Number one, I am not for criminalizing guns. As a matter of fact, I happen to think that the level of gun control in this country is fairly appropriate. Events like happened 24 hours ago in Aurora tend to get both sides of the issue to raise their voices. Honestly, this individual went through appropriate, and (as far as has been reported to this point) legal channels to obtain his weapons. How he got the ballistics gear he had, I don't know, but nonetheless, tighter firearms regulations are not the answer.
I've seen a few postings on my FB news feed declaring that if they'd been in that theater, they'd have been packing because they have their CCP (Concealed Carry Permit). Claims were made that they would have been able to return fire and lessen the casualties. Really?
Let's paint a picture. It's a dark movie theater. You're already caught up in the adrenaline that you (like me) have been waiting years to see. You're heart rate's already high. You find yourself more fidgety than normal because DANG, this movie is even better than you'd imagined, or at the very least, you're getting to see it first. As the action builds in the movie to a climax, someone bursts in an exit door and throws in what turns out to be a tear gas container.
Your first thought is that this is a cool promotion by the theater, or a harmless prank, but then you hear gunshots which are somewhat concealed by the fact that this is a state-of-the-art theater with the latest and greatest sound system. Oh, and the scene on screen happens to contain gunfire. HUNDREDS of people are now trying to protect themselves. They are knocking things into you, or knocking into you themselves. Fog from a nearby canister clouds your vision on top of your eyes' natural defense mechanism, tears.
In the screaming and chaos, you decide to return fire because you're packing. Your CCP training prepared you for this. The adrenaline coursing through your body causes your hands to be more unsteady than you can ever remember. On top of that, you lost sight of the shooter in the chaos and he's dressed in black. In a dark movie theater. Now, every person in black is a suspect. Who do you shoot? Even if you can get a bead, what if an innocent bystander trying to escape suddenly pops up or crosses your path as your finger squeezes off that first, fatal round? The fog is starting to clear, but there are people every where. Chaos is an understatement. Unless you've been in that situation (and let's be very clear, I have not), you have no idea. It's a mass of bodies, and screaming, and people, and debris. In the theater last night, the floor was slick with soda, food, and blood.
I know our military and law enforcement are trained for these types of situations. I don't know what protocol would be, but it seems like there are too many innocent lives at risk in this particular situation.
One of my buddies asked me today if I thought that teachers should be allowed to carry in schools. I don't. There are various and sundry reasons for this, and it's possible that a teacher with a firearm might have prevented some casualties in some of the horrendous tragedies that have taken place around this country. It's also possible that a teacher's firearm could have been responsible for many more. That's not really the reason I'd be against it. My opposition comes from the idea that a teacher would have to make the decision on when to pull the trigger. We are in the classroom to improve the lives of those we come in contact with, not (possibly) end one. I don't want the responsibility on my head of making the choice to either seriously injure or kill another human being. Ever.
I intend to own a firearm some day and will most likely get a CCP. That's for the protection of my family. In that theater last night, the best thing for the protection of my family (based on witness accounts from various newscasts today) would have been to get down and out of sight. I can't do that if I'm trying to shoot back. Frankly, I am glad that some people have that fight reflex, and I'm glad that they're friends of mine. However, it seems mighty cavalier to think that you might be the one who saved all those lives.
In this time, I'll be praying for those who have been affected. I ask that you do the same. I withdraw my earlier request for prayer for James Holmes. It was a spiteful, mean thing to say. Pray for the people whose lives were, and still will be, irrevocably changed by the choices of this young man.
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