Unless you live in a cave, you are no doubt aware of the tragedy in Colorado at the premier of The Dark Knight Rises. This is not a hard news site. My only comment on the shootings is that my heart goes out to the victims and their families. I am the type of person who attends midnight premiers of similar films. I know how the combination of the anticipation for the film and the shared experience of the packed theater can create lasting memories and an incredible night. To have that interrupted by a massacre; to attend a film and wind up in a blood bath; to have a night you’ve looked forward to for months end with the death of your loved ones, is frankly completely unimaginable to me.
There are many things I could say in response to this tragedy. Many ways I could use it in arguments for my beliefs. Many ways I could exploit it.
But I’m not a vampire., and I am not going to use a horrific incident such as this to make a point before the victim’s corpses are even cold.
Some people however, have no such reluctance. From the HuffPo:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.
“People say … where was God in all of this?” Gohmert said. “We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”
Gohmert also said the tragedy could have been lessened if someone else in the movie theater had been carrying a gun and took down the lone shooter. Istook noted that Colorado laws allow people to carry concealed guns.
“It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” he asked.
Okay. First thing first. Rep. Gohmert? Fuck you, Louie. You are a ghoul, just like Falwell and Robertson when they blamed the 9/11 attacks on feminists, abortion, and atheists. Guess what, asshole? Bad things happened before state-sponsored prayer was taken out of schools. Bad things would happen if it was put back in schools. Of all western nations, we live in the most religious. When you said the above quote, you had just as much of an idea why the shooting took place as the rest of us. None. To take a tragedy like this and use it to make a political point before the bodies are even cold is slimy, disgusting, and a disgrace to the people you represent and the nation as a whole. Once again, fuck you.
Second, let’s deal with his comment wondering why no one was “carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?”
Picture the scene. You are in a packed theater. The lights are out. The surround sound system is deafening. Suddenly, chaos; there is smoke everywhere, and then you begin to hear the shots, loud cracks overwhelming the sound of the film, soon mixed with screams of terror and pain. Someone is shooting and people are dying. Those not already dead are stampeding the exits, jumping over seats, storming the aisles, trying to survive. You, concealed carry permit holder, are the epitome of cool under pressure. You calmly stand and remove your .45 from the holster, casually flicking the safety off. It’s dark and chaotic, sure, but you are Eastwood, Stallone, and Wayne, all rolled into one, with a little part of Samuel L. Jackson, the ass-kicking part, not the black part, for good measures. You quickly glance over the situation, immediately picking out the gunman. “You have one thing in common with the Joker,” you mutter under your breath. “You’re both dead.” You squeeze the trigger softly, sending a packet of justice across the theater, barely missing a 14 year old girl as she tries to escape before the bullet finds its home between the gunman’s eyes. His head explodes in a mist of crimson, as you re-holster your weapon, sit back down, take a drink of Coke and a handful of popcorn, and wait for the movie to resume.
Bullshit. A trained soldier would have trouble identifying the gunman and taking him out without injuring innocent civilians. A pistol packing citizen out for a good time with his family and friends would have practically no chance to do anything but add to the chaos and body count. There are some shootings where the argument can be made that an armed citizen could have ended the rampage and saved many lives. This is not one of them.
GOHMERT: …But, ya know, I might mention something else that had not been public yet, most of us that follow the military know we have had an extraordinary increase in suicide in the military –and it’s just heartbreaking. And, I’ve sat with families around their kitchen tables and they are going ‘we never saw this coming – ya know, we didn’t know.” And there was a study commissioned…
ISTOOK: And, Louie, we’re gonna have to finish…
GOHMERT: Well, let me say this very quickly – but its six thousand personality index profiles. And, what they found, and I don’t know if they will make it public – one of the participants told me ‘ the results may not go public’; but, all of the people who committed suicide, within their thousands of people studied, were part of the 2-percent most atheistic members of the military. We’ve lost our faith.
If you want to know more about this, please go on over to Rock Beyond Belief and read Justin Griffith’s post. One more thing before I move on from Rep. Gohmert:
Louie? Fuck yourself with an old rusty pole or a splintery post.