The Batman killer in Colorado reminds us all once again of the argument from evil that is the best defense against Jehovah's Witnesses at the front door, friends who "pray for you," and all others still clinging to the God Delusion. My favorite explication of the argument was put forth by John L. Mackie, the Australian philosopher. He demonstrated the utterly fallacious claim that God is both good and omnipotent, since an all powerful good deity cannot but prevent evil, leaving one to wonder why it occurs with such regularity. James Eagen Holmes disproves the existence of God by murder of innocent total strangers. Those who counter with the claim that God gave man free will and thus it is man who makes such evil choices simply ignore the obvious: God could have made certain that Holmes would choose good over evil, and thus many lives would have been saved.
This is an old trick: diminish the numbers and the group looks less worthy of attention, much less credence. These types did this to gay people decades ago. When Kinsey posited that as many as 10% of Americans were gay or lesbian, the Christian b.s. artists immediately went to work trying to convince the public that the figure really was in the 3% range. They know that there is strength in numbers. I am willing to bet that when you add up atheists, agnostics, and people who are simply non-religious, it is more like 30%. And the dwindling attendance at churches, synagogues, and mosques testifies to the increase in numbers of all these groups.
Where was god? Where was the movie patron with a chambered 1911 pistol? I make it a habit to ignore "no gun" signs. Just for that reason. For somebody who wants to do a mass shooting, it's like fish in a barrel when you have a no gun zone. Just sayin. Yes, it's terrible, but could have been a lot less terrible if somebody was there to stop the guy. As a former police/SWAT officer, I say that with confidence. Police can't always respond in a timely manner. The citizen can.
Andy, I am glad you are a well trained, experienced police/SWAT officer and carry a gun, even in "no gun" zones. However, I hardly think the healthy, normal, mature, man or woman has the training or experience that would make them a good one to be carrying a gun in a crowded theater. I would like to think a bullet intended for a mass murderer would hit only the killer, but I highly doubt the murderer would be the only one hit by that bullet.
You know how to size up a scene quickly, how to aim at a desired target without hitting innocent ones. You put your life on the line and do so with controlled anxiety. You don't "shoot then aim".
The obvious question, should more citizens become gun toting vigilantes? Should there be scanners for weapons in every place people gather, whether for business or pleasure. Should we challenge violence as a way to create a culture that nourishes? Can we do a better job of seeing potential mental breakdowns?
I don't have an answer. I just have questions.
"...gun-toting vigilantes"? They sometimes go nuts, too. And what kind of test would be used to tell who would and who would not?
Sorry I cannot agree. Another patron with a gun might have started a shooting war and many more might have died in the crossfire. Also, in such a scenario, the security or police might not be able to say who was the bad guy and who the good, so innocent people could have been killed.
As it was, the guy was dressed like a SWAT team member. Nope, one gun is one too many. I agree with Obama: assault rifles belong in the hands of military people, not citizens.
James, your assessment makes great sense. "One gun is one too many."
Actually, Joan, I do own a gun. That is, a pistol. It is a little Italian off-make that was found in my father's office desk after he passed away. But guess what? The pistol is an a bureau drawer in my bedroom. Guess where the bullet (.22) clip is? On the other side of the house in a sideboard. Of course, this would not stop me from taking my own life. I reserve that right explicitly. I am a stoic. Or, more likely, epicurean.
Far too many people live in a fantasy video game world (see Andy Reid’s avatar) wherein it is believed that if they had been there carrying their own arsenal they would have “offed” the murderer, and all the lives lost would have been saved.
So, gun sales are up,
Ammo supplies depleted
And, thusly, even more weapons go into circulation, only to seemingly fall out of the sky into the hands of the desperately mad among us.
A vicious circle
or, perhaps, a nationwide circular firing squad.
No thanks, Andy, your fantasy scenario is not a solution.
I rather liked the comment my wife made a few years back. Right after Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger landed his plane in the Hudson, there were many comments made. My wife and I listened to family members who are "devout" Christians while they made the comments that God had his hand in saving the lives of all these people, thank God for his grace in saving these people and so on. My wife said, “Why is it they are not giving credit where credit is due; the pilot with all of his training and experience did exactly as he had been trained to do and he kept his wits about him and used all of his experience to safely land, “water” the plane saving everyone on board. The pilot saved those people and that is where I give my praise.” This comment she made in June, I added something to her comment, If God put his hand out and saved these people and helped them land safely then where was he when the French Airbus crashed into the ocean flying from Rio to Paris on June 1 2009 killing all 228. Did he hate those people?
There were no comments from the devout.
Actually, I said a hundred Hail Mary's and praised Allah, and that's why Sullenberger did it. Post hoc reasoning eludes such people as your devout family members. Get a new family.
I don't need to get a new family because they stopped speaking to me for voting for Obama. Imagine a non-theist republican voting for a democrat.
From one fellow geezer to another:
good on you.
Now, give me a little time to wrap my head around the “non-theist republican” part.