The White Noise Surrounding the Colorado Shooting
Posted on July 23, 2012
Let’s blame Canada! No…wait… We already did that when a chunk of the east coast blacked out some years back. Let’s blame Batman! Er…or you know, that Christopher Nolan guy, especially since he writes scripts. No…wait… Let’s blame Hollywood! Maybe we should just blame the gays! Or everybody who didn’t get to pray in school! Possibly the left. Maybe the right. All politicians! There we go!
That kinda sums up the past few days in the news, doesn’t it? And it’s just stupid. It’s just really stupid. We had a huge tragedy in Colorado, people are dead and many more wounded, some of them who may not make it. And instead of some (notice I said ‘some’) reporting the tragedy with any degree of responsibility and focusing on trying to help people heal, it’s been sensationalized and the hunt for someone to blame has begun.
Based on what’s been on the news so far, nobody could have seen this coming. The weapons the suspect bought were all legal. All the rounds of ammunition he bought were legal and didn’t raise any suspicion. The man was in medical school where they introduce you to the Hippocratic Oath, not a politician where you learn the Hypocrite Oath. So his background where it currently stands of what we know isn’t indicative of someone who’d do such a thing.
Now, getting into the tragedy itself, I posted on Facebook about it a couple of days ago regarding some questions I had. One that I posed is why there was a 4 month old and 6 year old (or thereabouts) child in the audience of a midnight movie. Someone pointed out in a response that it’s not illegal (it’s not, I agree), but might be considered questionable parenting. I’m going to agree with that, too. Okay, maybe these people couldn’t get a sitter or were hoping their child would sleep through the film. But here’s a thought, GO ANOTHER DAY. Did you have to go the midnight premier? Thinking no. And no, nobody probably would have batted an eyelash if what happened hadn’t happened, so there’s that.
Moving along, here’s an intriguing bit. Rep. Loui Gohmert (a Republican in Texas) believed the tragedy happened because of continuing attacks on Christian beliefs. He also wondered why nobody else in the audience was carrying a concealed weapon who could have shot the shooter since carrying concealed weapons is legal in Colorado. Okay…my head is spinning a little bit on this one. I don’t quite recall where the Bible suggests carrying guns or where Christianity in general suggest carrying guns, so if there were Christians in the audience, are they going to be in trouble for not carrying them? And, here’s another thought, maybe instead of allowing people to carry concealed weapons or buy them as the shooter did… I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. The shooter may have found another means to buy a weapon, but even if he did, the outcome would have been the same since apparently nobody in the audience had a concealed weapon. Can’t wait to hear what the NRA has to say.
Libby Spencer ran a column in the Detroit News and raised the wrath of the right by stating the first thing she thought when she heard the news is that the shooter must be a fan of Rush Limbaugh. If you read it as a whole, she explains her point. Still, her mistake was in opening up herself as believing to be doing exactly what the other side was doing; looking for someone to blame. Rush had just gone on a tirade stating the character of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is there specifically to help Obama in the upcoming election by… Oh, who cares? It gets so far-fetched that it’s almost bafflingly nutty. Several people responded to Libby criticizing her horrible left wing politics and trying to push her agenda…as if the right wasn’t doing the very same thing. I chimed in on that point and left a comment stating as much.
And in what I’m sure you’ll agree is by far the least politically motivated and most concerned about the victims of the shooting, American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer tweeted “Chick-fil-A provides free meals to first responders in CO. Let’s see Big Gay demonize that.” Sure, because the first thing first responders are thinking at this point happens to be “I’m hungry for chicken.” I wonder if any other restaurants offered the same thing before Chick-fil-A. I wonder because Chick-fil-A has been in the news quite a bit lately and not in the greatest of light, so who there decided to try and get a sound byte in an attempt to create some positive spin? No free meals for the people who were there, the families of the victims or anybody else? Apparently they aren’t hungry for chicken, but first responders are.
It’s all white noise, people. It’s all white noise and it’s blocking out the most important part of this whole thing; the people who were there, the people who are recovering and the people who didn’t make it. This isn’t about the people who weren’t there, the people in Texas, Chick-fil-a, the Big Gay (who I’ve yet to meet) or anyone else pushing their own agenda. Why it can’t it just be who it’s really about? And why can’t some of us learn to see who it’s really about instead of trying to push our name, agenda or company to get into the media?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
19 Responses to “The White Noise Surrounding the Colorado Shooting”
July 23, 2012 at 7:12 am
As always well-expressed, Kris. But when all is said and done, it comes down to the final word of you blog: “Why?” and the inescapably sad answer: “Because.”
July 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm
There will come a day, Dorien, when “because” will no longer be considered an acceptable response.
July 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm
My grand daughter Aurora has learned to say “why not?” We have not found how she started saying it or who influenced her. I like it! If we focused on the why not, maybe the prevention would come before the act!
July 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm
I love that she’s questioning things at an early age, Nick. I hope it stays with her for the rest of her life.
Diana Kathryn Plopa says:
July 23, 2012 at 9:10 am
Well written, Kris. Thanks for bringing some humanity back to the issue.
July 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm
I think much of what people say and what’s written isn’t scrutinized nearly enough. Because if you start to poke holes at it, you see how it collapses, the people talking or writing will stick closer to what’s important and stay away from their own agendas.
July 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm
AMEN! Incredibly well written, Kris. I could not agree more!
July 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm
Thank you, Suzanne. =)
Katherine T. says:
July 23, 2012 at 9:22 am
Brilliantly said and to the point. We may never know “why”, but to help the people who were affected by this crime I don’t think that is of utmost importance. Helping them heal is what is impotant.
Oh, and Chik-filet —- Shame on you!!!!!
July 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm
The crappy thing is I used to enjoy Chik-fil-a whenever I’d travel to Atlanta.
Hugh Yeman says:
July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Thanks, Kris. This is one of the few things I’ve read about the shooting that doesn’t boil down to blame-throwing.
Here’s what I wrote yesterday.
It just occurred to me that all the opportunistic political posturing around the Batman shooting boils down to the safety fallacy. The right says “This wouldn’t have happened if we just had more guns, or if everyone respected my religion.” The left says “This wouldn’t have happened if we had gun control or affordable mental health care.” Each assertion is based on the assumption that safety is possible. It’s not. There are crazy people in the world, and we will never be safe from them.
July 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm
I shudder to think of what is yet to come in terms of the blame game. It’s just getting started.
Lori H. says:
July 24, 2012 at 7:02 am
Hugh–Your comment is very articulate, and you are correct that there are crazy people in the world from who we will never be safe. But does that mean we shrug in the face of tragedy? After 9/11, did we say, “Ah, well, crazy people do crazy things. Let’s leave well enough alone?” Would we do this after any kind of terrorist attack? Of course not. Since 9/11, we strip people of hair gel and bottles of water and force them to remove their shoes at airports in an attempt to prevent similar violence. We tapped phones (illegally, of course). We created a terror watch list (although people on this list can still legally buy firearms).
But what do we do to prevent domestic massacres like this one? Nothing, it seems. (And as a result, they keep happening). Why? Because for domestic shootings, we blindly follow the “logic” that says “there are crazy people in the world, and will will never be safe from them.” What a shocking shirking of responsibility! What a convenient excuse to literally overlook the smoking gun that all tragedies like this have in common.
Australia had one mass killing (5+ dead) a year, on average, up to 1996, when a schizophrenic with machine guns mowed down 35 people at Port Arthur. The govt changed the gun laws and bought back tens of thousands of guns of all kinds – funded by a 1.2% income tax levy for a few years.
Since 1996 Australia has not had a single mass killing and researchers estimate that 200 lives a year have been saved from all kinds of death by firearm.
Simple cause and effect. If you want lots of gun deaths, you let people have guns. Shrugging in apparent helplessness means resigning ourselves to massacres like this as a way of life. I do not accept that this needs to be the case. At least the Right and Left, in their different ways, are calling for action to stop these atrocities, although gun statistics strongly support the Left’s position on limiting guns.
And honestly? The white noise in this particular discussion is about the bedtimes for children. Yeah, that’s what really matters here–that some parents brought young kids to a midnight movie. Sure, I thought it, too. But how can bringing that up possibly accomplish anything positive? How does that help prevent future tragedies–unless it’s to somehow imply that these parents or their kids deserved to be shot–or help the victims (and our nation) heal? I mean, really? If an overweight person was murdered at a Dairy Queen, should we say, “Why were they eating ice cream?” Some people, of course, would. And that’s a tragedy.
Kendall McKenna says:
July 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm
I have to say, you’re the only person outside of myself I have seen question why young children were at a midnight showing, not to mention a midnight showing of THIS movie.
White noise is right. Talking heads enamored with the sounds of their own voices.
July 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm
And sadly, the voices are just getting started.
Patricia Logan says:
July 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm
Well said as always Kris. In my humble opinion, you have to be insane (criminally insane) to go from being a promising young med student to murdering a theatre full of people. How does a sane person go from wanting to save lives to wanting to take them? He’s more than likely going to get off with an insanity defense, the way most of these things end up.
About the media, in my humble opinion, they are all too much in love with themselves. They are no longer reporters, they are the news makers. They invent stories, hypothesizing this or that so that they can hear themselves talk, assholes (pardon my French). Whether on the right pointing at the gays and first responders being fed by Chik-fil-A, or on the left blaming it on the right, they are all making their own news.
By the way, I thought you were the BIG GAY Kris… *smile*
Dawn Roberto says:
July 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm
Very well said and you raised some wonderful points. I have relatives in Aurora and though I am glad none were at the theater at that time but still the only person to blame is the shooter. He did this and he will be facing justice for it. Maybe we will never know why he did but the people he shot-alive, dead and their respective families-they will forever be haunted by this one deadly act forever.
You eloquently said everything I was thinking and hope one day news people will just report the news as it happens not make it so sensational that it feeds peoples fears.
July 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm
Thank you, Dawn. I just hope more people start calling the press on others on their BS.
CR Guiliano says:
July 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm
I agree completely. (I also question ever living in Colorado again…Columbine anyone?) I have many relatives there, though none in Aurora. It has become a sad state of affairs that the ‘news’ has sunk so low that it rivals the gossip rags.
And I don’t see in any way how this tragedy is tied to politics nor religion and certainly not The Big Gay. The shooter was a sociopath, end of story.
I, as a parent, would never have taken a small child or baby to a midnight showing. That, to me, is irresponsible. But that’s my opinion.
Well said Kris, as always.