There are a lot of emotional responses to the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises where James Holmes killed 12 and injured 59. Personally, I just found myself at a loss for words. Disbelief at the enormity of the tragedy pretty much overwhelmed my other senses for a while.
Others, when they hear about the senseless killing of innocent people, get angry. They’re understandably mad about the loss of life. All over the country and beyond, people are coping with the feelings that such a tragedy bring about. There’s grief, sadness, depression. We’re all just trying to comprehend or cope.
But there was one response that I can’t quite understand. One statement, made by Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, left me a little shocked. While blaming the tragedy on the country’s “ongoing attacks of Judeo-Christian beliefs,” he said an even more bizarre statement. Yes, more bizarre than claiming that the deranged actions of one sick individual were a result of not allowing high school graduations to pray. Aside from that disgusting bit, Gohmert also told a Heritage Foundation radio show that he didn’t understand why no one in the movie theater wasn’t carrying a gun, and possibly putting a stop to the tragedy earlier.
Never mind that they were in a crowded movie theater with terrified people trying to flee. Never mind that there was tear gas flooding through the area. Never mind that there were a lot of people in black costumes who would be difficult to see. Apparently Representative Louie Gohmert believes that what the situation needed was more guns.
Second Amendment rights are not under attack in this country. In fact laws constricting gun use seem to be frequently getting more lenient, and yet we keep looking for more use of guns, more availability. We want to have kiddie birthday parties at a gun range, so using a gun can be like a fun game to play with your friends. We want to carry concealed weapons on college campuses and into churches.
How is the response to such a horrible shooting to ask why there weren’t more guns present in that movie theater? The problem is that one mentally ill individual took multiple weapons into the movie and opened fire. The problem is not that there weren’t more people there to add to the trouble and confusion, people who wouldn’t be professionally trained to handle such a dangerous situation.
More guns in that theater would not have helped the victims and their families who are grieving today. And maybe that’s where we should keep our focus after such a horrible tragedy.