By Margaret Hedderman
Less than twenty-four hours after the horrific shooting at an Aurora, CO movie theatre, the gun control debate has begun. It’s sickening to know that it takes massacres such as this to garner interest over such an important issue, but it’s even more sickening to know that so little has changed since the last ferocious debate after the deadly shooting at Columbine High School not so long ago.
According to Pew Research, in 2010 49% of Americans supported protection of gun owners while only 45% support stricter control over gun ownership. Directly after Columbine it was strikingly different: 65% of Americans supported restrictions on gun ownership.
So far the most enlightened opinion of the day has been from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas who wants to know “[why] was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” Because that’s what we need, more people shooting guns in a dark room full of children.
Why are we so afraid of having something taken away – even if we don’t need it? What are we afraid of losing?
I think more than anything, people are afraid of losing a fight – not a gunfight, but a ideological debate. They are so unwilling to be proven wrong that they’re willing to risk incidents such as this. (To date, the legality of the guns used at the Aurora theatre has yet to be determined.) And it’s because this has become not a debate over gun control, but rather a debate over our “God-given rights” that there has been no progress in gun control. It’s common sense that, well, common sense and ideological fanaticism don’t work together.
The shooting at Century 16 Cinema is saddening not only for the tragic and useless loss of life, but also because it might not change anything.