By Danny Contreras
The Colorado shooting incident has sparked major concern across the United States, and in many cases pure outrage amongst those who believe America should implement and exercise tougher gun control laws. With full-body armor, including a riot helmet and goggles, 24 year old James Holmes walked into a crowded Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, carrying an M-16 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Holmes released tear gas into the crowd before going on a shooting spree which killed 12 and injured dozens. The incident has resurfaced the ongoing debate over gun control laws – is controlling guns by itself, the solution to prevent mass killing scenarios such as the Colorado shooting?
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Guns do not shoot on their own, someone needs to pull the trigger, and a bomb does not blow up at will, someone has to detonate it; implying that the human touch plays a major role in gun violence. The kind of violence witnessed in the Colorado movie theater delves beyond gun control — it questions the psychological profile of an individual — the mental state in which a human being must reside in before meditating to commit mass murder.
“Such individuals — twisted or hobbled by disorders of the mind — can always find ways to turn the demons that haunt them inside-out, projecting their terrors on the world around them.” Dr. Keith Ablow
Whether James Holmes used an M-16, or a kitchen knife to attack and kill innocent civilians, there is no doubt that the root cause of his actions stemmed from deep seeded psychological symptoms. In one form or another, James Holmes would have found a way to unleash his wrath on innocent civilians. Checking an individual’s background for past criminal history does not seem to be enough, and has shown that not everyone who passes a criminal background check is capable of possessing a weapon. Perhaps the background checks performed in order for an individual to purchase weapons should be expanded to include psychological profile testing.
Despite the atrocious Colorado shooting scene, both republicans and democrats in congress are in agreement with not legislating any new gun laws, which forces alternative solutions.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said “The president has made clear that he’s not going to use this horrific event to push for new gun laws. I agree”
The government’s “hands-off” attitude towards gun legislation should be viewed as an opportunity to study psychosocial solutions which can potentially prevent a scene like the Colorado shooting.
Danny Contreras is a writer for The Examiner. This story appeared in today’s online edition.