Friday, July 20, 2012

Cue the blood dancing...

Just lovely.  It seems that some cretin has taken it upon himself to shoot up a movie house in Aurora, Colorado, and he apparently enjoyed some success at it.  Many of the critical details are still up in the air, as is usual with these things, so it would be premature to conjecture on them.

It sure seems, though, that the most standard elements are in place once again:  demonstrably, law failed to prevent the shooter from acting, and nobody else in the theater had both the capacity and the will to resist at the moment of truth.  (The question of coerced helplessness--whether as a matter of law, or policy, or simply cultural conditioning--appears to be unsettled as of this writing, but regardless it seems rather obvious that none of the above successfully protected patrons from harm.)

Cue the blood-dancing.  Bloomie's doin' it, and the Brady Bunch, but hell, we've come to expect no less.  There's even incomprehensible bloviating from at least one on the "Right" that tries to tie this to "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs", but it seems self-evidently possible that the HuffPo searched deliberately to find such a moonbat.

None of it brings people back.  The core story is simple:  man with gun has his way with multiple people without the means and will to resist.  To spin it from there is to avoid dealing with the real issue.

Of course, some people are professionals at that.  So much so that, sadly, there is the question of the event's possible "Manchurianism".  Will we "discover" later, that this shooter was on psychotropics for much of his childhood, or is somehow attached to or influenced by someone on the public payroll?  Scoffers can scoff (and will) but it's not like all that hasn't happened before.

We don't know yet.  So:  Eyes.  Ears.

UPDATE:  It's hard to say it better than Kent McManigal does here.


Anonymous said...

The audience was incapacitated by smoke and tear gas. It was chaos and was over in 60 to 90 seconds. The smoke wasn't even clear before it all ended. Added to the confusion were the theatrics behind a premiere - people in costume - mostly black much like the shooter. Audience members thought it was added theatrics at best and at worst, a prank, but people were dead before they realized they were in big trouble. In other circumstances, a concealed carry citizen might have had the ability to make a clean shot without sacrificing other innocent people. CO is friendly to those desiring concealed carry. CO citizens do not need extenuating circumstances to request a concealed carry license. I find it hard to believe nobody was armed on the premises given the number of licenses in CO, but I do believe anyone armed acted as a responsible shooter and followed safety procedures as taught by the NRA's course for concealed carry. In this situation, if an armed citizen had shot and hit an innocent, it would have been even more tragic and damning for those desiring a license in CO. This was a very different scenario than Columbine where an armed good guy could have made all the difference. The theatrics of a premiere - the timing of the shooting was during a shooting scene in the movie and added to the chaos, movie goers in costumes very similar to the all black gear worn by the shooter. In Columbine, an armed person should have stood out like a sore thumb and an armed good guy in the vicinity would have had a chance to make a difference given the environment surrounding the incident. This one is different. I wouldn't be so quick to assume nobody there was armed. I think it is more likely that someone was armed and he or they acted as responsible shooter(s).

Kevin Wilmeth said...

There's quite a lot of detail there that I sure know I can't validate. Among other things, I have so far got a very different picture of the amount of time taken and the body-language reaction of the audience.

Believe me, I get the "theatrics" and "premiere" concept--I was in just such a theater myself last night, watching the same film with the same sort of geeky costume wearers. I've also got no argument with the idea that for most people the reality may have taken a moment to sink in, nor that one or more armed patrons may have in fact been on scene and chose to escape rather than engage. Hell, I'd not begrudge anyone that, especially if spouses or kids were in tow. It's not like anyone in officialdom is going to pin a medal on you for saving yourself or others. If it were me, and escape were an option, I'd almost certainly choose that myself.

It seems especially sick that someone would deliberately choose such an ambiguous scenario, and exploit people's suspension of disbelief for a killing advantage, but sadly, in itself this is hardly news any more, is it? Anyone who habitually goes about armed must consider this dilemma.

I'm not sure I share your confidence in the actual (not theoretical, which is all that statistics such as issuance can be) prevalence of armed citizens, either. I lived in Colorado for 15 years and was, in fact, one of those permit holders who not only jumped through the legal hoops of that process, but actually made it part of a lifestyle. There just didn't seem to be that many of us. I'd love to be wrong about that--seriously--but I'm not convinced. If the information I'm hearing is correct, it also appears that the theater itself had a no-guns policy, which may actually have impacted those inclined to obey the law.

Horrible tragedy, for sure. And I don't mean to consider it trivial. It may be that anyone who did have to engage would have had to handle for a failure-to-stop due to the shooter's reported ballistic vest, and not everyone trains for that. I thought about that a lot last night, when I got back and heard the news. In the theater I was in, there was no physical point in the building that I could not have hit confidently, but there is the time factor of the failure-to-stop, and although it seems that most lunatics are more interested in killing than in actually fighting, it's certainly not something you'd want to count on.