how I feel about that comment … I hope that someone else will read that and let me know how they feel about it.
          I might / probably will post something on the ol’ site as I see that mind-set more dangerous than, like jonolan says, “a thousand lunatic[s] with belt-fed weapons.”

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        • truly dangerous behaviors such as voting.

          Given the current political system in the US, how would you classify voting as dangerous?

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          • The very phrasing of your question shows that you couldn’t understand or accept the answer.

            Perhaps Cry and Howl will deign to venture down that rabbit hole, but I’ve long ago decided that you’re not worth engaging, and am shocked that this realization isn’t reciprocated.

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            • The very phrasing of your question shows that you couldn’t understand or accept the answer.

              That would be because many of things you say are stupid and need to be deconstructed to show exactly how stupid they are.

              you’re not worth engaging

              Oh? Being called out when you decide to spout your gormless libertarian bullshite must be discomforting for you.

              [I] am shocked that this realization isn’t reciprocated.

              Sometimes the compulsion of SIWOTI too strong. 🙂

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  8. The fact is….
    American’s LIKE their guns….
    This tragedy will NOT change that…..
    The country IS divided into different regions with different cultures….
    There WILL be NOT changes in gun laws….

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    • I like my guns …
      My way of thinking is … it’s better to have a gun and never need one, than to NOT have a gun and need one.

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      • @Howler

        I guess you would have been glad to have your gun if you were in the theater with the shooter. Hmm, I think maybe you would have been happier if you had his body armour. Me thinks if you had your gun you would have been like everyone else, diving for a place to hide. But then again, maybe Im wrong and youre Clint Eastwood. 😉

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        • I think maybe you would have been happier if you had his body armour.

          QFT.

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        • Funny how you assume cowardice on his part and that you equate courage with Clint Eastwood’s movie personae. It just doesn’t occur to you that a normal American might stand up and be counted if they had the tool at hand to do so.

          And before you ask, I’d probably have returned fire if I’d been there and armed. I have to say “probably” because I wasn’t there and, hence, don’t know what the situation was tactically and probably would not add my fire to chaos if there was too much chance of hitting bystanders.

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          • Normal American, hmmm, like the one who had a gun when Giffords got shot.

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            • Yeah, a good, normal American who rendered aid to strangers who were attacked AND had enough presence of mind not to manage not to make a lethal error in the confusion.

              As a side note, the police would have done the same as Zamudio did when encountering an armed man in that circumstance and, frankly, would have been no less likely to shoot the poor sod.

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        • Your guess is correct. If I was in that theatre, I definitely would have been glad to have one of my handguns … at least I would have the choice of defending myself and those around … or … doing like you “thinks” and look for a place to hide. (I would only have to follow you I’m sure)

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  9. I said twice, eh?

    Yea….
    Sorry…..

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  10. You don’t have to imagine what gun control would be like. We have it here in the UK. Culturally our countries are quite similar so it isn’t like comparing other countries like Mexico.
    No, our society isn’t perfect but our murder rate is much, much lower than in the states. In a city like Liverpool that has a reputation for gun crime, there’s a scandal if there’s more than ten fatal shootings per year. Cities in America of a similar population and reputation for crime clock up ten times more than that.
    It’s simple maths; more guns, more gun crime.

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    • Welcome westwickle (really? Is there a West Wickle? Delicious!):

      I keep hearing from my countrymen how we are a culture built on guns and the wild west and all that nonsense, as it that’s an excuse for not trying harder to be better than the worst of that. The legendary Wyatt Earp was sheriff of Dodge City, which itself was the very stufff of the wild, wild west . . .upon becoming Sheriff, the first thing he forbade? Concealed weapons – and he rrestricted where open weapons were permitted.

      Those who embrace that weapons are an integral part of the American character and history like to forget that settlement at that time was mostly on land given to people by the – gasp! – Federal government. It was, if you will, social welfare.

      And you are correct – more guns,, more crime.

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      • Hi Moe, no I’m afraid West Wickle isn’t a real place, It’s a spoof an a local interest blog. There is a Whittle in Essex though. It took me ages of Googling to find a place name that wasn’t real.
        Sorry if my post came across as sanctimonious, Alan Scott I love the US too. I love the way you do everything ‘to the max,’ (see Harry Lime speach at the end of ‘The Thin Man.’ Unfortunately that goes for prison numbers and murder too.
        We did have riots last summer right across the country; London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Nottingham, Bristol,and many other areas. 5 people were killed.
        ’92 riots in LA: 53 dead. Most of them were shot.

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  11. westwicklettimes I’m gonna DIS-agree with ya…..

    Did the UK ever have the ‘wild west’?
    Did the UK ever have the wild spread use of guns in the birth of the country as recently as 3 centuries ago?
    Did the UK have hundreds of thousands of guns out there to get rid of?
    Your country has NEVER had the level of gun ownership we’ve had in the states….
    Your police departments NEVER started off with OUR sheriff traditions in the South and West….
    While our two countries ARE similar and VERY close….
    The gun cultures are as different as day and night……

    I’m NOT proud of that…
    But that’s how I see it…

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  12. Ah, you guns did have some pretty serious shoot guns and machine guns back in the day….

    And of course James Bond’s PPK….

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  13. westwickletimes ,

    I truly do love the British, but please do not lecture us poor Colonials about violence. I recall that last August many of your major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, and even London itself were in flames because of youth gangs . Your criminals may not have as many guns, but molotov cocktails work too .

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  14. Leaving aside the whole issue of completely banning guns, and assuming no one, including the NRA, believes violent psychotics should be permitted to buy guns, the issue becomes one of prevention; Holmes was deranged when he purchased at least some of his weapons, yet there was nothing in his background that would have flagged him. What would a system that prevented such persons from acquiring guns look like? Who would be responsible for enforcing it? Would a sales clerk in a gun shop–or even a trained psychologist–be able to identify an insane individual during the time it takes to purchase a weapon? I don’t think there are any simple answers.

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  15. Reblogged this on The Last Of The Millenniums and commented:
    A sad but true comment on the American attention span.

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  16. It’s a tragedy, but it bound to happen again.

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  17. This is not a gun issue, this is a mental health issue. When are we going to evolve in this country to the point where we recognize that not all illness is physical and start paying attention to the mind? There are zillions of people in our society who have deceases we don’t acknowledge. Not all of them will perform horrendous acts, but nevertheless these illnesses need to be addressed and not swept under the rug. There is no shame in having a mental illness, having a family member with a mental illness. The only shame is not recognizing it and not getting treatment.

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  18. Woodstock ,

    I totally agree .

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  19. It seems to me were missing the obvious. That most of these “deranged” individuals are typically young males should be alarming. The fact is modern society is in itself breeding a cesspool of anger and hate and disconnect that is starting to rear its ugly head. Guns are a symptom of a much larger issue. Consumerism and Capitalism in its current form just aint working. 😦

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    • What are you, some kinda socialist?!!11!! 🙂

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    • I agree TFT – societal stresses produce terrible things if they’re left to fester. And young men out of work have the potential to be the most dangers.

      This guy though sounds like he was quite mainstream for most of his life until recently – sounds like he had some kind of psychotic break.

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  20. lol, nope, just not a big proponent of the present system. Mind you, once you figure the game out it is pretty easy to see why some are. 😉

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  21. titfortat ,

    The one undeniable link between these mass murderers is that they are male . Another is that they went to college. From the unibomber to the Virginia Tech killer, to James Holmes, they were for the most part college boys . I can make a better case against college than you guys can against Capitalism .

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