There is No BATMAN!!!
There is not denying, this is a tragedy perpetrated by a deranged individual. Some will point to this as reason to ban all guns. I have little doubt that a gun ban would not have stopped this individual. Based on reports by CNN.com this was a well planned and thought out attack. The shooter incorporated gas (be it tear or smoke, is unclear at this point) and had multiple firearms. However, this massacre could have easily been accomplished by simply coming through an emergency exit. Chain locking it. Pouring some gasoline as he walked up the hall. Locking the entrance way. And lighting a match. In fact, such would have likely left more dead, been far more gruesome, and required a mere $20-$40 worth of investment.
I do believe that the assailant timed this deliberately with the release of the Dark Knight Rises. Clearly, the assailant is trying to associate himself to the horror of the villain’s portrayed in the Dark Knight films. The correlation between Bane and the assailant are numerous. But in no way do I believe the movie or films like it are the cause of this style violence. This is caused by an individual with mental illness. It will be interesting to see if Sebastian’s call on there being a record of schizophrenia and mental illness for this guy will bear out to be true. But I’d put good money on it.
Here is what I learned personally. My first thought isn’t necessarily correct. Often when I am watching a movie I am carrying a pocket .380 concealed on my person. My first thought when reading this is that, with me being armed, I could potentially take down the assailant. Usually, 1-2 hits is enough to end a rampage by these crazies. But in further reading the article it details that the assailant on top of wielding smoke grenades and multiple firearms, also was wearing a bullet proof vest. This means he was mindful and expectant of being shot (likely from police). It’s very likely my .380 would have proved insufficient (aiming a pocket pistol for a head shot in the dark is no easy feat) except at very close quarters. That is a reminder that merely carrying a firearm is not a magic talisman. Regardless, I’d still rather be wielding an LCP against a man with a handgun, rifle and body armor than nothing at all.
UPDATES: News alert just stated that the assailant’s apartment is booby-trapped as well. This was not some mindless fool who decided to do this on a spur of the moment. This was well thought out and complicated. And apparently an explosive device was found at the theater.
When the mother heard… “She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved. “You have the right person,” she said.”
This is a problem in cases like this. It seems everybody knows there is a danger, but no one seems to have done anything beforehand. In fact, with budget cuts for the treatment of the mentally ill, the releasing of thousands of mentally ill patients back onto the streets; we can expect a greater number of violent incidents.