Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado Batman Mass Shooting

Last night, as most of my American readers know, a mass shooting happened at the midnight screening of the new Batman movie. What they may not know is that the Aurora theater is (maybe) a whole ten miles from my house, my former place of employment and the university that I gone to here in Denver. And there are other things that bring this senseless tragedy even closer to home.

(Feel free to skip reading the rest of this post--it is just Morgan kicking around his personal issues while standing on his public soapbox.)

One of the things that bring it close to home is the fact that this is the worst mass shooting since 2009. Both the Fort Hood (Texas) shooting and the Columbine (Colorado) school shooting happened in 2009.

As the time of the Columbine shooting, I was dating this rather bossy redhead, Khari Seshent. Khari (her motto in GD) was training to be a school teacher at the time. Many of you have actually met this woman; she is still a school teacher, still bossy--the only difference is that we are married now.

I will openly admit that I was more emotionally disturbed by Columbine than I was by the terrorist attack on 9/11. Part of it was that I was dating Khari. But a larger part was that I understood the minds of the shooters.

I suspect that I am going to discover that I understand this shooter, James Holmes, and his mental state as the story develops and details come out. Blame it on being a writer who writes about villians, murders and other insanities; one can also blame it on "By the grace of god, go I."

It is kinda freaky that Holmes was attending the University of Colorado in Denver. Ok, he was attending the medical school, but that campus is only a couple of miles from my house. UCD is where I just graduated from with two Bachelor degrees, and where I might be going when I start my Master degrees. And I seriously considered dropping out of school this last year.

When Columbine happened, I didn't know anyone who was going there. Since then, I have sat in classes (both esoteric and academic) with people who either were present or were connected to students attending Columbine at the time of the shooting. Turns out that I was connected to people who were going to Columbine at the time, I was just unaware of the connections. I suspect that history is going to repeat itself here.

And in the case of this shooting, several of my friends were concerned that I might have been present. After all, I am a nerd (or is it a geek?) and would have considered going to a midnight screening of Batman Rises if I would had more money in the bank.

Anyways, this shooting has disturbed my mental waters so much that I blogged about it rather than the fact that I woke up this morning to the sound of chainsaws...which I guess I will have to blog about tommorrow instead (yes, I am going to share my feelings about thousand Cankers Black Walnut Disease because...well you will see).

(Oh, for those people who saw one of my friends on Facebook joking about the SRIA assassin missing me, just remember that the barking-mad started that joke several months ago and my friends decided that I would be higher on the list of people that the SRIA would want to eliminate than the barking-mad person who insisted that the SRIA were gunning for him. The joke loses something if you do not know that little fact.)


Imperator David Griffin said...

Care Frater Morgon,

I am glad that to hear you were not hurt.

Let's remember though that the solution to tragedies like this is not taking away our Second Amendment rights. The best defense against psychopaths like this is to make sure they are not the only one armed in the theater to begin with.

In Nye county, Nevada where I live, this psychopath would not have gotten off more than one round or two before someone in the audience using their open carry rights ended his rampage!

INevada's open carry laws are a HUGE deterrent against tragedies like this.


Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Sorry, but you and I are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. This person was not interested in self-defense or keeping tyrants out of his house; he was interested in killing a lot of people (he had thousands of bullets in his house). He is exactly the type of person I was worried about when the Colorado Supreme Court overruled the gun ban that the University of Colorado had on its campus. He is exactly the type of person who uses his right to carry a gun and to own grenades to hurt other people. Next thing I know, you will be telling me that my lodge's ban on members carrying guns to lodge meetings is wrong and should be abandoned. And yes, I am still VERY upset.

And just so you know, I have been taught to read the Second Amendment as a "militia" right, not a personal right. Of course, let's be honest; I am a bad historian taught by a bad early American history historian...because everyone who disagrees with you is a fraud and wrong.

I tend to be very British on my ideas about gun control. And honestly, the NRA talking points have not convinced me and I have been reading them since I was a teenager (so some thirty years of reading NRA literature has not convinced me). My father was a proud gun owner, but I do not believe that we need to stick always with what our ancestors did.

And I did mention that I am still upset, haven't I?

Imperator David Griffin said...

Care Frater Morgan,

Again, I am very happy that you are unhurt and my heart goes out to those who were and their families.

You are correct. We have to agree to disagree on this one. The fact is, however, these sort of things do not happen in Nevada. Why? Because liberal conceal carry laws cause a situation where this psychopath would likely have been shot from someone in the audience carrying a concealed weapon before he got off a second round. In fact, knowing that he was likely to be shot himself, this Joker would likely never have tried such nonsense.

Out of curiousity, considering Bast temple's ban on weapons, what do you use instead of swords and other magical weapons in Temple?

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Oh, let me be clear.

The ban is on handguns...I am not sure how I wrote that sentence that you did not understand that. There is actually a story behind the handgun ban in lodge.

I used to belong to two Thelemic groups...I own a couple of swords and several daggers.

Look forward to hearing your argument that swords and magical weapons are just other versions of handguns (or whatever it is that you plan on arguing).

Imperator David Griffin said...

So swords are not weapons in your book then?

Interesting point of view, although many (including TSA) would disagree with you.

Personally, I would not want to be standing there like an idiot with a sword in my hand when some psychopath opens fire in a packed room like the terrible tragedy that just happened there in Denver.

But then again, I'm from Nye county, Nevada, where we have one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation - as well as some of the most generous open carry laws and concealed carry licensing in the nation.

Stuff like what goes on in Denver simply does not happen in Nye county. Psychopaths know someone is likely shoot back in self-defense. Even psychos think twice in such a situation.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Ok. Ok. The Great and Mighty Griffin is right, and the weak and stupid Morgan is wrong. Happy now?!

Unknown said...

In Australia it is illegal to have a concealed weapon (blades or guns), gun ownership is restricted and automatic guns are illegal outside the military and police.

Gun crime is statistically low and is considered to be at the extreme end of the criminal spectrum.

Mass killing sprees are horrendous and should be wake up call as Port Arthur was here. If the solutions put in place don't work, why keep using them?

We have not been oppressed by a tyrannical government in Australia and I only personally know 5 people who own guns, and those are target shooters.

As someone involved in Magic and the mysteries I find it hard to swallow the pro-gun arguments. They are on two extremes of the philosophical/moral spectrum.

My two cents

Imperator David Griffin said...

Actually, Morgan, we are having a factual discussion and merely have divergent points of view. No one is right. No one is wrong. The real world is not black and white.

It is refreshing to discuss with you like this, since even though we disagree, you are at least being honest. I wish I could say the same for your version of contemporary "history" on your other blog, which is obviously and hopelessly skewed.

Perhaps you have not noticed, Morgan, but I have nothing at all against you personally. I never have. It is only when you sell out your otherwise fine scholarship and writing to sectarian propaganda and lace your articles with GD political sniping, that I take issue with your words, not your person.

I also do not believe for a second that you are to stupid to understand the difference. You do however, play dumb occasionally for the sake of rhetoric and to conflate a factual disagreement with ad hominum attack, as in the present instance.

Honest disagreement is a very good thing. Dishonest passive agression leads nowhere.