Monday, July 23, 2012

Colorado Batman Massacre -- Thoughts

Okay, so everyone is upset about the Batman shooter not so far from where I grew up in Denver.  My wife was actually upset at me for my opinions here -- no doubt, it's disgusting, terrible, sick, horrible, etc.  However, my thought about the shooting is... why are you surprised this happened?

Have you seen the Batman movies?  Have you seen ANY of the good films lately?  Usually the villian is some ubersmart genius who is misunderstood or who was abused as a child, or someone who went bad for a real valid reason.  But, what happens on the screen -- as much as we love a good villian -- stays on the screen.

There are thousands of sickos out there.  You can usually spot them out of a crowd, but I would suspect that there are thousands more who look just like you and me.  In my opinion, the badder the sicko, the more normal he looks, and the better he functions in public.  Take the Batman character himself -- some rich guy who leads a secret life as a rodent who flies around hurting bad guys?? Why is THAT normal?

The problem comes in where the sicko in our world does not know how to separate reality from fantasy. 

Obviously when I go to the theater, I identify with characters good and bad.  I even probably identified with and cheered for the Joker character as well.  But, I'm not going to go out, rig my apartment with bombs, go to a movie theater and shoot up people -- that is where the line is drawn.  I might even walk around pretending in my head that I am a particular character.  I might even pretend that bad things are happening around me as if I am in a particular movie (e.g., the Matrix).

Yet, there is A CLEAR SEPARATION between what is real and what is not.  It's fun to pretend once in a while -- kids do it all the time -- adults do it too, in their more adult minds.  But there is always an understanding that WHAT IS REAL IS REAL, AND WHAT IS FANTASY OR IMAGINED IS FAKE.  This is where the sickos differ.

"Okay then," you think.  "Let's lock up all the sickos, or at least tag them and watch what they do," you might think.  Or, "let's monitor purchases of handguns, etc."  But seriously.  I'm a level-headed guy.  If I buy a gun, or some bullet-proof equipment (well, moreso for the gun), do I want men in black contacting me and asking me why I purchased it?  "None of your business," I might answer if asked.

Then, I don't think guns is the problem.  My opinion is that if society were as such where people carried weapons, no way would this guy consider doing what he did -- or, at least he would think twice.  Imagine -- a guy stands up and starts shooting up a theater.  For all he knows, one or more people there have guns and can shoot him in the face.  Would he think twice?  Probably not, but he would have a bullet hole in his head.  That must be a real consideration.  If people carried guns, then chances are someone would have taken this guy out, or at least he might have been deterred from acting on his sinister plot in the first place.  Assault rifles?  Yes.  Guns? No.  Shotguns?  I'll leave the line to be drawn to the politicians and the NRA, and I'll let them battle it out.

Last, but not least, the only thing that could be done to prevent this in the future is simple vigilance.  Employees in public places need to be trained to spot weird looking individuals and to keep an eye on them.  And, when one such as this one falls through the cracks, you call the authorities (as they did) as fast as possible and leave it in the hands of G-d.  There's not much else that we could do, because even creating security checkpoints or metal detectors at every gate is likely not going to happen, and is that really a solution?

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