As you woke up this morning, the first thing you likely heard when you turned on the news was that there was a shooting in a pleasant, unsuspecting town in Colorado during a viewing of the highly anticipated new Batman movie. Being in Moscow, Russia, I was awake as the story broke, and have been following the developments closely. I have made some interesting observations which I would like to share.
It was so sad to me how quickly this became a political issue. To quote someone who left a comment on the New York Times article on the issue, “this is not a time for politics, it is a time for mourning.” With that statement, I couldn’t agree more. What happened last night was horrible. We should be sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of the 12 dead and 50+ wounded (not to mention the rest of the audience which has been psychologically assaulted), instead of throwing around accusations with incomplete knowledge. To be quite honest with you, I’m going to have a tough time fully enjoying the movie, knowing that is exactly what these defenseless victims were trying to do at the moment of their untimely demise.
Gun control advocates jumped all over the issue from the very start. I believe that the gun control debate is one that should be brought up, and I will be writing about that later, but I think that there is something much deeper in the heart of the issue.
We can argue gun laws all day (and I have a feeling there will come a day when we will), but you have to ask yourself, how could a person do this in the first place. There are those who suggest that it is because the 24 year old shooter possibly listened to Rush Limbaugh who has been attacking this movie as being liberal propaganda. The thing is, there is no evidence yet speaking to the shooter’s motives. Anti-Rush Limbaugh people just think, guy had gun, republicans like guns, republicans listen to Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh hates Batman, therefore, this is Rush Limbaugh’s fault. I think that is completely ridiculous, but at the very least, we are getting away from the “he had a gun, therefore he wanted to use it” argument. The thing is, there is nothing we can definitively say until a full investigation has gone into this shooter’s background.
No matter what is found in the investigation, no matter what comes of the renewed gun control debate, one thing is certain, we need to better educate our children. We need to do better at teaching kids that violence is never the answer. I want to underline the fact that the primary place this education should be happening is in the home. Parents have a responsibility to raise their kids right. Unfortunately, not every kid has good parents, which is why we need to be providing this sort of education in the schools.
No matter how strict gun control laws become, guns will never disappear from our country, and this propensity for violence in our culture will not immediately vanish. Let’s take this moment to not only mourn for those who so tragically lost their lives in Colorado and think of the children.
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