When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. That little nugget was shared with me some time ago by a very high-ranking official in a local police department.
The job of the police is not necessarily to prevent crime, but instead to clean up the mess caused by crime and to try to find the criminals well after the fact of the crime. When the Aurora, Colo. massacre happened, police were there almost immediately but still 12 were already dead and 59 were wounded. Fortunately they caught the perpetrator, and further learned about his booby-trapped apartment in time to defuse that situation. All in all, they have done a marvelous job.
Today the gun-control people are out in force, railing against the Second Amendment and screaming to have guns taken away. They say the job of crime deterrence and prevention should be left to the police. How did that work out in Colorado? Or in Tucson? How did that work at Virginia Tech or Columbine? Even if we had the most stringent laws against owning guns in this country, clowns like these shooters would still find a way to carry out their fantasies. They would find a way to be armed. It has been said time and time again, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Is that so difficult for some to understand? This second point has to be made: The only way to stop a gun is with a gun.
I spent some time trying to discuss this shooting with my grandchildren. Some things just cannot be explained, but still you try. The massacre happened on Friday night and just yesterday in Texas a pickup truck loaded with 23 people, many of them children, crashed and 11 have died so far. The other 12 are seriously injured. Many of the injured and dead were riding in the back of the truck illegally without benefit of seatbelts. The law didn’t save those people. The police department did not save those people. Oh, and by the way, no one is out railing against pickup trucks today.
As I told my grandchildren, random events happen in life. You protect yourself the best you can, and still random events can happen. Lightning strikes. Sometimes you just have no place to hide. That doesn’t mean you live in fear. The reality is that events like the shooting in Aurora are very, very rare. The vast majority of us will never have to face one of these situations. Of course the media is going to cover it all wall to wall. It sells. It is their job to tell us of events that occur. It is called news.
Across the world in Norway, where very strict gun laws are in force, some moron armed himself and murdered scores of people, mostly kids. Gun violence is not just an American problem. Craziness happens wherever crazy people live. The more horrendous the act, the more coverage it gets. Such is life.
Today I am comfortable in the knowledge that the shooter in Aurora will spend the rest of his miserable life in a cage. Regardless of his level of sanity, he will never again breathe free air. Hopefully, there will be no TV interviews. Hopefully, there will be no movies about him. Hopefully, he will just disappear from the consciousness of all of us and be relegated to the trash heap of solitary confinement. Such will be his life. What a waste.
Ron Scarbro, July 23, 2012