Terrance Heath

After Aurora, Nothing Will Change: Part 1

Filed By Terrance Heath | July 26, 2012 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Aurora, Colorado shooting, gun control, gun violence, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Mitt Romney, President Obama

After reading more about the shooting in Aurora, CO, I’ve come to a Silence-Gun.jpgconclusion about what we should do in the aftermath of yet another horrendous mass murder. I said I’d have more to say about it, and I do. But it’s not what I thought I’d have to say about it. I’ve written and written about crimes like this. After Tucson. After Virginia State. And now, after Aurora.

All I have to say, after Aurora is this: Nothing will change. As with the Tucson shooting, some people are wondering if this -- the Aurora shooting -- will be the one that finally changes something; changes us. It won’t.

In fact, despite titling my earlier post “Aurora: We Have To Be Able To Talk About It,” now I’ve learned more about it, and taken some time to think about it, I’ve come to a very different conclusion.

We should just shut up about it.

We should just shut up about it, because we aren’t going to do anything about it. We didn’t do anything to stop it. We won’t do anything to stop the next one, either. Nothing has made that so clear as the Aurora shooting; and not because of what happened, but because what hasn’t happened in the aftermath.

What hasn’t happened in the aftermath? Much has been made of the brief halt in the presidential campaign after Aurora, when both candidates took at least a day off from campaigning, and made official statements about the shooting.

President Obama made a statement.

So did Mitt Romney.

And they weren’t all that different, as both men took care not to “politicize” the shooting, the deaths, etc. These days, these things must be handled delicately. That’s why both men steered clear of one seemingly obvious subject that -- in some other, more logical, alternate universe -- would be so obviously relevant that it would be difficult, if not possible, to avoid it. Again, in some sane alternate universe.

Did you catch it? Or rather, did you miss it? Along with Denver-area politicians who’ve spoken up about the shooting, neither man came anywhere near saying anything about gun control.And whatever the Aurora shooting does change, it won’t change gun laws.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is a member of a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but when he issued a statement expressing shock and horror on Friday after a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, he had nothing to say about gun control.

Neither did President Barack Obama nor his Republican rival Mitt Romney, though both canceled campaign speeches on Friday and expressed sorrow for the victims of the shooting rampage.

The killing of 12 people at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie in the Denver suburb of Aurora may spark a fresh round of soul-searching on America’s relationship with guns but few predict any real change in the law.

That’s because gun control advocates have largely lost the argument against the much more powerful gun lobby, and politicians know the issue is toxic with voters.

What hasn’t happened after the Aurora shooting is only a slightly bigger factor in all this than where it happened: Colorado. Much has been made of the fact that Aurora a little less than 20 miles from Littleton, CO, where the Columbine High School massacre took place in 1999. The distance in time between Aurora and Columbine, depending on how you look it it, can be a little as a 30-minute drive or much as 13 years. In that time much has changed, and much more has not.


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