It’s been a while since my last post, not because of lack of interest, but because I got caught on what I like to call the treadmill of life…that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other pace one gets locked into while doing that which must be done…work, family, household chores, more work, more family, more household chores…I’m sure you’ve all been there. I am perpetually amazed at how many grains of my allotted sand runs through my personal hourglass of life from when I get onto the treadmill to when I wake up and step off for a bit to look around and actually pay attention to what transpired since the last time I stepped off. Looking at the date of my last post, it’s already a bit north of three weeks since last I took a reckoning. Let’s see what transpired.

My last rant came just after the Supremes (let’s say the Diana Ross member) found a way to validate Obamacare as a tax. I guess the biggest news since then was the massacre that took place in Aurora, Colorado at the opening of the latest “Batman” flick, at the hands of an orange-haired bit of sludge who decided to play the Joker. A truly sad bit of news that has already been perverted into: a media circus, inclusive of the obligatory and erroneous left-wing attempt to tie the shooter to the Tea Party in particular and Republicans in general; an invitation to revisit the debate over the merits of gun control; an open debate over why some of the movie-goers at the midnight show were infants and children; and, the vagaries of the soon-to-be-pleaded “insanity” defense, as that notion is decided under Colorado law. In other words, a panoply of matters for me to comment on. So here goes.

I’ll start with the incident itself. Whenever some nut does some perfectly awful deed that makes the news, Mo invariably asks me, “What was he (or she) thinking?” My response is always, “I don’t know, because if I did, I’d be just as sick as they are —as would you if you understood them.” An apt point I believe. You can’t truly relate to acts of savagery of this sort, unless you too are a bit savage, no? Fortunately, just because an act is irrational, doesn’t mean it the actor gets off by pleading insanity in the ensuing criminal prosecution, as there is a legal standard for determining one’s sanity or insanity, which I’ll discuss below.

Although I can’t imagine what this slime ball was actually thinking when he acted, I note from what has been reported thus far that there’s a lot of attendant detail that suggests to me he spent quite a bit of time in preparation for the actual perpetration of the deed; and, was expecting to get a bit of publicity when he did it. Thanks to a media that basks in the afterglow of atrocities, the miscreant has already garnered more publicity than he ought to have. But it does highlight one of the dilemmas of a free society. People have a genuine need and right to know when someone in their midst is perpetrating violence. The opportunity cost of such elucidation to society is that the headline seeking turd gets exactly the publicity he or she sought by doing what miscreant act they did. The main stream media can be counted on to provide absolutely no self-restraint, and will therefore pursue surviving victims, the families of same as well as of those who perished; family, friends, teachers and co-workers of the perpetrator; and, a panoply of talking heads for whatever commentary might be garnered. In the age of twitter and picture taking telephones, the main stream media is actually beaten to the publicity punch by spectators who have the right equipment and want to be a part of history — thus we can count on published tweets and You-Tube broadcasts of the action, shortly after it takes place, and sometimes as it is actually happening. Sort of makes you wonder about people, and why they appear to have such a disproportionate interest in news about violent crimes over perhaps more apt but less titillating news about the economy, government and the world at large.

In attempting to answer that question, I pondered about what other indicia of our interests as a society were out there that might provide a clue. To no surprise to me, the first two notions that came to my mind were movies and sports, both forms of entertainment that offer a sort of voyeuristic window to violence. Certainly boxing, wrestling and the other full contact sports offer the spectator a view of seemingly “controlled” violence that satiates some part our basic human interest in such. This is clearly not a novel notion, nor one fomented by Hollywood movies, as the Romans filled up the Colosseum several thousand years ago with spectators there to witness mortal combat between Gladiators and a mix of early Christians, wild animals and other Gladiators. Baseball is not as overtly violent as football, yet the fans enjoy watching a ninety mile an hour fastball whizzing just past the nose of an opposing team’s batsman, or a hard slide into second base with spikes digging for the bag; and, the occasional brawl between teams. You can find comparable action that goes on in hockey, basketball and most other allegedly non-contact sports. We apparently enjoy it.

Hollywood movies and their television counterparts have made billions over time by peddling a variety of violence — war movies (initially conventional, now in space too); Westerns (offering gun duels and Indian massacres); and, a panoply of offerings that offer murder and mayhem as the central plot, recently involving an assortment of super-heros and villains roughing each other up. The “Batman” flick where the violence de jure was perpetrated is splendidly typical of these offerings.

When you consider the multitudinous numbers of spectators who view these flicks and sporting events, as compared to the relatively small number of miscreants who actually go out and mimic the portrayed violence, it is difficult, in my mind at least, to say there is a causal connection between the two. I suspect miscreancy long antedated both Hollywood movies and the Colosseum.

War, the ultimate exchange of violence, has apparently been around since our species started forming into separate groups. We have a number of them going on about the globe presently, but none strike me as having been inspired by either a Hollywood movie or a sporting event. Nor are they the product of a popular vote to wage one. The populace is induced into warring by a relatively small number of politicians who decide to pick the fight. To fight back when attacked is instinctual. My point, as it relates to my present topic is that we live in a relatively violent world, yet, the bulk of the populace is generally law abiding; and, with few exceptions, not prone to massing together and waging war on neighboring communities. That leads me to the notion of gun control.

Gun control is a classic confrontation between individual rights and governmental regulation under its police power to legislate for the health, safety and general welfare of the populace. At the core of the logic of it’s proponents is the notion that a disarmed populace will not be able to perpetrate the violence attributed to firearms. Based on that same logic, and published statistics from the US CDC, a ban on motor vehicles will save roughly 4 times as many lives than a total ban on firearms, as that is the present ratio. You will pardon me, but neither the logic nor the statistics show any rational connection to the real issue.

The fact of the matter is that as is the case with having a voluntary income tax system, the only people who register their guns, (and don’t cheat on their taxes) are those who are law abiding in the first instance. In a country where we cannot, or more aptly, will not, secure our borders, it strikes me as kind of dopey to think that disarming the populace will result in anything other than more violence being perpetrated on them than already exists. Criminals don’t register guns, or usually buy them through legitimate vendors. Don’t believe me? Which political sub-division of our country has the highest murder and violent crime rates per capita? That’s right, Washington D.C., which can boast rates nearly 4 times the National average and also has the strictest gun control laws on the books, or at least did so, until the Supremes decided District of Columbia v. Heller. I’m sure they’re scrambling to keep things restrictive.

Like it or not, gun related violence is disproportionately identified with the same common elements: young gang members, drugs and lower socio-economic urban environments. At the risk of being labeled a racist, I note the U.S. Department of Justice statistics show blacks commit 7 times as many homicides as do whites, even though they represent only 13% of the total population. Does that make gun control advocates racist?

As usual, in my curmudgeonly view of reality, lost in all this debate over gun control is the historical perspective of what this is really all about. We are a nation born out of armed revolution against a tyrant. The inclusion of the right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights to our Constitution was not an accident and is totally and logically connected to the notions of inalienable individual rights intended to be secured by that document. We have a right to protect ourselves, our family and our property from unwanted intrusion by those who would do harm to same. A gun in the hands of a person defending life or property against such intrusion is a great equalizer.

Politicians, the well-to-do and senior corporate executives rely on the local police for protection no more than they rely on the local subway system for transportation, which is to say, not at all. They have armed body-guards to accompany them to their meetings and their homes. The populace has cell phones to call 911. In New York City, the police response time to such a call is roughly 8.4 minutes. Think you can avoid an intruder for that long? If you are accosted on the street, well, you’re not going to get the call off until it’s over, if you’re still in shape to do so. Compare that to the 1400 feet per second response time of a .44 magnum round fired at the perpetrator.

So, at midnight, when this, lawfully, well armed piece of snot entered the movie theater populated by several hundred Batman fanatics, seeking to do harm, how many of his potential victims had a sidearm to terminate his violence prematurely? None. How many cops were just outside, ready to jump in and protect the innocent? None. Compare this to a news clip that was making the rounds just three days prior. A pair of adolescent miscreants, one with a bat and another with a handgun, entered a Florida internet cafe, and started a hold-up. How many innocents got hurt? None. Why? Because a seventy-something codger pulled out his sidearm and commenced firing on the pair. They went to hospital then to jail. Our politically correct society doesn’t keep statistics on how many robberies, rapes and murders didn’t happen because an armed civilian pointed a handgun, shotgun or rifle at a would-be perpetrator, who discovered retreat was a better option than some hot lead in his or her torso. I suspect if an accurate tally was ever taken, it would take your breath away.

At the opening of the last paragraph, I noted that the Aurora miscreant had lawfully acquired his weaponry. That should not become an excuse for imposing stricter gun control laws, as there are rogue cops who have used their lawfully acquired weapons to perpetrate violent crimes, and that is not a rational basis for disarming the police department. A person intent on doing harm will find a way, with or without a gun. You can load a bottle with gasoline, stick in a rag and light it and cause all kinds of mayhem. We don’t ban sales of gas in cans to avert the possibility — sometimes we need a reserve in our car and sometime we need gas for a mower or other power tool.

Nor am I advocating arming the entire population by political mandate. Gun ownership is a right which you can choose to not exercise. If the sight of a gun makes you squeamish, by all means don’t own one. You might feel differently when you find yourself looking at one pointed at your head or abdomen, but it will be too late to do anything about it for that encounter. All I advocate is that law abiding citizens, with no history of violence or criminal record be allowed to purchase and possess firearms without any significant government intrusion.

What constitutes “significant government intrusion?” Some would argue that having to register a weapon at all is such. I understand their concerns, insofar as it relates to the potential to have some despotic political figure declare martial law and have the local police or federal troops come take them away, for reasons having nothing to do with protecting society at large. Yet, the closest we ever got to such a scenario was in a movie, “Seven Days in May,” and it didn’t work. Accordingly, registration and a background check strikes me as a reasonable governmental intrusion into our right to own weapons. After that, to me, all bets are off. Urban, suburban or rural, if you pass muster, and want to walk around with a weapon on your side or in your shoulder holster, go for it. Criminals have the presumption of innocence, why shouldn’t law abiding citizens?

So, included in the viewing audience on the night of the massacre, were an infant child and a six year old girl, the latter of which died from her wounds. I ask myself, “Why were these children at a midnight movie to begin with?” I have no good answer. When seeing a Batman movie at midnight is more important than hiring a sitter and putting your child to bed, your priorities are misplaced. But I admit to being a curmudgeon and actually believe children should have a regular and strictly enforced bed-time, which is something short of midnight for those under 16.

That leads me to the likely plea of insanity by the perpetrator. I see no need to employ the term “alleged” as there is no doubt as to who did the shooting, where, when, and how many he killed or injured. All that remains is to determine whether he was legally responsible for his act, and that turns on whether he was legally “insane” when he acted. In Colorado, a defendant is legally insane if he is “so diseased or defective in mind at the time of the commission of the act as to be incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.” I will note here that such a defense, whether it is an affirmative one (to be proved to a jury by the defendant) or a regular defense (which must be dis-proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution) is actually pretty rare in practice and more intricate than the simple wording of the provision might imply. For instance, if the perpetrator were blind drunk or hopped up on drugs when he or she acted, you don’t get to the defense as the voluntary impairment, even if it included the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, precludes the right to invoke the defense.

In my opinion, the booby-trapped apartment the would-be Joker left behind, is suggestive of a person who had a very clear view that he was embarking on a mission to perpetrate bad, and intended to do more of same when the cops came to get him. Frankly, acquiring the weaponry lawfully, along with the ammo also suggests to me a consciousness of right and wrong. Time will tell.

This Post Has 97 Comments

  1. I have realized some new points from your internet site about pc’s. Another thing I’ve always believed is that laptop computers have become a product that each family must have for some reasons. They offer convenient ways in which to organize the home, pay bills, search for information, study, hear music and perhaps watch tv series. An innovative technique to complete every one of these tasks is with a laptop. These pc’s are mobile, small, potent and convenient.

  2. I have seen lots of useful elements on your web page about computer systems. However, I have the view that netbooks are still not nearly powerful more than enough to be a option if you often do jobs that require lots of power, for example video enhancing. But for world-wide-web surfing, statement processing, and a lot other common computer functions they are fine, provided you do not mind the tiny screen size. Thank you for sharing your thinking.

  3. Aundrea says:

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  4. wiż says:

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking much more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site within my social networking sites!

  6. Camille Mach says:

    Hello, i just planned to drop that you a line to say that we thoroughly enjoyed this particular post from yours, I’ve subscribed for your RSS feed and have totally skimmed several of your articles or weblog posts before but this blog truly endured out in my situation.

  7. kolonie says:

    hello!,I like your writing so much! percentage we keep in touch extra approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this space to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

  8. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  9. I am no longer positive where you’re getting your information, however good topic. I must spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  10. Thanks for every other fantastic article. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  11. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great post.

  12. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  13. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  14. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks , I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  15. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be actually one thing that I feel I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and very extensive for me. I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

  16. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually annoying. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  17. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  18. I was just searching for this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.

  19. Hello there, I found your web site by way of Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  20. Thank you for any other magnificent post. Where else could anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  21. Terrific work! This is the type of info that are supposed to be shared around the net. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and consult with my web site . Thanks =)

  22. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!

  23. Whats Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different users like its helped me. Great job.

  24. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  25. you’re actually a good webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a excellent activity in this subject!

  26. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  27. I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals. I definitely love reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  28. Great awesome issues here. Iˇ¦m very glad to peer your article. Thanks so much and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  29. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  30. bukmacher says:

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I have read through a single thing like that before. So great to discover someone with original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  31. Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

  32. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  33. It is really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  34. I simply couldn’t leave your website prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply on your visitors? Is going to be back frequently in order to inspect new posts

  35. Ria Karrels says:

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about MUSINGS FROM THE TREADMILL OF LIFE | Piazza Pazzo .

  36. Jocelyn says:

    Many thanks for making the effort to talk about this, I feel strongly about this and enjoy studying a great deal more on this subject. If feasible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your webpage with a great deal more details? It’s extremely beneficial for me.

  37. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found
    that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave A Reply