I was laying in bed late Thursday night, pondering my weekly offering for the good readers of FishDuck. I usually fall asleep to a news/talk radio station. Suddenly, they broke into normal talk radio with breaking news that a heavily armed gunman had burst into a showing of the latest Batman movie at a theater complex in Aurora, Colorado, rendered the movie-goers incapable of response with tear gas, and shot the place to Hell.
I was horrified. I’ve been to Aurora, though not to that particular theater. I can picture the terrain. What I can’t imagine is the horror that those poor people must have felt as 24 year-old James Holmes methodically moved up and down the darkened aisle, cutting down people at random with the arsenal at his disposal. Video that has since surfaced doesn’t do justice to the fear, the smell, the carnage created by this deranged animal.
As Thursday night became Friday morning I listened to news coverage and public response to the event. It’s so soon after Gabrielle Giffords, and so close in proximity to Littleton, Colorado, home of Columbine High School. Before Columbine, Oregon was the site of the worst school shooting, the tragedy that hit Thurston High School in 1998. Once is too many times.
“What has gone wrong with us?” I wondered.
Obviously the time has come for a national discussion. A discussion which isn’t going to happen. I know that because, by 9:00 Friday morning Pacific Daylight Time the sides were going to their respective corners, and were receiving their talking points.
“Too many guns”, says one side.
“Hitler supported gun control. So did Stalin.” says the other.
“Watch them try to blame video games”, said a friend of mine.
And on and on it goes.
Grand words will be spoken over the next couple of days. The words will be of a nation coming together to get through this. Bouquets of flowers will be laid at the doorway to Theater 9 at Century Cinema in Aurora. Teddy bears will accompany the flowers. Funeral processions will be filmed as hearses make their way from Denver area churches and mortuaries to Olinger Eastlawn or Mt. Nebo Cemetery. Tears will be shed for the victims, especially the children, and the families of the victims.
For at least a couple of days the Presidential election campaign will go underground.
Then things will get back to normal. Gun control advocates will climb into their pulpits and spout rhetoric that will go unheard, at best, and mocked, more likely, by those to whom Rambo is a role model. These folks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_developers will continue to make the blood spatters go higher and be even more realistic. Because this, you know, isn’t violent enough…
Make no mistake. The tragedy here is the theater rampage. But make no mistake also that nothing, NOT ONE DAMN THING, is going to change as a result of it. We have our teams and no one is going to change the minds that our teams have ingrained in us.
And it will happen again.
This column has nothing to do with Oregon Sports. Oh sure, the this side vs. that side could be related to sports in a way, in the endless joys of rivalry boasting 8-in-a-row over the Huskies, or the general ineptness of the Beavers, but we can save all of that for a week. It’s not appropriate at this time. This doesn’t even pretend to be funny.
Writing about sports and being funny are the only two things that I was tasked with when I started working for FishDuck.com, and I violated both of them today.
1. I’m sad today.
2. I work for free.
3. This is what I had to say.
I’ll be back next week with an allegedly funny take on quarterback controversies from the Garden of Eden to today. For a day, let’s put the football talk on hold in remembrance of something that dare I say is a bit more important than athletic competitions and bragging rights.
Have a good week. Hug the people you love and tell them that you love them.