I wish I didn't feel so cynical bout this recent shooting. That it is tragic and senseless is without question. Our response however is almost predictable as Rob has pointed out over at the Rhino Den. No doubt there will be calls not to politicize this, but already there's been at least one pretty lame and pathetic attempt to link this nut to the Tea Party, even though from everything we can tell shows he's just plain wacko. There will no doubt be much mad out of the fact that he used a drum magazine, there will be questions as to how he was able to amass so much ammo, calls for restrictions. You know I've seen this movie before, and I have no interest to watch it again.
Here is some facts for you to consider, if there had been someone there with a concealed carry there might have been something that could have been done, but that's a realm of conjecture that I can't really support. Chances are it would have happened so fast that by the time you realized something was wrong it would have been too late. Had someone fired upon him in the midst of panic they would have likely shot an innocent bystander. I doubt highly that there would have been much that anyone could have done.
As Poetrooper pointed out at This Ain't Hell, the response time, approximately 90 seconds,while great, is about 2 minuets too damn late. We can't really be there before it happens, so quibbling about the Police being proactive is also useless. Up until this point he didn't do anything illegal, so how exactly to you expect the police to protect you? You can't arrest law abiding citizens without some pretty good evidence. Even circumstantial evidence is ok but there has to be a lot of it. What would you do, profile every citizen in the nation. By my count I fit at least four similarities in his psychological profile, and yet I am neither violent, nor am I dangerous (unless given reason to be so). If I don't make a lot of friends and lose my job, should I also be arrested?
I could argue very vociferously that if every citizen was trained in how to use the M-16A2 or the M-4A1, and required by law to qualify every 3 months, and undergo training with it every 6 months, that there might actually be less gun violence/deaths. I could argue that curtailing gun rights might actually increase the amount of violent crime. I could make a million and one good arguments and counter arguments for every bit of half assed law that will undoubtedly come out of this. There will be speeches made. There will be calls to remember the victims. They will be forgotten, and this will be added to a long list of sadly avoidable incidents. We will find out that someone somewhere along the way had a bad feeling about him, and that there might have been some point that was missed that someone could intervene and perhaps saved a few lives. We saw it with Nadal Hassan, we saw it in Colombine, we saw it with the Virginia Tech shooter.
We will go on with our lives. That is all we can do. I will, in the coming days write a review of the Dark Knight Rises, because that's what I was going to do anyway. I do not think we should look for a deeper meaning in this incident, no more than the usual "there go I but by the Grace of God". If we had lived in a totalitarian state we could have no doubt apprehended him before he did damage but we would also apprehend innocent people. If we lived in an anarchist state, this would happen nearly every day. We have the middle ground between two extremes and its not perfect by a long shot, but this is the best option we as a people have found so far. The more freedom you have the less security you have, and the more security you have the less freedom.
Morn the victims. Say a prayer. Go on, and, if you truly want to draw anything from this, try to connect to people, and more importantly listen when your gut tells you "something isn't right".