One of the old chestnuts we always hear from the corporate-owned NRA every time there’s a mass gun-shooting tragedy is “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” After yesterday’s incident at a movie theater in Antioch, Tennessee, however, we now have a far more clear picture of what the reality is.
In the two mass gun shootings at movie theaters in Aurora, Colorado, and Lafayette, Louisiana, there were a total of 14 deaths and 79 injuries. At the movie theater attack in Antioch, where a hatchet was used, a total of zero people were killed.
After most mass gun-shooting tragedies, we tend to hear someone say that “People could just as easily could have been killed with a knife. Or a baseball bat.” I think we can now safely say that the phrase “just as easily” should never be used again in this connection.
The next time you hear someone fighting against controlling gun violence, just ask them simply if they would rather have been at the movie theater in Columbine, or the movie theater at Antioch. Or at the movie theater in Lafayette, or the one at Antioch. Or at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or at Antioch. Or inside Columbine High School, or wandering the campus at Virginia Tech, or at the movie theater at Antioch.
My guess is that you’re not going to get an answer.
My guess further is that any response that you do get is almost certain to include the phrase, “Yes, but…” But that’s just a rambling attempt to change the subject because there’s no “Yes, but” here. The question being asked doesn’t have any “Yes, but” to it.
The incident at the movie theater in Antioch was terrible. Thank goodness that none of the patrons inside were killed. Or even injured, unless you include being pepper-sprayed. But I’m sure those people count themselves incredibly lucky, given the usual pattern in movie theater attacks like this. However, I do think there is one good thing to come out of what happened yesterday. It’s showed as clear as possible that in an incident where there is an attack against a group of people, it is far better if the perpetrator is using a hatchet. Or pepper spray. Or knife. Or baseball bat. Or really pretty much any weapon other than a gun or explosive device
Just for the sake of perspective, whenever I hear someone say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, I always make sure to correct them and say that the proper phrase is actually, "Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people."
Because it's clearly a whole lot more difficult with a hatchet.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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