So here’s the deal, Aurora: Easy access to incredibly lethal guns is here to stay, and we’re going to have to live with the fact that people like James Holmes will be walking into yet another crowded theater or store and slaughtering more people.
A few weeks after Holmes went out the back door of the Century Aurora 16 theater and returned with two rifles and a handgun, butchering 12 people and injuring about 50 more, Colorado just isn’t interested in gun laws that could prevent another massacre.
It’s not that people don’t care whether they can never really feel safe at or away from home. It’s just that they’ve been brainwashed by a misguided and massive pro-gun lobby that insists guns are not the problem here.
Of course they’re the problem. Holmes didn’t drive a car into the theater. He didn’t kill or maim 70 people with a rogue blender. He did some simple online shopping and with the easy clicks of his mouse, and then later with the easy clicks of a trigger, forever changed Aurora and the lives of hundreds.
Becoming a notorious terrorist is a snap in the U.S these days.
I was so sure that after this calamity, the groundswell would be overwhelming for preventing creeps like Holmes from assembling click-and-serve arsenals. I was so wrong.
Republicans just say “no.” And Democrats blanch when asked about gun control, looking like I just pulled out a .45 caliber rather than just a question.
They know that even hinting about gun regs will draw the wrath of the NRA like crows to a carcass. And a now, a recent Denver Post poll only makes their fear palpable. The poll revealed that 56 percent of state residents don’t want new gun regulations in light of the July 20 massacre.
Why? Because most believe the bullcrap being shoveled out by elected officials that we just need to enforce existing gun laws to make ourselves safe.
Yeah? Tell that to those killed or wounded during Aurora’s Armageddon. Holmes didn’t break any laws. There are no laws preventing him or anyone else from buying insidiously lethal weapons in any quantity they want.
I know people do care about being safe in public places. But I think that we’ve just become a tired, fatalistic community that feels like we no more deserve the right to make it home from a night at the movies than we deserve the right to prevent tornadoes or earthquakes. Holmes’ brutal attack was not an act of God, it was an act of inhumanity.
I don’t know anyone who’s insisting that the government start grabbing guns, including me. I get it that ours is a society fascinated with guns. I read the blogs and advertisements for weapons that were engineered for one reason: to efficiently kill humans. Guns are sexy to millions of Americans. Guns are empowering. Guns are fun.
It’s lost on me. I and many others grew up seeing guns as tools used to hunt deer, kill varmints eating the chickens or put down sheep with broken legs. The weapon of choice for people like me was a rifle because you could aim it to do the job from a safe and effective distance. People who insisted on rifles that fired fast were either poor shots or poor sports. Handguns were for cops. AR-15 rifles, like the one that Holmes bought, and currently the best-selling gun in America? Those were for soldiers. Now, they’re for Christmas. There are no limits.
That’s all I’m asking for: reasonable limits. Why would watermelon hunters or farmers need hardened-case ammo or “conveniently sized” shotguns? Why would anyone insist on magazines that can dish up a hundred or more rounds in less time than it takes to watch a couple of TV commercials?
James Holmes knows why. I do, too.
Take a breath, Aurora. It doesn’t have to be all or none. Tune out the crazy talk from both sides here and demand lawmakers offer ways to better screen people who buy guns and ammo, especially online. We really can make sure that the guns and bullets keep flying all over this famously free land of ours, but not necessarily in our direction.
Reach Editor Dave Perry at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]