It's as depressing as it was predictable: when the media harps and harps on the anniversary of a mass shooting, when politicians wallow in old blood to push through new laws, it is well-night inevitable that some weak-minded fool with a head full of simmering resentment is going to decide the best way to resolve their own situation is to shoot a person or persons who was no actual threat, in some location most people would consider safe.
Notice how well Colorado's shiny new gun laws worked. They have strict limits on how many rounds a gun's magazine can hold: the shooter used a shotgun, holding six shells or less. They've got universal background checks: an 18-year-old quite often has a clean (empty) record and sails through a background check, so there was no legal barrier to the shooter buying the gun -- if he didn't simply take it from home. There's a Federal law about guns on school grounds: he walked right through it.
Laws might make you feel better but they cannot stop someone determined to harm others. Setting up high-attention situations that appeal to people with the kind of personality flaws that make for this variety of murder has a significant probability of the crime being attempted.
One of my co-workers asked, "What's the matter in Colorado?" I didn't have an answer at the time. In hindsight, I wonder if it isn't that politicians and the media can't stop picking at the scab.
And how convenient that it came along just a day after the Paul Barrett article on how "Gun Control Is Basically Dead," in a state where a highly-politicized effort for harsher gun control is facing plenty of pushback.
If it looked any hinkier, I'd be putting together a tinfoil hat, except for the research showing they do more harm than good.
4 weeks ago