When I was nine years old, Columbine happened not too far from my house. I remember getting frustrated because I wanted to watch cartoons and all the channels were playing some goddamn something about a high school and scenes were on a repeating loop: here was a group of kids frantically running out from a back exit door, heads ducked, arms braced around each other, frantic, bolting, another image, wobbly and unstable from the circling helicopter. Long lines of squad cars barricaded around the school, but everyone at a standstill, except the kids bleeding and crying and standing in dazed shock.
I just wanted my cartoons. I know that sounds to be a really callous thing to say, but at nine years old, these things don't register from a t.v. set.
And for now? Or that shit-show in Aurora?
Here's the thing about guns, death, and crazy people that I feel people misunderstand.
You can have all the security blankies you want. You can ban everything you think is unsafe, everything that is prone to violence and evil and then you can tell yourself, "Okay, that won't happen again."
But this is where you're wrong: when there's a will, you can bet your sweet ass there is a definite way, and every human system created has a weak point, a pressure point, or a failure. Someone who is determined enough to follow through on what they want will exploit that failure and succeed.
There is no stopping this. Those little security blankies might work now, but not too far down the road someone will find a way to get past them. And when they do, everything everyone fears will happen again, but it'll look different. And everyone will panic, and point fingers, and gesticulate and blame and speculate, they'll settle new boundaries and laws and rules because they think that'll save the world this time.
You can't stop crazy. Crazy is inevitable. Hatred of the blackest kind is inevitable. These kinds of people will always exist and will always, always want to find a way to hurt people, justified or otherwise. Outlawing guns won't stop them. Outlawing movie theaters, setting up metal detectors, getting rid of all guns or setting up assinine TSA like security stations will not stop people; if anything, it might give them an invitation.
The best thing you can hope for if crazy ever happens to knock on your doorstep is for luck, fortitude, bad-aim on the part of crazy and instincts that tell you to stay low, stay quiet and by god run. If it is your time, it is your unfortunate, sudden and inexplicable time. You can only hope and pray that the bullet strays, the killer is distracted, your amgydala kicks in and you respond on autopilot to save your life. That's it. You're more likely to die in a car crash in this lifetime than get killed by an asshole in riot gear in a movie premiere, so all you can hope for is luck and immpaccable instinct if that time ever comes.
On the other route (or: disclaimer/other defense):
I like guns. I like blowing shit up. But I would never use these things in conjunction with killing people, unless it was a zombie invasion which the CDC says (at this point is unlikely) or you're a crazy fucker getting hopped up on bathsalts and looking to eat my face off. Banning guns is stupid. And irritating. And seems to be something East-Coasters screech their heads off about when shit hits the fan.
As a western kid born and raised, I like my firearms. I'm not obnoxious, holier-than-thou NRA about it, but guns are cool. Shooting bowling pins and tannerite is fucking sweet beyond belief.
The issue with weapons that kill people will never be the majority of people who own them: it will be the small minority that had bad intentions from the start. The majority of people that shoot guns understand the ramifications of what they hold in their hands. Not to the same extent as soldiers (obviously a diff can of worms, there), but to the extent that they wouldn't use them to be assholes. Banning guns because of a few assholes just pisses off normal people and will inevitably bite someone else in the ass later. After all, a question I ask myself about the Aurora shit is this: what if someone had a CCW? Would that have changed up the playing field? Would they maybe have been able to stop something?
We'll never know, will we?
Anyway: lolz. Poli-rant.
I lived most of my life in Colorado.