21 July 2012

No Easy Solution

As we all know, a huge tragedy occurred Thursday night when a psycho decided to shoot up a movie theater full of excited teens and twenty-somethings ready to savor the final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. 12 people are now dead, including a 6 year old.

In typical Facebook fashion, the online world had a moment of silence then suddenly everyone breaks out into an opinion of the why, how, and what could have been done to prevent it.  There's this need to place blame on outside sources because, I think, the idea that one man just felt like killing people and creating mass hysteria is incomprehensible.

It must be his upbringing-- blame it on the parents.
It must be the movies he watches-- blame it on Hollywood.
There should've been an alarm-- blame it on the Theater.
It's the costume that gave him the confidence-- blame it on Cosplay.
He shouldn't have been able to get a gun-- blame it on the Government.
This is happening too much in the US-- blame it on America.

And so on... and so on....

As far as anyone knows, his parents are decent American citizens, not to mention he'd been out of the house for a while. Claiming that movies (and music) "make" people do things is the most absurd idea ever.  Perhaps an alarm should've gone off-- and I think it might have-- but most people assume someone accidentally went out the wrong door or the system malfunctioned.

In terms of costuming, yes, I do believe the anonymity-- or more the mystery-- behind a mask will give certain people confidence, but that's not what made this man snap.  He planned this shooting weeks, maybe months, in advance. He didn't wear a costume to buy supplies, build bombs, booby trap his place, and ultimately decide to kill 12 people. Plus I wouldn't even call his vest and mask a costume: it was functional attire for throwing tear gas and potentially getting into a firefight with police. Not to mention he looked like Bane, a fact I'm sure a PhD candidate like himself took into account during the planning.

And gun control... I've never been a fan of guns. They give people too easy of a solution to commit harm to another person in order to solve a problem. Does that sentence make sense??? But what would stricter permit regulations and less availability of firearms really prevent? Outlawing guns would have the same result as outlawing alcohol-- and we all know how well Prohibition went.  Even adding a psychological evaluation (which isn't a bad idea and one to be considered when giving someone a driver's license in LA) wouldn't prevent a true sociopath from obtaining weapons and committing murder. While we're at it, should the US add metal detectors to every public venue-- grocery stores, malls, theaters, churches, etc-- and require permits to purchase the common household items used to make bombs?

This man, James Holmes, is intelligent. Intelligent enough to build explosives, to enter the movie theater empty handed and use a back exit to bring in weapons. He knows how to play the game, to pass a psych evaluation and correctly fill out permits. Punishing all Americans, many of whom savor the Right to Bear Arms and won't shoot down unarmed citizens, for the horrendous actions of a few is not the solution. Sadly, I don't know a great solution other than trying to love one another. It's so corny, but if we all took the time to appreciate each other more, say a few more "pleases" and "thank you's" perhaps potential murderers won't feel the human race is without hope and want to destroy it.

12 people died-- can't we just send prayers and love to the families and friends of the victims? The blame game is tiring and pointless. The opposing sides will never agree to a solution because, unfortunately, there is no solution. My heart goes out to the 6 year old, who had her whole life ahead of her, to the Naval officers and young men and women with futures ahead of them. While one horrible-- dare I say "EVIL"-- man gets all the focus from Americans and other countries, we forget that 12 wonderful, good people lost their lives.

America is full of good. The world is full of good. The anger and arguments are what such villains as Holmes want.  He was a fan of Heath Ledger's "Joker" and perhaps of the Anarchist ideal.  Let's fight such chaos and horror with togetherness, charity, and the will to make the world a better, safer place by teaching love and kindness. We must continue to hope.

"The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But there is still much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater."

J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of the Rings

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