Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bang! Bang! You're Dead

James Holmes
While traveling on vacation, I was awakened on Friday morning, July 20th by television news reports detailing a horrific shooting that had occurred during the wee hours of that same morning in a theatre in Colorado. In fact, that story would galvanize the various news channels for the entire day and for the rest of the weekend. It was the top story on Meet the Press that Sunday morning and even for the next few days all that I could hear about was the massacre resulting from an alleged shooter who would come to be identified as James Holmes, a student in the neurosciences program at the University of Colorado.

After learning more of the details, my first reaction was that Mr. Holmes needs to be locked in a theatre while someone throws some type of gas or explosive device, and start shooting at him, but that’s not our way in the United States; like Sophia Petrillo of the Golden Girls, I digress. My purpose for writing this post is not to determine what should happen to Mr. Holmes, but it was sparked by my visit to Walmart on yesterday where I shared the aisle with a father whose toddler son was sitting in his shopping cart holding a toy gun. The toddler boy was playing with the gun that was still in the cardboard packaging and saying the words “daddy,”  “gun,” and “shoot.”  As I listened to this toddler say these words so clearly, the thought came to me that this is where it all starts. Now some of you reading this may be asking yourselves the question, “This is where what starts?” Well let’s take a look at the following headlines appearing over the last couple of days at

• 2 killed, 7 others wounded in shootings overnight•     Man shot, killed by bicyclist in Austin•           Gang member pulls loaded gun at North Side soccer game• At least 15 wounded in shootings this weekend• Former CPS basketball star fatally shot defending friend• Gas station clerk killed in robbery attempt• Young teen shot in Englewood•  Two men found shot in the head in South Deering• Five wounded, sought shelter on CTA bus during shooting at 79th and Jeffery
  After witnessing the toddler holding the toy gun in Walmart and hearing his words, it came to me that we are just not getting it. This father was buying the toy gun for the toddler who could not have been any more than two or three years of age. The toy manufacturers are still making toy guns. The stores are still selling toy guns. The gun manufacturers are still producing guns and we are still buying guns. The National Rifle Association (NRA) who says on its website that they are widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights is stronger than ever and the homicide rates across the country continue to skyrocket.  The ridiculous adage of “Guns don’t kill people. People do” still rears its ugly head every time a massacre like the one in Colorado occurs or any of the headlines above. Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert went even as far as to say “The shooting could have been limited if someone else in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater had been carrying a gun,” Will the madness ever end? Probably not. We have some of the craziest mindsets from the allegedly educated all the way down to the least educated where guns are concerned. Had someone else in that theater had a gun, the massacre would have been even worse. Clearly no critical thinking was going on with the Representative’s statement.  

Toy Gun
The bottom line is the manufacturing and selling of toy guns need to be banned(We must stop buying toy guns).  The violent video games that give the unrealistic illusion of killing someone need to be banned (We must stop buying violent video games). The political strongholds of the NRA need to be broken and all of us need to get real when it comes to guns. Lives are being lost by people who are using guns.  I am sure the time that I spent writing this post could have been better spent (I may need this last bit of energy one day) for all of the good that it will do, however, if those of us who blog, speak, and write do not share our concerns, who will? Certainly the victims can no longer do it.  Something to critically think and act upon. As always I welcome your commentary in the comment section of the blog and I invite you to follow the Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.


LRJ~ said...

This guy was crazy. I think that becomes obvious when you look at the events that transpired. Not only the shootings but the dyed hair, the rigging of his apt. with explosives then telling the cops. He's a nut job for whatever reason.
Our gun culture sure doesnt help. It makes it much easier to do these crazy things. I think the problem is what you get at: people desensitize themselves to guns and what they can do. They aslo have devalaued lives. A life doesnt mean as much to others as it should. To fix that would mean a social and cultural change. Fixing our gun mentality is a start.

Marc A. Medley said...

LRJ we are on the same page. Thanks for your commentary.