Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora, dissected

As you're likely aware by now, I'm a "gun nut", and I've never been all that ashamed of it. Sadly, I can't say I was shocked by what was going on in Aurora the other night...other than, of course, the fact that this guy was able to get off enough rounds to kill twelve people and injure 50 more, before he stopped shooting.

The problem with this is not a lack of gun control, a lack of cops out on the beat, CIA brainwashing, or anything else of the sort. Innocent people have died, and my heart goes out to their families, but there's no need use conjecture about what the root cause was. He could have very easily perpetrated this crime (and potentially killed far more people) without the use of firearms. It is what it is, it happened, and today I'm just looking at the known facts...

1) The guy was wearing a gas mask, and deployed smoke bombs of some sort. The smoke, in and of itself, is enough to keep someone away. Even if they weren't actual military issue, paintballers have been able to purchase similar gear for "simulation games" for years. Prior to this, two bucks at the fireworks stand will get you enough smoke bombs to do the trick. In an enclosed space, you get as far away from the smoke as possible, because without that gas mask you won't be able to breathe.

A full-face gas mask, often used by automotive painters, will stop the inhalation of smoke and can be had for relatively small change. $20 can get you a decent military-surplus model with brand-new filters. You can purchase them online, or even down at your local Sherwin-Williams store.

2) Even if he was using "high-capacity magazines" in his rifle and handgun, he could have very easily have used only his shotgun and accomplished the same results. Every cinema-chain theater I've ever been to has had only two doors. One main door people use to enter and exit the theater to and from the lobby, and one emergency exit near the screen. If the shooter were to deploy smoke near the exit door and start shooting at the the main door, you've got a bottleneck of huge targets. As fast as people may be climbing over each other to get out, it's a crowded theater and there's only so many people who can fit through that door. "Fish in a barrel" comes to mind.

An experienced shooter with a tad bit of practice can swap a magazine in less time than it would take to get off ten rounds, especially if there is smoke keeping people away from him. Anyone who's watched footage from the "Bank of America" robbery in California knows how little time it takes to swap a mag, and it takes less time when you've got them in a ready state strapped to your chest. When there's no one shooting back at you, I'm assuming there'd be even less stress involved.

3) I've never been to a movie theater where there wasn't AT LEAST one cop on the premises, typically standing right past the ticket-taker who directs you to the particular theater your movie is playing in.

The state of Colorado, in general, loves its guns and provides "Shall Issue" concealed carry permits. Unfortunately, as a matter of city ordinance, private citizens are not allowed to carry any type of firearm (rifle, shotgun, or handgun) in public, regardless of whether the state has granted them a license. As a result of this, the only people with a firearm at the scene of the crime were the shooter and potentially one or two police officers providing crowd control at the theater.

I am hesitant to use the phrase "providing security" at the theater, as obviously there were about five dozen people wounded and/or killed there. This is not the fault of the officer, or the police department not hiring enough officers, or anything of the sort.

I am not familiar enough with the Aurora PD's internal policies dealing with "Active Shooter Scenarios", but it would make sense that one man not rush into an enclosed space while armed with nothing but a handgun after hearing a few dozen rounds being fired. Even if he wanted to, it's highly unlikely that he'd have even been able to, given the massive amount of people rushing out of the theater at the time.

Remember, there's only two doors. One leads outside the theater, the other leads to the lobby. The emergency exit door leads outside, meaning the officer would have to leave the theater and then hope the exit door hadn't been closed by the time he got there. The main door has a packed theater's worth of people trying to get out of it.

It would be more prudent to get backup and deal with the situation properly, than to interject yourself into a wall of bullets. The dead help no one. This statement isn't "pro-cop" or "anti-cop", this is common sense. It is not an act of cowardice, to not rush into the theater..."cowardice" would have been hauling ass out the front door with the rest of the movie theaters. If the officer runs in and gets shot, he can't say anything to dispatch.

The only anti-government statement I will make here is that the City of Aurora shares partial responsibility in this tragedy for refusing to allow its citizens the right of self-defense.

4) While the CIA has engaged in "mind control" experiments such as Operation MK ULTRA, I find it highly unlikely that this incident was the result of some sort of sinister government plot.

I will mention the fact that the shooter is known to have taken psychoactive prescription medications. Notably, so did the Giffords shooter, as well as the Columbine shooters. I'm not gonna come right out and say that prescription medications will turn you into a sociopathic murderer, or that they are even remotely the cause of the situation at hand.

I will, however, say that it's typically a bad idea to go messing around with the brain chemistry with chemicals specifically designed to alter the way we think or feel. It has long-since been known by our government, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical establishment, that many antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs have very negative consequences and may increase ones' desire to commit suicide or commit other acts that would be looked upon as extremely "abnormal" for the rest of society. A person's brain chemistry is already screwed up when he gets on these type of drugs, and they seem to make matters worse.

Then again, there is always the chance that this guy was straight-up batshit crazy and just decided to kill a bunch of people because it sounded like a good idea at the time.

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