A couple of random thoughts on the Colorado shooting

I keep thinking about the Colorado shootings. It makes my heart ache. All the victims: the people who got killed, the people who got shot and will live, the people who were there and escaped – using the term very loosely because nobody who was there escaped – the people who had to go to the hospital or morgue to identify some child or loved one, Holmes’ parents. All victims of a man who spent alot of time and energy to destroy lives.

I keep asking myself, Why would anybody do this? I guess that it is the obvious question, I guess that it is the questions almost every asks, it certainly is the question the police are asking. Yea, sure, he is nuts, but then I hold the position that anybody who kills somebody is nuts. But being nuts just begs the question, Why did he think he was doing it? I can understand the guys who flew into the World Trade Center; I have never been that dedicated to anything, but I can understand it it. I can even sort of understand Columbine or Virginia Tech, But this is incomprehensible to me.

This was not a suicide: this was not somebody so unhappy they wanted to take their life and then added as many people as they could. James Holmes – does anybody call him Jim? – went out and bought some guns and also bought body armor to protect himself as much as possible, he then went out and shot as many – totally random – people as he could. He seemed to want to live through this. He then told the police that he had booby-trapped his apartment.  Why would anybody do that?

Ever since Charles Whitman climbed up the Texas Tower, we hear the same thing, “He was really shy, really quiet, but really nice and sweet.” I read somewhere that you can tell how likely someone is to have road-rage by the number of bumper stickers they have on the back of their car. But I think that the scary people are the ones who are shy, quiet, and sweet.

As an aside, the even more scary people are like Luke O’Dell of the National Association for Gun Rights who took the opportunity to say  “Potentially, if there had been a law-abiding citizen who had been able to carry in the theater, it’s possible the death toll would have been less.” Scary because they are trying to change public policy and – in many places – seceding. Imagine that nightmare, a shootout in a dark movie theater between several idiots as a way to cut the carnage. End aside.


3 thoughts on “A couple of random thoughts on the Colorado shooting

  1. Steve,

    Good write up. Reflecting also on the shootings at 101 California back in the 1990’s, I just wonder why we need access to these highly sophisticated automatic weapons. I can’t imagine a time when we’ll all really need all these weapons, or at least need to buy four weapons in six week. Then I think about how difficult it is to balance individual privacy and rights with collective rights. Not easy and no easy answer.

    A friend from England once said they (Europe) had their violence within sports and we (U.S) has our violence out in society. Still holds true mostly.

    Take care,


  2. Laura, about a year or so ago, I had an epiphany. The gun laws are not to enable people to buy guns that are needed to hunt or – even – protect themselves, the gun laws are for companies that sell guns. They make more money off of powerful, complicated, assault rifles.

    I hope your friend is wrong, Europe does have Anders Behring Breivik, after all. But, then again, we have our Timothy McVeigh and James Holmes.

  3. Laura, I just ran across this tidbit: the US gun industry is estimated to be worth more than $60bn a year. That is alot of money and they are spending alot of money to preserve it.

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