My heart goes out to the victims and families of the Aurora Colorado theater shootings today. I went to a showing of “Batman” today, and I cannot imagine the terror those people must have felt in what was supposed to be a happy and enlightening evening of sharing culture and film art.
Violence is a disease that corrupts and rots as it kills and maims. The American body politic is infected with this horrible affliction, and our culture is already gangrenous and fetid to its core when it comes to issues of violence and weapons. We are a gun obsessed culture. We are a nation of people who see themselves as John Wayne and as the rest of the world as some squint-eyed desperado waiting to make us into a victim. Some will blame pop-culture for this. Others will blame lack of religion (whatever that has to do with a man shooting up a theater I will never understand) and still more will blame our violence soaked media. I personally blame our collective need to value small instances of liberty over human life and decency. A gun is more important than a human life in the United States today. More people have come to the defense of guns and those who support and worship them then have come to the defense of the families and victims of the Aurora Colorado shooting today. That to me is a sign that violence like this will continue until the death contract we signed into our own Bill of Rights is itself Amended and reevaluated. Access to any gun, anywhere, any time without any real restrictions is insane, and it is a sort of insanity our nation should no longer see fit to indulge.
Roger Ebert, fast becoming an essential part of our national conscience, put it better than anyone else today on his blog
In an op-ed