Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Day, Another Mass Shooting

It's pretty bad when "mass shooting" gets its own blog category because there are so many of them but with a quick count, yesterday's mass shooting in Colorado brings to five the number of mass shootings I have written about here.  There is no way to write a blog post about "do this and avoid a mass shooting" because each shooting is usually quite unique so I will just throw out some random thoughts on the topic:

  • Random shootings are, well, random so there is no way to pinpoint with any amount of accuracy places where these events will occur or any way to determine who will carry out such shootings.
  • I personally feel that when it is your time to go, you go (based on seeing way to many people die who, medically speaking, "shouldn't have" while an equally large number of people escape death when really, medically speaking again, they "should have").  But anyway, that's my personal view...
  • It wouldn't surprise me if the shooter is found mentally ill.  Mental illness is rampant in our society and the care of the mentally ill in the US is atrocious.
  • Guns don't kill people, people kill people, although gun grabbers will latch on to such a tragedy as a way to push for more gun control laws--or an outright ban--in order to "keep us safe".
  • What is the deal with Colorado?  Two mass shootings in one otherwise unremarkable state. WTF?
  • What is it with so many people taking babies and infants to midnight movies?  Not that this has anything to do with the shooting specifically but I was rather surprised that there were so many babies and small children at the theater during the shooting.  Or maybe I am just old but kids that young belong in bed before midnight and small children don't need to be at an R rated movie.  But again, I am probably just old and such a thing is common place now.
  • What a media feeding frenzy.  These types of events bring every type of media person out of the woodwork so they can then pounce on victims of the tragedy and ask them how they feel.  How do they think they feel?
  • I wonder how many people in the theater were armed?  I can't help but think that a few armed citizens enjoying the movie could have made a difference.  Obviously I mean armed and tactically trained.
  • And again I may be old but I don't like crowds, mostly for tactical reasons.  When the spouse insisted on seeing New Years Eve from the Las Vegas Strip I reluctantly went along.  That was the first, last, and only time we will do such a thing.  I spent the entire evening watching everything but the festivities--mostly I was watching visible and plain-clothes security, the movement of the crowd, and listening for sounds other than from the festivities (difficult when there are fireworks going off).  Crowds are a great location for a mass shooting because the crowd is  busy paying attention to the event (a movie in this case), it makes a huge statement (the shooters gains instant and permanent notoriety), the anonymity of the crowd allows the shooter to move around the crowd seeking optimal shooting locations, and the sheer number of people means that the kill ratio will probably be pretty high.
  • Finally my prayers go out to the victims and families of victims who were killed or injured in the shooting.  My prayers also go out to the parents of the shooter, I can't image what it would be like to have the police show up at your door telling you that your kid just killed a dozen people.  For those impacted by the shooting, I hope they seek trauma mental health services if necessary because even if the person wasn't wounded or knew any of the dead, this type of trauma can have a pretty serious psychological impact.


  1. A couple of things:

    1. I believe the movie was PG-13. That may explain some of the increase in #s of young people.

    2. Cinemark theatres (who own the location where this took place) has a "No Guns" policy. CCW permit holders may have taken their business elsewhere.

  2. Even if your faulty logic made sense how would you make sure only a "a few armed citizens" are present in every situation?

    Imagine a scenario where nearly everyone is armed. One shot is fired. Someone fires back. Some people may know how to react. Lots of people want to be heroes. Do you see more or less mayhem?

  3. As a veteran, should I register for a concealed-carry license and always be armed? Even then, would I, as a trained rifleman, really be able to shoot a single person through a cloud of tear gas in a movie theater full of people screaming and running? What if I started shooting and there was another person with a gun in the crowd?
    There will always be violent loners. If they don’t kill with guns, they’ll find some other way to do it. Semiautomatic weapons, however, are what enable them to shoot dozens of people in a movie theater. Is someone’s right to buy an assault rifle worth having to carry a weapon yourself, every moment you’re outside your home, for the rest of your life?

    Andrew Jensen served for five years as an infantry officer in the United States Army.

  4. The suddenness and confusion of that moment points out the folly of the politician’s belief that an armed civilian could have easily taken out James Holmes. Imagine the scene: speakers blasting, larger-than-life heroes and villains on the screen, and suddenly real gunshots, a man in a gas mask firing one of three weapons — a shotgun, handgun and rifle, with extended magazines for extra ammo capacity — into the panicking crowd. Even a highly trained, armed police officer would have been caught off guard. Try adding a bunch of untrained, armed civilians into the mix — this type of intervention could have made things much worse.

  5. My faulty logic tells me that someone shooting back at someone intent on killing as many as possible is a slightly better option than giving the shooter free reign to shoot as many as possible because there is no deterrent. Cases in point: And an even better example: