The Aurora Affect
Since the tragedy in Aurora, CO yesterday, I’ve noticed a great many things about people and their reactions. You can call me whatever you wish, but it will forever fascinate me how people are and how they act and react in any situation, especially a situation such as this. For example, in the aftermath of 9/11, I witnessed a shared sorrow the likes of which I’d never seen in my lifetime. People of all races and walks of life came together in their grief and for a while, we were one. Even more interestingly, that bond continues to this day. Mention 9/11 to anyone and chances are they’ll get misty-eyed and sentimental. That restored my faith in humankind. It was beautiful, though the cause was horrific.
But then you have situations like Aurora and the affect it has on people. While it’s true that people are saddened, some taking it to the next level and being angry or outraged, it’s also true that some folks are going a little out of their minds. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you have. For the one or two of you that aren’t on the Facebook or the twitter, I’ll tell you I’m talking about.
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and photos saying that if even 1 person in the theater would’ve had a concealed gun, they could’ve stopped Holmes. I can’t believe that anyone would be so stupid as to think that’s even close to a logical thought. Don’t worry; I’m going to tell you why.
The majority of police shootouts happen within a distance of 7 feet. And during those shootouts, 75% of the shots miss their target. You’re probably wondering how trained professionals could be so inaccurate with their shooting, especially at such close range. Well it’s easy. In the heat of the moment, when your life is hanging in the balance and death is staring you in the face, your body changes. Your heart accelerates, you breathing changes, even your focus and vision change. So while you may be a hell of a marksman on the range, that doesn’t matter now. Not here, not while you’re fighting for your life.
So let me ask you this: If a trained professional can’t be accurate in a situation like that, what makes you think you can? Let’s say you were in the theater in Aurora and Holmes had started shooting. Let’s say you had your concealed gun tucked into the waistband of your jeans. You decide that this is it. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is your time to shine, to be the hero and the badass you think you are. You pull your gun and stand, only feet from the shooter. Keep in mind that there is mass chaos as hundreds of people run around in a panic. Add to that the tear gas and confusion. Could you do it? Could you hit the shooter without taking out an innocent bystander? No. No you couldn’t. Police officers miss 75% of the time within 7 feet, and that’s without the tear gas, without the hundreds of innocent bystanders, and without the panic and confusion. If they can’t do it, you can’t do it.
Everyone dreams of being a hero and a badass, of being the person who swoops in and saves a room full of people. It’s normal. What’s not normal is thinking that the way to stop violence is with more violence.
I believe that people should have the right to have guns for hunting or sport. I do NOT believe that assault rifles are necessary, and I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT believe people should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Why? Because I know a lot of people who do, and they’re all idiots. They’re the people who would be shooting off wild shots in a crowd of scared people in a lame attempt to stop a shooter, ignorantly unaware that they’re killing more people than he is. They’re the ones who think they’re a hero because they have a gun. They’re untrained and unaware. They’re a dangerous group of people.
All that being said, the affect the Aurora tragedy has on us is powerful. We all know that it could’ve been any one of us in that theater. It still could be, for there are more unstable people in the world. Sadly, we haven’t seen the last tragedy. And as long as people are obsessed with weapons and violence, we won’t.