Denver Welcomes Johnny Rotten & The Electric Gun Show

This country has been splitting in earnest for awhile, but the schism is being sped up, ripping harder and faster. The gun-nut wing of this country has come out of its rumpus room this week in the wake of the bloodbath left behind by cardboard loony, James Holmes. [Is it just me, or is this guy trying too hard to pull off the vacant-crazed-“How did that movie actually end?” psycho persona? The Johnny Rotten dye job; the courtroom google eyes. Wanker PhD candidate would probably sound like Shaggy from Scooby Doo if he actually did talk in court. And way to booby trap your Section 8 apartment, numb-nuts. That was straight out of the Dylan Klebold Columbine notebook.] Nothing original here folks. Unless gun laws change, don’t feign any surprise next time some loser pulls this stunt to get his name known. Honestly, Charlie Manson had less people killed and for more interesting motives.

I never really bought the guns-equal-freedom sentimentality that the NRA types espouse.Canada, Japan, Denmark, et al, seem plenty “free” to me with a fraction of our murder rate. Freer, in fact – safer from violence. [Why do 'gun rights' trump my right not to be machine-gunned in the first place?] The NRA used to say, “Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns.” But it doesn’t work like that – see James Holmes, Dylan Klebold, etc. America is weird though and has always been. Isolated, vengeful, man-on-horseback, wild west, high noon, shootout bullshit. Clint Eastwood, in short. We see ourselves often as this great bastion of world leadership/ world benevolence. Meanwhile, the rest of the globe increasingly sees us as a bunch of arrogant, ignorant dickheads who ran the planet’s economy into the ground and have the world’s strongest military might coupled with a miniscule amount of wisdom in managing it. We got us individual Uzis, mail order magazine rounds by the thousands, and deep, frothing white suburban angst. It’s a lethal cocktail.

What has struck me the most about the Aurora fiasco [I don’t like the word “tragedy” here – this was avoidable, unlike tragedy, but responsibility was overtly shirked time and again] is the gun lobby’s lack of any repudiation as to how this whack-job got his killer firearms, and then mail-ordered his techno-military jerk-off gear and 6,000 rounds of overkill ammo with no barriers, no red flags raised. Instead of mourning the dead, they instead defend the right of the James Holmeses out there to procure weapons/ ammo of mass destruction. Listening to NPR [the Diane Rehm Show] I heard one John Velleco, “director of federal affairs” for Gun Owners of America say that the only problem with what happened in Aurora during the showing of that ill-fated midnight Batman screening was that “other members of the audience weren’t armed and couldn’t fire back.” He actually said that out loud and in a serious voice on national radio. He was immediately called “as insane as James Holmes” by one of the other, more lucid, members of the panel. All other panel members rebuked him. But Velleco held tight to his view that a shoot-out at the AMC corral would have solved all of our problems – in the dark, after Holmes had let off smoke bombs, audience members should have opened up on him – and each other - with live, piercing ammo. Why just eat popcorn at the movies when you can pack some heat? And remember, Mr. Velleco, is the director of federal affairs for this group. Gun nuts have nothing left. This is isn’t target practice or hunting. This isn’t even bearing an arm in your own residence – which as all that the 2nd Amendment guarantees according to Supreme Court rulings and the Constitution. John Velleco was defending the right of James Holmes to purchase multiple firearms and the voluminous amounts of ammunition online. The only the thing he feared was that these senseless murders might impede the ability of other Americans to amass and maintain their own arsenals. As amorally moronic as John Velleco revealed himself to be, I’d say he has nothing to worry about. The death of twelve Americans at a movie theater will go entirely in vain. Congress has never had the temerity to challenge the McCarthysist bullying tactics and the presumed big money of the gun lobby, led by the NRA. Not after presidential assassinations and failed attempts; not after Columbine; not after 21 were murdered in a San Diego McDonalds in 1984 by an Uzi wielding maniac; not after the Arizona madness last year that killed six and wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; not after postal episode after episode; not after decades of black-on-black homicidal violence. [Fourteen people, mostly young and mostly black, were killed inChicago by gun violence in the week after Aurora. That’s two more victims than in the movie theater and it has received almost no media coverage.] Why would the deaths of twelve anonymous people in the smoky darkness of a Cineplex change any of that? After all, guns equal freedom.

[According to Reuters, there are 90 guns for every 100 people in theUnited States. Nearly a third of the world’s private firearms are found in the US. While a minority in this country, 46 percent, own guns, most who do obviously own several. The NRA airs infomercials relating Hitler and Nazi Germany to gun control. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is the only US Senator with the balls to bring up heightened gun control laws in the senate. His efforts will go nowhere, but he fights the good fight. In fact, New Yorkstate has some of the toughest gun control laws in theUSA. Police there track crimes committed in their state and find that less than 5 percent of them were committed with guns purchased legally in New York. This would support the notion that Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., aren’t smarter or more moral than us. They just have had the will and common sense to try to limit firearms. Hunt and shoot at targets all you want. Your ‘right’ to haul a weapon around town is what I question severely.]

[Also, heard somebody say that if James Holmes was a Muslim he’d be labeled a terrorist, even if his mental health state was exactly the same. He is a terrorist, after all, by any definition, but the media hasn’t applied that label to him. And Timothy McVeigh, who killed far more, was similarly not given that label, although he bombed a federal office building. So I’ll put it out there: can’t white people be terrorists?]

[The same people who scream for gun rights want to make voting requirements ever more stringent in the form of identification proof. Pennsylvania is the latest state to pass increased voter ID laws. Similar laws in South Carolina and Florida have been shelved by Congress for the time being, given those states historic penchant for denying blacks the right to vote. Pennsylvania is facing a federal challenge as well that may ultimately overturn its voter ID law.]

Comments 2 comments

HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Well said, Keith. The vehemence with which the NRA and other pro-gun groups attack back against calls for sensible gun controls is amazing. They find nothing wrong with the ease that Holmes had in acquiring his arsenal. No one is advocating for the stripping of guns from legal owners. Only for a sensible and complete background check and limits on assault weapons and huge magazines of ammunition. Even Justice Scalia admitted that the founders only meant that Americans had the right to bear arms but not on an unlimited basis. Great Hub.


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keithmitchell5 3 years ago from Indianapolis Author

As you might surmise, I don't look at these pieces as often as I should. Apologies for my 15-month late reply and thank you for reading, your comments, and your support. Look at events since then: Sandyhook, the Naval yard, too many to recount in the "five-or-so-killed" realm. The NRA and its ilk truly baffle me. The status quo isn't working or safe,...so let's protect it to the death: their murky - I'd say insane - logic.

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