Aurora Aftermath: Can We Collectively Calm Down?
There is no question that the event that occured during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on Friday was a tragedy. Nearly everyone is familar with the shocking and disturbing details of the story by now. Excited movie-goers were looking forward to seeing the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, only to wind up being victims of a senseless shooting by a clearly disturbed young man.
Most of us would have preferred that the weekend be a time to mourn and pray for the families of the 12 people killed and 58 wounded by this madman. Unfortunately, while families of the victims were grieving, policitians and advocacy groups were already railing against guns and calling for more gun control laws. Leftist blogs have already claimed that the AR-15 used in the shooting would have been banned under the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). However, Right Sphere has debunked this thoroughly.
And, sadly, conspiracy theorists were busy concocting insane tales about how this was a “false flag” operation to gain public support for gun control measures, including the pending treaty with the United Nations.
For all of the criticism that we level against President Barack Obama, he has handled the tragedy appropriately, and should be applauded. Moreover, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has said that Obama will not make a push for gun control laws — though it should be noted that we’re in an election year, and Democrats are often burned on that issue.
We’ve already seen what knee-jerk reaction does in a time of crisis. For example, ABC News reporter Brian Ross rushed to make some sort connection with the Tea Party movement, finding someone with the same name as the shooter on a Tea Party group’s website. Ross was wrong, and both he and ABC News have apologized for the error. Unfortunately, this speculation had already reverberated around social media sites by leftists looking to score points against ideological opponents.
Sadly, this wasn’t limited to the left. Many of my fellow bloggers on the right, including Bruce McQuain of QandO, sought to make a connection between the shooter and Occupy Wall Street. Whatever “proof” has been brought forward on this charge seems to be flimsy at best. Bruce, who is a friend, and I had an exchange about this, with me saying that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet. His response was, essentially, “Well, the did it first.”
Some attribute this to hyper-partisan politics where blamed is assigned before all of the facts can be presented to the public. Others say it’s a downside to living in a world where news travels incredibly fast; or, perhaps, a combination of the two. Whatever the case may be, Reason put together a great video after the Tuscon shooting early last year with rules on how to deal such a tragedy, and it deserves a watch in light of this most recent tragedy, which would likely have happened regardless of whether or not the Assault Weapons Ban were in place:
Image courtesy of KDVR