I don't know why it is.
If someone has a rifle and uses it for hunting and they eat - or make a living from - what they kill, I have no problem with that. Some will. I understand. I'm a carnivore. Guilty as charged.
If someone has a gun in their home for self-defense, well, I do have a problem with that but, as they say, it's a free country (well, for some) and we do have Second Amendment Rights. So, there's that.
Me? I have a baseball bat by the door and I know how to swing it.
But why would anyone need semi-automatic assault weapons and canisters of tear-gas is beyond me. Why are these weapons so easily available?
And how in the name of God did all that explosive material get stockpiled in an apartment? Didn't anyone see him bring that stuff in? Didn't anyone think to ask a question?
And why would anyone let a man into a movie theater dressed in black with a mask over his face and all those weapons? Did someone not think to stop him? Ask a question - or maybe three?
The shooter has been described as a brilliant young man. Quiet. Well-mannered. An honor student.
"Gifted," many called him. He was working on his doctorate in neuroscience.
Clearly, the man who committed this horrific crime lost his foothold on reality. He may have been de-compensating for a while but no one noticed because he was quiet and well mannered and was working on his doctorate in neuroscience.
Just another 'geek'. A 'nerd'. Just a little 'odd', a bit 'off' but nothing to worry about. Would have passed the 'smell test' in any gun store.
Except, I go back to my original question: Why would anyone, sane or not, need automatic assault weapons and canisters of tear gas? Because the Second Amendment says we can? Really? Or, is it because the NRA (National Rifle Association) has become a very wealthy, very powerful lobby - so powerful that even our President has not curtailed their activities on Capitol Hill?
I grow very weary of the conversations I'm hearing about gun control, many of which are either along the line of "guns don't kill people, people kill people," or "if guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns."
On either side of the issue, these 'catchy phrases' offer a simplistic response to an unnecessarily complex situation in this company. The facts, however, do not lie. In countries where the citizenry - and even police - are not armed, there are lower rates of violent crimes. Far lower than in this country.
I grow even more weary of people talking about "evil" and how the shooter is "evil". Yes, the situation was a manifestation of evil. The shooter, however, is obviously ill. Mentally ill. We'll know more about that illness in the days and weeks and months to come.
Here's the thing: If you have a loved one or friend who suffers from mental illness, you know how hurtful it is to have someone who is mentally ill described as "evil" or "demonic". Please, if you find yourself using that kind of language, please stop and consider what you're saying.
I know. We're all angry. We're all confused. How could this happen? Why did it happen? What happens in the mind of someone who deliberately, intentionally - legally - stockpiles weapons and ammunition and explosives?
There are many questions - most of which will be answered as the forensics are done and the legal system sifts through the facts and tries to uncover the truth. But, there will be other questions - deep, moral, ethical, spiritual questions - that we'll be wrestling with for years to come.
For now, all we can really do is pray for the souls of those who have died and for all those who grieve their loss. We can pray for the citizens of Aurora who will spend the rest of their lives trying to understand why this happened to them.
And, we can pray that we, in this country, can find some sanity in our laws, respecting the Second Amendment and balancing that with some common-sense laws that keep semi-automatic assault weapons out of the hands of citizenry.
That shouldn't be complicated to achieve - if we have the will and the heart and the courage to protect the innocent while guaranteeing constitutional rights for all.
May God have mercy on us, one and all.