This article is written in response to all the shootings and mass killings that have happened as a result of guns; most recently the Colorado “Batman Movie Theater Slaughter” (apx. 70 shot, 12 killed). Also the author has had several personal experiences with muggers, psychopaths, and convicted felons.
For those that do not know about the comic book character Batman*, let me start by saying that although he is a violent vigilante, he is against guns and murder in general. Batman is against guns in principle because his parents were shot and killed by a mugger outside of a movie theater in the 1940s. So Batman uses intimidation, martial arts, non-lethal weapons, and citizen arrests to deal with criminals. Although he has dark periods when the horns on his cowl get longer, and he may feel like dealing justice by killing a criminal, he fights against the urge to do that because he would become too much like the enemy, and because he specifically fights against armed people that hurt others.
“Far, far more Americans are killed every year by firearms, in this country — 31,000 in 2010 alone — than were killed on 9/11. We have terrorism right in our midst.” – Dan Rodricks NPR fb-blog
Historically it is true we killed each-other more often using primitive weapons, however i believe in our culture today it is harder to kill someone by using a primitive weapon because we actually are more ethical in general. The 2000 US Census clearly shows guns being the primary weapon used in murders, and all other weapons were significantly less.
Guns kill more people than would be killed if we did not have them today, simply because guns are easier for idiots to use, and it is an easier weapon to kill more people with (than a blade for example). By using a gun, one is less connected to a victim, and there is less time for empathy, morality, ethics, or someone else to stop you.
Despite the fact that gun murders are higher than any other weapon, no one is going to take guns away from us (2nd Amendment to the Constitution). However it is safe to acknowledge the fact of the statistics as a basis for conversation about how we can help people like that shooter to either be more responsible, or if we cannot help them enough mentally then we should make sure they do not have access to guns (or any weapons for that matter, which means confining them or banishing them).
Now granted, in the case of this shooter in the theater, he may have just resorted to using explosives if he could not get guns; but the statistics do seem to favor the use of guns for people into killing other people. Whether every person that killed using guns would have killed using another weapon, i do not think so, but im sure some would have. Im not saying take guns away from responsible people, im saying we should improve the desire for people to be responsible in communities, and to do that we need to be more responsible.
I personally relate to Batman because although I am a conscientious objector to wars (see my book “Ten COW” that I submitted to the US Air Force), I am not a strict pacifist because I believe in self-defense, some hunting, and the ability to use force to defend others. So like Batman, I would prefer to be peaceful, but sometimes there is a need to meet violence with violence, even though violence is wrong. Also like Batman, I prefer not to use guns.
So in closing, I would like to say that we should all be more like Batman; because he clearly cannot handle the work load by himself. Sure not all of us are fit enough, trained enough, wealthy enough, or brave enough; but we can still be more like Batman by looking into the shadows for other lost souls to help by being their friend, or to find help for if we can do nothing ourselves.
RIP all my friends who have died from accidental or intentional gun use: BJ McMurray age 13, shot by his brother in the heart while hunting; Martin Mouser died age 20, put a beer can on his head while drunk for his friend to shoot off, and got shot in the heart; Mike Mihalik aged 20s, gun shot in the heart; etc… those 3 boys were known and loved not just by me, but many other friends and family members. May they not be forgotten.
* note: Batman is a trademark character of DC Comics and this is not for profit.