Archive for the ‘Popular Culture’ Category

Concealed Weapons Wouldn’t Have Helped In Aurora Shooting

July 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I know that I don’t post a whole lot on here any more but I felt compelled to comment on the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado – more specifically, the claim that some people are making that had there been more people in the theater carrying concealed weapons this whole tragedy could have been prevented.

Absolutely ridiculous!

From what I’ve read and heard, the events of that evening went something like this.  About 20 minutes into the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises”, Holmes enters the theater through a front door.  Seeing a man dressed up as The Joker, moviegoers initially think it’s something staged to coincide with the movie finally opening and initially laugh off his appearance.  Once at the front of the theater, he yells something like “I am The Joker” and begins releasing gas cans and smoke canisters.  He fires a few shots into the air before finally turning his gun on the crowd.

Here’s a graphic that made its way on to my Facebook page the other day courtesy of one of my pro-gun friends.

The implication is pretty clear – that if a moviegoer had been carrying a handgun in the theater that night he could’ve taken a shot at and killed James Holmes before he had the chance to kill a dozen people and injure dozens more.

Yeah I suppose there’s a chance that it could’ve played out that way but here’s what would’ve been more likely to happen.

The ideal scenario for having a concealed gun holder in the theater would obviously be if he was sitting in the front row.  He would have a clear view of what’s happening and immediately be able to react.  Plus, there would be literally no one between him and Holmes and would have a clear shot to take him out.

Realistically, the set up would likely be much different.  Let’s say that the movie theater holds about 300 people.  Of those 300, how many would be realistically carrying a concealed weapon on them into the movie theater?  5?  10?  If concealed carry were allowed, would it be reasonable to assume that there would be a half dozen guns or more in the theater that night?  It certainly seems plausible.

And those carrying guns almost certainly wouldn’t be in the front row.  If gun carriers are seated in a purely random fashion, you’ve probably got a couple in the front, a couple in the middle, a couple in the back, a couple on the left and a couple on the right.  In other words, they’re spread all over the theater at different distances and vantage points from where Holmes would have been.

I’m also going to assume here that someone who would be willing to go through the hoops necessary to be able to legally carry a handgun and actually bring it with them into a movie theater also probably has less hesitation than the average person to actually use it should they feel compelled.  Is it also reasonable to think that a half dozen folks carrying guns would all feel compelled to act if they saw Holmes begin his rampage?  I certainly think so.

And last I checked, any concealed carry training course doesn’t require that you be a marksman of any kind in order to be able to legally carrying a handgun.

So let’s summarize.  In addition to Holmes, you’d theoretically have a half dozen people also in the theater carrying concealed firearms.  Some would be close to Holmes.  Some would be far away.  Some of those carrying would be fairly proficient in the use of a firearm.  Some would almost certainly not.

Now, it’s certainly possible that someone could have killed Holmes quickly and ended the attack but would have been the more likely outcome?

In my opinion, nothing short of a military-style firefight.

Instead of one gun in the theater being fired, you’ve got potentially six guns or more all being fired at the same time.  The people up front might have a decent shot but the people in the back probably have nothing near a clear shot given the distance, number of people and the pure panic that is occurring.  Given all those variables, anybody in the theater who is firing shots is probably wildly missing the target on most of them which means even more innocent people are getting shot and killed.  One shooter in the theater resulted in the death or injury of over 60 people.  Can you imagine the collateral damage that would have occurred had there been six or seven shooters in the theater?

I’m not a raging gun control advocate by any stretch and I support people’s rights to carry firearms.  But anybody who tells you that a heroic citizen would have prevented this tragedy from occurring by simply being allowed to carry their own gun into the theater is simply not thinking straight.  It’s easy to get caught up in the pure fantasy that somebody is going to rush in to save the day but the reality of the situation is usually much more grim.


Here’s How You Can Be A Giving Angel To A Needy Family This Holiday Season

December 23, 2011 4 comments

A lot of people seemed to really enjoy the story I posted a little while back about the K-Mart layaway “angels” and the story of the original Secret Santa Larry Stewart.  The K-Mart layaway story has become such a popular story and K-Mart has fielded so many calls from people wanting to be layaway angels themselves that the store has given instructions to all of its stores telling employees how to handle such requests (apparently, you just tell them you want to be a layaway angel and they’ll take care of the rest!).

Keeping with today’s holiday spirit, I found out about a website that allows people like you to be a giving angel to a needy family this holiday season.

Read more…

The Most Inspiring Moments of 2011

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

With Christmas just a couple of days away and many people having already started their holiday vacations, today should be a happy, light-hearted day.  With that having been said, I’m going to skip any discussion of politics until after the holidays.  We should all just enjoy the spirit of the season right now.

I came across this video this morning from Yahoo going through some of the most inspiring moments of 2011.  It includes the recovery of Gabrielle Giffords, the humanitarian efforts following the tornado in Joplin and tsunami in Japan and, just for good measure, the story of a parapalegic young man who walked to receive his diploma.

Read more…

Random Things That Annoy Me – Volume 2 (The Holiday Edition)

December 15, 2011 26 comments

I said in my original list of things that annoy me that I could probably go on and on with this list.  Well, I’ve decided that today I’m going to do just that.  Except this time I’m not going to post a list of truly random things that annoy me.  I’ve compiled a special holiday-themed list of things that annoy me.

Keep in mind that I enjoy the holiday season.  I enjoy the music and the charitable giving spirit.  I just don’t enjoy everything about it.  And these things don’t really even make me upset.  They just kind of annoy me in a “just shaking my head” kind of way.

Either way, here are the latest additions to my list.  Enjoy!

Christmas cards with glitter

I inevitably get a few of these every year (including the one I got yesterday).  You get what you think is just a nice Christmas card from a family member or friend.  And then you open it.

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Secret Santas Paying For Other’s Layaway Bills Bring Back The Spirit Of The Holiday Season

December 12, 2011 35 comments

Every once in a while, you read a story that makes you feel a little bit better about humanity.  On this site, I usually discuss politics and other “real world issues” but I’m taking a break from that today because this is a story that deserves mentioning.

An unidentified woman in Plainfield Township, Michigan decided to spread a little Christmas cheer by picking up the tab on the layaway balances of three random strangers (totaling about $500 in all) at the local K-Mart.  Her only requirement was that there toys in the orders.

It’s these kind of acts that I think don’t get enough attention.  We spend so much time watching the news and hearing and reading about all of the things that are going wrong in the world it’s important that we give props to those people who do random acts of kindness without any desire for recognition.

It turns out that the woman’s charity not only went unnoticed, it inspired others.

Read more…

Just For Fun: Black Friday Shopping List Prank

December 7, 2011 14 comments

This video really has nothing to do with political views or ranting.  I just thought this was a great video and wanted to share.

These guys create shopping lists for each other containing non-sensical (and often times non-existent) items and the goal is to ask a store employee about as many items on the list as possible before the employee realizes it’s all just a joke.

I laughed out loud.  Hope you do too.  Enjoy!

Remembering Pearl Harbor 70 Years Later

December 7, 2011 14 comments

The events of Pearl Harbor were obviously way before my time.  They were before my dad’s time too so any knowledge of the events of December 7, 1941 largely come from the History Channel, books and some grainy black and white video (and just to clarify, I’m NOT including the 2001 Ben Affleck movie as part of the official historical record).

Pearl Harbor was very much the original 9/11.  Both being foreign attacks seemingly with little provocation (in the public’s eyes at least), they thrust the United States into a state of war that brought our nation together against a common enemy.  The attacks in both cases fundamentally changed the nation’s defensive posturing and brought significant changes in how the USA handled foreign issues and relationships.

I’ve never been to the Pearl Harbor memorial out in Hawaii but I’ve always wanted to go.  The fact that they’ve kept the site in almost the same post-attack condition over the years can certainly only serve to make the entire experience that much more vivid.  That the Arizona is still sitting below the water’s surface with countless servicemen still entombed within has to be a humbling and sobering visual to anyone that sees it firsthand.

My only direct experience with Pearl Harbor now is watching a handful of veterans who were there that day marching in the annual Independence Day parade.  The ovation they receive from the crowd is by far the largest every day and these guys deserve it.  I think it’s always been (but especially after 9/11) important to stand and salute anybody who’s served in any branch of the military as the sacrifices and commitments they have made make it possible to live the lives we enjoy today.

Today, we honor everybody who served or made the ultimate sacrifice at Pearl Harbor.  And for that matter, servicemen and servicewomen everywhere.