Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Shooting at 'The Dark Knight Rises' premiere in Aurora, Colo.
More guns is not the answer
While Andy Anderson is correct in that we need better education about the use of guns [“Gun-control laws don’t stop intent,” Northwest Voices, seattletimes.com, July 27], his remaining argument that another gun owner could have stopped the bloodshed in the Aurora massacre is so far off the mark, it prompts my response.
Borrowing from the closing argument from the book and movie “A Time to Kill,” close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a dark theater, filled with people from all walks of life, their attention transfixed on the screen. The action on the screen is suddenly punctuated with a pop and then the air is filled with smoke, so thick you can’t see through it. And then the sounds of gunfire, coming from “somewhere over there,” the patrons said. They couldn’t pinpoint where, just a rain of bullets.
Then imagine people popping up, or even one person popping up, wielding a handgun. People are running and ducking, diving and scrambling all around, and this lone gunman starts shooting toward what he thinks is the original gunman. Bullets are now flying every which way when yet another gunman crashes in and he, too, starts shooting. Your eyes are still closed, so you are picturing now not one, not two, but three people — or more, if Anderson has his way, all coming to the rescue.
Now imagine that the original gunman, the one who started this carnage, has long since jammed his weapon and is sitting down; the only people continuing to fire at will are the very responsible gun owners, with carry-conceal permits, and the only thing they have managed to do is kill, maim or otherwise harm more people, perhaps even themselves.
The Second Amendment sickens me. If you want to own weapons to hunt, that’s just fine, although it doesn’t work out so well for the animals. I’ve read the amendment a million times and nowhere does it say you have the right to ammunition for your weapons. And finally, and most important, your right to bear arms ends smack dab at my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Period.
— Robin M. Byers, Bellevue
Social violence and mass media have an affect
This is in response to David Brooks’ column on July 25, in which he overemphasized individual responsibility while ignoring the consequences of systemic/sociological changes [“Spree killers: start with psychiatry,” Opinion].
Totally ignored is the profound effect our increasingly militarized culture and mass media play in influencing social violence. There has been a significant increase in news of crime and violence far surpassing the actual increase in crime and violence contributing to an atmosphere of fear and apprehension. More significant is the explosion and glorification of violence in the entertainment media, where explosions, blood and body counts testify to violence as the preferred solution to our problems. Anyone doubting the effects of media violence need only consult Madison Avenue as to the effectiveness of media messages.
Violence has been normalized to the extent that the shooter was easily able to acquire 6,000 rounds of ammunition, arousing no official interest. Add to this the consequences of an economic system whereby the average person is being beaten down while corporate profits soar. All of this is an explosive combination and a direct consequence of economic policies Brooks doesn’t address; instead he overemphasizes individual pathology as the cause of this increase in spree violence.
— Keith Keller, Seattle