Once again like Christmas, some kid with a credit card and a subscription to a gun magazine has decided to load up and make the news. At such times, there’s a casualty we seldom consider: the way the broadcaster’s voice sounds too practiced, the way the grief spilling out of the survivors sounds too familiar, the way that the stupid smirks on these murderers’ faces, start to run together. But James Holmes’ victims didn’t die because of “fate,” or as “part of God’s unfathomable plan,” but rather, because in America, a man can order up 6,000 rounds of ammunition as easily as a box of nails, because in America, we believe that making it hard to buy a weapon of mass murder, puts an unnecessary burden on guys who wanna shoot geese.
On the talk shows today and tomorrow, we’ll be told that such tragic deaths help remind us that we never know how much time we have left on Earth. That’s wrong. Such tragedies should teach us that owning weapons of mass murder and massive amounts of ammunition is, by nature, a crime against humanity, as sick and twisted as owning child pornography. These deaths should finally teach us that a man who owns such tools of mass destruction is not out to improve his marksmanship skills, but plans to fantasize about and practice and possibly prepare for the act of killing dozens of people. Holmes’ victims are not dead because of some sad twist of fate, but because Americans haven’t learned that the desire to purchase such weapons is akin to the desire to purchase your very own Auschwitz gas chamber or Medieval torture device. Owning such weapons, together with thousands of rounds of ammunition, is not sport. It’s a mental illness. And the fact that we all know someone who has such weapons displayed on the wall or hidden away ready for action, does not make it any less of an illness. Possessing devices that can quickly murder dozens of people is as vile as owning magazines that encourage sex with children, and should be treated as such, as a sick perversion. What will prevent similar horrors in the future? Calling out the NRA spokesmen you’ll hear on the news over the next few days, the ones that say making loaded military-grade weapons illegal is wrong, because the crooks will get them anyway. Honestly, that makes as much sense as saying that crack cocaine should be legal, because people who want it will get it anyway. But instead, we’ll listen and say, “Oh, he makes a good point.”
So, are we really sickened and saddened by the death of so many young people at a movie theater? Or do we regard their deaths as a fair price to pay for a man’s right to parade around like Rambo in his skivvies?
In any event, the men you hear today on the news justifying such “rights” are as much a menace to society as justifying owning kiddy-porn because the person might not do anything bad. In fact, the pro-gun arguments you hear today will only accomplish one thing: make certain that future James Holmeses will have a smooth path from thought to plan to action.