The Aurora Massacre
July 20th 2012 - James Holmes commits his atrocity in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. 12 confirmed deaths and over 50 injuries, some critical. How can this possibly be avoided?
First, we must stop and consider the shere tragedy in this - the many families deprived of loved ones and the awful grief that goes with it, which is almost beyond imagination. Our hearts go out to everyone.
As the question is often presented - "how can this happen?" Well, for starters we have a determined, intelligent but mentally unstable indivual intent on killing, and it matters not that he obtained firearms ''legally" - that mind set would have procured what he needed by any means open to him however illegal. Law-breakers by definition do not obey the law.
Let's say he was not able to procure any firearms - maybe he would have relied entirely on explosives and combustible materials - that could still have led to a massacre. It is the intent that matters more than just the method employed but predictably, the shouts from the 'gun control' brigade are both loud and vociferous.
Much centers around the theater being a "gun-free-zone", plus, it appears Aurora also has some extreme limitations on concealed carry. Anyone intent on committing mayhem will inevitably seek a venue where it is pretty certain there will be no opposition, plus as in this case, having a near meticulous plan. Admittedly Holmes was well protected with all his equipment but, had there been shall we theorize just three people legally carrying and perhaps also with blinding flashlights - we could well have seen a well placed head shot from just one person stopping the awful carnage early on. Any death or injury is too much but consider how much the body-count might have been minimized.
In percentage terms, individuals like Holmes are a very small segment of the total population fortunately, although nation-wide very probably there are plenty more. However, this compared to the overwhelming huge majority of sensible law-abiding folks is no reason to suggest that disarming good people is either necessary or relevant. More important is recognition of the individuals who somehow, usually seen in retrospect, do not ''fit in" - the "loner" category who have problems socializing and also may be seen in some ways to hold a grudge. We know the signs are often there - but they need to be seen and not just dismissed as trivial.
What is perhaps strange in this case is that he surrendered easily and didn't shoot himself, and, he volunteered the information about his apartment being booby-trapped. Compared to other episodes of mayhem this seems a little strange, and has already been a cause for conjecture. We also learned of a (supposedly) left-in-the-mail-room letter to his psychiatrist (something odd their too?), giving notes and illustrations of the intended crime - details that should have been a red flag if read and perhaps prevented the whole thing.
It has been noted by some commentators that these events are hardly peculiar to America, there having been gross events elsewhere such as for example the Norwegian slaying of over 70 people, and other instances in other European countries. As usual however the U.S.A. gets the media spotlight.