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I was watching NCAA tournament basketball today. I did not watch any news, and read nothing. Until I hit the wrong button, and a headline popped up, about a man with a gun who apparently killed ten people at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. One of the fatalities is a police officer, the rest were likely shoppers in the market..Propetius lives in Boulder, and I assume that he is all right.

No motive is yet known, blah, blah. There is no coherent motive that has any meaning, except insanity combined with guns to act upon it. Did we ever find out the motive of the person who killed dozens of people in Nevada a few years ago? Does it matter? The human mind searches for order and for reasons, but it is not going to help us to find out what this man’s particular madness was. Race? Religion? People had not been nice to him in his life? What matters is that he had a gun, we will find out which kind. He probably had a lot of guns, and other weapons, too. They usually do.

Guns are the problem. There have always been twisted people, or people who have been treated badly by parents, or maybe no one did anything to them, but they had grievances. The thing is, that now they can easily get one or many guns, and then kill many people at the same time. “People kill people,” is the stupid slogan the NRA tried to pound away with, but people who have no access to guns kill a lot less people. And you can’t fix the mental states of millions of people, but you an try to keep them from having assault weapons when they do pass their own breaking point, or when they think that they are doing something great by shooting as many people as they can.

Thoughts and prayers to the people and the families will not do it. All the tears and eulogies will not bring these people back. The only thing which we as a nation can do, is to try to prevent these mass killings, by enacting gun control legislation. When the assault weapons ban was passed under President Clinton, the number of gun killings dropped in a significant way. Then President George W. Bush let the legislation lapse, and the numbers rose again. Now each year is a new record level.

It does not take more than the barest degree of intelligence to figure out that we have a growing epidemic of sick and perverted people who for whatever reasons their mind gives them, want to make a major statement, and kill as many people as they can. And it is so very easy for them to get the weaponry to do it. But those politicians and their paid-for media people who are figuratively or literally owned by the gun lobby, would do anything to avoid gun control. They would take a thousand of these shootings, and make a bunch of utterly meaningless statements, to avoid anyone passing a ban on assault weapons, or more background checks, so that they can retain the one right which they value above all,, the right to buy and possess as many weapons as one wants.

It is so tempting to see gun legislation as a version of castration for them, because they will fight against it with just as much fervor. It did not use to be this awful, even fifty years ago, but somehow guns are now their religion and their salvation and the only way in which they can hold on to their fragmenting personalities, and the sense of chaos which envelops them.

Somehow this has to stop, but will it? Maybe with Democrats having at least nominal control of three branches of government, something can be passed, unless the Republicans, filibuster it. We cannot live in a country where this mayhem becomes an ever more frequent occurrence.

I wonder if the Republicans will somehow try to politically profit from this, it would not be beyond them. They try to profit from anything,, even horrible tragedies. They will blame Biden, or immigrants, or liberals. What they most want is for this to dissipate, and then they can go back to talking about Potato Head and Dr. Seuss. We must stand up as a country, because if we do not, it will get worse and worse. I wish I could say more, but it has all been said before, and it will all be said again and again, if no changes are made. I am sorry for even feeling compelled to write this, but we cannot just hope it goes away by itself, or just try to live as best we can in a shooting gallery.

4 Responses

  1. He is described as having a patrol rifle. An AR-15 is a patrol rifle. Better accuracy and more rounds.

    No hunter or sports shooter needs to have an AR-15 or anything like it. No one suffered when the Brady Bill was law.

    So that angry and/or disturbed people can have guns, we have 10 people who will not make it home tonight. No dinner with the kids or a call to a friend or family member. They may have just stopped to pick up milk. And this is just one shooting on one day.

    One woman would have been there but had a sudden craving for ice cream. She made an extra stop so she is alive. One family stopped in for a Covid shot. The husband, wife and two daughters spent hours hiding in a closet. Some ran out the back of the store. Others were not so lucky.

    The suspect may be the man they took away in handcuffs, without shoes, pants or a shirt, to an ambulance. Looked Caucasian, dark hair, bearded, with a bald spot. One of his legs were covered with blood and he may have had blood on his hands.

    It is shameful that we have yet another vile mass shooting, just days after the last one. Many offered thoughts and prayers but Sen. Hickenlooper says, “Enough is enough.”

    • Actually, it was a Ruger AR-556, which is nominally a “pistol” that shoots the same ammunition (5.56 NATO) as an AR-15 (and related weapons such as the M-16 and M-4) and takes the same magazines. It has a removable stock so you can steady it (because pretty much nobody smaller than Arnold Schwarzeneggar could fire something like that more than once without one). Here’s the web page:

      I do not understand how this device does not run afoul of the restrictions on “short-barreled rifles” in the 1934 National Firearms Act, but apparently it doesn’t.

      Anyway – yes, RD everyone here at Chez Propertius is okay. We’re in the North Central part of town and that King Soopers is on the South side (probably all of 5 miles away – Boulder is pretty compact). I haven’t been in that store in years, although I pass it every time I head up to NCAR (the road the shopping center is on dead ends in the NCAR parking lot).

      We’re all pretty shocked here. Boulder’s a relatively small and somewhat insulated town (The People’s Republic of Boulder is 26 square miles surrounded by reality, as we like to say). We lose nearly half the population when the University isn’t in session.

      As far as anyone knows at this point, the shooter had no connection with Boulder and chose to drive here from Arvada (think driving from Pittsburgh International to shoot up a grocery store in Latrobe) to wreak havoc. It’s just bizarre and creepy.

  2. We were at the local gun shop yesterday to go to the range, and they said that guns are flying off the shelf for two reasons:

    1) People have their stimulus checks and tax refunds

    2) People are worried that the Democrats are going to make it harder to get a long gun

    They said they can barely keep any stock in the store, but what they are selling is primarily long guns. They also indicated that this is the fourth wave of buying they have seen since the pandemic arrived. I don’t see that there is much problem with the way things are now… you have to go through a background check to buy any gun. The check is not onerous, with the instant online checking the whole process takes 15 minutes. I guess the concern that is currently driving purchases is that a waiting period would be imposed. Personally I would have no issue with that, as then a more thorough check could be done, I assume that if that were the case they would have to charge more than the current $10 for the background check, but I fail to see how this would prevent anyone who wanted a gun, and was qualified to own one from having one.

    IMO the cause of all of this craziness regarding guns goes back to the NRA. The fact that they have been discredited lately, does nothing to the fact that for years they were constantly on their ‘first registration, then confiscation’ kick and they got this into many right wing heads. So now they all think they are Charleton Heston. Guns is one of the main issues for the GOP, and it is not going to change. Reasonable gun control legislation will always have a difficult time passing because the GOP will always oppose it. I wish they would bring back the Brady bill, do more thorough background checks, register all fire arms, impose a waiting period, etc… because it won’t affect me at all.

  3. Jmac, you are clearly a responsible gun owner. I believe about 70% of the country is in favor of better gun control/safety laws and that number includes gun owners. Minority rule is absolutely destroying this country. What will it take for the majority of us to reverse this horrible trend in gun violence? I am so ashamed to be an American.

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