Saturday, July 21, 2012
Sadly enough, there is very little to say about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday night, but people say it all again anyway. Some Texas congressman claims it happened because we've banned prayer in schools, while the NRA hauls out the old tattered banner once again: "guns don't kill people, people do." Some say it's all Hollywood's fault--violence is a national media pastime.
The Brady people shake their heads and pontificate about gun madness, but folks like NRA's Wayne LaPierre insist that if more Batman fans at Friday night's premiere were packin' sidearms, someone would have taken the Joker down, even though this madman was clothed in body armor. If everyone had guns, there's be no crime, some say.
Europeans think our fetish for arms is pure insanity, and a few people can't believe that someone would bring a three-month old baby to theater for a midnight premiere.
Some people say that while Chicago long ago passed really tough gun laws, it still has a sky-high murder rate. Others remind us that violent crime in America is back on the rise, despite the fact that we've got highest documented incarceration rate in the world. Some claim that no laws on any state or municipalities books would have stopped James Holmes from gathering his incredible arsenal because the man had absolutely no criminal record.
Some continue to insist that no deer hunter in America needs the kind of weaponry Holmes was toting.
In this country, we're as split on guns as we are on almost every political issue, even now, in suffering. "Politics divide, tragedy heals"--someone once wrote, or words to that affect. But here, in the U. S. of A., even our tragedies get politicized.
There are no easy answers to what happened in Aurora, Colorado, this weekend. Would to God that there were.
But I'm tired of people raising the "freedom" flag as if my rights, my liberty were the only moral absolute. In this country, we can't seem to keep guns out of the hands of a James Holmes. It can't be done. The man is free to do as he pleases.
But his freedom stops at the door to a packed theater. And it does. And it should.
Freedom is not an absolute. It's counterpoint is justice. "Me first" is childish, inane, sinful. There's another way: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 8:10 AM