Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aurora Blowback

It must be a talking point. I've heard the same phrase several times now, enough to make me sick. The wing-nuts, presenting themselves as the rational ones in the country, call in to the radio shows and say the same thing. Aurora could have been lessened somehow had more people in the theater been armed and shot back at the shooter. The repeat phrase is that it is our "civic responsibility" to take people like that down.


Nevermind that he was armed with an assault rifle that poured out 60 bullets in a minute before his gun jammed, or that he set off tear gas first, or that the theater was dark, or that there was mass confusion with people thinking at first it might be a stunt, or that his position in the theater front meant that the audience was arrayed like a shooting gallery. And especially nevermind that he wore body armor from head to toe: where would you get through to him, exactly?

Forget those picky little things like the police showing up within a minute and a half, and who would likely pegged you as the shooter and taken you down in the same confusion that initially gave the advantage to the shooter. Forget the bystanders you likely would have shot yourself in your mindless zeal to be a hero.

For that's what I'm hearing in the callers who advocate for more guns. "I wouldda been the hero who nailed that guy."

Yeah. Sure. Uh huh, we believe you, Walter Mittys of the world. Well, anyway, we've met you, people so insecure in your own importance that you inflate yourself to any victim who has to listen to you. How do you know how you'd function in that situation? Have you had combat training? SWAT training? How about have you ever had to aim a gun at another human being in a situation that doesn't negate your own humanity?

That "civic responsibility" crap? Sure, we have civic responsibilities, something fewer people recognize these days of glorying in individualism. It's my civic responsibility to pay my taxes in an adequate amount that my community can pay for and train an adequate number of police (and fire fighters, teachers, etc. ) to serve and protect us all from such individuals, to establish the healthcare services to identify and treat such individuals before - and after - such incidents happen.

That's our civic responsibility.

Hah! I bet you're not so brave about that, now, are you?

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