On the topic of the Aurora shooting, I can’t improve on John, Atrios or the Onion. The X-rays clearly show this thing was broken long ago, so I really don’t want to discuss the many obvious but unimplementable ways that we can avoid nutcases assembling arsenals.

That said, since people have been sending me stuff about the shootings, I’m putting up a thread for discussion for those of you less cynical than me.

40 replies
  1. 1
    Maude says:

    I just feel sorrow.

  2. 2
    ellennelle says:

    sorrow too, but anguish. these incidents are so utterly unnecessary.

    so yeah, so many ways to manage this. database (republicans seem to be so interested in getting their hands on databases these days, right guv scott?) that alerts gun shops when someone has bought more than one gun in a month, or some such limit. these databases have to include felony and mental health background checks. and NO multi-round clips (did you see that monster holmes attached to one of his guns?).

    i’d also love to see similar penalties on gun sellers that we have for anyone supplying alcohol to drinkers who then cause death. these gun folks are totally protected, right down to the manufacturers. instead of these people taking solemn responsibility, they – to this day – remain adamant in their glorifying everyone’s right no matter what to keep and bear arms.

    but i have a right, as we all do, to remain reasonably safe in my daily life. the nra and its legions of wingnuts have made damn sure this is no longer the case. the situation is now beyond insanity; it aids and abets insanity. and we have to launch the movement to stop and reverse their power.

    but who in congress has the cahunas?

  3. 3
    Handy says:

    The GOP dream is a nation where it is harder to vote than to buy a gun and ammo.

    We have to change.

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Now, the NRA and Conservatives can roll-out their “How to Prevent Shootings – Oprah-sytle:”
    “You get a gun.
    And you get a gun.
    And YOU get a gun!

    And so, we continue on our devolution – going from the USA, to the OK Corral.

  5. 5
    Shalimar says:

    The GOP dream is a nation where you need a gun license to register to vote.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    well I wonder if the GOP could take some of their own medicine with this… fine, we can’t outlaw abortion but we’ll attack every last thing about women’s parts instead… fine, keep your fucking guns, we’re gonna outlaw ammo and hunting instead. So just sit in your basements and pull those triggers and hear those satisfying empty clicks and then sleep with them under your pillows at night.

    Then maybe, just maybe, some of these asshats might be able to see some equivalence to what they are doing to other people who don’t have ID trying to vote or some woman who has made the decision not to carry a potential child to term.

  8. 8
    Bill N says:

    There will be many more events such as this. We as a society have set up the conditions for these to occur repeatedly, and they will. And after each one we will wring our hands and say how horrible it all is and we will do nothing to change the conditions we have set up to make sure they continue to occur.

    Is there intelligent life on planet Earth??

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    As long as guns = pen1s size, the white males who run this country will NEVER do anything to control anything having to do with guns. And sadly, black male Americans have bought into the same bullshit.

    Personally, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to have any gun other than a hunting rifle. And ammo should also be scarce. But then I’m a stoopid liberal woman, so what do I know about the care and feeding of the fragile male pen1s ego?

  10. 10
    Lavocat says:

    Oh, LESS cynical than you! Otherwise it would be a very short thread, though I bet I am MORE cynical than you. Comes with the territory. Let me explain.

    “When I was back there in seminary school …”

    I had an old law professor who once said this: “The height of our freedoms can only be measured by the length of the shadows they cast.”

    Being a stupid young law student at the time, I figured he’d dropped a bit too much acid for his generation.

    Very zen, I thought.

    But, as I’ve grown older, I realize it’s not only zen but all too Pythagorean. If the shadow cast is a small one, it’s a good freedom, and perhaps the society in which it flourishes is alive and well.

    However, if the shadow cast is a long one, longer than the freedom is tall, it’s a bad freedom, and perhaps one found only within a society upon which the sun is now setting.

    “… you CAN NOT petition the lord. With prayer.”

    It takes a nation to give a damn and do something about it. And until we do, expect more. Expect worse.

    Yeah. I’m one cynical sonufabitch.

  11. 11
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    In my lifetime I have heard several incidents like this one being referred to as the “worst that we have ever seen”. I fully expect that before I depart this life of mine that I will hear of a few more of these “worst ever” incidents. Second Amendment supporters believe that Constitutional collateral damage is regrettable but acceptable and until that mindset changes the only change I expect to see are more incidents and greater numbers killed and maimed for life. I know it will sound callous of me to say this but all I ask is that when these regrettable but acceptable incidents happen then I hope karma hits these fuckers and their loved ones right between the eyes.

    After all, if they find it acceptable for others to suffer to ensure their right to bear arms then there’s no reason to spare them and their loved ones that agony.

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    This issue of the absolute right of access to all forms of firearms and explosives elicits the same type of response from certain Americans as the issue of cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed elicits from certain Muslims. Such is the nature of fanaticism.

    If abortion rights activists were of the same mindset as the 2nd amendment uber alles crowd, we’d see regular cult gatherings of women intentionally impregnating themselves so they could enjoy their right to a late-trimester abortion.

  13. 13
    Palli says:

    To repeat the title of a later thread above: “If you’re going to spy on us, at least be competent about it”. If internet providers know I’m shopping for a product and select internet ad offerings to suit-somebody knew this man bought 6000 rounds of ammo on the internet!

  14. 14
    g says:

    I’m just curious about how Holmes managed to buy all that gear and ammo. How much does an AK47 and 6000 rounds of ammunition cost anyway? How would a grad student afford it? I know I sure as hell couldn’t order up such items on my credit card.

  15. 15
    kay says:

    I’d just like to say that I admire the hell out of the advocates for weapon regulation. They’re up against a very powerful lobby.

    I heard two of them yesterday, one a survivor of the VA Tech slaughter, going at it against one or another paid hack-lobbyist for the NRA. The paid lobbyist tried to shut the debate down right at the outset by telling them they were “politicizing a tragedy” which is a tactic the gun lobby has used successfully for years to shut people up.
    They were having none of it. They told the paid hack that the NRA doesn’t get to dictate what we debate and when we debate it.
    The lobbyist doesn’t want this “discussed” right now because the lobbyist knows it won’t be news in a week.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    If I can’t buy 6000 rounds of ammo then only criminals would have 6000 rounds ammo. Where in the second amendment does it give someone the right to purchase AK 47’s? It’s beyond comprehension but guns and ammo are going to continue to become more lethal. Maybe the James Holmes’ of the world will be able to use a gun to kill hundreds in a matter of seconds.

  17. 17
    HRA says:

    First of all the nutcases as in this occurrence have not been diagnosed as was the case of many others who committed like crimes as well. This mother’s suspect did tell us there was knowledge of a problem. We may never know if professional help was ever sought. Evidently it does not seem as if it did occur since he was able to purchase the guns. The vast amount of ammunition might have been suspect had it not been purchased online. Although I, too, do not like anything taken from us in respect to the web, I would agree for some sort of measures taken against this kind of purchase.

  18. 18
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’m concerned this morning about the way in which Holmes booby trapped his apartment. Law enforcement hasn’t been able to enter it yet — there are trip wires throughout apparently and all that ammo and jars of a liquid. They’ve evacuated all the other residents from the building.

    Did he intend to have the building blow up? Did he think he would be shot by the cops and killed? (IOW, was his plan suicide by cop?)

  19. 19
    chopper says:

    i’m just fucking sad. everybody is going to blame everybody else, and violence and gun nuttery is so entrenched in this country that it’s just going to happen again and again.

    in a way it ends up also being a twisted commentary on our society’s glorification of violence and our refusal to reexamine that modality. all these people go to see a dark, gritty movie about a vigilante vs terrorism, full of explosions, gunfire and a high-ass body count. then this happens and suddenly it becomes actually real and people still can’t get out of this stupid vigilante-superhero thinking, arguing that if they were in that dark room full of screaming bleeding dying people and tear gas they totes would have saved the day themselves. batman is a fucking movie, people. in real life you are not fucking batman.

    i give up. between this sort of shit and trying to convince ignorant morons that yes, climate change is real, i’m ready to find my own planet and pack it in.

  20. 20
    chopper says:


    he set his stereo to kick in between midnight and 1 am, playing really loud house music. maybe he was hoping a noise complaint would bring the cops, who would trip the thing and blow up the whole building bringing every cop in town away from the crime scene.

  21. 21
    PurpleGirl says:

    @chopper: Shaking my head at the thought of that…

  22. 22
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    When I heard that he had his stereo system tied into a timer that set it to blast the walls out at midnight, I think he intended that the police would be called and when he didn’t answer the door that they would bust it down, setting off the flammable substances, explosives and in the inferno the bullets in jars would heat up and start going off.

    IMO the apartment was rigged as it was intended as a diversion that would tie up the police, fire department and ambulance services while he went to the theater and killed at will with minimal chance of interruption.

    Ninja’d by chopper. :)

  23. 23
    Mark S. says:

    Yeah, the whole response has been depressingly familiar. I thought at least no one would say that this could have been minimized if someone in the theater had been packing, since no sane person brings a gun to watch a movie, but Louie Gohmert (R-Dumbass) proved me wrong.

  24. 24
    chopper says:

    @Mark S.:

    what i’d like to know is, who would bring a gun, a gas mask and night vision goggles to watch a movie? cause that’s about the only way a person in the audience could have actually done anything about this.

  25. 25
    Haydnseek says:

    @Lavocat: Cynicism gets a bad rap. It’s just seeing the world as it is, rather than how you would like it to be.

  26. 26
    jwb says:

    @Mark S.: This one provides insight into the mindset of the whackadoodles packing heat brigade. The guy’s account at least has the advantage of operating marginally within the constraints of the real world, but his scenario runs so far to the optimistic that it remains a product of the Hollywood scripting department. Like he’s going to instantaneously make a head shot in a dark crowded theater with vision obscured further by tear gas.

  27. 27
    wrb says:

    Clearly he was possessed by Bain. Bain stalks the
    land, outsourcing jobs, closing factories, confronting
    suffering people with the glittering wealth accumulated by the vacuous. The
    spirit of Bain is everywhere,insidious, driving people mad.
    This was a demonstration, right in the home of The Dark Knight
    that even he is helpless against Bain. But if so,
    why the need for a demonstration? Bain fears The Dark Knight.

  28. 28
    Rome Again says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    The sins of the putrid ones should not be visited upon innocents who are loved by the putrid ones, but only upon the putrid ones themselves.

    Otherwise, I totally agree.

  29. 29
    Whidby says:

    Gun nuts stupidly think that a gun makes them safe.

    Gun control nuts stupidly think that gun control will make them safe.

  30. 30
    low-tech cyclist says:


    Gun control nuts stupidly think that gun control will make them safe.

    That’s a pretty ridiculous thing to say.

    I’m already pretty safe, and I know it. The likelihood of any one of us being gunned down by a gun nut is really pretty slim.

    But that still doesn’t change the reality that if we can reduce the likelihood that massacres like this will happen, and reduce the quantity of carnage that gunmen like this can inflict when they go crazy, it’s worth doing if it can be done without trampling on anyone’s rights. Things like limiting the number of rounds that can go in a single clip might help, for instance. Ditto one-gun-a-month laws like Virginia used to have.

    But gun nuts fight, tooth and nail, against any sort of imposition on their precious rights, no matter how trivial it might be, and no matter how useful it might be in reducing the carnage.

    Gun nuts stupidly think that a gun makes them safe.

    I don’t know what goes on inside the minds of even the sane pro-gun folks, let alone the kooks who still think we libruls have a secret plot to take away their guns, even though we pretty much abandoned attempts years ago to institute mild measures like I’ve just described.

    But it does seem that they believe that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of random innocents – or at least, if that’s the consequence of preserving their rights, then it’s a perfectly reasonable price to be paid, since after all someone else has to pay it, and not themselves.

  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    If every one of those theater seats had come with a sawed off shotgun attached to the armrest like a bank pen, none of this would have happened.

    Lots of other stuff would have happened, but likely not this.

  32. 32
    JoyceH says:

    It seems to me that the main obstacle to sensible gun legislation is the NRA. So why don’t the people who support sensible gun legislation JOIN the NRA? You don’t like their lobbyist? You don’t like their President and their other talking heads? Join the NRA. Tell your friends to join the NRA. Vote out the extremists.

  33. 33
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Yay, both sides do it!

  34. 34
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I agree; the NRA either needs to change from within, or be replaced by another organization that represents all of the “sane gun owners” who have been calling the radio talk shows of late.

  35. 35
    Lavocat says:

    @Haydnseek: Pessimism is realism that’s been left out of the fridge for too long. Cynicism is nothing more than curdled pessimism.

    {Can you tell I’ve got to make a milk run?}

  36. 36
    wrb says:

    @El Cid:

    If every one of those theater seats had come with a sawed off shotgun attached to the armrest like a bank pen,.

    Ah, to have such a rig when Tom Cruise appears on the screen.

  37. 37
    smith says:


    Not only that, he left his door ajar hoping that someone would walk in and trip the wires, blowing the building up.

    That way when the police, firefighters, ambulances, etc. came, there would be fewer rescue personnel able to respond when he shot up the theater and he would have time to kill more people.

    One of his neighbors went down to his apartment when she heard the loud music to tell him to turn it down, then she saw the door was ajar and freaked out and went back to her apartment. She could very easily have triggered the explosives if she had walked in.

  38. 38
    JoyceH says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    the NRA either needs to change from within

    The NRA claims to have four million members. That’s about the size of a Congressional district, maybe? But spread it out over 50 states. If 50-100 people in each Congressional district joined the NRA for the purpose of moderating it, that might be enough to tip the balance back to sanity. 5-10K per Congressional district would overwhelm the gun nuts.

    Unless…? Unless the unaffiliated gun nuts would see what was happening and swarm in to reenforce the hardliners? I dunno, are all the major gun huggers already in the NRA?

  39. 39
    Geoduck says:

    Re: the large ammo purchases. I’m not a gun user, but I’ve read several times on line that if you practice target-shooting, you go through a lot of ammo. So buying 6000 rounds is not that unusual, evidently.

  40. 40
    whidby says:

    I confess I don’t understand that too-hah over the alleged purchase of 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

    First, if you do competitive shooting, you go through lots of ammo – several hundred rounds a weekend and it’s cheaper if you buy in bulk and are too lazy (like me) to hand load. (Hand loading or reloading is where you buy the components – powder, bullet, primers – and reload the used brass shell casing yourself..)

    Second, I don’t know how many rounds this guy actually fired. He hit 70 or so people, so he might have only fired a hundred or a couple of hundred rounds. So why does it matter that he had 5,800 unfired rounds sitting a box somewhere? If he could buy 100 or 200 rounds, he could create the same amount of carnage…

    And to the poster above, I don’t know what sort of “assault rifle” the guy had. Initial reports said it was an AK. Later they said it was an AR-15 type. Either way that would be from $400 to $1,200 probably. And we don’t know what kind of ammunition he had 6,000 rounds of. You can get 1,000 rounds of .223 for $320 or so on sale:

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