By Paolo von Schirach
July 21, 2012
WASHINGTON – Since in America almost anybody can buy guns and ammunition in a store as if they were purchasing milk, it is no surprise that, at times, mentally disturbed people, just like 24 year old James Holmes, will take advantage of this and use easily obtained guns to plan and execute mass killings, just like Holmes did in the Aurora movie theatre.
Deranged people and easy access to guns, a bad mix
It is very simple. Within a very large society there are some people who, whatever their pathologies, have the desire to do something outrageous on a grand scale. Here in America, they know that the legal and regulatory system allows them to get the guns they need with minimal effort. And so they take advantage of the opportunity and go ahead with their plans.
Given all this, acting surprised after the Aurora movie theatre massacre is a sign of hypocrisy or stupidity. Imagine this. You have a house full of highly combustible material. You have a four year old child. You give your child 10 boxes of matches to play with and then you leave the house to run errands. You come back, the house is burnt down and your child is dead. Are you surprised?
This is the same. We have a number of non diagnosed deranged people in our midst. At least some of them do harbor destructive ideas. And we have a system that allows them to freely purchase enough guns and ammunition to start a small war. And then we act surprised when someone takes advantage of what the system allows him to do and does something really bad on a grand scale. No surprise: we have people with motive, and we make it ridiculously easy for them to get the tools they want.
The Aurora, Colorado, movie theatre massacre perpetrated by 24 year old James Holmes has been followed by a predictable flow of pious words of sympathy, some perhaps coming from the heart, and some just expedient blah, blah, intoned by politicians who want you and I to believe that “they do care” because they have a soul.
No gun laws changes
Fine. And then what? Well, then nothing. There will be some more police work, forensic this and that, eventually a trial and some kind of conviction that will send the perpetrator to prison or to a mental hospital.
But nothing –repeat, nothing– will be done regarding the most obvious issue: serious gun control. Americans have a fetish about guns. It goes way beyond having guns for self-defense. It is almost a religion. Alright, if this is the way we want it, if we really want to make it so easy for practically anyone to acquire several guns and mountains of ammunition, then we have to accept that large scale massacres just like this one in Aurora will happen again. And when they do happen, please do not act surprised.