The events that unfolded late last night are, once again, beyond comprehension.
Another crowd, another angry man with a gun, another body count.
We shake our heads. We say our prayers. We hug our kids a little tighter. And then we go back to normal.
Could it have been prevented? Hard to say. Likely not. JFK was once asked about the prospect of assasination. He said, “If someone is willing to trade their life for mine, I supposed in the end they probably can.”
It is mostly probable that this crazy man from San Diego would have killed a bunch of people no matter what. Yet a thought lingers…
Police now tell us that he was carrying 6,000 rounds of ammunition. That’s 6,000 bullets. 6,000.
They also inform us that the gun he was using in the Theater 9 was outfitted with a 100 round magazine. This is a mechanism that holds the bullets and automatically feeds them into the chamber so that they can be fired rapidly without reloading.
An angry man enters a crowded theater with an automatic weapon and 6,000 bullets that he can fire 100 at a time in less than 90 seconds without reloading.
Is this really what James Madison had in mind? Mmm.
There are of course legislative bills that have been introduced in an effort to reduce the number of bullets an individual can buy within a given period of time. There are bills that are awaiting votes right now that would limit the size of magazines, so that no one could simply fire 100 rounds at a time without stopping to reload. The current leadership of the House of Representatives will not let these bills come up for a vote. The NRA is one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington and they don’t want the bills to become law.
When asked about this, the NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandum said, “Members of the public should be allowed access to high-capacity magazines to protect themselves from attacks by armed mobs. When someone is being attacked by multiple people, it is only reasonable that they are given as much opportunity to defend themselves as they need.”
Attacks by armed mobs. Wow.
The thought that lingers, the one that just nags is this: How many people would have been saved last night if say after 10 shots, this maniac had to look down and reload, and maybe – just maybe – someone would’ve tackled him and stopped him? Or, at the very least, how many would’ve made it out the door? How many of those people would be at home right now instead of the morgue or the intensive care unit?
That’s gonna linger for a while.