Well, I’ve heard enough.
The NRA-trolls and gun-nuts took their speedy and usual stance during the most recent Colorado shooting, saying it’s “too soon” to rush to judgment about this deadly massacre.
It took only hours to reveal that this week’s murderous shooter, Matthew Riehl, was armed with mental illness and a rifle. That’s about all it takes to make shootings like the most recent one in Highlands Ranch as unnerving and noteworthy as a multi-car pileup these days.
Of course the horrifying massacre was acutely shocking to family and friends of Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish, who was shot to death during the melee. Scarred for life are his widow and orphaned children, the other four officers who were shot and injured but were unbelievably lucky to be able to escape with their lives. And then here are the hundreds of people who live in Riehl’s apartment complex, many of whom will now suffer something like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or maybe just a few months of night terrors — if they’re lucky.
They already have shown some semblance of luck, seeing how they lived with an armed, mentally ill man in their midst and weren’t wounded or murdered by him before this.
Luck. That’s what sets us apart from the growing number of mass-shooting murder victims these days. Luck is what guides our destiny as more mentally ill people with guns ruin or take the lives of dozens and sometimes hundreds, or even thousands of their fellow Americans.
Sadly, fewer and fewer of us in Colorado, and across the country, are lucky enough not to get shot at by armed crazy people or know someone who was. I know many people wounded, dead or emotionally scarred by a mass shooter. How crazy is that?
There are no shortage of mentally ill people these days, and there is certainly no shortage of cheap, easy-to-get military grade guns and ammunition. There’s absolutely no limit on how many guns you can own or ammo you can stockpile.
Your only hope that you won’t be shot dead by a gun-toting crazy person in an abortion clinic, like in Colorado Springs, a Wal-Mart, like in Thornton, a school, like at Sandy Hook or Columbine, Arapahoe or Platte Canyon, or a concert, like in Las Vegas, or a nightclub, like in Orlando, or even at a movie theater, just like happened to those unlucky hundred or so people right here in Aurora.
Gun-rights bullies like the NRA and the shrill Second Amendment trolls here in Colorado and across the country say that some luck is all you should hope for as more and more of us are shot dead by armed crazy people.
You see, the problem is, gun-nutters realize, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between the shade of their crazy and the color of crazy that prompted James Holmes, Dylan Klebold or, this week, Matthew Riehl to plan some massacre or just inflict one spontaneously.
What do we look for? Angry guys who act kind of paranoid and have an unseemly fascination with guns. They’re often big fans of conspiracy theories, believing that the government is working against them. They often believe that they are chosen by either a higher power, fate or their superior intellect and ability to take up the cause of some righteous thing, often gun rights or a little personal vengeance. You can see that the description of Riehl and so many other hundreds of armed unstable people is so close to the rabid fans of the NRA and similar cults that they have no interest in making a mental health assessment a requirement for possessing a gun.
That would just be crazy.
We all already know what happens when you insist that people undergo background checks or compile a reliable database of people likely to become mass murderers, as was the case in of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas just last year.
If you insist that the government get serious about all this mass murdering and require people to register guns, license guns, prove they can use them, store them and not build an arsenal, well, they’ll call you crazy.
In Aurora, you must have a special and pricey permit, complete with home inspections, if you want to have more than a few cats. But military assault weapons and ammo designed to inflict death on humans? You can fill your house to the ceilings, no questions asked.
Despite what the gun-nuts say, it’s not too soon to lament and complain that there are effectively no controls on guns and no limits, and the ones we do have, the NRA and their minions, many right here in Colorado, are trying to undermine.
So until the NRA quits buying elections and the gun-nuts quit bullying cowardly politicians on both sides of the aisle, you have only one hope: luck. And you’re going to need it.
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