Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tragedy in Colorado and Psychosis: Why the gun lobby groups in congress must rethink the rights under second amendment?

Keywords or Terms: Tragedy; Psychosis; Gun lobby; Aurora, Colorado; Theater Nine; James Holmes; Second Amendment Rights

Imagine taking your family to a neighborhood movie theater to relax and get away from the stress of living; or, just to enjoy the first outing of probably a huge blockbuster movie. Now, imagine also that just as you were attempting to relax into the movie, a deranged madman, who was part of audience, threw canister(s) into the theater floor and with riffles and handguns, began to shoot into the air and audience. The movie screen was still running and everyone in the audience was probably getting into the excitement of the movie and because this movie was advertized as a unique drama or sequel, you probably was thinking the whole life drama from the madman was part of the entertainment; only to realize that this wasn’t what you thought it was, as you find yourself in a stampede and pandemonium. The impulse first would be to save the life of your family and entourage. You get into the survival mode and as you attempt to get away from the gunman, you start to imagine, why? What is this for? Can a man not get away from it all; yes, the hassle and bustle of life, with some movie time, without facing danger in a place probably considered as a safe heaven by some people, in this crowded and busy world? That is the short piece of what happened in Century 16, theater nine, Aurora, Colorado, in early hours of yesterday.

The audience came close to death and saw children as young as six, fall victim of a dastardly act as they shouted for the safety and comfort of their parents. You saw neighbors in the theater dripping in a pool of blood as metal shrapnel from the gun shots ripped into their heads, back, side, abdomen and more. The shock was probably overwhelming and the experience, one for a life time. What happened would have been just as mesmerizing as well as disbelieving. The experience would have brought to your consciousness how temporal life on earth is; how what you consider very important in life is really not much of a thing. You start to see the wisdom in that older woman’s comment in the neighborhood grocery or drug store, who said, do not sweat the small stuffs of life. Here today, gone tomorrow, those are the times or seasons of life!

There is the possibility of you imagining that this whole experience could not be real; however, it is real, complement of James Holmes, a probably mentally deranged Ph.D. student in Neurosciences, whose parents’ neighbors insist, was close to a perfect American kid, who grow up in a middle income decent family. A college graduate from California, Riverside, whose University Chancellor says, is as good as they come in brilliance, who is more than average in intelligence, who went skateboarding, swimming, camping and all the good stuff that are often considered part of growing up in an American suburb; including being a summer camp counselor!

What is going on here? This cannot be; this type of student or child is not expected to turn out to be this; this is not the type of person, a person with this close to perfect family background and intelligence is not expected to be a mass murderer. This is not a man who let out gunshots into the crowd in the neighborhood movie theater, without care, without a word, shooting randomly at people attempting to get out through the exit door. This is not the same psychotic man who let out a lot of rounds, let off a little while, and went at it again, killing both innocent men, women and children. This must be a dream!

Many people in the pandemonium, who began as the villain on the screen was being introduced to the batman and the audience, were experiencing life changing experience without knowing it. Many of the children in the audience would have been freighted to death, wondering, mom what is going on? This very undeserving crowd was being introduced to the failure in the system to prevent guns from getting in the hands of troubled minds. This very unassuming crowd were being introduced to the wroth that the National Raffle Association continues to deny with one mystifying sentence: guns don’t kill people, people use guns to kill people! The few Colorado-ans, who were unfortunate to be part of the audience in that movie theater on July 19-20, 2012, hardly could believe this was happening again, after the not so distant experience of Columbine High School.

Unfortunately, all their fears were real; all their assumptions were being disproved, all their expectations of a quiet relaxing summer evening in a movie house were being put to test by a man who was completely out of his mind; who went berserk in less than a twinkle of the eye, attacking people with assault riffles in probably a place, a theater, which everyone of us associate with some comfort and time to let off steam. This is more than a wildest dream, this was a nightmare better left in the past; this was a catastrophe that brings you back to a land of the uncomfortable, unfathomable and surreal. This is a disaster that not very many people would like to experience, a disaster that makes you wonder, when is America going to address its guns go airy problems? When is America going to remind those who are so gong-ho on the second amendment rights, they would hardly listen to arguments regarding why we, as a nation, must do more to control those millions of guns that get into our streets from illicit sales, from the gun shows, from careless gun owners, who hardly appreciate, how dangerous and lethal, a gun can be when it gets to the hands of the not so lucid

Psychosis involves more than delusions and paranoia as exemplified by Mr. James Holmes behavior in Century Aurora Theater 9 that early hours of Friday. If Mr. Holmes colored his hair pink or red as reported, believing he was an altar ego of a fictional character, and went on a rampage killing innocent people, you wonder why the system had failed us. Why no one, prior to this mayhem, had diagnosed this sick mind and given him the necessary treatment? Why no one had been careful enough not to sell assault riffles and ammunition to this crazy and deranged individual? Why the second amendment rights of Mr. Holmes stops where the right to peace, life and liberty of those he mowed down in the theater, began. This is not a legal debate; it is a common sense debate to protect lives and liberty in the public space. If someone had not find it just too easy to purchase guns and ammunition in less than orthodox way, we will not be scrambling to find out the family and relations of those right now in the morgue, because Mr. Holmes is unable to differentiate between illusion and reality, for about ten minutes or so, in that awful midnight hour at the Aurora theater.

If the system had not been so permissive for all to obtain a gun, some mothers wouldn’t be so grief stricken that they can hardly say a word regarding this unfortunate event in Aurora, Colorado. If the big gun rights lobby in congress hasn't been so overwhelmed with corporate contributions to the extent that our lawmakers have either sold their souls to the devil or denied common sense debate on guns' ownership, we would not be here, over twenty four hours, unable to put a name to some of the deceased in the morgue. If the system had firmed up the way guns are purchased, with stricter background checks and probably, medical records follow-ups inquires, we will all not be so saddened and confused, why a single individual had senselessly killed children in a place probably considered safe for most to go watch a movie in Aurora, Colorado on July 19-20, 2012.

Now, for those who often cry out that someone is going to take their guns away, maybe they should put themselves in the shoes of the grief-stricken family, who are seeking to make sense of this tragedy, who are saying why us, who are imagining what might have been, who are saying: Lord, Have Mercy! They may all want to hold on to their guns, they may all want to talk about how sacrosanct their rights to bear arms is; however, is it not about time, we truly sit down and say: this gun ownership thing is not working for all of us?

I can understand why folks on farms and small communities like to own guns; I can appreciate why sportsmen want good gauge riffles to go hunt animals during hunting seasons; I can even condescend to a widow who lives alone in rather unsafe and hostile neighborhoods holding on to one .22 caliber Smith Wesson to ward away bad characters; however, I cannot understand why we allow guns and ammunition to fall into the wrong hands, where they can do evil to all of us and our psychic at one moment’s blow.

On that unfortunate midnight hour that will go into infamy in the annals of history, especially for residents of Aurora, Colorado, as the dark knight rises again on screen and probably figuratively in reality, may we all remember why treatment of psychotic disorders on time is essential, why we must not continue to delude ourselves that everyone must have the right to bear arms, even absent felons. There are some of us, no pun intended, who are crazy, just too crazy to be allowed to be close to a gun.

For those families who have lost someone, may the succor of almighty God, relief you of the pains and sorrow of death at this time. May the words of comfort in the holy books, hold you tight, may the memory of your loved ones, be never left to waste, or their love diminished. The nation remembers and prays for you, we may never understand what you are going through at this time, but we know, the Lord Loves you and he will preserve and protect the memories of your loved ones. May their humble souls rest in peace!
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