There is No BATMAN!!!

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.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/us/colorado-theater-scene/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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.

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When the mother heard… “She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved. “You have the right person,” she said.”

http://gma.yahoo.com/mass-shooting-colo-movie-theater-14-people-dead-085940786–abc-news-topstories.html

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.

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What happens when they return?

CNN.com has an article discussing PTSD in returning soldiers.

We ask them to goo out. Spend day after day in fear that it could be their last. Make it the last day for many others.

WAR…it leaves scars that only those who have experienced can ever understand.

While I briefly served and have a National Defense ribbon. I always found myself rather ashamed to wear it. I wasn’t anywhere of risk. I was merely a cadet at a military academy. I have no scars worthy of that pin. I was just active during the close of the gulf war operations.

Tens of thousands have earned that pin. And endured scars to their souls for which I cannot even imagine. Young patriotic men who now look in the mirror and see a killer. It’s my understanding from all accounts that the taking of another human life does something to a good man’s soul.

So how does society handle such an issue? How are we going to handle it? The Brady Campaign folks would like to see these men and women be stripped fo their rights. Those who sacrificed their lives, their bodies, and their souls for our nation. They feel the effects of mental disorders such as PTSD make our returning soldiers high risk and dangerous. Especially combined with the fact that we’ve spent tons of cash training them to be the most lethal soldiers in the world.

I am sure that some would like to just lock them all away and forget they ever existed or sacrificed for us. Much as was done in the Star Trek: TNG episode “The Hunted”.

What surprises me the most is how willing our society is to be soft on criminals. And yet offer less grace to those who’ve suffered on our behalf. What happens when a soldier returns from Iraq. I am sure there are a couple of weeks of downtime. A debriefing period. A small amount of time to re-acclimate from “killing the enemy” to having to do deal with working for a minimum wage as some prick of a manager lords it over you with arrogance. What a transition…I can’t even imagine what it would be like. Seriously, I’m surprised that more people haven’t found themselves throttled by returning soldiers throughout history exclaiming “Do you know what it’s like to watch your friends be ambushed, to watch comrades die in your arms, to take a life – to keep twits like you safe at home.”

The sad truth is that we largely abandon our soldiers upon their return. From war to ordinary life with no sanctuary in between. Could we as a society do them better justice? I think so…

Perhaps we should have a program that facilitates returning combat soldiers a time of greater transition. A year of pay, an opportunity to participate in a number of garden communities or similar social activities (building playgrounds, what not). But a period in which the soldier can reflect and try to become at peace. Feel the dirt in their fingers, or see children laugh and play on a playground they’ve helped build.

Truthfully, I think we owe it to them…

Go give this song a listen courtesy of Revolution Rock and Roll(free download does require joining mailing list, same musician who did the theme song for Jack Spirko’s The Survival Podcast)