The Aurora Killings: Why we should be surprised
July 22, 2012 Leave a comment
I’ve been following the tragic killings in Aurora, Colorado, in which a lone gunman killed 12 people and injured dozens at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. It’s the ultimate nightmare to imagine for those of us, who have been fortunate to have never experienced such a gruesome scene; therefore we can only be horrified and deeply saddened by the needless loss of life. I pray for the families affected and hope they can find healing.
The aftermath of the tragedy has renewed debate on gun control, the psychology of mass-murdering lunatics, and our pop culture glorification of violence in movies/video games etc, just to name a few issues that have been raised in the passed two days.
When it comes to polarized debates such as the one surrounding the Aurora killings, it shows that most people are interested in hearing their own voices and defending their stances. There is little if any coming together. One of the arguments I’ve seen being thrown around is that if more citizens were armed at the theater, the mad man would have been stopped and there would have been fewer casualties. The proponents of this theory are more likely to be pro-gun and believe carrying guns makes us all safer. On the other spectrum are the opponents to this argument, who see this idea not only as preposterous, but the very reason why such tragic events take place in the first place. They argue if more people were armed, there would have been a shootout and in a dark theater, the logical conclusion is there would have been more not less casualties.
This back and forth continues and we arrive at no solution. However, despite the stark differences that exist concerning guns in society, the unifying factor is that no matter what side of the debate one is on, we all want a safer society for all of us especially for our children. This is more significant and the end value we seek, thus why can’t we as people unite upon this factor regardless of our political and ideological differences?
Concerning gun control, my views are very one sided and I strongly support the ban on guns, at the same-time I can concede that most people, who do carry guns and who are pro-gun are indeed law abiding citizens, who would never commit the atrocity that was committed in Aurora. Despite the divide on this debate, both sides want the same thing, a safe society without crime and criminals.
So how do we reach this destination and why aren’t we having this debate? Why are most people more in love with hearing their own voices and sticking to their positions, rather than taking a step towards working together in making our communities and our world a safer place by standing together upon what unites us against crime, rather being caught up on the different viewpoints?
I know. I know. The world is not a utopia, one may argue. There will always be crime and mass murderers. It’s part of the human story, always has been and always will be, one may say.
Not only do I completely disagree with this notion, but I see it very dangerous and counterproductive.
One of the more interesting articles I read on the Auhora killings and in this post I wanted to post as reply was by PAUL CAMPOS http://www.salon.com/2012/07/20/why_arent_there_more_auroras/
We live in a (compared to the rest of the developed world) extraordinarily violent, deeply economically stratified nation, with more than 270 million guns floating around – enough to arm every adult and half the kids in the nation.
A lot of Americans are broke, or angry, or paranoid, or all three, and a lot of these people are heavily armed. It’s not exactly a shock that this combination of factors helps produce 15,000 murders per year
Mr.Campos is surprised more crime doesn’t happen due to these dangerous combinations. Although not exactly the viewpoint presented by Mr. Campos, I’ve seen similar viewpoints before. Many times even, whenever the topic of peace and violece is discussed. I was once having this debate following a forum on geopolitical conflicts and I remember one gentleman make the argument that violence was always part of our existence and it started with the two sons of Adam, Cain and Abel and will always be with us for the rest of human existence. Immediately what arose in my mind was a rundown of some horrific highlights from the human past. So I imagined similar viewpoints were perhaps echoed by many when slavery and having slaves was part of society, but now how morally outrageous is that notion to us? As it should be and similarly war, violence, killings should occupy a similar position within us.
On those grounds, I disagree with that gentleman and with Mr. Paul Campos. In my opinion, violence, crime, war is not part of our existence and we can and I am hopeful and even envision we will rid our world of it. For now, I believe we should make way to limit it as much as possible. To do so, it starts with us finding violence/crime an outrage, a moral outrage and an anomaly (despite it’s occurrence). The alternative does us no good.
With this change in mindset, I would say we need to work towards reducing those factors, which Mr. Campos listed. But to really get cracking at preventing tragic events like the Aurora Killings, wars, and crimes against humanity, it starts with raising children, who view all life as scared and spreading love. I’ve been told many times that these views are too idealistic since bad things will always happen because there are just bad people out there, but I dare say if every person on this planet made love and spreading kindness to every living being a priority we’d be better off. I am hopeful we can build a peaceful world.