Colorado Batman incident

There was a massacre in Colorado in the premiere of the Batman movie! Can't believe it yet! 12 people dead and 48 injured, that was a big one. And the shooter was crazy, thought of himself as the Joker and had bombs planted in his apartment so if he reached the building he could kill a lot of police men with him! What do you think about it? Also they just cancelled the premiere in París due to the incident
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I think he deserves to be sentenced to death.
Nobody deserves a death sentence. It's cruel and inhumane.

I don't know why this happened, but I am saddened to see that, yet again, US culture will allow a gun massacre to go without considering the problems within their society that allow for frequent gun murders. With the notable exception of the Breivik massacre last year, nowhere else in the western world has such slaughters. Even if you include the disparity in population sizes, gun murders in the USA greatly outweigh the rest of the western world. The amount of mass murders in the US such as this, Fort Hood, Tuscon, Virginia Tech...all of those are just more frequent.

The USA has a problem and they need to fix it. But the second these things happen, the NRA and their lackeys start screaming about the Second Amendment. I don't care about gun control, I care about the underlying philosophy that gun ownership is acceptable and even honourable. Make it shameful to own a gun without a real reason such as living in the wild, being an avid hunter or sports shooter, or other legitimate reasons (home defense, by the by, is NOT a valid reason) and you will see a great decline in this sort of horror.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
For such a cruel and inhumane crime he does deserve it IMO.
We murder someone for murder? Eye for an eye didn't work in the ancient days and it doesn't work now. Morally, how can you claim the high road by taking someone's life in any situation, save for to directly protect your own life or the life of another?
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
Shocking stuff. Plain and simple. Obviously this guy is a nutter of the kind we've seen before, without any political motivation.

I tend to agree with LC on the gun law stance. Just having a gun because you can makes no sense to me. And I live in a country where quite many people own guns (for example, my brother owns several) - but mainly for hunting. A culture where the norm is that you own guns, and where shooting is the expected way to stop a burglar, will see more of these incidents.

The US must ask itself: Is a liberal firearms legislation worth this?
 

Rotam

Night and day I scan horizon, sea and sky
The purpose of justice and law it's our way to say we're different from the criminals.

I am completely against death penalty.

And i agree with LC, the USA has a problem with violence.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
I would tend to doubt a death penalty will happen here, I would assume there would be some sort of insanity defense and he will end up getting life ... I am not really against the death penalty per se, especially in cases where there is zero doubt of guilt, but it tends not to be the outcome in these types of cases.

The flip side to the gun argument is that if someone with a conceal carry permit were in the theater, this guy would have been taken out before it got as bad as it did. The vast majority of people who legally own guns in the US are not involved in such things, getting illegal guns/guns away from people who do not own them legally would be a good goal to have. Not a huge fan of guns myself and I do not own one and never have, but I would not be in favor of taking them away from people who use them for sport/hunting/home defense.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
No, bearfan. That's not true at all, and it makes me really, really angry to hear you say it. The guy entered the theatre with smoke grenades and concealed his approach before firing at random. Someone with a conceal carry permit would not have been able to stop this man. He was wearing body armour, for crying out loud. When has an attempted mass murderer *ever* been stopped by someone with a conceal carry permit? This was a panic-inducing attack. Most soldiers wouldn't have responded properly - in fact, there were soldiers in the theatre, and they didn't exactly "take him down" - or even try. People ran. Everyone ran.

Anyone who thinks they would have whipped out their pocket pistol and killed this guy before he started shooting is living a Call of Duty fantasy. It's not going to happen. How do we stop this? We change gun culture. We move the emphasis from the right of gun ownership to the privilege of careful, meted gun ownership. And the fact that the assault rifles and smg used were illegal until recently, and legally bought...really gets my goat.

I don't want to take guns away from hunters or sport shooters. I want to make sure that the guns owned by hunters and sports shooters are designed for those purposes. You do not need an AR-15 for those purposes - the same gun that the Provisional IRA used as an official assault rifle, even though it is often catagorized as a sport weapon.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Who know what would have happened if someone shot in his general direction, but it is a bit disconcerting to me when things like this happen, that the first reaction is to take rights away. Not just guns, but search Google news and look at all the "movies are to blame", "video games are to blame", "TV is to blame", etc type stories. It is not the fault of anyone but this individual, in his apartment, they found bomb making materials, so if he did not have a gun, maybe it would be a Molotov cocktail, a bomb, etc.

If someone is determined to do somehting horrible like this, they will find a way. When it is a gun, it gets more publicity, there is a semi-recent case in Austin, TX, where a guy angry at the IRS flew a single engine plane into the building. Unfortunatly, where there is a will, there usually is a way in things like this.

I generaly agree that no one really "needs" an assult gun, but is some guys want to go out in the desert and shot up a bunch of tagets with one, I am not really sure it is my call to stop them. Again, it is not my cup of tea, I went shooting once and did not dislike it, but it did not do enough to make me want to do it.

This type of thing generaly gets more publicity, but there is a statistic I saw on Canadian TV last week when I was in Vancouver that there have been more far more murders in Chicago (guns, knifes, etc) than there have been US casualties in Afghanistan. Those do not get the same publicity because it is an occasional dive by victim and a bunch of gang bangers that I guess we care less about than a group of people in a theater. I would tend to guess most of those were with hand guns illegally obtained versus an assualt rifle.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
The fact of the matter is that gun murders in the US are statistically way more per capita than any other western country. Canada, where is the second most, there were 200 gun murders last year - there were over 9,000 in the USA. I'm not here to say gun control is the answer (though I think it is part of the solution). The question has to be asked why is it so much higher in the USA? I'm going to suggest that it's gun culture, not gun access.

I really am a libertarian on most issues (a liberal libertarian, but that's a different discussion). I want people to be able to own guns responsibly, but I want people to own responsible guns. Automatic weapons are not responsible and should be the sole providence of the respective militaries. They're not needed in the civilian populace, nor are they needed in the police forces. I don't think gun ownership is a universal right, and even universal rights have carefully meted out limitations. I merely suggest that automatic weapons are the limit we should place on such things.

If the American populace had the same amount of gun crime as other countries per capita with their current lack of gun control, I'd say there's no problem and that this is cool. It's an isolated incident (like the Breivik case) that was brought on by a sad combination of factors. But it's not. There's a lot of illegal guns on the streets, but how many of those were originally purchased legally? (hint: most of them, statistically) There are people who make money by buying what is a legal gun in Louisiana, driving it to Chicago, and selling it there for a huge markup. Then there's straw purchasing, when a thug with a record pays off his clean buddy to get a handgun for him. This is also classified as an illegal firearm. Those two types of trafficking account for a huge amount (over half) of illegal guns. There's always corrupt gun dealers, too.

Almost every gun on the streets in the US started off as being made in the US, sent to a US gun dealer, and then legally sold to someone legally allowed to buy it. The gun is then resold, given away, stolen, or lost, and ends up murdering people. That's why "illegal guns" aren't really illegal guns, and it's not an argument. The guns come in from somewhere.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Oh, and also:

Who know what would have happened if someone shot in his general direction...

That person could have hit a bystander, given the way the smoke was clouding the dark theatre, just as easily as he could have hit the assailant. More guns aren't the answer.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
I respect your opinion on this, the case of guns being bought in one state and brought to another certainly happens. There was a recent story of cellege kids being arrested after being paid $100/gun to buy then in North Carolina and transporting them to another state.

The guns themselves may not be illegal, but the person buying the gun in such a manner is not a legal owner of the gun. I am not really sure what the answer is, because even if gun sales were made illegal tomorrow, there are already so many already out there and there is no way (beyond house to house searches to collect them all), anyone turning one in would most likely not be someone that is causing a problem. I have no problem going after gun dealers who knowingly make these types of sales, but doing this consitutionally is a big issue.

Off the top of my head, my thought would be the answer to this is more rights in general (legalizing drugs, proistitution, gambling, etc) takes away the power from the street gangs that control this and violently protect their interests. Obviously this does nothing in a case like Colorado, but it reduces street violence. If I had to take a best guess at a solution for overall violence in the US, it would be more along these lines than additional gun control.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Oh, and also:



That person could have hit a bystander, given the way the smoke was clouding the dark theatre, just as easily as he could have hit the assailant. More guns aren't the answer.

Possible for sure, or it could have stopped it as well. It is hard to imagine a worse scenario than what happened.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I agree. Like I have said - change the culture. But I think assault rifles are a little much too. They're not necessary - you can defend your house with a handgun as well as you can with a shotgun, as well as you can with an assault rifle (and in fact probably better, considering how people can't use an assault rifle properly in general). I would love to see the gangs disempowered through legalization and subsequent reasonable taxation. But I think that you have to look at the places with the same level of culture but lower gun crime, much much lower gun crime, and see what's different. The #1 thing? No assault rifles allowed. No SMGs. It wouldn't change things tomorrow, like you said, it'd take years and years. But somehow those places have made it a reality.

Of course, there would be an illegal gun trade, like legitimately brought in from other countries illegal that would spark up, but the price would be extremely high.

Then there's Chris Rock's idea - just make bullets a few thousand bucks each.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Don't know if I want to get into this, but here goes:


I hate putting labels on politics, but like LC, I tend to view myself as what Neil Peart calls a bleeding heart libertarian. I have long been opposed to the death penalty.
But in the past year or two, I have come to a slow realization that view is wrong.
Just as you can't debate justice in the heat of personal loss, you can't debate it from a comfy armchair either. When individuals like Hitler threaten our life and liberty and freedom, performing unspeakable atrocities, we give and take human life in order to protect what is good. I have never had any problem with that. I saw criminals, even mass murderers of children as something different, a threat where such drastic measures were not needed. But you need to really look closely at the individuals whose lives we are preserving. During the past 20 years I have encountered/been exposed to certain people who are truly evil — beyond contrition, beyond rehabilitation, beyond redemption. They operate on a smaller scale, but their enormity is no different than Hitler. They are a disease, a cancer, a blight on humanity. And by surviving they continue to gnaw away.

I value human life above all else. And that is why I do not understand why society allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars to feeding and housing and providing security for these evil people, sometimes for decades. I believe those resources are much better allocated to the sick, the marginalized and the poor. In the grand scale of things, these lives should come last. I don't necessarily think we should stoop to their level by hanging them or injecting them or zapping them. They have acted outside the constraints of civilization and should rejected by civilization. Ideally, I'd drop them naked on a remote rock in James Bay and let nature take its course. I think it is a logical consequence of their actions.

I am not talking all murderers, just a small handful of the truly sadistically evil. We all know them when we see them. I don't like coming to this conclusion and I don't expect this to change anyone's mind. It wouldn't have changed my mind in my 20s. But if we are still chatting when you're 45 LC, I'd be really interested to see if time and life has given you a different perspective.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I'll tell you, it was only about 10 years ago that I felt the exact same way mckindog. I hope we are still chatting when I'm at that age and we're able to discuss such things, for sure.

I guess my only thoughts about the truly sadistic, the ones who are probably beyond all saving and such - the three reasons that I would say we shouldn't execute them are basic. I don't think it's right to kill, yes, but I also think we can learn from the truly evil. Consider the things we have learned about serial killers from Ted Bundy. His psychological interviews have lain the basic foundation for a lot of how we now approach that today. Even the truly depraved have something to offer us in what they are.

Secondly is the slippery slope fear. Where do we set the limit on what that truly depraved, destroyed notion is? Do we set a certain value on human life where we become the murderers? I am assuming this is a perfect world and we get it right every time, we have perfect evidence and we know, 100%. I just don't think it's right to make that call. 5 deaths, children count as two perhaps?

Finally, there is a very practical reason why we shouldn't execute: it's cheaper. Unless a prisoner waives his or her rights of appeal, then it's a lot cheaper to house someone for the rest of their natural life than it is to run the various trials now demanded in order to make sure we don't execute inappropriately. Even when guilt is 100% ascertained, we still have to check and recheck these facts. The fact is that we've executed innocents before. I don't see how in our very imperfect justice system we can avoid these trials and retrials and appeals. Financially, it's way cheaper to just lock 'em up.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
So time has changed your view as well. All good points you make

1) I would agree that pursuit of knowledge could result in a net benefit. I would suggest there is a finite amount of study necessary and dispute it would apply to most, or even many cases. And the study could be carried out as the justice system takes its course.

2) It should be defined by the act. If two high school students decide it might be fun to kill someone, pick a classmate because they think she is vulnerable, gain her trust, tie her up, rape her, torture her, kill her, fornicate with her dead body, mutilate that body, then plot who will be their next target, admit to all of the above, and the evidence supports the same, they qualify. I think we have judges and juries and lawmakers capable of making that call.

3) It doesnt have to be. This is not an argument against the law, but against the system. The bureaucracy and financial incentives are responsible for this more than the law. The law does not, or should not force judges into granting appeals. When appeals are warranted, the law can and should be used to expedite these cases and remove impediments that create the situation you correctly point to. Justice should be slow and measured, not glacial and obfuscationary.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I agree, of course, that we should expedite the cases when appropriate, but I can't see myself committing to the legal death of an individual without all due course of action. I will admit that I find it distasteful that I should become the murderer, but passing that rhetoric along...what happens when we get it wrong? I mean, let's say you have the two people from #2 - there have been similar events where eyewitnesses SWORE they saw the murderer, and that person was put to death. Those people were later exonerated. DNA evidence can be circumstantial or faked. I don't know that I trust our ability to get it right to really condemn a person to the punishment from which we cannot reverse. I'm not that arrogant.
 
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