Monday, July 23, 2012

Media and political ritual for dealing with recurrent mass gun murders getting nuttier

The media and political ritual for dealing with these recurrent mass gun murders is getting kind of nuts itself. CNN's Anderson Cooper just tweeted, "I have no intention of saying #AuroraShooting suspect's name tonight. Don't want to give him more attention than needed." ( This follows President Obama's similar comment in his press conference Sunday.

The President actually should be cautious about naming criminal suspects in situations like this. And I appreciate the concern about giving shooters like James Holmes is charged with being excessive attention.

But good grief, if CNN is going to be covering the story, they're just not going to mention the suspect's name? What's next, a national policy of referring to victims of mass gun murder only as "Martyrs and Heroes"? Or referring to them as victims of "Unspeakable Evil" and not even mention it was bullets that killed and injured them?

Maybe we should just declare an Annual Day Of Patriotic Remembrance And Prayer For Those Killed In Mass Gun Murders By Unspeakable Evil During The Previous Year. The President could go to a church and read from the Bible and play Pastor-in-Chief. He could give out Heroes and Martyrs medals to the survivors. And we could all agree that it would be "uncivil" to mention the names or the killers - much less try to understand their motives and ideologies! - or to talk about any kind of public policy issue whatsoever that might reasonably mitigate their recurrence.

There would obviously be the requisite words of praise for emergency responders, but of course it would be impolite to remind people that most of them are the same public employees being trashed relentlessly by one of the two major parties.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks thinks we're approaching some kind of tipping point with gun violence. Not just with the routine mass gun murders, but with the kinds of legally allowed murders taking place under the Stand Your Ground/Kill A Black Guy laws in several states. At some point, he thinks, we're going to start having showdowns at the O.K. Corral, not just between drug gangs but between ordinary citizens who are carrying guns they are very well qualified to using starting to blast away at each other.

It could easily have happened in Aurora. Michael O'Hare writes in 100-Round Magazine and the Armed Citizen Ten Miles Square 07/23/2012:

Colorado is a concealed-carry state, but the movie theater didn’t allow customers to pack heat. What if it had? What happened is terrifying in itself, but if you really want to lie awake nights, imagine a dark, smoky, crowded theater filled with screaming people, Holmes firing away, plus a half-dozen or so armed citizens blazing away at "the guy with the gun", meaning, assuredly, each other in addition to the perp with the big advantage of body armor, black clothes, and that 100-round AR-15. This kind of peacemaking takes place backstopped by people (including people in the next theater behind a wall), and even your best-trained vigilante's aim is much impeded by smoke, darkness, noise, and being bumped into by the terrified guy next to you, not to mention being shot first by Holmes who might be especially hostile to someone pointing a gun at him. Bad as this was, not having amateurs mixing in spared us a much worse tragedy, in which Holmes might have taken a hit or two to the bulletproof vest before he walked out, but a lot more patrons would have left in body bags.
Here's Cenk from the Current TV The Young Turks show from the day of the shooting:

Cenk on #TheaterShooting: 'We're being massacred out here' by gun laws written by gun [sic] 07/20/2012:

From his online show, Batman Premiere Shooting - 12 Killed, 59 Wounded in Aurora, Colorado 07/20/2012:

Also from the online show, Congressman Blames Shootings On Attack on Religious Beliefs 07/20/2012:

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