Nearly a week later, misguided thinking about the Colorado movie massacre is rampant.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
Gun sales are up. People are envisioning themselves armed and ready to take out the bad guy, should they witness a similar shooting spree.
Others are wrongly correlating mental illness with violence.
And a Missouri company has become the focus of some outrageous venting.
TacticalGear.com, of Chesterfield, has been inundated with threatening calls and emails because the alleged Colorado shooter ordered protective gear from the company.
Thats anger misplaced.
James Holmes bought an urban assault vest, two magazine pouches and a tactical knife for $306.79, according to the company website. He paid extra for faster delivery.
Chad Weinman, CEO, posted a statement on the website. Weinman is right to emphasize that tactical clothing and equipment should not be put in the same category as firearms and ammunition.
The company proudly sells mainly to law enforcement.
No amount of gun control is going to prevent a sociopath hell-bent on terrorism from hurting a large group of people, Weinman wrote.
Hes right, by adding hell-bent.
But I disagree with the contention that arming more people is a valid response.
It will be money wasted for many of these new gun owners. People like to think they will possess the combination of a steady mind and an expert aim to shoot in a chaotic situation. But thats not likely for many.
And God forbid they end up killing innocent bystanders, not the deranged gunman. Or are mistaken for the shooter by responding police.
Holmes may suffer from some diagnosable illness of the mind. But he also displayed premeditation and cunning.
The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent.
Beyond Holmes, the only place any collaborative blame can be reasonably placed is, unfortunately, the first thing deemed untouchable. And that is Holmes relatively easy access to the assault rifle he fired. Good luck in an election year, with the gun lobby holding Democrats and Republicans in fear of retribution.
Yet that is the necessary national conversation. It shouldnt be viewed as an attack on the Second Amendment.
My mothers side of the family has long been filled with excellent marksmen. None of these responsible hunters ever needed to shoot 50 to 60 rounds a minute with an AR-15.
The thing jammed on Holmes. Otherwise, there would have surely been more dead.
Everyone can agree to be grateful for that fact.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.