After reading more about the shooting in Aurora, CO, I’ve come to a conclusion 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.
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.
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.
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.