A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: dark knight rises shooting

“Guns Don’t Kill People, I Do”

by evanmcmurry

Breaking, via WaPo:

Authorities have arrested a man who referred to himself as “a joker” and threatened to shoot people at his former workplace in Prince George’s County, investigators said Friday.

“I am a joker. I’m going to load my guns and blow everybody up,” the man said over the phone to a man at Pitney Bowes, according to a warrant.

[…] Police there found more than 20 rifles and handguns and 40 steel boxes of ammunition at his home, the investigators said.

The day he was arrested, he wore a T shirt that said “Guns don’t kill people. I do.”

Photo on the right shows the guns found in Mr. Joker’s house. They’re for hunting and target practice, I’m sure.

So it’s good to know that the NRA’s bumper-sticker argument against gun control is now being used as a bragging right of people who would attempt mass shootings. I would love to hear the NRA’s response to this, except they’ve somehow gotten a pass on saying anything about mass shootings; to my knowledge, the organization has yet to speak so much as a word about the Aurora, CO, shootings, including any comment on the fact that all of James Holmes’s weapons were purchased legally. So somehow the organization most responsible for people like James Holmes and our new friend having possession of automatic weapons used in mass shooting is also the organization held least responsible for the consequences. How does that work, again?

This is the second guy in a week to be arrested with an arsenal in his possession. He’s the second guy in three days to be stopped in the midst of planning a shooting following the Aurora spree. Have things maybe—maybe?—gotten to the point at which we can begin to put pressure on the NRA to explain, if they’re going to so aggressively fight any form of gun restrictions, whether they have any ideas on how to reduce gun violence, and if not, whether it might be time to reevaluate their influence in the gun debate?

The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country, but even their power must have limits. Take a look at the photo above. Can we please make that the limit?

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Gun Control Edition

by evanmcmurry

Colorado guv John Hickenlooper on whether stricter gun regulations could have stopped the Aurora shooting:

If there were no assault weapons available and no this or no that, this guy is going find something, right? He’s going to know how to create a bomb.

There you have it: if a regulation on the sale or purchase of a firearm won’t 100% stop all gun massacres from ever occurring, it’s invalid. Never mind that ordering the ingredients necessary to build a bomb is a good way to draw attention to the fact that you’re up to something, and that the government uses these exact methods to prevent terrorist plots all the time, and thus the fact that restricting sales of assault weapons would force would-be shooters into more nefarious areas would actually be a good way to stop their attacks. Nope: that James Holmes could have conceivably killed 12 people in one fell swoop using an explosive device that exists only in John Hickenlooper’s imagination means he gets all the assault weapons he can hold at one time.

One of two things is at play here: either Hickenlooper doesn’t understand the concept of incremental reform, which would make him a pretty lousy executive, or he understands it just fine and also knows he’s a Democratic governor of a swing state during a recession, and the last thing he wants to do is piss the NRA off. So he makes a blatantly ridiculous statement and everybody nods as if he had just advanced a cogent argument. This is exactly how the proverbial emperor comes to wear no clothes.

Christopher Nolan Very Sad Someone Shot Up His Big Expensive Movie

by evanmcmurry

This has been making the rounds:

‎”Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.

I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.

The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”

– Christopher Nolan

No points for effort. There are two words that don’t belong in a eulogy, and they’re “I” and “me.” Nolan just sounds pissed off that someone shot up his big expensive movie.

Which is a valid reaction, honestly, but he should have just said that, and not tried to sell the idea that someone who wields budgets that approach the annual GDPs of small nations is stuck presuming to know nothing about the 12 people who died watching his film. Christopher Nolan could have found out about those people with ease. He didn’t. That’s his eulogy.

The Aurora Shooting Already Has Multiple Existences On The Internet

by evanmcmurry

The single event of the DKR shooting in Aurora, CO, has already been run through the multitudinous nervous system of the internet, where it will ultimately live as a million different shocks. What I’ve found so far:

  • A live-blog of the incident on Reddit: “Reddit, I’ve been compiling a timeline for a while.”
  • A victim who posted photos of his wounds on Reddit, and who is probably rethinking his Reddit avatar, “themurderator.”

Then things get uglier:

  • Message boards that like to put up fake photos insinuating responsibility for mass shootings, basically as a prank, are spreading false gifs of the shooter warning of his attack. Apparently, message boards of this type have done this before, and this time they’re already fooling people on the Colorado shooting.
  • This morning’s NRA tweet, now deleted, but first retweeted, many, many times: “Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday. Weekend plans?”
  • Another poor NRA tweet in context: “Gun mistakes in movies are flagrant and often. Here are some of the worst! What mistake bothers you the most?” Check out the comment below the tweet for a brief balm of catharsis.

And the inherent problem with any event occurring in an election season:

  • “Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said Friday that the Aurora shooting was a result of ‘ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs’ and questioned why no one else in the theater was armed and ready to take the shooter out.”

By the by, if the fanboys who sent death threats to the critic who gave DKR its first bad review didn’t already feel bad about that, they definitely should now.