(Article changed on December 16, 2012 at 14:19)
(Article changed on December 16, 2012 at 10:41)
On the evening of the day twenty innocent elementary school children along with several more adults, including the principal and the school psychologist, were gunned down by a madman with an assault weapon, I went out to a movie to escape from my emotions.
I chose badly, the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, featuring an aged Bond (Daniel Craig) and a downright senior M (Judy Dench), still in action as well as laser-edged one-liners, hanging off the grapevine of death, swinging into one lion's jaws after another's. And out again, time after time.
There is an interesting regression in the area of weaponry, from assault rifles to antique rifles and finally, finally, the coup de grace is delivered by a knife in the back thrown expertly from about ten feet away. Wham!
Earlier there's even a William Tell-type scene that Bond aims away from while his nemesis scores the apple. The poor sex object/target survives into the next bout of sadism.
Two and a half hours of escape into fictional gun violence from real gun violence.
Even as I write this, another news item reports that a gunman who appeared in the cardiac department of an Alabama hospital fired when the police came to nab him, injuring two of them before he was killed. A cardiac unit? None of the patients were affected, according to the brief article.
I have nothing new to say about the evils of the legal possession of firearms--assault weapons or otherwise. Both contribute to making this country the world's murder capital by far. Not only has possession of assault weapons been legalized recently, along with all the other forms of firearm, but all are being used for multiple murders, eight of them this year, with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords the highest profile, shot in the act of serving her people.
I still don't worry when attending public events, though fear of terrorist attacks sometimes assaults me when I descend into subways.
Also in the news today, obscurely positioned, was a report that the National Rifle Association, that megaPAC that keeps weapons dealers thriving, canceled a festive event it had planned for yesterday evening. Nice of them.
But why did they cancel it? Aren't they at the front of the defensive crowd every time a massacre occurs, every time murder is committed by means of guns, the easiest way to kill? Gun silencers make things even easier to off someone in a fit of insanity or after careful planning. Aren't they, the NRA, the ones who point to the Second Amendment, the right of individuals, in the setting of militias, to keep and bear firearms? Keep and bear them? Does that mean commit assaultive murder with them? Back when the Constitution was written, military and gun technology was so primitive that you had to reload, which took about half a minute (I'm no expert on the subject, relying on experienced drawn from tv shows and movies) before every shot.
Instead of canceling their event, the NRA folks could have held a vigil of sorrow with lighted candles. Remember how the streets of Teheran were filled with people holding lighted candles on the evening of 9/11?
Instead of canceling the event, that local branch of the NRA, wherever it is, could have reconstrued it as a meeting to figure out what can be done to prevent such atrocities in the future, if they don't want to ban guns of any description. They are the National RIFLE Association, after all. Why not revert to that original concentration, just as the James Bond film retrogressed in forms of violent assault from all sorts of fancy firearms to a knife in the back?
One of the news articles that reported the atrocity noted that even though capital punishment doesn't decrease the number of murders in this country, according to one study, communities with fewer guns experience fewer murders than those with comparatively more guns.