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Aurora: Politicians

Can’t Solve This One

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Mugshot of James Holmes.
Despite All Of The Hoopla And Talking-Head Banter, Legislation Can Do Little To Stop Psychopaths: Rather We Must All Peer Into Ourselves


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

July 25, 2012 — By now, everyone knows that during the July 20 midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes decided to take four very large weapons into an Aurora, Colo., movie theatre and began indiscriminately shooting at the moviegoers.

This is an act our president considers a national tragedy, something so bad that he flew all federal government flags at half-staff. Barack even went so far as to not air his campaign commercials in Colorado for a brief period of time, and naturally his opponent Mitt Romney followed suit.

Holmes, a PhD. Candidate at the university of Colorado Anschutz medical campus died his hair red and proclaimed himself “The Joker” before buying a ticket for the premier and propped the door open so he could later burst through with tear gas, body armor and high caliber weaponry.

While the town of Aurora mourns its losses everyone involved in American politics from presidents to pundits line up to make the political points that are up for grabs when such a tragedy strikes.

The first political point is which presidential candidate can be more sympathetic to the victims of this tragedy. Both candidates are talking about what a horrible tragedy this shooting was, but according to there just over 24 gun related murders in the United States every day. Though the stats are two years old because 2010 was the last time detailed stats on gun murders in the US were taken, they are still very telling.

One thing it tells is our two presidential candidates only care about the political point of looking sympathetic in this case, because if taking down campaign commercials truly meant anything they would do it every day in honor of the 24 victims of gun violence that die every day. But also because it’s a completely meaningless gesture to begin with.

While the parties remain at a stalemate over who can wait longer to pounce on the juicy opportunity to appeal to the morals and ethics of their constituents there is nothing to worry about. But once the political mourning period ends it will be off to the races for both sides of the gun control spectrum.

The Christian right wing’s second amendment loving conservatives will no doubt claim that if every man woman and child in that theater was armed to the teeth — like Holmes — this situation could have been averted, because we all know everyone with a gun is terrific shot. Even in a dark room with people panicking and a man unloading four different weapons into the crowd.

But the pussyfooting liberals will claim that this tragedy clearly shows that weapons like the AR-15 need to be outlawed so that only the police and government can get them. But when looking at the unbridled carnage one man can do with these weapons I fear our over reaching and often violent government yielding such absolute power.

So naturally, both sides are wrong and will be unyielding in their wrongness, and will offer solutions to a problem, which I doubt they understand. Instead of offering political and legislative solutions, the ultimate question remains: Why did this happen?

But the only person who knows the answer to that is James Eagan Holmes.

Holmes is being held at Arapahoe Detention center in Colorado. When he is allowed out of his cell, the guards cover his mouth so he won't spit on them. And, according to reports, when his hands were covered with plastic bags to protect the gun residue evidence he began using them as sock puppets.

His former classmates — some of whom are brain experts as Holmes was extremely advanced in his medical studies — refuse to comment on whether Holmes showed warning signs of psychosis. This doesn’t reflect poorly on those who refuse to comment but rather reflects negatively of our society.

We are taught to always look straight, and not to get involved in other peoples business. But if just one classmate had broken that mold and either spoke out about their classmate’s deteriorating mental health, this situation could have possibly been averted.

While the politicians and media look for someone to point their almighty finger of judgment at, whether it be Holmes, or gun control, or a lack thereof, I would say the real solution rests not in pointing fingers or demonizing a person or the weapons they use, but in rebuilding communal ties between people.

If anything good can come from this event, it might just be that as a community, neighbors need to start becoming neighbors again.

Hopefully, that is something everyone can agree upon — both right and left.

Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.
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