"Every time a gun killing makes news, the shots ring round the world. The problem is these gunshots from the US ring round the world fairly regularly."
The shootings at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, where the latest Batman megapicture—The Dark Knight Rises—was being screened has touched America in the raw and plunged it into a frenzy of analyses. The questions were swirling around, even as Christian Bale, the Batman star, visited the crime scene, albeit too late to prevent the occurrence. Thankfully he wore black T-shirt and jeans, not latex, with pointy bat ears. Is the Dark Knight somehow responsible for the deaths? Was gratuitous violence, which is inimical to Batman films, to blame? Who can forget Jack Nicholson’s Joker taking such obvious joy in perpetrating violence to the tune of Prince songs? After all, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, can you?
The Aurora killings triggered that old debate again: Could it have been prevented? Do guns kill people or do people kill people? After all when James Holmes, the perpetrator, was nabbed outside the cinema theatre he was found to be packing four guns which included an assault rifle and a shotgun other than the two handguns he brandished as well. They were all legally obtained, as were the ammunition. The police gave up trying to figure out how many rounds were fired. They were far too many to be counted. The assault rifle was capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds a minute. Apparently, you can buy the gun and its ammunition from most sporting goods shops, if you don’t have a criminal record. Holmes didn’t have a criminal record; he had a clean academic record. Analysis will of course be made to determine if Holmes is anti-social, if he is mentally deficient or simply psychotic.
In civilised countries, one would have thought, guns were not something you take to the movie theatres. Would better gun laws have prevented the carnage? Would a restriction on the capacity of the magazines have prevented such a high toll? Analysis was of course made as to how this particular mass homicide was different from other homicides the US witnesses from time to time, at least different enough to be unique. Was there a precedent of any such killing in a movie theatre? Is it finally time to place full body scanners at the entrances of movie theatres to screen those going to multiplexes and make sure that the only thing they were taking with them was popcorn and coke? President Barack Obama and Presidential nominee Mitt Romney have already been urged to talk about gun control.
Every time a gun killing makes news, the shots ring round the world. The problem is these gunshots from the US ring round the world fairly regularly. About twice a month, on an average, some say. Since the ’80s, there have been maybe more than 50 such senseless multiple homicides, but who’s counting? I am sure statistics can be found to show the trend is increasing. Will Obama be able to do anything about it? After all, it is the run-up to the elections. I highly doubt it. Tears will be shed, tributes will be paid, candles will be lit. The National Rifle Association will come out with convincing arguments that guns had nothing to do with the Aurora attack; on the other hand, violent movies had everything to do with it; anyway Holmes was not really together up there… Afterwards America will simply move on till the next massacre happens.