Holy Smokes Batman! Government Overreacts by Proposing More Control

CRDaily, Politics

You cannot open a newspaper, turn on the television or stumble across an online news source without hearing the latest details about James Eagen Holmes, 24, dubbed ‘The Batman Killer’. By now everyone knows that Holmes attended the movie The Dark Knight in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado. Mid-point through the movie, he left through an emergency exit, blocking it open. He then went to his car, put on body armor and grabbed weapons. When he entered the movie theater he then began shooting, injuring 58 people and killing 12. Holmes was found by his car and surrendered to police without a fight. People are reeling to understand why someone would do such a thing and news outlets are busy looking into Holmes’ past to discover a cause. It has been determined that he received one of only five annual National Institutes of Health grants to cover his full tuition, which comes with an $26,000 annual living allowance. We also know Holmes was doing a doctrinal program in neuroscience. To put it bluntly, this kid was brilliant, but troubled. Some have suggested that he had or was going to fail his first round of exams, which is why documents show he filed to withdraw from the program at the end of his first year, in June 2012. We may never understand the reasoning behind Holmes actions, but we will continue to feel the effects.

As our government began to immediately take reactionary measures to prevent another attack like the one in Aurora, American citizens saw another attack on their civil liberties. The assumption Democrats immediately made was that tighter gun control was needed and more strictly enforced. They, however, neglected to ask one vital question: how could this have been stopped at the theater? Liberals rushed to the conclusion that the only way to stop an attack is to prevent someone from obtaining a weapon and/or ammunition. On July 30th, Democrats announced a new bill which would effectively ban regular American citizens from purchase weapons online. New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg are calling their bill the Stop Online Ammunitions Act and hope to limit online sales to dealers only. Their bill will also require that sales of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition be reported to the government and require licensed dealers to keep records of who they’re selling to.

Perhaps the Stop Online Ammunitions Act sounds like a good idea. After all, we don’t want just anybody being able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition for their guns, do we? Oh wait, that pesky 2nd Amendment to the Constitution says that citizens have the right to bear arms, which implies the right to have and use ammunition in those arms. What’s at stake here isn’t just our ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannous government (which our forefathers were worried about), but our privacy as well. As there is no correlation between number of rounds and likelihood to attack another human being, the government does not need to know how many rounds one has.  Their logic is faulty because the number itself does not indicate how likely one is to attack another human being. They seem to have forgotten that it takes only one bullet to end a human life.

So back to the question that Democrats missed: how could the shooting have been prevented from within the theater? By having an armed public. Google the words “concealed carry saves” and you will find numerous news articles that reveal an armed public is a safer public. The New York Daily News states that “with a single exception, every multiple-victim public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms.” The article goes on to cite several specific examples of armed citizens who reacted when a gunman showed up, saving lives while doing so.

Statistically speaking, an unarmed citizenry is actually less safe than an armed one. You may have seen the debate on CNN featuring Piers Morgan on July 23rd. Morgan (who is from the UK) argued that more control is needed in the US. However, his guest- academic John Lott Jr. pointed out that England had fewer gun deaths per year before they implemented their gun control than after. Germany provides yet another sad, but real example that more gun control does not keep the public safe. Germans have to wait an entire year for a gun after undergoing extensive psychological screening. Yet, in the last ten years, “three of the worst five multiple-victim K-12 public school shootings in the world” took place there (NY Daily News). It is not an armed public that the government should be afraid of, but the armed criminal. Having an armed public actually makes law enforcement’s job easier because a person with a concealed carry permit is able to react and end an attack minutes before police arrive (or in some cases are even called).

Where do We Go from Here?


Eleven Years, 8 months, and 15 days ago, my family was huddled around the television getting to welcome in the New Year, the New Decade, the New Century, the New Millennium. Almost everyone was with family or friends celebrating. What was there to worry about? The US had been the sole superpower for nearly a decade, the threat of nuclear war, which define the past half century, was all but gone, and the economy appeared to be on the rise. I remember distinctly that as we welcomed in the New Year, my father told me that I was the only one of my siblings who would be old enough to remember this event, and that I would never forget it.
I was seven at the time, and while I do remember that day of celebration, of optimism, of joy, the day that shaped me, and most of our generation, came 1 year, 8 months, and eleven days later.
I was 9 years old when the same man who told me with a smile on his face that January 1, 2000 would be a day that would stick out in my mind forever, packed his family in front of the television, watching in horror as planes flew into the sides of the Twin Towers. I barely remember where I was on the first day of this millennium, but I remember exactly where I was when I heard that we had been attacked. I remember exactly where I was when I saw the planes hit those building. I remember where I was when I saw all those people jumping from skyscrapers to avoid the flames. And I remember the exact place I was, the exact feeling in my stomach, and the exact horror on everyone’s face each time we saw those towers collapse.
September 11, 2001 is a day that defines our generation. We lost nearly 3000 innocent men and women that day, and we have lost thousands more trying to ensure that no future generation has to see its country so vulnerable, so terrified ever again. No one could ever make these sacrifices and this pain less acute, less gut-wrenching, or less scarring for an entire nation, especial our generation, which was just old enough to know how atrocious and horrifying that attack was as it was happening. That said, we have lost our way while trying to deal with the threats of this new age.
We, as a society, have made the mistake of looking to the federal government for absolute security in our lives. We have allowed the passage of the easily abused and intrusive PATRIOT Act and allow the Transportation Security Administration to ostentatiously flout the Fourth Amendment of our constitution. It is fundamentally wrong for us to allow this intrusion into any citizen’s life because the preservation of Civil Liberties is the primary role of government. After that comes security, because security means nothing if we sacrifice the freedom that makes our nation so great.
Anyone who saw me on September 11, 2011 will tell you how somber I was that entire day. These are not the rantings of someone who was not deeply and fundamentally affected by watching the towers fall. I simply want to impart on you how we must change course! If we continue down this path, we make it easy for officials in the government to try to solve the nation’s problems through force and coercion, a tactic that will lead to the further loss of liberty and further use of coercion.