NBC News Analyst Suggests Colorado Shooting Suspect Was “Dark Trekkie” [UPDATE: Apology Issued] | TrekMovie.com
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NBC News Analyst Suggests Colorado Shooting Suspect Was “Dark Trekkie” [UPDATE: Apology Issued] July 20, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Editorial,Fandom , trackback

One of the regular features of TrekMovie.com is to report when Star Trek interacts with the zeitgeist, usually in fun ways like references on sitcoms or other media. However, sometimes Star Trek or its fans can be portrayed in ways that are not flattering and an example of that came this morning on MSNBC when an NBC analyst suggested that the suspected murderer in the Colorado Batman movie screening mass shooting was a "dark Trekkie." Watch the clip below. [UPDATE: Van Zandt apologizes]

 

UPDATE 2: Van Zandt issues apology

On Monday Van Zandt went to Twitter to issue an apology to Star Trek fans. He also included a link to the original Spock saying "live long and prosper" which was a nice touch.

I thank Mr. Van Zandt for his apology.

 

original article

NBC analyst suggests CO theater shooter was "Dark Trekkie"

On this mornings "Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd" on MSNBC the host brought in NBC News analyst (and former FBI profiler) Clint Van Zandt to talk about the the shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. During the segment Van Zandt offered the the following analysis on the alleged shooter in the case James Eagan Holmes:

We know this was a preplanned event. This guy had to buy a ticket – one would assume in advance. He had to assemble clothing, uniform, helmet, gas mask, gas grenade, the weapons. He has to put all of this together. He didn’t just fall off a turnip truck to do this. Is this just the terrible collision between some dark Trekkie-like person’s fantasy world and reality or is it more sinister? Is there a political, religious or other type of motivation other than just someone with emotional challenges.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Trekkies deserve an apology

Of course the real victims are those of the alleged shooter, and I am sure that the thoughts and prayers of all Trekkies are with everyone who have been directly effected by this tragedy. But even in light of that, I still feel that Mr. Van Zandnt’s statement should not go without comment. And it isn’t that he is conflating Star Trek fans with a Batman fans (it has since been reported that Holmes referred to himself as “The Joker” although he painted his hair red and not Joker-green). I question why Van Zandt feels the need to drag genre fans into the mix at all. Hardcore fans of all franchises get enough negative stereotypes from the media and don’t need to be associated with an apparent mass murderer. And using "Trekkie" as a kind of generic to lump all types of hardcore fans just makes it even more offensive to Star Trek fans.

It is the opinion of TrekMovie.com, the world’s largest independent Trek site, that Mr. Van Zandnt and MSNBC should issue a retraction and apology for dragging the millions of Star Trek fans into this tragic story. TrekMovie has contacted NBC News, MSNBC, and Mr. Van Zandt regarding this and has yet to receive a response from any. If we hear back we will update this story.

UPDATE 1: Others also picks up Van Zandt/Trekkie story

The big media observer site Gawker has also posted about this with their story "MSNBC Profiler Wonders if ‘Dark, Trekkie-Like Person’ Was Responsible for Dark Knight Shooting." A number of other outlets have listed Van Zandt amongst others who rushed to judgment, including CNN, USA Today, Reason Magazine, Media Bistro/TV Newser, and Washington Times.

Comments

1. Porthos - July 20, 2012

I wouldn’t worry, I took his comment to mean “Dark Knight Trekkie” meaning a dark knight fan, he just didnt know what to call a dark knight trekkie equivalant so he literally called him a “dark trekkie.”

Like trekkie for star trek, Scaper for farscape fans, etc – he just wasn’t aware what to classify a batman fan as.

So “dark” like dark knight, not dark as in evil!

But all very sad, my heart goes out to all of the families in this incident! =(

2. Will - July 20, 2012

That kind of nonsense is what MSNBC specializes in. Solution: Watch FOX.

3. sterj - July 20, 2012

“It is the opinion of TrekMovie.com, the world’s largest independent Trek site, that Mr. Van Zandnt and MSNBC should issue a retraction and apology for dragging the millions of Star Trek fans into this tragic story. TrekMovie has contacted NBC News, MSNBC, and Mr. Van Zandt regarding this and has yet to receive a response from any. If we hear back we will update this story.”

I agree with you, Anthony, that it was an asinine thing to say, but I doubt that anyone will issue a retraction anytime soon.

What we really DO need in this crazy world is some type of movement that will combat senseless violence like what happened in Aurora, CO. I don’t know where to find it. Government? Forget it. Religion has its own problems.

Why don’t we do what the late Rodney King said in 1992–”Can’t we all just try to get along?”

4. Lostrod - July 20, 2012

Good luck, Anthony. And a nice gesture. I’ll be surprised if they respond, however.

What a tragedy.

Regards.

5. sterj - July 20, 2012

#2. FOX? Are you kidding?

The only cable news show that doesn’t make me burst a blood vessel is CSPAN. When there is an event (I first watched it for Ronald Regan’s funeral), they turn on a camera, say why they’re there, and shut their yaps while the camera rolls. When the event is over, they turn off the cameras. No talking heads dissecting what we just saw.

(Now, if you want a real laugh, watch CSPAN’s coverage of a Parliament meeting. “We recognize the lady for Essex.” “Well, I think we should…” “Oh, sit down, you old bag!” Loads of fun!)

6. Vultan - July 20, 2012

Probably like the people who call it “Star Track,” just another uninformed person talking… and talking. The best thing to do in the aftermath of a tragedy like this is to do more thinking than talking.

Thoughts and prayers to the people killed and wounded.

7. LizardGirl - July 20, 2012

First the fire and now this. Can we please catch a break here in Colorado? (for those of you who don’t know Aurora is literally right outside Denver) And you know…this is exactly what this disgusting person wants. National coverage and fame for something so sickening. 71 people shot–12 of them dead…what’s the point of that?

I’m definitely with you on this one Anthony. This is a very sick person who should be called that in the bluntest way. Don’t sensationalize this tragedy by nicknaming him a “Dark Knight Trekkie”. Don’t give him a persona by tacking on Star Trek or the Dark Knight franchise to this psycho (which is probably exactly what he wants). Zandnt probably said it without really thinking about it. But it does smack of a very negative profiling/stereotyping. This guy didn’t buy a comic book, he committed mass murder okay?…now they’re going to be calling him THE DARK TREKKIE. A very lame and unappreciated “joke” for trekkies and the victims.

Now I suppose this killer will probably want an interview, a book deal and his OWN movie.

8. Christopher Roberts - July 20, 2012

Charles Manson and his family probably all gathered around to watch Star Trek. Decades before that Adolf Hitler whistled showtunes inbetween ordering the deaths of millions. There’s no accounting for taste. You just have to believe for every nutjob who doesn’t get the hopeful message behind a particular piece of art or entertainment, many more millions do.

9. T'Cal - July 20, 2012

I heard the “red hair like the Joker” comment too. Pathetic. Fox was no better in their reporting. One “expert” took to calling the offender “The Joker” stating that the new Batman film’s alternate title was “The Joker’s Revenge” and I don’t recall one reference to the Joker in TDKR. This is just some nobody reporter hoping to make a name by pretending to be the first to come up with a well-known name for a sick individual who chose to murder and hurt a bunch of innocent people. Pathetic all around.

10. LukasKetner - July 20, 2012

I think Holmes was more of a dark-MSNBC Analyst-like individual. Dick.

My annoyance is dwarfed by my horror, though, so I’m not giving this much thought.

11. KH - July 20, 2012

@ #2 Fox News? Really? You get more factual reporting from “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central than from them.

As to the NBC News analyst- Thanks for giving more reasons to not watch NBC!

12. rebecca - July 20, 2012

First: as others have said, best thoughts and kind wishes to everyone who was involved in this terrible tragedy.

Second: oh God, PLEASE do not let this comment thread turn into some kind of Fox-vs-MSNBC debate. That is so not the point.

Third: As Porthos said, it seems like the commentator was using Trekkie as a term for a genre fan in general (in this case a Nolan/Batman fanboy), but that doesn’t really make it any better. I really find the idea of equating “genre fan” with “crazed mass murderer” in any way to be pretty unsettling – way to buy into a negative, hurtful stereotype. So the guy was dressed like the Joker, so what? He was obviously a very disturbed, sick individual, and to make generalities from that to anyone who’s passionate about fandom is pretty dangerous.

There is a really great Tumblr, http://iamsciencestories.tumblr.com/, started by a group of people working in science who were frustrated by negative portrayals of scientists in the media (think the “mad scientist” types who are the bad guys in so many genre movies/TV shows). There’s a variety of content in there now but it started as photos and stories of scientists of all sorts, a way to break the stereotype of the old white dude in goggles and a lab coat. I almost feel like there needs to be some sort of “I am a Trekkie” or “I am a geek” meme along the same lines as the “I am Science” meme – showing that Trekkies/genre geeks are not all creepy white dudes living in their moms’ basements. (No offense to creepy basement-dwelling white dudes intended, of course.)

13. Justin Olson - July 20, 2012

@ 2. Will:

Clint Van Zandt has appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, so I guess that’s not much of a solution.

Anthony:

The Joker has green hair, not red… so I don’t think we can infer that the shooter was trying to appear as the Joker until we know more about his motives. He may have just been going where he expected the most people to be that night.

14. Robman007 - July 20, 2012

It would be nice to live in a society in which the INDIVIDUAL is to blame for their actions, not everything else. We blame parents, we blame Bush, we blame Democrats, we blame republicans, we blame Limbaugh, we blame Batman, we blame Star Trek, we blame videogames such as Doom and Grand Theft Auto, we blame the enviorment that folks grow up in, but we NEVER place the blame on where it counts..the sick idiots that commit these acts. The punishments that these guys can suffer as a result of these crimes needs to be increased. No more getting college educations and work out sessions in prision. Punishment for crimes need to be feared.

Political Correctness and the highly biased and agenda driven national media’s need to blame everyone and everything but the individual responsible are two issues that are slowly killing this nation.

Sad

15. Anthony Pascale - July 20, 2012

Justin

I added link to that reference. I was noting that according to police he called himself the Joker. Not sure why he painted hair red instead of green.

RE: Fox news msnbc
Lets not get into partisan politics and things that may divide. In this case we are all Trekkies and this is about Star Trek and not politics.

16. Uberbot - July 20, 2012

This is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!! The monster who committed this heinous a d tragic crime was a soul-less, sociopathic DEVIANT. It has nothing to do with Batman, Star Trek or the man-in-the-moon!!!

This person obviously has serious psychological issues and is using Batman as the excuse and opportunity to do this.

Comparing this to Star Trek fans is beyond the beyond!!

17. rebecca - July 20, 2012

Van Zandt doesn’t have an active Twitter account but Chuck Todd does: https://twitter.com/chucktodd/

I would suggest any Trek/genre fans on Twitter might want to POLITELY, RESPECTFULLY express their displeasure with this through there?

18. Justin Olson - July 20, 2012

#15 Anthony:

Thanks for that link. Odd that this info is coming from NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly and not the police in Colorado. I guess we just have to wait and see if what he said is actually true or not.

19. Uberbot - July 20, 2012

It is PURE evil when a so-called “person” can shoot a 3 month old innocent baby at close range!!! Death penalty for this evil creature should be swift!! But not before a long period of torture do he can actually feel the consequences and pain of his actions!!!

20. Platitude - July 20, 2012

This event can only be described as evil. Its horrific. Its also an act by one crazy individual…and comic book fans, trekkies, or any other group shouldn’t be roped in with this psycho. Shame on any reporters who do so, though we should expect that this isn’t the first and won’t be the last reporter to do so regarding this tragedy.

21. Rico - July 20, 2012

This is why I really abhor most commercial news services. They have no idea what they are talking about. Idiots.

22. Emperor Mike of the Empire - July 20, 2012

One thing is certen. This Dueshbag is not a Trekie. He is a Lower then life Scum and if I really could. I would put him in the Agony Booth forever!!!!. Then Send him Straight to Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

23. San - July 20, 2012

Hi…
Terrible act…..dont have words
Of course we dont regonize us star trek fan with this.
People just go and watch batman, in honour of the people who are now dead

24. Emperor Mike of the Empire - July 20, 2012

Also. All my best wishes to all of the family and friends of the victems of this horrible evet.

25. Harry Ballz - July 20, 2012

15. Anthony Pascale “Not sure why he painted hair red instead of green”

Anthony, don’t forget, the Joker wore a red wig in The Dark Knight when he was blowing up that hospital. That could be the link.

26. Andy Patterson - July 20, 2012

Yeah, a really horrible, tragic incident. Horrible. Makes me I’ll.

As to the NBC report; a badly thought out choice of words. I’m a Trekkie and I’ve never been a fan of Nolan’s iteration of Batman from the beginning.

27. Robman007 - July 20, 2012

Blaming the very brilliant Nolan Batman Trilogy for this crime is just as stupid as blaming videogames or a political party. Just dumb. Individual did crime, individual is to blame, individual needs to be put down just like you do a rabid animal.

28. loghaD - July 20, 2012

While I’m usually all for jumping at people who speak ill of Trekkies, I wonder if this is perhaps a battle we should let slide?
It was a stupid comment, sure, but I doubt it’s gonna lead to anything, and personally, I’m not sure we want to hog attention for ourselves at a time like this; to make it about us.

I guess if you think it’s part of some bigger picture, it may be worth fighting over this, but we should ask ourselves if we may not be a bit petty in doing so.

29. craig keith - July 20, 2012

#27 I totaly agree with your comments however the connections will be drawn once the shock and horror of this has died down. Im soo glad that american has the death sentence for this pathetic excuse for a human being!

As for the comment made by the reporter, It was disrespectful and an apology would be welcome, But a lot of people have lost there lives – There are more important things to rerember then a stupid reporter.

30. craig keith - July 20, 2012

i also think people may see this post as a selfish reaction from trekkie fans We all know its not but to the outside world were crazy cult fans – and as this is the largest indepandent trek site the press are going to come straight to here.

I mean no disrespect Anthony as i know you have our best wishes when you posted this but i wonder if it would be better to remove ir??

31. Vultan - July 20, 2012

#30

You know, I think you’re right. This nitpicking of someone’s obscure misstatement on the news won’t exactly cast a favorable light on Trekkies either, who are known, fairly or not, for being nitpickers of the smallest minutia imaginable—and I’m guilty of that myself.

Don’t know. Seems too soon, too small an issue to be talking about this when there are still dead people in that theater.

32. Marc Henson - July 20, 2012

I think that this guy was meaning that fans of science fiction and comic books are all part of this geek/nerd club. To a large degree it is true. I like Star Trek and I like many other things sci-fi and fantasy, including the superhero genre. So that said, I don’t think it as an offensive statement in the least. He’s just some guy talking about fandom geeks like us. Some of us are nuts, some aren’t. That guy, was apparently a nutcase.

The spokesman wasn’t saying that all sci-fi and fantasy fans are nutcases, but he was suggesting the possibility that he may have been living in some sort of fantasy himself. I consider myself just as much of a geek as the next guy, but obviously such a thing as to go into a theater and shoot people is detestable to me. But this guy in Aurora was apparently some supervillain looking for an archenemy….in other words, a nutcase stuck in his own fantasy.

33. Uberbot - July 20, 2012

Gun control is not needed. The US constitution spells out gun rights a d WHY we have that right. Guns don’t kill people. People do. Cars, knives and ice picks can be used kill too — do you gun control idiots want to ban those too?

Criminals will always get guns if they wantt them badly enough — why should normal, same and law abiding people give up their guns?

Only an oppressive government with evil plans for its people wants the citizens to give up their guns!

What’s needed is some MORALITY and respect for life!!

34. Elias Javalis - July 20, 2012

Fan or no fan, he crossed over, there is no turning back!!

35. ados - July 20, 2012

Comparing Trekkies with a cowardly act like this is outrageous

36. Jack - July 20, 2012

30, 31, “Seems too soon, too small an issue to be talking about this when there are still dead people in that theater.”

Exactly — I cringed when I saw Anthony’s tweets on this. Fine, publicly disagree with the statements if you must (and I’d prefer you do it on your own and not on behalf of Trek fans). But, come on — demanding an apology just hours after it happened? Yuck. Demanding an apology or a retraction, period? Yuck.

If the goal was to show that Trek fans aren’t all crazy and have an understanding of reality and what really matters, well, it did the opposite.

37. rebecca - July 20, 2012

#28 and #30 have a point, absolutely, but it sometimes it just gets tiresome to forever have people making assumptions about you based on your choice in pop culture. Ugh.

Anyway, my heart continues to go out to Colorado.

38. Aurore - July 20, 2012

My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families in Colorado.

39. Jack - July 20, 2012

“It is the opinion of TrekMovie.com, the world’s largest independent Trek site, that Mr. Van Zandnt and MSNBC should issue a retraction and apology for dragging the millions of Star Trek fans into this tragic story. TrekMovie has contacted NBC News, MSNBC, and Mr. Van Zandt regarding this and has yet to receive a response from any. If we hear back we will update this story. ”

Isn’t this really just Anthony’s blog? Aren’t you taking yourself way too seriously? I’m disgusted by this.

40. craig keith - July 20, 2012

#39 hang on there dude – whilst i disagree with the post being here i totally get were Anthony was coming from – how often does a fanbase get accused of extremism.

It was just too soon aften this sad sad tradegy

41. Ahmed - July 20, 2012

Anthony, why my comment in response to #2 comment was deleted ?

42. Gun Control - July 20, 2012

33. Sadly gun control is needed.

We have had it in the UK for many years now. If there is a single incident of gun crime in the UK then it is a major story.

My father used to own guns and was part of a gun club, so I know that gun control wont please everyone. But it would save lives.

Such sad news and my thoughts are with the victims. Yah, the dark trekkie thing is inappropriate, but would seem to be of trivial concern at this time.

43. WillH85 - July 20, 2012

I think it’s fair for him to issue an apology. He tried to group a killer with a group of people that had nothing to do with it. His remarks weren’t malicious but they were ignorant.

44. NCC-73515 - July 20, 2012

Remember that robbery with a sword that everybody reported was a Klingon betleH? Of course it wasn’t, but the news seem to always reference us trekkies, since we’re the best known fan group, I guess.

45. Calastir - July 20, 2012

Trekkies are the most peaceful, law-abiding people I can imagine. I’ve never met an agressive Trekkie. I don’t see any connection. ‘NBC News analyst Clint Van Zandt’ FAIL!!!

46. Robman007 - July 20, 2012

@ 33: Sadly, gun control is an idea that will not work in the US. You can take guns away from the law abiding citizens, but that won’t keep the guns outta the hands of the psycho’s and the criminal elements. Until we start instituting incredibly harsh punishments for committing crimes, criminals are going to keep doing what they do. What is there to fear when you get sent to a prison that allows you to get a tax payer funded college education and Gym/TV time?

I for one feel better at night with a gun in the house. You never know when some idiot thug will bust into your house in the middle of the night and hold you at gun point all because they want your 42″ TV and Xbox.

47. Kirk, James T. - July 20, 2012

This was such a tragic thing to happen but to blame a “dark-trekkie” is incredibably insulting. Absolutely discraceful to the millions upon millions of Star Trek fans out in the world to be steryotyped as sick-minded people who would go and do such a thing as this.

He doesn’t just need to retract what he said, he needs to be publicly shamed at labeling a fanbase as people who would go round shooting people.

This is nothing to do with Star Trek or it’s fans. This is the work of a very sick and mentally disturbed individual.

I hope NBC etc… issue a full apology at the very least.

48. Dr. Cheis - July 20, 2012

It seemed pretty clear to me that the key phrase is “Dark Trekkie-like person,” not “Dark-Trekkie.” He’s using the phrase to signify a “Dark Knight” version of a Trekkie, as Batman fans have no easily identifiable moniker. So the question is, “is this just the terrible collision between [a fan]’s fantasy world and reality or is it more sinister?

Given the venue, I think it’s a valid question, and not at all a judgement on fans in general, nor is it a conflation of Star Trek with sci-fi.

49. Marc Henson - July 20, 2012

The man was ignorant obviously. But I really don’t see why an apology should be expected…especially so early after the shooting.

He did not imply that Trekkies, or fan groups of any kind were evil, he was only illustrating the fantasy this man may have been living in. It was all questions, questions they were getting to the bottom of.

He was ignorant, yes, but who really cares? I remember that one old lady on the Trekkies documentary that was talking about that chick from Arkansas that had a phaser that beams her up….sure, every Star Trek fan knows that a phaser doesn’t beam you up but she didn’t…so why be offended.

Granted I realize this is a much more serious issue, but there was nothing in his statement that was meant as a jab to geek “fanatics” in general, no more than his comments about religion and politics. Who the frak really cares?!

Now in relation to that madman in Aurora, sure, we can take note of that. The man needs to be taken care of. Sent to prison…the electric chair or whatever, but after everything that just happened is it really such a big issue about what an ignorant spokesman says about sci-fi and fantasy fans?

50. Marc Henson - July 20, 2012

#48:

YES…that’s exactly what I mean…oh, and Batman fans are sometimes called Batfans, but I suppose it’s not a commonly used name.

51. Michael Hall - July 20, 2012

I don’t often have much agreement with anything the folks at Reason have to say, but in this case “half-assed” isn’t the half of it. As a civil libertarian I consider it utterly absurd to lay such a horrific event at the foot of this film, or any other.

I’ve never been a huge fan of any iteration of the “Batman” franchise, though I’ve found much to admire in the Nolan films and consider him to be one of the most intriguing auteurs working in American movies today. That said, the take of the Batman mythos on human society (and as exemplified in the current film) is a choice between entrenched corruption on the one hand and utter moral chaos on the other. Nothing could be further from Gene Roddenberry’s message of hope for the future, and while I’ve had differences with many of my fellow fans on this site I’d like to think we all have that hope in common to some degree, and in our own way try to make its presence felt in the larger, far-from-perfect world we all must live our lives in.

Peace to today’s victims, and their loved ones who must carry on.

52. denny cranium - July 20, 2012

I’m someone who struggles with the US second amendment.
I’m Canadian and live in the US throughout parts of the year.
My country of preference is the US but I don’t understand this compulsion to own a gun.
This individual who allegedly committed these crimes bought 4 weapons over the course of a few short weeks.
If you feel the need to own a handgun fine, but an automatic weapon? I don’t get it.
Don’t think it was cool of MSNBC to refer to anyone as a dark trekkie and agree with the poster who says we should turn our thoughts toward the victims and their families.

53. Dave - July 20, 2012

None of the weapons used were automatics. The rifles and handguns were semi-auto.

As for the politics of gun control… can we PLEASE keep that out of this thread. There’s going to be enough of that crap on the news in the next few weeks from knee-jerk reactions and responses.

54. Vultan - July 20, 2012

#52

I agree. Handguns and shotguns are okay, I suppose, but being able to legally purchase an assault rifle is absurd. You don’t need one of those to protect your home or to hunt game. The law needs to be changed in that regard.

And yes, the more I think about this article the more I find it in poor taste. Too soon, Anthony, way too soon…

55. Phil - July 20, 2012

In this era of the 24 hour news cycle it’s fairly common now for reporters to speculate as opposed to fact checking. I’ll check CSPAN and Fox, and NPR on the radio for updates because they offend the least. CNN is unwatchable now, and I’d sooner gouge out my eyes then subject myself to Carol Costello any longer.

Peace and prayers to the families. Anf fight the fear.

56. Dave - July 20, 2012

An “assault rifle/weapon” is nothing more than an arbitrary set of features on a semi-automatic (for the most part unless you pay the $10,000 or greater price for a pre-ban fully auto version) firearm.

A Mini-14 functions exactly the same as an AR-15, they use the same cartridge, have the same level of effectiveness… the only difference is the stock. Why is one an “assault weapon” and the other not?

Again, can we please leave gun politics out of this?

57. Dee - lvs moon' surface - July 20, 2012

Unfortunately, not enough the tragedy… there are always a lot of stupid comments about it … sad, sad, sad

“And using “Trekkie” as a kind of generic to lump all types of hardcore fans just makes it even more offensive to Star Trek fans.”

Agree, Anthony Pascale!

58. VZX - July 20, 2012

Thank you, Anthony Pascale.

This tragedy makes me sick, but it bothers me now that the media “experts” will paint a picture of “deranged genre fans” that want to kill people.

Van Zandt is an ignorant buffoon and must apologize to the Star Trek fan community.

59. sean - July 20, 2012

This is what happens in the 24-hour news cycle where it’s all about being first instead of vetting your sources & information. That being said, I don’t think an apology is necessary. This is just another instance of someone with little knowledge of pop culture lumping everyone together in an off-the-cuff remark. It happens, and it’s hardly the end of the world.

60. CmdrR - July 20, 2012

This on-air rant is yet more proof that during a real emergency, you need serious-minded journalists who vet their material… and not self-important, superficial windbags who are on the air to fill the space between commercials.

I’ve been a journalist for over 25 years. I urge people to choose their sources of information carefully.

61. AJ - July 20, 2012

It is certainly frightening to see the most extreme bits of fandom on display today, and the tragedy is palpable.

Here, we have arguments about why JJ uses the same insignia for all Starfleet ships, or squabble over the new Engine Room, but Aurora is simply mind-blowing; a full-fledged real armed ‘Joker’ who massacred a room of theater-goers at the midnight showing of Batman.

As for the “dark Trekkie” insult, let’s just all say “f*ck that guy” and move on. Put him in the Rush Limbaugh school of genre knowledge and let’s focus on some healing, and the fear-factor of whether or not this makes cinemas a good target for more idiots like him in future.

62. Jim, London - July 20, 2012

The hysterical ramblings of a knuckle dragging moron. Van Zandt should go take his face for a shit.

63. Thomas Jensen - July 20, 2012

MSNBC is full of idiots who blurt out garbage. They do it all the time. Star Trek fans certainly don’t deserve being linked in anyway to this murderer.

64. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - July 20, 2012

Dark Trekkie? This is merely another example of how God-awful our mainstream media is, with the need to label somebody immediately and without thought. We are becoming a nation of Snookie-loving idiots. Van Zandt is probably a big Jersey Shore fan.

There, I have now labeled Van Zandt.

65. Dr Zaius - July 20, 2012

Considering the incredibly low journalistic standards of NBC news these days, its hardly a surprise.

66. Uberbot - July 20, 2012

#42 It may be needed in the UK. If your citizens want to forfeit their right/ability to reclaim their nation under a future tyrannical government, that’s their business. If the founding fathers of the US had lived under “British gun control” — the US would not have been founded and the Katie s of the 13 colonies would have continued to live under the madness of King George.

Catch my drift?

Guns are not just for hunting and protecting ones “castle” — and that’s the way the founding fathers intended it and that’s the way I want it to stay!!!

67. Reality - July 20, 2012

Look on the bright side, nobody watches MSNBC anyway. But yeah, as soon as I got the AP alert about it I said to my girlfriend “they are going to say he thought he was the Joker.”

68. T'Cal - July 20, 2012

There is evil out there. Not much of it can be prevented. Prepare. Be aware of you surroundings and trust your instincts. Have an escape plan. Have an attack plan. Human beings are the only animal that disregards the signs of threats that they perceive. “Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing,” “That can’t be,” and “That could never happen here!” are all famous last words. As the Klingons say, “There are always weapons.” Learn your environment, assess threats, look for items that could be used to aid in preventing or responding to an attack, and know where the exits are. Report suspicious and criminal behavior to the Police IMMEDIATELY.

69. Keeg - July 20, 2012

Are we as a community still so insecure that we must righteously defend ourselves against perceived slander? This reminds me of when Colin Powell accidentally referred to Scottish people as “Scotch” during his presidential campaign, and the Scottish community went haywire. As a (coincidentally) Scottish Trekkie, seriously, what’s the big deal?

Trekkies are WEIRD. That’s what makes us so friggin’ cool. I’m proud to be a Trekkie, and revel in my weirdness. “Normal” folks see a guy trying to be the Joker as weird as people dressing up in Star Trek uniforms to get married by the Admiral of their fan club. Just… a whole lot darker. Thus the metaphor was more or less accurate. From a “square” point of view.

If you’re offended by a “muggle” disparaging Trekkies, you’re acting just like them. “Normal” folks take offense at the slightest provocation because they’re insecure and have poor self-esteem. We Trekkies have had 50 years to get over that; I thought we were BETTER than that. The only thing I got from the “dark Trekkie” comment is. “Dude! We totally just got screen time!!”.

70. Pensive's Wetness - July 20, 2012

@68 holy sh*t. play Paranoia too much? What @68 meant to say was, dont live in a bubble where you think happy thoughts, your part of the herd, and only stupid sh*t happens in the sh*tty parts of your community. Be somewhat attentive to your neighbors. Talk to them when you see them going about business. respect their privacy when your intuitions says ‘they got their shields up/red Alert mod on’ but dont be affraid to go hailing freq’s on.

and yeah, if yu think the guy down the hall is the gonna be the next ‘Smiley face in the line up’, maybe you should narc them to the feds. At the very least, you can then claim their parking spot once the wrecker hauls away his/her unneeded wheels! LOL…

(actually all of this is depressing because some folks might actually be doing the above, for all the wrong reasons)

71. Michael Hall - July 20, 2012

@ 68–

Sheesh. You really live your life that way? Well, if it works for you, by all means go for it. But for me? No, thanks. I intend to live a more relaxed life, in spite of this world’s terrors, taking what precautions seem prudent but living my conviction that most people are decent and worthy of my trust. If that ends up cutting my time short, then so be it.

72. Jim, London - July 20, 2012

@66 ignore those comments – gun crime is very much prevelant in the UK (The UK media only selectively report it)… The crims have access to them if they need them and UK Police are only just now getting wider access to Taser! There would be mass media hysteria if Officers in the UK were routinely armed (they still think a stern word and a clip around the ear still works – and i say that as a UK Police Officer)

73. spooky - July 20, 2012

I wonder if this guy was interested in his own neurogical functioning/dysfunctioning given that he had been taking a Ph. D program in neurosciences.

I think your social network or family, friends and associates does shape who you are but what you do with that is your responsibility. Family, friends shape who you become up to a point. It is different for everyone.

We’ll learn more in the next few days or months about family life, social networks and so on. It is very tragic when people break like this and cause so much grieve and suffering in the process.

74. Keachick - July 20, 2012

I heard something about this very late last night on television in the lounge while I was half asleep in bed and the only thing I heard was something about a shooting at a cinema in the US and “dark Trekkie”.

The shootings had only just occurred and yet there is already some profiler making statements about the shooter being a “dark Trekkie”. WTF? Who are these so-called professionals who are so quick to make what can, at the time, be unsubstantiated accusations to a media linked to the worldwide web? Accusations that implicate and stereotype a whole group of people (worldwide) with unholy, murderous tendencies. This just disgusts me. I do agree that an apology is required.

What happened at that cinema is just too terrible. No one, no where is safe. It is just so very sad and all my good wishes and prayers go to the victims and their families/friends of this shocking crime.

75. Sebastian S. - July 20, 2012

That’s a horribly inept and grotesquely slanderous comment.

The suspect was a terrorist, not a ‘dark Trekkie.’ A domestic terrorist. Most Trekkies I met are very benign, friendly sorts who’d never dream of doing something so deliberately evil.

But honestly?
In light of the greater tragedy of what happened in Colorado this morning, I think we should all just bury our political agendas and inclinations for a bit and devote our thoughts and best wishes to the victims, their loved ones, and the surviving patrons and employees of the theater. They should be the ones remembered in all of this, not the terrorist.

76. yrch - July 20, 2012

“Dark Trekkie”?
From the mirror universe, no doubt. Exactly where somebody should drop this analyst.
That shooter will have to answer on this side for bringing endless pain and horror down on so many innocent people.

I myself am still impressed by the way the Norwegians are dealing with their Anders Breivig, whose onslauhgt’s anniversary will be on sunday. Read that a connection with that catastrophy has been speculated about.

77. Red Dead Ryan - July 20, 2012

Has anyone really considered the possibility that the killer was a Trekkie? I don’t know if he really was, but it’s entirely possible. There are evil sports fans, evil “Batman” fans, evil “Star Wars” fans, and I’m sure there are evil “Star Trek” fans. Clint Van Zandt may be correct, or he may not be.

If this killer was a Trek fan, well, then we should disown him. If he isn’t, then it doesn’t matter. Either way, he’s a coward, a bastard, and a scumbag who shouldn’t ever see the light of day again. Once he’s tried, convicted, and sentenced, we should all forget about this guy. The killer has gotten enough attention as it is already. Let’s just pray for the victims and their families, who are at the center of this horrific tragedy.

Whether Van Zandt was right or wrong to call the killer a “Dark Trekkie” is irrelevant. To demand an apology is a bit of stretch, and in some ways, selfish and insensitive to the bigger, truer atrocity. Justice for the families of the victims, and to the victims themselves, is the only thing that matters.

Everything else is whipped cream on a pile of dogsh!t.

78. Tomh, Esq. - July 20, 2012

My heart goes out to the families of those who lost love ones in this horrible act of despicable evil.

Those who would use this incident for personal and/or political gain should be ashamed.

79. Captain Hackett - July 20, 2012

First of all, I want to express my deepest sympathy with the families of shooting victims in Aurora.

What Van Zandt did to us was stupid and an act of ignorance, so we deserve to have his apology.

That is why I am not watching a lot of news on TV because they are largely controlled by liberals who cannot put their political motivation behind them. Even I do not watch Fox News much because they are too conservative for my taste.

80. Red Dead Ryan - July 20, 2012

#77.

“Those who would use this incident for personal and/or political gain should be ashamed.”

I say they should be ignored. Stop paying attention to clowns like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Only then will they be forced to disappear.

81. Ahmed - July 20, 2012

@ 79. Red Dead Ryan – July 20, 2012

“I say they should be ignored. Stop paying attention to clowns like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Only then will they be forced to disappear.”

I will second that.

82. Chingatchkook - July 20, 2012

“Death, when unnecessary, is a tragic thing.”
– Flint, “Requiem for Methuselah”

Thoughts and prayers to you, Aurora for the loved ones you have lost.

83. Charles Trotter - July 20, 2012

All I have to say is the same thing I said when I first heard about this shocking tragedy: My heart goes out to all the victims and their families and loved ones. I cannot fathom what they have been through and what they are going through now. My deepest sympathies to them all. They are all that matter right now regarding this tragedy; everything else is irrelevant.

84. Red Dead Ryan - July 20, 2012

As horrible as the Aurora theatre tragedy is, the people of Syria have been enduring one horrific massacre after another at the hands of their own dictator tyrant for the past year and a half. An average of 1000 innocent men, women, and children killed per month. 470 in the past two days alone.

The world is full of horror and sadness these days. Humanity continues to struggle in dealing with all of these atrocities.

:-(

85. Basement Blogger - July 20, 2012

Thanks Anthony for defending us. There are many Trekkers out there. Some fans are hardcore, others are casual. That still makes us fans of Gene Roddenberry’s wonderful creation. What bothers me is that Van Zandt takes a paintbrush and smears all of us.

I went to a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. And there was a promotion befofre the show with trivia, costume contests etc. The only thing I could tell wrong with the audience was that they yelled at the emcee to start the movie when it was 12:05 a.m. I agreed with the audience. Anyway, the shootings in Aurora could have happened in my theater in Cincinnati. I have no idea what causes a person to snap and go on killing spree.

My thoughts and prayers to the victims. God bless and comfort all of them.

86. Uberbot - July 20, 2012

#72 — Thank you so much for that, Jim! Well, I love the UK so I hope I didn’t come off as too gruff in my last post.

You make an excellent point. When there is “gun control” the only ones who lose their guns are the GOOD folks! The criminals always get theirs!!

You have a tough job to do over there, my friend!! Best of luck to you!!

Love the UK!!

87. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 20, 2012

@ #5 sterj

I agree about C-SPAN. The New Hour (used to be with Jim Lehrer) is good too on PBS.

—-

Well, this is sad all the way around. I personally would not have thought that someone dressed as a Batman character at a Batman event would make someone else think Star Trek, but okay…

Many prayers and lot of love goes out to the victims and families (who are victims too) of this horrific crime.

88. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 20, 2012

The “New” Hour should be The News Hour. Ah, typos…

89. Challengerdyer - July 20, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are going out to the families and victims of this senseless act of evil. Anthony, I hope you are successful in your demand for an apology for all “Trekkies” being linked to this horror. Why doesn’t buying four guns in a short time span trigger some sort of “warning” to someone that can go ask why this “kid” needs so much weaponry so quickly. Something needs to change…soon. These events seem to happen way too often to make me not feel safe doing anything.

90. NCM - July 20, 2012

Van Zandt’s probably embarrassed by his public episode of logorrhea. In light of real tragedy, maybe it’s best to allow his asinine comments to wither without further note.

91. Barbreader - July 20, 2012

Star Trek: The Animated Series was the only kid’s TV series of it’s time to NOT fail the ‘too violent’ test. PLEASE this guy was no “Trekkie” I agree that NBC, (which split with Microsoft so it’s not longer MSNBC) should apologize. What is more, the police have been clear this guy DID NOT buy a ticket, he broke in through a back door of the theater, so he is apparently light on facts.

92. Douglas - July 20, 2012

Thank you Anthony for defending innocent Star Trek fans and pointing out to MSNBC and this former FBI profiler that ST fans have no connection whatsoever with the monstrous behavior of a mass murderer. I was personally offended, and shocked, that Van Zandt used the word “trekkie” within his comments on the movie theatre shootings. It’s also dangerous to slander an entire group so unjustly as it can lead to ridicule and bullying.

Also, this movie shooting feels like some kind of watershed event. In New York City there are now armed police at every theatre showing the Batman film. In addition, no costumes or weapon-like props or toys are being allowed in theaters showing any film. It used to be fun seeing people dressed up in costume for a film. This tragedy now makes it potentially frightening and I think it will have a lasting effect on movie goers and theatre owners. I don’t know how far this will go but I think going to the movies has just changed for everyone. I don’t know exactly how this will develop but my instincts tell me it’s just changed the movie going experience forever.

My prayers, condolences and respects to the families and friends of those victimized by this insane event.

93. Reality Check for the Wierdos - July 20, 2012

Funny.

All the drama over a normal man lumping together all the wacko sci-fi and fantasy geeks. The all look alike to him — and to most people.

Yet I have been banned from this Zone of Tolerance more times than I can count for the mildest of criticism that offends one of the would-be obergrupenfuhren that prowl here, defending their Island of Misfit Toys.

So yes, I completely believe this psycho murderer was a Batman fan, a Trekkie fan, a comic fan, a whatever because what I’ve seen at this site with my own eyes, the sheer venom and hatred directed at me personally … would take only physical gumption to translate into actuality.

Thankfully for us, most of you weirdos have no gumption. On line mouth is the full extent of it.

So put that in your pipes and smoke it, Trekkies. You sanctimonious blabberings just moved from “virtual” to “real life”.

Congratulations. Now how’s about you all flame me into oblivion. Maybe one of you will have the balls to come to my house and show me how tought you are in your IDIC Tolerance and Peace.

Yeah, sure you are.

94. Wes - July 20, 2012

I don’t know, I’m not offended by this statement. But Anthony is right, MSNBC should offer an apology, but they are so left-wing that they won’t retract the statement. I’m really not offended. I just heard about this now, so it really doesn’t bother me. If many Star Trek fans start protesting this, then I might have something to say, but right now I’m not offended so just leave it alone. MSNBC = left wing nuts. End of story.

95. Browncoat1984 - July 20, 2012

Just like ABC’s suggestion earlier this morning as well that this lunatic might be a part of the Tea Party movement. That was no more true than this “dark Trekkie” reference is. What happened in Colorado was pure, senseless evil. Just as Alfred suggests to Bruce when talking about the Joker in The Dark Knight “some people just want to see the world burn” and this guy was one of those. Just like the Columbine shootings. Just like the shootings here in Tucson, AZ last January where the media was so quick to blame politics.

Senseless evil does exist but for some reason the newsmedia does not want to admit it. Anytime something like this happens immediately the talking heads get on and start saying “well, maybe it was this, maybe it was this” the big problem with that is that when people believe that then people who are a part of that group, whether its the Tea Party, Trekkies, or Gamers or whatever else, are immediately looked on as a whole in a negative light until people forget about it.

My prayers go out tonight for those families and friends who were affected by this horrible, senseless incident. This man was simply a lunatic, and I certainly hope that this doesn’t cause people to not want to go see movies or to stay away from things like Batman all together, and for movie theaters to start doing something like putting in metal detectors or making it more unpleasant to go to the theater than it already can be. If we have to change our lifetsyles in a negative way because of this, then he’s won.

96. Brando - July 20, 2012

First. I want to offer everyone my heart felt condolences and prayers. It’s sad when the media’s coverage of all this is just going to perpetuate just more of this sick and senseless violence. I don’t see any hope for our species to ever see the enlightened life that all our heroes have evolved too. I hope the douchebag that commited this atrocity meets a dishonorable death on a battleth!

97. Buzz Cagney - July 20, 2012

#66 But do you really feel the need to have assault rifles? Are you so afraid of your neighbours? Jeez, I greatly admire the USA and its people but on gun control you get it very wrong.
That being said we’ve also had some horrific mass shootings in the UK, but I can’t agree with the assertion someone made above that the media cover it up. They leap all over gun crimes.
I find knife crime far more worrying over here.

This particular individual strikes me as more of a dark Batman fan than anything. Nobody who considers themselves a Trek fan would commit such a heinous crime.

98. Yankee Man - July 20, 2012

It would seem that we live in a nation that prizes individual liberty and valourises violence in our popular culture. This complicates the issue in ways that defy a clear drawing of liberal and conservative lines.

Liberals, for example, often defend grotesque violence in film and hip-hop music, denying that it has anything to do with gun crime, and claiming that tolerating it is the price one pays for First Amendment freedom of expression.

Civil libertarians object to stop-and-frisk laws that get illegal weapons off the streets.

For their part, conservatives idolise the Second Amendment guarantee of gun rights, but rarely consider what that liberty does to peaceable poor people trapped in inner cities ravaged by armed young thugs.

99. Damn the Torpedoes! - July 20, 2012

I didn’t find his comment to be particularly offensive as a Trekkie. The fact of the matter is that it’s the easiest correlation to make.

It was no more worse than whoever it was on ABC suggesting there could be a Tea Party connection.

100. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

@#93

Well, I don’t know what username you posted under before, but if your criticisms were really relatively mild, regardless of what they were, then part of my heart goes out to you, Reality Check.

What helps me here, and a certain person comes to mind in particular, is to just move on and let that person have their over-the-top last word, regardless of what it is. Another thing is that there are other Trek related communities online that are generally more accepting of different views. Perhaps some good experiences there can help cause you to not feel bitter about your experiences here if you had bad ones.

After leaving here the last time I posted, I later on went to nice little Star Trek community that I’m a part of and this little gem just happened to be posted there. I think it might be nice to share it here (but I could be wrong):

http://www.makers.com/nichelle-nichols

Watching these short little videos of Ms. Nichols was wonderful. When she gets to the part where she says:

”… and we decide that one person is not worthy , or we decide we can do without them. We can take away their security because mine is more important…”

Those words are made so much more potent right now and can be applied to a number of situations in a number of ways. The first thing I thought of is when someone here on another thread said that Uhura was a “bit character” that should be killed off in the next film. Hearing Ms. Nichols, you find that she was never meant to be such a “bit character,” and really it was the pressure from the environment of the times that made it so. Still, with some encouragement, she took the little that she got and made more than the most of it. I think that’s inspiring and amazing.

My point? Don’t allow anything to let you get to a bitter place, and I think that’s where you might be right now. Hopefully I’ll see you posting here again, even if it’s just to say that you hate Spock/Uhura per chance, but then don’t expect me not to challenge you on that if that’s the case. ;-)

101. Hat Rick - July 21, 2012

I’m beyond the point where I feel it is necessary to defend people who enjoy Star Trek. I also don’t feel it my role to “defend” Star Trek, which, after all, is one of many aspects of life, and in all honesty, not the most important of all concerns in the greater scheme of things.

I’ve watched Star Trek productions and attended a number of Trek conventions. By and large, this is innocent fun and a very good way to while away the hours. But in the end, context is all-important. In our society, and unless one is professionally associated with Trek producdtions, money, status, security, and other concerns far outweigh Star Trek on any reasonable scale of priority.

Anything taken to excess can be dangerous or a symptom of deeper anomalies. People who obsessively fixate on any entertainment franchise can do so as a result of inadequacies in one or more aspects of their lives. But by “entertainment franchise,” I also include professional sports, for example.

Having participated in fan forums for many years under various screen names, I can tell you that Trek fans are no different from any other kinds of people. Some are friendly, and others are not. Some are socially skilled, and others are not. That is simply the way of the world.

This alleged slur against Trek fans is a tempest in a teapot. The more we make of it, the more people will associate Trek with negativity.

We should move on.

102. Hat Rick - July 21, 2012

I’m not in the business of analyzing people from news reports. I can only speak of my own impressions from what has been publicly communicated.

The suspect in the Aurora shooting is described as a shy, somewhat reclusive individual who had a tradition of excelling academically, but who then for unknown reasons left his graduate studies.

It is easy to generalize from these allegations that the suspect was socially inept. Whether this is correct or not remains to be seen.

There are also allegations, founded or not, that a posting was found on an adult website featuring this suspect’s likeness and describing his romantic interests, which given the website’s purpose, were not particularly unusual.

But the fact that he was intelligent and allegedly stated that he was an archnemesis of a superhero character was enough to associate him with fans of Star Trek, who have developed the reputation of obsessive intelligence and social inadequacy.

One must be honest and ask whether some fans of Star Trek have contributed to this popular stereotype. The answer , unfortunately, is in the affirmative. It is also true that Star Trek is associated with high technology, science, and humanism, which are positive aspects of its social relevance.

We should ask ourselves whether we wish to be defined in relationship to a social stereotype, and why it is that it seems important to “disprove” it, when there are so many other, more important things to do.

I have no hope that Mr. Van Zandt, MSNBC, or any of those who have picked upon the “dark trekkie” comment will retract or explain those comments. The Star Trek stereotype is too deeply ingrained, for good or for ill, for efforts to this effect to prevail.

And life is too short to tilt at this particular windmill.

103. El Chup - July 21, 2012

I largely agree with what Hat Rick says in post 101.

I have to say that I took this as a reference to the brand of genre fan that retreats into genre fandom as a way of compensating for being socially inept and/or emotionally challenged. Make no mistake, these sorts of people absolutely do exist, both within Star Trek fandom and in other genre circles. Indeed, it’sone of the reasons why despite being a fan for nearly 35 years I have tended to avoid involving myself too heavily in the genre crowd. The fact is that there a lot of people who expend far too much energy into these media products, and I consider that unhealthy.

Yes, everyone should be entitled to do what they enjoy in their spare time, but I think we would be dishonest with ourselves if we pretended that within genre fandom there is a sub-section that takes it all too far to the extent that it impacts on their lives outside of the object of their interest. As much as I enjoy Star Trek, and several other notable genre franchises, I keep them as just that, enjoyment. I do not want to spend hours and hours researching the length of a starship nacelle or debating whether or not the Doctor’s Tardis can withstand a photon torpedo. In my view there are ore worthy uses of our time in this world. I have used that time to further my career, make money, meet people, travel, help with important causes, learn about other cultures and generally do things that are meaningful. That’s why when I see fans who have been inspired to do build a worthy career or use their fandom for good causes, like raising money for charities, I feel that is a way to translate the fandom into a useful purpose and generally helps to make a life outside of that fandom. Conversely, those who spend hours drawing up blueprints of the Enterprise in place of actually getting out there and doing things suggest social withdrawal. That is a worrying thing and it is something that can alter a person’s perception of social interaction, perhaps even to the extent of commiting acts of violence like this.

Should all genre fans be stereotyped? No. Is this guy evident of the personalities held by all genre fans? No. Is there a possibility that the more extreme genre fan who succumbs to social ineptitude may translate and extend that obessiveness into situations like this incident? Yes, I think there is a small but distinct possibility of this. However, should the fact that this man is a genre fan be used as the defining factor? No. The fandom is a means to an end, a way to deal with the social ineptitude and potential mental problems experienced by obessive individuals. If people like this are really to be dealt with we need to examine what causes them to withdraw from society in the first place and hide in a world of which their fandom places a huge part.

Anyhow, my condolences to the families of the victims at this tragic time. People have lost their lives. With that in mind, defending the honour of genre fans is an irrelevance.

104. Jack - July 21, 2012

Hey, I’m Canadian and I don’t understand the need to own guns, period. I’ve never even seen a handgun in real life and I’m 42. I don’t have a gun and have never had a gun and I don’t know anybody who has a gun, and I know a lot of people. But I understand that it’s a part of American identity, like being afraid of universal healthcare. It would be nice for this to be discussed without attacking people from other countries who really don’t understand this.

And I overreacted before. I do still think demanding an apology went over the line.

And I agree with 101 and 102.

105. Bugs nixon - July 21, 2012

American “news” is poisonous and spreads ignorance. Stick with CSPAN.

106. Bill - July 21, 2012

I knew what the guy meant but he could have said “over zealous fan” or “bat fan” or any number of things. He sounded like he was implying that “Trekkies” were capable of this sort of thing if they had a dark side to their personality. What does Star Trek have to do with it? The guy is calling himself the Joker not Kahn.

107. BaronByng - July 21, 2012

Ditto what 103 said. And despite the ‘no politics’ rule, cases like this are crisis points that show where policy has failed, and black-or-white binary thinking generates more heat than light.

I don’t think an apology is necessary. We, however, as Star Trek fans, need to remember what makes us admire the show in the first place.

One, a dedication to SCIENCE and the scientific method. Sure, there’s technobabble and handwaving, but on more than one occasion, the message of an episode was to reject bad science, while recognizing that even brilliant scientists are flawed humans (Emory Erickson, Zefram Cochrane, Roger Korby, Nels Apgar, the Soongs, Richard Daystrom).

Two, a recognition that rights, laws, and treaties are to be upheld. The drama in the show often came from philosophical debate over the application of law (usually the Prime Directive) or delicate political situations – treaty negotiations, the admission of new member states, or the recognition of new forms of life as sentient beings. And that there was a military and political hierarchy to be respected, which derived authority from the people. The attempted military coup in DS9, for instance, showed how even the best organizations could fall victim to fear. Interesting that no current human government has anything like the Prime Directive in their constitutions. Perhaps it is time to apply the Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm.”

Three, there was never a temptation to categorize the antagonist of the week as simply evil; they had real motivations and explanations as to why they did what they did – usually rooted in tragic circumstances, ego/personality disorders, misguided beliefs, superstition, completely alien worldviews, or mental illness (Garth of Izar).

Four, the Federation doesn’t have a “kill em all and let God sort ‘em out” policy regarding criminals. They don’t seem to send people to go break rocks on Rura Penthe; They have penal colonies and rehabilitation facilities. Where, presumably, you can talk to a counselor, read books, get a degree and try to become a better person, understanding why you did something vs. merely punishment. They seem to be a lot more like Norway than the US in that regard.

We don’t know enough about the shooter to pass any sort of judgment on him. He committed terrible acts. The full story will emerge over time, and we can only hope that some measure of justice can be found.

In 1989, a similar shooter walked into engineering classes at the Ecole Polytechnique, shot 28 people, killing 14 women before killing himself. It was later found that he was someone from a severely broken home, who blamed women for taking “his” place at the school when he didn’t get in. It was a failure of policy that let him fall between the cracks, that could have helped him see that there was good in the world.

Anyone who’s been through postgraduate, particularly doctoral studies knows that universities can be fraught with interpersonal politics and high pressure to succeed. Who knows what was going on in his mind or what his background was.

As a Star Trek fan, I condemn his actions, but I hope to maintain empathy and keep a clear head about this.

108. Holger - July 21, 2012

Mr. Van Zandt seems to have a pretty warped picture of Trekkies. (There are so many different types of Trekkie, anyway.) He owes an apology, as Anthony has said above. Of course the Colorado shooting is a much more serious event, but I think that this tragic event does in no way license TV people to make such bullshittish remarks.
Van Zandt’s reference to Trekkies is also completely uncalled for in this context, as many have pointed out. What should “Trekkie-like” add to “living in a dark fantasy world”? (The Star Trek Universe is not dark, anyway.)
But let’s not bash Mr. Van Zandt too much. He made a stupid remark (everyone does from time to time) and he should give a brief apology, and that should be all of it – subject closed.

109. Dom - July 21, 2012

IIRC, Star Trek fans are more likely to be average-earning, married with kids types than pretty much any other fanbase, with political views across a broad spectrum of right to left.

The uniforms, I suspect, have been the main reason you can play ‘spot-the-’ with Trekkies, given a section of them have a thing for silly-but-harmless cosplay.

It sounds more like a man finding more in common with bad guys in films than a ‘dark-Trekkie’ fantasist. One has to ask though, has political correctness made our heroes so bland and unappealing in the present day that it’s the villains that stand out and seem attractive.

110. Bob Mack - July 21, 2012

Perhaps we need to think for a moment about our priorities. The families of 12 people are grieving the loss of their lives and we’re trying to elevate our offense at someone’s poorly chosen words to that same level? I’ve lived through years of silly costumes, toy spaceships and fawning over actors trying to make a living, but this is the first time I’m truly embarrassed to be a Trek fan.

Let’s do the honorable thing and remove this article entirely. Excusing it by saying that we’re trying to defend the honor of the fans isn’t making it any better.

111. Sebastian S. - July 21, 2012

Even if this monster was a ‘Trekkie’ that was a ridiculous slur on the reporter’s part. But as Bob said in # 109, there are greater concerns now than worrying about an apology or not…

Besides, even if the terrorist were a ST fan, so what? Hitler was a fan of Wagner; should we pull Wagner’s music out of every public school library? Of course not. This terrorist who shot up innocents in a movie theater deserves no more scrutiny or infamy (which he sought) than we’ve already ‘awarded’ him. Hope they lock him up in a dark cell somewhere and we all collectively forget about him.

Let’s remember the victims, not the terrorist….

112. AJ - July 21, 2012

I think worrying about a silly reference to Trekkies is hardly the issue here. 12 people were killed. A huge tragedy for them, and their families, and a massive wake-up call for people who go to the movies.

113. Franklestein - July 21, 2012

The comment was used out of ignorance by a person who likely does not understand “geeks” and therefore lumps us all into the same pile so to speak. He should try, as all in journalism should, to educate himself before using terms he has no true understanding of.

He should apologize for suggesting that the fact this guy chose a comic book based film for his nonsense, that somehow that has anything to do with what he chose to do.

He doesn’t understand people like us and is making ignorant assumption.

NBC isn’t the only one trying to link geekdom with this act of violence that has nothing to do with it. They should all apologize.

114. Boborci - July 21, 2012

Let us also not assume he is a lone nut yet. He may be, but we must look at all his contacts and professors at school.

115. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

@#101 Hat Rick

“Anything taken to excess can be dangerous or a symptom of deeper anomalies. People who obsessively fixate on any entertainment franchise can do so as a result of inadequacies in one or more aspects of their lives. But by “entertainment franchise,” I also include professional sports, for example.”

Here-here! And I would add “Entertainers” to that list and not just the “Entertainment Franchise” that they are associated with. Good post.

116. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

I agree that Anthony should remove his demand for an apology.

It was kind of like saying “Yeah, it was terrible that 12 people were killed, and 58 others injured but calling the killer a “Dark Trekkie” was an absolute atrocity of the highest order”. Total crap.

Anthony should be the one apologizing. But I don’t think he will because he has a habit of disappearing.

And I think the issue of the rise of Trek fundamentalism has to be addressed. “Star Trek” has been referred to as a sort of “religion”, and like some religions, i.e Islam, there are, unfortunately going to be extremists and fundamentalists who become deluded with their own puritanical and fanatical beliefs.

Yeah, it may sound silly to think a Trek Talifan could actually shoot up a theatre, or next time a sci-fi convention, but unfortunately people go to far with something that is meant to be a diversion and distraction from everyday life.

117. craig keith - July 21, 2012

#114 i literally just said that to my mum whilst watching the news – for a guy to set up multiple bombs in his house he cant have been completely nuts otherwise he would have blown himself to kingdom cum. To many tragedys are blamed on madman and that is how they get away with recieving the harshest possible sentence.

He know full well what he was doing and the American courts should throw the book at him.

118. Orb of Wisdom - July 21, 2012

What Van Zandt did was capitalize on this tragedy to demonize both the Batman fans AND Star Trek fans. One thing you learn from situations like this, is when extremist factions of a community go nutzo and do harm to the public, the entire community is thrown to the fire. Just ask the Muslims after 9/11. Hell, even I am getting attacked for having ANYTHING in common with the shooter, and the only thing I share in common with him is being born on the same day and month, even though I was born 5 years before and on the opposite side of the country.

Putting that aside, I am more concerned yes, with the families of th victims, but also for the rest of America. This will, in grand fashion, be spun to rob all Americans of many more basic rights, and not just the right to gun ownership. Get ready for all public places to be treated like the TSA treat airports. Mark my words, the government WILL respond in just as extreme a fashion as the shooter did, if by other non-killing means.

119. LizardGirl - July 21, 2012

My thoughts and feelings go out to the families– all of the families involved. When I posted earlier (7) I was very angry. But after reading some reasonable comments I’ve come to realize that this reporter is insignificant in the main scheme of things (WORTHLESS!). What’s most important is that the families get as much support as they can right now.

Also, don’t turn on Anthony for this. His sentiments are more than agreeable. I completely agree that the reporter went about this wrongly. I also agree that he should acknowledge that his gimmicky phrase was nothing but blatant sensationalism. But now I DO agree that we should be the bigger man/woman. IF ANYTHING, a slight change to the article to reflect that new understanding.

The news will always label and categorize stories in a way that will bring the most viewers, nothing new about that. So as RDR said in post 80…ignore, ignore, ignore despite how difficult it is. But don’t throw Anthony under the bus for defending us.

120. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

#118.

Well, I think its unlikely that you’ll see beefed up security at every theatre in the U.S, or even Canada, for that matter. The small cities and towns will probably keep the theatres open as they are now, but the cinemas in big cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and possibly Toronto and London will most likely start installing metal-detectors, additional cameras, and hire more security guards. Those theatres will also instill new rules where costumes aren’t allowed.

I’m actually surprised an incident such as this hasn’t happened before. I figured movie theatres would have been the perfect target for Al Queda or even Hezbollah terrorists.

121. DeShonn Steinblatt - July 21, 2012

I would say yes to gun control.

However, it is critical that every private citizen be permitted to own nuclear weapons. Our government has them, and who would want to forfeit their right/ability to reclaim their nation under a future tyrannical government?

122. Ahmed - July 21, 2012

@ 120. Red Dead Ryan – July 21, 2012

” Well, I think its unlikely that you’ll see beefed up security at every theatre in the U.S, or even Canada, for that matter. The small cities and towns will probably keep the theatres open as they are now, but the cinemas in big cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and possibly Toronto and London will most likely start installing metal-detectors, additional cameras, and hire more security guards. Those theatres will also instill new rules where costumes aren’t allowed”

When I was in Egypt, most of theaters has metal-detectors and security guards. I think it is reasonable for theaters in US to do just that, specially when a lot of people are carrying guns.

I honestly never understood American obsession with guns. IMHO, it is really insane that you could go to a store in America and buy the kind of weapons that the shooter used.

123. Holger - July 21, 2012

I really can’t follow the reasoning to the conclusion that we Trekkies should shut up about this because the Colorado tragedy is much more grave. Of course it is and no reasonable person could doubt that or even compare the importance of a stupid slur with the importance of what’s going on in Colorado. But that being said, I really don’t see why you can’t criticize the fact that a comparison was conjured up by Van Zandt between a (probably insane) killer of 12 people and a *completely unrelated* group of people, i.e. Trekkies.

124. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

#122.

I live in Victoria, Canada where it’s peaceful, with relatively low crime rates and virtually no gun violence. So the theatres in my city are unlikely to increase security. I guess I’m pretty lucky to live where I live.

It’s the theatres in the bigger, more high profile cities that are going to upgrade their security. How far will they go? Will people in those cities be willing to give up personal liberties they previously enjoyed (such as dressing up in costumes) just to enjoy a movie for a couple of hours?

I am sure that there will be Republicans and Democrats who will attempt to benefit politically from this tragedy by turning it into a national security/gun rights issue.

I can see a lot more negative consequences arising from this as opposed to constructive preventive measures being taken.

125. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

Also, will there be airport-type scanners that can see through clothing? Will people have to be strip-searched? NYC is the prime target for terrorism, so I suspect that there will be security measures along those lines.

126. Bob Mack - July 21, 2012

#123 – “Dark trekkie” was a poorly chosen phrase and no one is suggesting otherwise. If people want to say as much, have at it. But there are clearly people on this thread who are carried away with it to the extreme. From the original post expecting an apology to many of the comments this extreme reaction is nothing more than political correctness at it’s worst. And since I get to voice my opinion just like they do, I’m going to suggest that their priorities are way off base.

By the way, I’ve seen more sensationalizing of the “dark trekkie” comment here on this website than anywhere else. People here just happen to be sensationalizing it as an excuse to attack Mr. Van Zandt. Again, if you want to criticize him, fine. But this is the time and reason you choose to do so? That does nothing but belittle all of us.

How I long for the days when the Enterprise crew couldn’t even begin to understand why 2 people who were both half white and half black hated each other so, just for being white or black on the wrong side. Let this be our last battlefield.

127. Azrael - July 21, 2012

There are now officially 13 dead.

128. Vultan - July 21, 2012

#126

One of the best posts I’ve ever read here.
Well put, sir.

Maybe if this article had been posted a week from now it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but posting it within 24 hours of the incident is horrible timing, plain and simple. And demanding an apology is downright petty and immature. By doing so he just reinforces the stereotype of the petulant Trekkie.

129. Mike - July 21, 2012

2. “Solution: Watch FOX”

I can pretty confidently say that is never the solution and more commonly the problem.

I’m not defending MSNBC, as most sensationalist journalism 24/7 news channels have their own problems. But there are many studies that show Fox viewers are consistently misinformed and under educated on the issues that are being reported on. I would not want to live in a world where more people watched Fox News.

130. NCM - July 21, 2012

114. Boborci – July 21, 2012

“Let us also not assume he is a lone nut yet. He may be, but we must look at all his contacts and professors at school.”

A guy shoots movie-goers and that gives you reason to be particularly suspicions of his professors? Wow!

131. Fubamushu - July 21, 2012

And this is why I am neither a Trekkie or Trekker nor some other lame label. I am a person who like Star Trek.

132. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

@#128

”Maybe if this article had been posted a week from now it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but posting it within 24 hours of the incident is horrible timing, plain and simple. And demanding an apology is downright petty and immature. By doing so he just reinforces the stereotype of the petulant Trekkie.”

Well, let’s hope you don’t get called a troll by the site owner for that. This is the kind of stuff I was talking about when I mentioned that sensationalism and TMZ-like reporting should be less a part of this site (if a part at all, really) than it is, but I was called a troll for that by the “moderator.” That’s why I didn’t even say anything about the article above: Been there, done that.

I don’t even think that waiting a week had to be the case. The article could have at least started out with the MOSTROSITY of the crime and then after giving that it’s due weight and concern, then the Trek related tie-in could have been added at the end with a statement that Trekmovie had contacted NBC and had yet to hear from them about the “journalist” and his ill choice of words. That would have been better, but who am I to say or question anything… :-/

Having said all of this, Trekmovie still does provide some good articles that are the reason to check the newsfeed page in the first place. The fact that articles like the above are a part of the site too are just a punch that has to be rolled with.

133. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

MOSTROSITY should be: MONSTROCITY.

Forgive the typos…

134. Keachick - July 21, 2012

spelling of word is MONSTROSITY

135. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

MONSTROSITY would be correct, so it was still a typo…

136. Keachick - July 21, 2012

The problem with this kind of irresponsible reporting of some ex-FBI profiler using words like “dark Trekkie” to describe a murderer, before a proper investigation (like talking to his professors, family, friends, co-workers whoever…) could even have taken place, goes towards stigmatizing a group of innocent people. This only adds fuel to an already tense and fearful situation.

Yes, the massacre was terrible, but unsubstantiated and sensationalist reporting just adds “fuel to the fire” and is something that should be “nipped in the bud” sooner rather than later.

The first time I ever saw a gun was when I was in my 20s. It was my cousin’s hunting rifle (a .22, I think). He was cleaning it. He liked to go hunting in the bush and would quite often bring back deer or wild pig. Other than that, the only other times I have seen guns have been in museums. I don’t feel I have missed anything by living in a country where nobody has the “right to bear arms”.

The only other time I saw guns was when I arrived in LA Int’l Airport and saw all these security guards wear what I think were some kind of semi-automatic rifles on their person. Scared the shit out of me… (and I didn’t/don’t have any criminal tendencies).

137. Jack - July 21, 2012

114. Are you kidding?

138. boborci - July 21, 2012

137. nope, not kidding. anyone seen this:

http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/252995/396/Witness-Someone-let-gunman-inside-Colorado-movie-theater-

139. boborci - July 21, 2012

130. the biography of the unabomber makes me look at professors.

140. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

That’s so sad. It looks like he’s about to cry where the video cuts off. The fact that this looks like it was actually coordinated by more than one person… Wow. So senseless. I just can’t fathom what they thought they were gaining by doing this. :-(

141. P Technobabble - July 21, 2012

It appears there has been and always will be a small faction of society that operates in a manner that we, as “normal,” socially-adjusted people, will never be able to fathom. Is there any way we could possibly comprehend the kind of mind that could go on a casual killing spree such as this — or any killing for that matter?

I find myself watching or reading the news about this with unblinking eyes, mouth hanging open and unable to take a breath. The notion that such a horror can even happen in the world we live in is utterly beyond my ability to imagine or accept. And the horror for those who lost a loved one is even more difficult to comprehend because this incident will never end for them. Ever.

The only thing we should be doing, IMO, is praying for the survivors and those who lost someone. I believe this is the heart of the matter, or it should be.

142. Hat Rick - July 21, 2012

I hope, and trust, that Anthony doesn’t take offense at any of the postings here to the effect that he’s made an error by demanding an apology. One of the great things about the Trek community is that all reasonable points of view are respected.

Anthony’s work in support of Trek is appreciated by Trek fans all over the world.

Since I’ve been one of those who has cast doubt on the need to accord much significance to the “dark trekkie” comment and have urged that we move on, I wish to emphasize that this should not be deemed to detract from Anthony’s stalwart efforts, in general, to keep us informed about Star Trek — a worthy entertainment and a respectable philosophy of life. This goes without saying.

Then again, he’s a big boy and can take care of himself — of that I am confident.

Let the news, and the conversation, continue.

143. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 21, 2012

@#141 P Technobabble

I completely agree.

144. dmduncan - July 21, 2012

I too am very curious about where this guy came from and how he became the way he is.

While the kneejerk response is to blame those pesky guns which are just out there murdering people all by themselves, I don’t really see that much interest in knowing why we see people — people willing to do this kind of thing, like this guy was — continuing to reoccur. And it seems now with greater frequency.

Why?

145. Max - July 21, 2012

Trekkies dress up as characters. The shooter was dressed up as a Dark Knight character. Hence… Dark Trekkie.

Stupid article exploiting a real tragedy. This site is going downhill.

146. NCM - July 21, 2012

@139. boborci – July 21, 2012

“the biography of the unabomber makes me look at professors.”

Just read up on Kaczynski. Can you connect the dots for me?

147. Vultan - July 21, 2012

#138

At first it seems suspicious, but keep in mind some theaters use the emergency exit as a regular in-and-out exit to the lobby and the restrooms. Don’t know if this is the case, but one of my local theaters does this. And I’ve seen people use the exit like this on several occasions.

148. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

It actually makes a lot of sense to assume the killer was NOT working alone. He may have been alone when he carried out the attacks, but someone had to teach him how to build the explosives that he planted in his apartment. Plus he had to get the weapons and body armor from somewhere, and they cost lots of money. Guns can be found anywhere, but body armor (especially military/police grade) is a lot harder to come by. So someone had to know what he was up to. Not his family. Not his close friends. Probably someone who shared his grudge against society.

Timothy McVeigh was alone when he parked his explosives-laden truck next to the Alfred Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995. But we do know that McVeigh had help in building his truck bomb from Terry Nichols.

149. Daoud - July 21, 2012

Bob, Harvard, Michigan, and Cal really weren’t in any way the cause of Ted developing a schizophrenic-type disorder. I don’t think any professors had anything to do with his activities years after he resigned his professorship at Cal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Kaczynski#Career

150. Beverly Crusher's wig - July 21, 2012

I can understand the need to own a gun to protect your home and family but what the hell does a civillian need with an assault rifle or 6,000 rounds of ammo?

151. Uberbot - July 21, 2012

Beverly, the founding fathers intended for the population to be well armed to protect it against the possibility of an oppressive government and for the people to have the power to overthrow the government by force should it become necessary.

THAT is why we have gun rights in this country. And that should be preserved.

One of the first things Hitler did when he came to power in Germany was take guns away from the people. Why? Because he didn’t want the people to stand in the way of his tyranny.

Once the people are disarmed, all credibility of potential resistance (should it become necessary) is removed. Gun rights are not for hunting and home protection only.

Use your head! Orci is big on conspiracy theories — well, here’s one:

How do we not know the government wouldn’t orchestrate a tragedy like this to get people afraid and willing to hand over their guns?

Think about it.

152. Jim, London - July 21, 2012

@151 Sorry the founding fathers intended for the population to be armed so that militias could easily be raised in the event of invasion… Say from the British or French. Guns have never been prevelant in the UK as an example and governments are thrown out through the ballot box.

Also what is the need for an AR-15 in ones home – is a pistol or shotgun not enough?

Simple fact is that the only people who should be legally armed are those of law enforcement or the armed forces. As various cases in the US as well as the UK have shown the population in general cant be trusted with firearms (LAPD outgunned by bank robbers, British Police unable to defend themselves against Raoul Moat who was armed with a shotgun).

Your point about overthrowing government indicates that you believe force is the only way to achieve that….which goes against the whole point of democracy and consent of the people.

153. Uberbot - July 21, 2012

Nope, I’m not calling for it…just to clarify.

154. Uberbot - July 21, 2012

#152 — the US Constitution does no specify what KIND of arms its citizens can bear. Nor should it. The law abiding citizens of this country should not be the ones under scrutiny in a constitutional republic…and that’s what the US is — not a democracy!

155. Hat Rick - July 21, 2012

This is something I really don’t understand: The whole “defend our liberty with a Glock” thing. I’m a gun owner. I own more than one gun, including a handgun. I freely admit that. However, the idea that any gun or number of guns can stand up against a tyrannical government these days is absurd.

The National Guard has these rather massive things called tanks, armored personnel carriers, and, oh, by the way, jet aircraft.

What, exactly, can any number of citizens do to protect against an M-1 tank? And yes, the M-1, also known as the Abrams, is basically the same model used in our recent wars in the Middle East. The National Guard has ‘em.

Realistically, the idea that civilians can overthrow a hypothetical tyrannical government is rather absurd. Unless, of course, one can easily purchase one’s own personal tank, or at least, anti-tank weapon.

Show of hands: Who’s got a personal tank or TOW missile or two stored in the attic and/or garage?

Anyone? … Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Hitler might have disarmed the citizenry, but what does that prove? Merely, perhaps, that he was paranoid.

Don’t get me wrong: I support the right to own guns. But the idea that they can be used to protect against a determined and competent, yet tyrannical, government — come on. Let’s get real.

156. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

Remember, the citizens of Syria have access to loads of guns but are still being slaughtered en masse by their own government and military.

Assault rifles and machine guns will do no good against fighter jets with mega-ton bombs and heavily armed and armored tanks equipped with explosive mortars.

157. Uberbot - July 21, 2012

#155 — that may be true, but even you do not deny the agenda. And here is more proof of the agenda (see link below). Isn’t it interesting that people are being whipped into a frenzy over gun control at THIS time…? I think so given the article below and I have been reading about this coming up for a long time!

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/20/un-arms-treaty-aims-at-terror-but-puts-second-amendment-in-crosshairs/

Also, yes, it’s true the government has all those advanced weapons, but then there’s not assurance they would actually use them. However, maybe the UN mobilized forces would!

I merely present all this for your consideration.

158. Capt. Gregory, from DC - July 21, 2012

Maybe he got his franchises mixed up. I bet he meant to say “Dark-Jedi”, not Dark trekkie. Either way, very unfortunate…

159. dmduncan - July 21, 2012

155: “Realistically, the idea that civilians can overthrow a hypothetical tyrannical government is rather absurd. Unless, of course, one can easily purchase one’s own personal tank, or at least, anti-tank weapon.

Show of hands: Who’s got a personal tank or TOW missile or two stored in the attic and/or garage?”

Seriously? The Viet Nam war and 12 years of recent history proves you wrong. Afghans and Iraqis started using these things called IEDs to defeat armored vehicles. IED. That means Improvised Explosive Device. IMPROVISED. If the past 12 years has taught us anything, it is exactly how well an adaptive lower tech force can resist a higher tech force with industrially manufactured weapons.

Of course, you have to be more than a nation of couch potatoes to do that. This may be the first time in recorded history when a people have not been repressed by force, but by comfort.

On the Colorado shooting: I’ve heard conflicting reports that someone else let the shooter in and that the shooter himself was the one who propped open the door from inside the theater, leaving and then coming back in.

But also saw a news ticker not too long ago that said police were searching for a second “person of interest” in the case.

160. Vultan - July 21, 2012

I’m a gun owner, but I don’t own an assault rifle or… a bazooka. Anyone who thinks they needs those things to keep the government in line is delusional, and you might want to consider all those other amendments and the Constitution and all those checks and balances that keep this rough old machine running. No, it’s not perfect. Never will be. But if you want to change things, organize with like-minded others, march, protest, speak out, vote, but most importantly—think. There are no bullets needed. Just ideas on how to make the machine run better.

Gandhi didn’t need an AR-15.

This Waiting for Godot argument, waiting for a tyrannical government that has yet to show up in the past 200 years, just isn’t going to work on me anymore. Not after Aurora.

161. NCM - July 21, 2012

The founding fathers, claiming democracy was unsustainable, looked to the ancients — who’d demonstrated, on an epic scale, how a republic can be usurped by a dictator — and, they built another republic.

Having agreed that only white male landowners would have the right to vote, they didn’t intend the masses, unworthy of a role in governance, to bear arms against that governing elite: Rather, armed masses could help guard against foreign invasion.

We Americans owe a great deal to our beloved founding fathers, but not blind faith in their unerring and eternal wisdom. We need to find enough faith in ourselves to plot a course for the future and to tweak that course as ‘ground conditions’ change. Nothing lasts forever, but I’d like to hold on to what we have for a while, yet.

162. Red Dead Ryan - July 21, 2012

As I said earlier, I’m surprised a theatre massacre hasn’t happened long before yesterday. It seems like a no-brainer for terrorists to attack such soft targets where large numbers of people get together. Little to no security. Thousands of theatres in the U.S alone. And a great opportunity for Al Queda to perhaps do more economic and psychological damage to an already weary America. That would put a big dent in Hollywood’s bottom line, as people would be scared to leave their homes, and the overall economy would plummet further than even after 9/11. And it would be practically impossible to protect every theatre, sports stadiums and arenas across the country.

I hope nothing like what happened yesterday happens again. In any country. But we all have to assume it will. There are too many lunatics who dream of mass murder, fear and destruction. And that means in big cities like New York, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, theatres will have upgraded security measures such as metal detectors, additional guards, bag searches, and maybe even body scanners.

Going to a movie could become very inconvenient as boarding an airliner.

#159.

You can pretty much count on there being at least one accomplice. I don’t care how smart the attacker was, someone would have had to have aided and abetted him with regards to aquiring the weapons and assembling the bombs.

163. NCM - July 21, 2012

@160: Well said, Vultan (and many others–this has become an interesting debate).

@159: Dmduncan… “Of course, you have to be more than a nation of couch potatoes to do that. This may be the first time in recorded history when a people have not been repressed by force, but by comfort.”

…I couldn’t agree, more.

164. Hugh Hoyland - July 21, 2012

#138 Boborci

Yes I did see that as well, on FOX news no less. I’m not sure it was the same witness though.

But the reporter said the whitness told him that not only did the person get up and go to the fire exit and open the door, but actually may have motioned out the door as if to say “come on.”

The reporter did go on to say that it was also possible that it was just someone trying to sneak a friend in. Dunno, odd for sure.

165. Hugh Hoyland - July 21, 2012

“witness” dang typos lol

166. Jack - July 21, 2012

138. hmmm.

162. “You can pretty much count on there being at least one accomplice. I don’t care how smart the attacker was, someone would have had to have aided and abetted him with regards to aquiring the weapons and assembling the bombs.”

Hmmm, again. Why?

Aside: I ended up on some Michelle Malkin site complaining about celebrities tweeting about the need for gun control, where commenters said things like “It was a gun-free theatre — f they’d allowed guns in that theatre somebody could have got the guy” and “if we control guns, what about rope and knives? They can kill people too. Legislation is not the answer. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”

Not to make it about Canada, but total aside — but the same arguments get made here. Our conservative government — seen by many as very American and very Republican (they’re socially conservative, and very very vocal — and first came to prominence in Alberta and reportedly have strong ties to big oil and American Tea-party backerslike the Koch brothers) — recently axed a gun registry requiring all owners of long guns (rifles and shotguns) to have their guns registered and stored properly in a hime gun safe — the registry so cops know when going to a house that guns might be there.

It had been in place fpr around a decade. The conservatives had promised to abolish it if they got a mahority government and finally did,

Teh arguments were made that criminals won’t register their guns, or have illegal handguns so it doesn’t make sense for police to know where guns are. The arguments are that legal gunowners are doing nothing wrong but are being treated like criminals for having to have their guns registered and in a database. And they had to pay a fee — I don’t know, a $100 bucks or something — so that pissed a few off too. The people who have guns are really a minority here — hunters and collectors.

Part of teh controversy was that it cost a tonne of money to set up in the first place, but taht money had already been spent.

Except, the national association of chiefs of police is for it, as are most cops I’ve talked to — in most of Canada, where there are comparatively few guns, and most handguns used in crime are smuggled in from elsewhere, nearly all gun crimes are between people who know each other (mostly domestic incidents and then also well-publicized gang-on gang/criminal-on-criminal stuff… which often in bigger cities ends in innocent bystanders getting killed) — holdups, robberies, and muggings at gunpoint are almost nonexistant. Killings by strangers and during robberies are nearly nonexistant.

It helps police responding to a domestic assault and know that a gun is in the house — sure, they should assume that anyway, and, yeah, the guy in the house might have an unregistered gun,,, but it seems like a no-brainer to keep track of the ones that are out there as much as you can… heck, we register our cars. Why is keeping track of guns, or even requiring a background check on someone buying a gun, a violation of rights (and again, I’m talking Canada). It sounds good in a sound bite – “I’m not a criminal, criminals have guns anyway, why can’t I have a gun to defend myself?” Except it doesn’t match with reality. The U.S. is a different kettle of fish — guns are everywhere.

When I’m in the states in a big city and am in a movie theater — I think twice before telling off some punk who’s talking on his cell phone during the movie because I’m worried the guy might have a gun. I can’t imagine living like that all the time. I’m not saying Canada or the UK is better — but I do like living in a place where you can pretty safely assume that nearly everybody doesn’t have a gun. Sure, innocent people and officers still get killed by guns — but it’s relatively rare (unless you’re in a gang or in the way of two gang members shooting at each other in public). Rarer in the UK than Canada. And it’s terrible. But I don’t think more guns would solve the problem.

And, yeah, we’ve had shootings like this here too. But I don’t see how more guns would have prevented them.

Silly aside — the logic (we need guns because bad guys have guns) seems the same as creating a yellow power ring in the Green Lantern movie to destroy the guy who was turned evil because he messed with yellow power.

More guns mean more criminals get their hands on them. Sure, people get killed by knives, baseball bats and ropes — but one guy can’t kill a dozen people and injure 71 quite as quickly and easily with a knife, a baseball bat or a rope.

I know, everybody has an idea on this — but I’m hoping views from other countries doesn’t turn into – “stop American bashing, you filthy socialists… you wouldn’t have freedom were it not from our free umbrella of protection.”

167. Jim Nightshade - July 22, 2012

What a sad and terrifying massacre–guess we cant even go to a movie anymore without fearing for our lives–my prayers n love to the poor victims n families none of whom deserved this—an ignorant stupid comment lumping trekkies in with any crazy fans of any genre i guess cuz we were the first rabid fans? If anything trek fans abhore violence and i always thought the meek shall inherit the earth…we look to the future n hope it will be better…guess thats why we are crazy huh…

168. Harry Ballz - July 22, 2012

On a different note, I just watched the new trailers for the next Superman movie.

PURE CRAP! It looks like it was done by amateurs!

It’s too bad, I was really looking forward to the next Superman movie.

Hollywood gets it wrong again!

169. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

The fact that armored personnel carriers and even main battle tanks can be destroyed or at least disabled using IED’s doesn’t do much to support the “Glocks for freedom” argument. Nor is it really necessary to support the right to own guns. (So, in other words, it’s neither necessary nor sufficient as an argument in favor of the Second Amendment.)

The reason I own guns is self-defense. And that’s it. And that’s enough of a reason for anyone.

It may be true that a citizen army could defeat a tyrannical government that uses tanks and jet aircraft, but it won’t be because they had lots of guns; it’ll be because they were able to get their hands on IED’s, plus a lot of other things that aren’t reasonable for a citizen to have in peacetime, such as air-to-air missiles. I think it’s great that I have the freedom to own guns, but the last thing on my mind is that it is a guarantor against a viciously undemocratic government that needs to be overthrown.

In the Middle East, where IED’s have been used, the materials supplied to make them are either provided by an outside country, or cobbled together from military parts. I doubt very much that many IED’s were made from stuff the citizens had lying around the house or stored just in case it was needed against an invading army.

Now, you can argue the “Red Dawn” theory of gun ownership. A bunch of people get together, overwhelm the bad guys using guerilla tactics, etc. Fantasy aside, it’s just possible that having a bunch of guns might allow one to overcome armed stooges that happen to be dumb enough not to protect themselves sufficiently against that type of attack.

But the military of the 21st Century isn’t going to stand around waiting to be attacked by ragtag bands of handgun-toting constitutionalists. The lesson of Vietnam, by the way, is notwithstanding: What Vietnam proved is that bombing people into democracy doesn’t work — particularly when you have another country supplying heavy arms, AA guns, jet fighters, trained personnel, and various sundries to the populace and you’re fighting in a foreign environment 10,000 miles away from home. None of those conditions is likely to occur if a civil war were to occur (Heaven forfend) within these United States.

170. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 22, 2012

Well, I think that instead of focusing so much on guns vs. no guns, we should focus on people, and communities in particular. Someone here (can’t remember who) asked a question to the effect of “Why is this happening more now?” because you didn’t hear as much about this kind of stuff in the past. I think that there’s a bit of an odd irony in America (and it could be other places too) where as much as we have all of these online communities and ways for people to be “plugged in” at all times, real communities have broken down a bit. I’m not saying that this is 100% true for 100% of America; I’m just saying that it’s true enough.

Think about it. There are crimes that may not have been committed if the community had been there more. Think about Virginia Tech, and that guy. There were reports that campus counselors knew or suspected that this guy had issues, and no one did anything. I personally don’t know if 9/11 would have happened if the security measures and procedures that were already in place were followed. These guys said to the flight school (IIRC) that they didn’t need to learn how to land a plane – and nobody thought that was suspicious? I think I remember reading that some of them were able to somehow get driver’s licenses without having their Visas yet, and then after the attack some of those pending Visas were approved! The list goes on with this one. Then there were the Colombine kids that were bullied and bullied until they just hated everybody and went on a rampage…

I’m not making excuses for any of these cases; I’m just saying that sometimes we’re so into ourselves that we don’t seem to care about the person right next to us, and that’s sad. And sometimes it has horrific and tragic consequences. I’ve listed to stories from my grandparents (who both owned guns that they never used) about growing up, and it seems like they lived in a time when the community around you mattered more, and you weren’t distracted by your facebook friends and updating your twitter. Maybe that’s it, or at least part of it. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.


@#157 Uberbot

I’ve heard conspiracy theories that 9/11 was orchestrated by the U.S. Government as a way to get things like the patriot act through. I don’t know…

171. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

There have always been mentally unbalanced people who have had access to guns. The archetype of the crazed gunman picking people off from a tower arose from a real incident that happened decades ago in the United States. In 1966, Charles Whitman ascended the main observation tower at the University of Texas at Austin and, predominately using a high-powered rifle, shot and murdered 13 people. Three others, including his own mother and his wife during the nighttime preceding the day of the shootings, and one on the actual day, had been killed through a combination of bludgeoning, stabbing, or a firearm at close range.

Whitman was a highly intelligent man and a student at the University. He was killed by law enforcement who responded to his killing spree.

There is no explaining the horrors and evil that visit upon us. This has been a summer of horror and evil. I am currently in Toronto, where the local news is all about a week of deadly gun violence in a country where, earlier, a ghastly knife torture-murder and dismemberment of a foreign student had been committed and apparently recorded on video, for which a suspect was later arrested after an international manhunt.

Even in Canada, land of gun control, the summer of horrors prevails.

If there is a God, and if he, she, or it is merciful, then he, she, or it is acting or, through inaction, permitting to act in such a way as defies our earthly comprehension.

Sometimes, evil cannot be explained away by the presence or the absence of guns.

172. La Reyne d'Epee - July 22, 2012

I can’t think of anything more hideous than seeing people come on here after a terrible event like this, STILL trying to justify their love of guns.

Dark Trekkies indeed.

173. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 22, 2012

What I’m interested to find out is more about the person or people that committed these horrible crimes, and whether or not there might have been a way to stop him/them before-hand. It won’t help the victims of this horrible massacre, but it might help people to know more about what to look for in the future. Being informed can help.

174. Aurore - July 22, 2012

“….I urge people to choose their sources of information carefully.”
_________

Absolutely.

…..But, even then, I believe we should always be ready/strive to decipher news from propaganda. Fact from fiction…

175. Phil - July 22, 2012

@170, RE: 157. No, 9/11 was not an inside job. Like most conspiracy theory, the folks that want you to believe them require that you discard the obvious evidence for theory and conjecture. None of their arguements hold water, except for their irrational fears for the government.

176. Ben Shanahan - July 22, 2012

#33. We have a no gun policy in the uk. The only people who are allowed to carry firearms is the police. And we don’t have sick individuals shooting up a theatre or a school. So does this not tell you that your constitution is wrong. Maybe if you did have stricter gun laws you wouldn’t have a tragedy like this every other year!!!!

177. Daoud - July 22, 2012

Shanahan, you must not read your own news much.

Cumbria, in the UK, recently, 12 killed:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/02/cumbria-shootings-slaughter-countryside-derrick-bird

Dunblane, a SCHOOL, 16 years ago, 17 killed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre

Should I mention Hungerford? The UK has its issues too, and you have strict gun laws.

178. Daoud - July 22, 2012

@172 Irony, much? Your handle is “La Reyne d’Epee”, not “La Reyne de la Plume”.

179. Daoud - July 22, 2012

@150 Bev Crusher’s wig: I think you have one of the key questions…. 6000 rounds of ammo purchased easily over the internet? Why? I’m completely understanding of the idea that the right to bear arms allows for hunting, and defending one’s property… but why the need to get off 6000 shots? Wouldn’t a box of 50 at a time be sufficient?
.
I understand Bob raising the spectre that the door-opening might or might not have been a co-conspirator… but my question… was this psycho busily trying to RECRUIT any co-conspirators over the past year? Even the Jokers had their henchmen.
.
It seems like this psycho had fully expected to have his apartment booby-traps go off around midnight, drawing most of law enforcement to that complex. With the movie times staggered start at 12:20, 12:25, 12:30, etc. in the multiplex, it’s as if he purposely was planning his apartment explosion as a distraction. Then with his 4 weapons, he’d finish off Theater 9, then go to 8, then Theater 7, until he ran out of his 6000 rounds.
.
Thank the Lord that his semi-automatic has been reported to have jammed forcing him to go to a pistol…. or he might have injured tenfold more in the theater.
.
And thank goodness the neighbor where she went to ask him to turn his music down didn’t push his door open as he’d hoped at midnight! If the psycho had had co-conspirators, you’d think one would have been on site at the apartment complex to insure the explosion happened. This easily could have ended up with hundreds dead in the housing complex, and hundreds dead at the theater.

180. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

160: “This Waiting for Godot argument, waiting for a tyrannical government that has yet to show up in the past 200 years, just isn’t going to work on me anymore. Not after Aurora.”

Given the fact that the police powers of this nation are increasing, not shrinking, I find your statement amazing. Maybe you are looking for Nazis or communists to take over. That’s not what is going to happen. All you need to understand what is going to happen is look at the trend of what IS happening.

So long as so many of how get your Star Trek every 3 years, how many of you even care that drones are now in the skies above America?

181. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

169: “In the Middle East, where IED’s have been used, the materials supplied to make them are either provided by an outside country, or cobbled together from military parts. I doubt very much that many IED’s were made from stuff the citizens had lying around the house or stored just in case it was needed against an invading army.”

What makes you think the situation would be any different here if there was a truly Assad-like government in power?

Americans would resist, and they would be very resourceful in resisting. That includes many people within our armed services who are unsympathetic to such a ruler.

That is, as long as that Assad-like leader turned off their TV programming and they had something to get really really pissed about. As long as the TV stays on and there is a constant supply of processed foods to the grocery stores, all bets are off.

182. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 22, 2012

@#175

Yeah, I don’t tend to believe it either, especially because it seems to come from fringe groups. But since I never bothered to look into any of those claims, I figured I couldn’t say that they were wrong.

183. Daoud - July 22, 2012

Is it the constitution of Switzerland, that requires each household to own a rifle, and such? With this many guns, does Switzerland have a higher incidence of violence?

184. AJ - July 22, 2012

LA Times discusses theatrical release of TNG eps, and calls audience another “fan tribe” comparing Trekkers to hardcore Batman fans.

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/07/21/star-trek-celebration-monday-will-test-mood-at-u-s-theaters/

185. Taranaich - July 22, 2012

Daoud, the Dunblane and Hungerford tragedies happened BEFORE the current gun legislation was implemented. The Cumbria shootings are the only major shooting spree to happen in the 15 years since, and absolutely an exceptional incident.

Of course the UK still has problems, especially in regards to violent crime (knife crime in particular is far ahead of the US), but if we’re talking crimes involving mass shootings, then the situation between the UK and US isn’t remotely comparable. The number of deaths by firearms in the US is ten times that per capital of the UK.

186. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

169: “But the military of the 21st Century isn’t going to stand around waiting to be attacked by ragtag bands of handgun-toting constitutionalists. The lesson of Vietnam, by the way, is notwithstanding: What Vietnam proved is that bombing people into democracy doesn’t work — particularly when you have another country supplying heavy arms, AA guns, jet fighters, trained personnel, and various sundries to the populace and you’re fighting in a foreign environment 10,000 miles away from home. None of those conditions is likely to occur if a civil war were to occur (Heaven forfend) within these United States.”

And the military of the 21st century in America isn’t going to be a unified force used against the very population and families from which those military members come, many of whom are themselves constitutionalists. In other words, it’s going to be different, but it will still be a lower tech force against a higher tech force, and the higher tech force will completely lack the moral authority and belief of the lower tech force.

You’re making an argument as if it’s just a bunch of beer bellied rednecks getting their rifles from the closets to take potshots at drones.

That’s absurd.

But once again, the bigger issue of your scenario is the scenario itself. Americans will gladly give up their rights to protect their comfort. Take their rights away slowly and assure them in benevolent terms from faces they trust that they will be okay, and they will accept it.

It won’t be a sudden arrival of an Assad on scene who radically changes how things are done. There’s no need for that. When you have more effective means of pacifying your population, you don’t need to use violence.

The one stick in their craw is the economy. The economy has to run well, and the unemployment has to be low for that approach to work.

If there is one thing that will rouse a couch potato from his TV, it’s his stomach and an empty refrigerator.

187. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

181 (dmduncan), I think it is necessary to protect the right of individual citizens to own and use reasonable quantities of personal defense firearms and necessary ammunition.

I further think that one can extend the self-defense argument to cover defense against rogue individuals acting under color of authority.

I just do not think it is possible to justify gun ownership on the basis of protection against a tyrannical government. Not in the modern age — not against the weapons that government possesses, and that no citizen could possibly reasonably afford or be allowed to possess (i.e., modern main battle tanks, modern jet fighter aircraft, air defense missiles, and the like).

The point I made in the passage you cited was that the materials necessary to make IED’s are not those that anyone would reasonably possess in peacetime. They had to be supplied, or they had to be taken from military bases. Thus, the position that governments with tanks can be taken down because people own guns can use them fails.

The best defense against a tyrannical government is the exercise by an informed, enlightened electorate of the vote so as to ensure governance only by individuals who are innately committed to the lawful protection of our constitutional freedoms, who have a record of good judgment, and who have a stake in protecting our community through balancing individual rights with the common good. Avoidance of extremism is critical, since extremism whether of the right or left tends toward blindness of the rights of opponents.

The fail-safe against tyranny lies in our armed forces, who are sworn to uphold our Constitution, and who must be held to the absolute highest requirement to protect our fundamental rights, to exercise conscience in executing orders so as to refuse to enforce those that are unlawful, otherwise unconstitutional or otherwise inhuman, and to possess the wherewithal to report any acts contravening law or ethics without fear of retribution.

An international fail-safe also exists: A community of nations that casts a watchful eye over national governments. This requires openness on the part of our national government to acknowledge the rightful criticisms of others and a willingness to heed the advice of peer nations.

Neither a ban on gun ownership nor a purely libertarian solution that allows all manner of weapons ownership can be rationally justified, accordingly, in this day and age.

188. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

^^ “blindness to the right of opponents.”

As corrected.

189. chrisfawkes.com - July 22, 2012

The guy is an idiot.

What a ridiculous statement to make just to raise some eyebrows given the horrific nature of what happened.

Some in the media are completely out of touch fools thinking they are doing their job if they can say something to get a reaction.

190. Uberbot - July 22, 2012

#159 — Dmduncan, you are correct!! But I just hope and pray it never ever comes to that in this country. Still, our freedoms must be protected with regard to gun ownership and the reason that is provided for under the Constitution. Just like we shouldn’t let terrorists control the agenda with regard to our freedoms, the same can be said for the media, special interest groups and the government.

The moment we give away our protected rights under the constitution, due to a rogue and radical FEW, that’s the moment we lose this country and our freedom!!!

And again — who’s to say someone couldn’t orchestrate something like this to achieve machiavellian goals?

That’s all I’m saying. Look under every rock to see what’s underneath.

191. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

#186.

There is also the possibility that your fellow citizens turn against one another should a food shortage occur. It seems to me that your government “leaders” have done a fine job in creating a Republican-Conservative Versus Democrat-Liberal rift in the general population. Your government has made you dependent on major corporations and oil companies who have paid off your politicians. So, if someone stands up to these corporations and oil companies, and says “enough is enough”, they have the power to retaliate by withdrawing their goods, services, and start firing their employees and moving the jobs overseas.
People become desperate as food and supplies become scarce, and inflation goes through the roof. Everybody panics. Guns become the new currency. And the police are unable to do anything. There is only the military. But I would assume a constitutional amendment would be needed for the military to be deployed to restore order. But the politicians in D.C refuse to go that route. They can only agree to small, ineffective measures.

As a result, the Republican and Democrat supporters could start blaming and fighting each other while their representives in Washington squabble ad nauseum until a strongman disguised as a saviour comes along promising peace, good government and prosperity. The new “good guy” has managed to sweet-talk (and pay off) the politicians into amending the constitution, giving the President-strongman absolute power. He then disposes of the Republicans and Democrats, replacing them with his own die-hard followers.

And then he provides just enough to keep the populace from rising up. “Star Trek” is aired 24/7 on some channels. People are given free X-Boxes. Nobody sees that the America they lived in has died. They don’t care, because they get cheap cable, free video games, and a well-stocked fridge. The new leader maintains high poll numbers, despite rolling back/eliminating civil rights and liberties. Politicial opponents are arrested and persecuted. Not many care. Because now they have things given to them. :-)

Not likely to occur, but this scenario is possible. In any country.

192. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

187: I just do not think it is possible to justify gun ownership on the basis of protection against a tyrannical government. Not in the modern age — not against the weapons that government possesses, and that no citizen could possibly reasonably afford or be allowed to possess (i.e., modern main battle tanks, modern jet fighter aircraft, air defense missiles, and the like).

The point I made in the passage you cited was that the materials necessary to make IED’s are not those that anyone would reasonably possess in peacetime. They had to be supplied, or they had to be taken from military bases. Thus, the position that governments with tanks can be taken down because people own guns can use them fails.

***

I’m not making the argument that you can defeat a tank with a pistol. And that is not the argument which the Second Amendment makes. But you can defeat a tank driver with a pistol. And then the tank is useless. In any VIOLENT conflict between a hypothetical American dictator and the people he is repressing, individual firearms will be necessary though insufficient. It’s a bad argument to say that because individual firearms cannot by themselves defeat such a government, they are therefore unnecessary or even useless against it.

In the right circumstances, a sharpened piece of bamboo can be a useful weapon against it. And in such a conflict, it is reasonable to surmise that additional tools of resistance would become available, so it’s not reasonable to paint a picture of tanks on one side and beer-bellied red-necks with ole’ grandaddy’s 12 gauges on the other.

Firearms are necessary in that scenario, but insufficient.

A non-violent resistance is by far the best option, and one that has the best long term prospects for success.

But to resist peacefully you have to wake up to what’s happening and to push back against it. You can’t just say “Oh, drones in the skies!” and then later: “…and look! They carry missiles now too!” You can’t just say “Oh, the Dept. of Education has an office that owns assault weapons and can lawfully kick in your door at 6 am — and I don’t care why.”

You really do have to care, and care about the same issues has to cross party lines among the people.

193. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

I read a humorous blog post by a left-wing self avowed socialist not long ago that begins: “If they take away our guns, who will shoot the bankers?” With the further quote: “If they take away our guns, only the police will have guns,” which is a funny riff on the usual right wing bumper sticker: “If they take away our guns only criminals will have guns.”

194. B Shanahan - July 22, 2012

Daoud you clearly have 1 mind set that it’s ok for everyone and their mother to own a gun. And if you took the time to actually read up on Dunblane you would see that was the reason we introduced zero tolerance gun laws. The politicians in the us know that they need to introduce better gun control but are too worried about losing the gun nut vote.

195. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

The thing about insurgencies and rebellions are, they aren’t easy to bring together. First of all, everyone has to share the same goals. Secondly, they have to be well-disciplined, and well-trained. Thirdly, they need vast amounts of resources and money. Fourthly, the number of insurgents needed would be immense, as they’d be vastly out-gunned by the military force they are fighting against. The rebellion would need to continually be able to find new recruits as the casualties would be high. An outside source for weapons, supplies and soldiers is a must. And most insurgencies do struggle badly in the beginning. So this is where discipline comes into play. Everyone has to put aside their egos, and forget about their previous comfortable way of life. They also need to accept the reality of death. Not just of those around them, but (potentially, and probably) their own.

So if you’re going to become an insurgent/rebel, you’d need good people around you. You’d need to be resourceful. You’d need to be well-disciplined. And you’d need to go into it knowing full well that your and your comrades’ would be the currency needed to attain victory.

196. Max - July 22, 2012

I sleep better at night knowing there are so many armed and ready trekkies who will leap from their comfy couch and save me from a hypothetical American dictator some day.

197. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

DAMN, that should read:

“And you’d need to go into it knowing full well that your and your comrades’ LIVES would be the currency needed to attain victory.”

198. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

Maybe you can defeat a tank driver with a pistol. Maybe you can’t. In fact, probably you can’t. If it were so easy, IED’s wouldn’t be necessary.

I don’t think that our positions are so different. I simply place much less stock in the idea that private firearms are necessary to protect against tyrannical government.

One must understand that the very idea that the power of the gun is what stands between democracy and tyranny holds a highly corrosive potential. In our modern, civilized society, a resort to gunplay as the ultimate private citizen’s power over government feeds and magnifies paranoia and, perhaps even more importantly, allows the idea that government is the enemy to become ever-stronger.

In a democracy, an obsession with how to defeat government leads to a cycle of distrust. Rather than a virtuous spiral of education in constitutionalism, a vicious cycle of mutual enmity is formed, particularly between self-avowed constitutionalists and government officials.

If America is great because of its form of government, then why do citizens fear it so? Is there not a more fundamentally sound way of establishing a civilized democratic order than to resort, essentially, to a showing of the holstered pistol, in the manner ofl the Old West, with the implication that if one doesn’t get what one perceives is his rightful due, violence will ensue?

Is that attitude not one that is counter to civilization in the modern age? Does it not feed paranoia?

Is it not better merely to say, the Second Amendment exists so that all individuals may be more secure against unlawful attacks on their physical well-being by those without right, without saying that it exists so as to protect against a tyrannical government?

When the Constitution was written, tanks, high explosives, missiles, aircraft, nuclear weapons, and other high-technology weapons had not yet been invented. There is no principled way of extending “arms” in the “right to bear arms” to encompass only certain weapons, and not others, unless one takes the view that the Second Amendment can no longer be taken literally either in its words or in its justification. In its place should be the doctrine of self-defense and defense of others, which is a far more reasonable, logical, and defensible basis for than protection against tyranny.

The alternative is to say that the Second Amendment guarantees you and me the right to bear TOW missiles, 50-mm. cannon, and nuclear weapons. After all, if the original rationale is to be taken seriously, why not? But this result is, of course, absurd.

The Second Amendment, if it is to survive in the modern age, can only be interpreted within the rule of reason. To do otherwise is to believe that it admits of results that no civilization can bear.

199. Uberbot - July 22, 2012

“A non-violent resistance is by far the best option, and one that has the best long term prospects for success.

But to resist peacefully you have to wake up to what’s happening and to push back against it. You can’t just say “Oh, drones in the skies!” and then later: “…and look! They carry missiles now too!” You can’t just say “Oh, the Dept. of Education has an office that owns assault weapons and can lawfully kick in your door at 6 am — and I don’t care why.”

VERY well put!!! Standing ovation!!!

200. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

Hi, Uberbot,

I would consider that the best way to guarantee against policies that violate our rights is to vote for candidates who do not promise to be “tough on crime,” or who style themselves as “law and order types,” without a true understanding of what motivates these individuals and whether their promises are based on a sound understanding of our society.

It is an unfortunate feature of our political system that those who yell the loudest get the most attention. Those who promise a return to a mythical halcyon day of yore, who stroke the voter’s egos, are given excessive amounts of unquestioning support.

The Internet meme, “Shut up and take my money!” could just as well translate to, “Shut up and take my vote!”

For decades, American voters have been desensitized to the need for compromise as an art of politics. The very term “compromise” is anathema, and as a result, one of our two major parties has become so extremist as to represent a positive danger to the very existence of moderates.

But Aristotle counseled that in all things, one must look for the Golden Mean. This has been forgotten in American politics, and the results are now before us.

There is no guarantee against tyrannical government simply in the ownership of guns. A tyrannical government, through the use of overwhelming force, could simply take the guns away regardless of how carefully they are kept.

The only guarantee against tyranny is a reasonable and enlightened republic that does not view political opponents as enemies to be vanquished, but friends who happen to differ, and who endeavor to reach compromise knowing that, in any democratic civilization worth its name, they, too, could be subject to the laws their opponents will inevitably pass — if not now, then later.

Until we realize the need for compromise, and until extremism in the so-called “defense” of so-called “liberty” is (contra Goldwater) actually seen as a vice, this Cold Civil War within our very body politic will continue.

The irony is that today, the late and venerable Barry Goldwater would be seen as mere moderate, himself.

201. boborci - July 22, 2012

146. One of Unabomber’s professors was CIA mind control expert — Dr. Henry Murray. Unabomber “volunteered” for strange mind control experiments under Dr. Murray’s direction. So odd. In his written rants, the unabomber said he’d been brain washed!

202. boborci - July 22, 2012

147. Agreed. It may be nothing. But I like to assume nothing.

203. Vultan - July 22, 2012

#180

Nope. I very much care and I am horrified at the increase of drones in this country, but like assault rifles and high capacity magazines, I believe the problem can be corrected through non-violent protest, voting and legislation. Yeah, I know that’s old-fashioned and not as sexy as a smoking barrel and a backyard bunker, but I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy.

But I’m not going to live in fear and paranoia. And that’s why I’m going to see TDKR tonight, unarmed and unafraid.

204. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

198: “Is it not better merely to say, the Second Amendment exists so that all individuals may be more secure against unlawful attacks on their physical well-being by those without right, without saying that it exists so as to protect against a tyrannical government?”

But sometimes those two are the same thing. Governments consist of individuals who have a dual identity as both citizen and as executor of state policy, and who I think quite often use the advantages and powers provided by the latter identity to enrich the former. At taxpayer expense.

“The alternative is to say that the Second Amendment guarantees you and me the right to bear TOW missiles, 50-mm. cannon, and nuclear weapons. After all, if the original rationale is to be taken seriously, why not? But this result is, of course, absurd.”

It’s absurd because it’s a Slippery Slope Fallacy. I.e., if the Constitution enables you to own a BB gun, then it also enables you to own a nuclear bomb, and there’s no way to prevent the latter but by preventing the former. That’s a Slippery Slope Fallacy. The right to bear arms does not imply that every individual has the right to be a formidable armed force unto himself, particularly since you can interpret the language of the Second Amendment as requiring at least the potential unity of a people acting together, and also since high tech armed forces do not necessarily need to be defeated by higher tech armed forces, as the Ghandi example proves.

The Second Amendment merely provides for a certain set of possibilities out of a continuum. And if it is eliminated you won’t have even the chance to protect yourself or your family.

Like this woman had:

http://charlotte.news14.com/content/top_stories/660391/concord-woman-shoots-man-trying-to-break-into-home

And this woman had:

http://www.just-a-regular-guy.com/2009/12/05/oklahoma-woman-shoots-kills-home-intruder-while-on-phone-with-911/

And this MOTHER had:

http://www.dreamindemon.com/2012/01/02/woman-uses-shotgun-to-kill-suspect-in-home-invasion/

To all you folks who live in la-la land, the cops are always 10 seconds away.

205. Azrael - July 22, 2012

@171. Before embarking on his shooting spree Whitman killed his wife and mother, and left a note saying he did not know why he was going to do what he was going to do. He asked that after he was stopped that scientists examine his brain, and stop anyone else from doing what he was about to. Its a little strange to think some people can be crazy enough to commit an act like that, and still recognize that they are doing wrong.

206. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

203: “But I’m not going to live in fear and paranoia. And that’s why I’m going to see TDKR tonight, unarmed and unafraid.”

Well that’s exactly how I saw yesterday. And I got my money’s worth. TDKR is a frakkin MASTERpiece.

207. Vultan - July 22, 2012

#204

Excellent. I’m all for people being able to defend their homes from intruders. That’s why I have my pistol. But notice none of those cases required an assault rifle.

208. Vultan - July 22, 2012

By the way, it’s not just guns that are apart of the problem here. The stigma associated with mental health problems often plays a role in these tragedies.

209. Vultan - July 22, 2012

#206

Glad to hear it. I’ve been looking forward to this flick for a very long time.

210. Daoud - July 22, 2012

@Bob. My apologies. I confirm you’re absolutely correct that it’s pretty clear that Ted’s freshman psych class was pulled into MKUltra type testing by Professor Murray. I hadn’t known about that connection, only had read that Ted had self-educated himself after he quit Berkley.
.
Damned interesting to know that author Ken Kesey underwent MKUltra tests when at Stanford.
.
Bob, I think you’re on to something. Could there possibly be some not-quite-IRB-approved testing done in an undergraduate neuroscience program at Cal-Riverside?

211. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

207. Vultan – July 22, 2012

Assault is a verb. A knife is an assault weapon if you are using it to assault someone. And an AR-15 used for home defense is a defense weapon, not an assault weapon. Surely you won’t contend that some people do have such weapons for that purpose too. The guy also used Glock .40 cal pistols, which I am sure have high capacity magazines available, and those too shoot as fast as you pull the trigger, but they aren’t called “assault weapons.”

You may be able to make a case against “assault weapons,” because of higher capacity magazines and fire rates, but their absence won’t stop mass murdering spree killers.

What did the Dunblane shooter use? Four handguns.

212. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

Hi, dmduncan,

If you will re-read my postings, I did not call for the elimination of the Second Amendment, but rather for its reasonable interpretation. I think you will find that our positions really do not differ very much.

However, I do not consider the “slipperly slope fallacy” to be a problem here, as I am not suggesting that a radical solution be based on the avoidance of the worst of all possible scenarios. The applicable mode of argument here would be reductio ad absurdum.

I enjoy your comments and am glad we were able to interact on this issue.

213. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

Anyone know if James Cameron is in anyway related to Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron?

They both have similar features, which makes me wonder if those are strong family traits. Look at their photos next to each other. I wonder if Dr. Cameron was an uncle?

214. Daoud - July 22, 2012

@185 Taranaich… my point exactly.. Cumbria happened in spite of the legislation after Dunblane and Hungerford. And could have Derrick Bird’s twin brother David defended himself with a gun when his brother confronted him and started the shootings? No, not legally.

@194 Shanahan… Epic fail. I never said any such thing about gun ownership. I didn’t say everyone and their mother should own a gun. I do point out to you that the Swiss require each household to have a gun for defense. As Vultan notes at 207, happens to also be my point of view. A single-action rifle and/or handgun for the defense of one’s home is reasonable under the U.S. Constitution. Having a effking home arsenal with 6000 rounds, and automatic weapons that can fire 60 rounds a minute…. that is *not* reasonable. I had my grandfather’s Sturm-Ruger for some years, but traded it when my son was young and heard of its existence. Sometimes it’s safer not to have a gun in the house. I have cameras and a security system in my house in place however, and an aluminum baseball bat. That won’t be much if someone tried a home invasion, but cellphones that call 911 is decent.
.
A common saying is this: “when the gun is outlawed, only outlaws will have a gun”.

215. Vultan - July 22, 2012

#211

Any way you look at it, the AR-15 was designed first and foremost with military purposes in mind, not civilian home defense—something a handgun or shotgun can easily do. No, you’re not going to completely stop these killing sprees by limiting the availability of assault weapons and high capacity magazines, but we should TRY as much within reason to limit the possibility of them happening, both in terms of weapons and mental health issues.

Look, we have a system where a man was legally able to purchase an assault rifle in a store and thousands of rounds of ammunition through the mail. Might the door be swinging a little too freely? Yes, I think so.

216. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

212. Hat Rick – July 22, 2012

Hi, dmduncan,

If you will re-read my postings, I did not call for the elimination of the Second Amendment, but rather for its reasonable interpretation.

***

I know you are not anti-Second Amendment. Since you identified yourself as a gun owner I didn’t think you were. Just addressing the general sentiment which seems to prevail when things like this happen.

217. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

I haven’t see any reports of how this unemployed Phd candidate purchased all this gear. Did he charge it all up on credit cards?

If he did, then that’s a possible means of flagging these characters in the future. Using lots of credit to buy lots of armament in a short period of time can be the red flag of a disturbed person.

If he didn’t, then I am even MORE curious about how he funded this action.

218. AJ - July 22, 2012

2nd Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Where is the well regulated militia?

219. Vultan - July 22, 2012

#217

I agree. They already monitor credit cards for unusual purchases and the like. And pharmacies in some states monitor large purchases of drugs used to make meth and those sort of things. Don’t see why they couldn’t do the same for guns and ammo.

220. Jim, London - July 22, 2012

@176 There are shootings every day in the London Metropolitan Police area – they just arent reported by the media.

Gun controls in the UK are not a hinderance to any criminal who wants to get their hands on a firearm.

221. Azrael - July 22, 2012

@215. The AR-15 is an exclusively semi-automatic weapon only marketed to civillians. It is not a military weapon, and while it is true that a simple modification of the firing pin and a few other tweaks will make it fully automatic, the weapon itself is not made for military use. The AR-15 has been sold on the civilian market since 1963, largely without impact on the gang warfare in the US, except on the part of police officers armed with them. Ownership of an AR-15 is legal (with various requirements) in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Finland, Sweden, The United Kingdom, and the United States.

Please note that I am saying nothing whatsoever about my views, political arguments, or anything else of the kind, simply noting facts.

222. Daoud - July 22, 2012

@218 AJ, the word ‘regulated’ then meant ‘well-trained, regular, knowledgeable’…. not ‘permitted’ or ‘controlled’ in the sense ‘regulation’ takes today. Furthermore, the well-regulated militia of each state are called “the National Guard” and they exist and are composed of citizens of the states.

223. Ahmed - July 22, 2012

@ 220. Jim, London – July 22, 2012

“@176 There are shootings every day in the London Metropolitan Police area – they just arent reported by the media.”

I find that is hard to believe, why would the media not report about these “shootings” as you say ?

I guess from reading lot of comments here, that Americans care too much about keeping their own bloody guns than actually making the society safe from nuts by having more strict gun laws.

224. Azrael - July 22, 2012

@223. And I would guess that you did not read the list of nations where guns just like the one this nutjob used are legal for civilians to own, which I gave in post 221. As far as the UK goes, the American Media covers stuff up all the time, so I have no problem believing the same of any other countries media, especially since the owners of media outlets in these nations tend to be the same (Rupert Murdoch anyone?).

225. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

Well if America did what the Swiss did and kept a citizen militia instead of huge standing armies, this country would be less capable of military adventurism and of killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. We would also be less likely to receive blowback.

If people want to have a discussion about which way America should go in the future, perhaps instead of killing the Second Amendment, it should be towards growing more in line with it, more like the Swiss, and away from the Military-Industrial Complex which exists to kill and find new ways of killing whoever stands in its way. Including citizens.

226. Ahmed - July 22, 2012

@ 224. Azrael – July 22, 2012

Why the media would cover up mass shootings, after all, the coverage of such events are good for their ratings, right ?

227. Jack - July 22, 2012

And there would be fewer armed home invasions etc. if it was harder to get arms. Would it also make it easier to charge suspects with arms, or at least take those arms away, say before somebody is killed. And, would it make it easier to charge members of organized crime, for example? Just asking.

But, yeah, at this point, with almost as many guns as people, would it be closing the barn door years after the horse had left the stable.

Nobody’s saying that there’s no gun crime in the UK or Canada — but there’s a lot less of it.

And the things is, the bad guys are citizens too — they have guns because they have the right to have them, like everybody else.

And you’reright that the slippery slope argument doesn’t work as far as — “it will lead to nuclear missles” — but t will certainly lead (and has led) to more and more guns owned by everybody… and, examples of people killing intruders aside (sure, they get publicized how often does ths really happen, compared to how often a gun in the home gets used against the homeowner, or accidentally goes off and kills someone?, were teh homeowners really at risk of death pr injury?), it hasn’t made anyone safer. Maybe they feel safer wit ha gun in the house when you know everybody else has one.

Part of the problem is that this cannot be discussed without outrage and accusations of “they’re trying to take our guns.” Heck, that charge gets leveled against Obama all the time and he’s been the most gun-friendly president in living memory. I wish we could really look deep at the numbers — do guns really keep people safe? Are gun owners more likely to get shot? Do handguns do anything to deter or prevent crime? Why are criminal background checks and a short holding period before owning a gun bad? Why do we need handguns? Or shotguns? Couldn’t a .22 (still dangerous) keep that theoretical home intruder at bay?

Because, again — there is no us and them — if we can own handguns then all of us can, even those of us who want to kill or rob somebody or do bad stuff with them. Sure, after we do taht bad stuff, maybe we’re not supposed to own guns anymore… but taht really didn’t help in teh first place.

Sure, good guys need handguns to defend their families from bad guys, goes popular wisdom — but how often does that really happen, and how often do things instead go horribly wrong? I don’t know.

I was a crime reporter in Toronto for years. There were a lot of shootings — usually a few a week — but they were almost always between people who knew each other in one part of the city and yeah, we generally only reported injuries and fatalities. And any charges laid. Because, unfortunately,’neighbours report hearing shots but police find no evidence of gunfire ‘ wasn’t big news (it would have been in a small town, maybe) . We’d give them a little blurb — “police responded to reports of gunshots” but that was it. I don’t remember a single case of a home invasion there while I was working, or of a victim injured in a robbery at gunpoint — but there were plenty of stories ( a few a year) about hot-headed young guys in gangs opening fire at each other in a public space. There were other murders of innocents, but not with guns. And it was a tough problem to talk about because most of it was young black men (often originally from Jamaica) shooting each other.

There was no conspiracy. But deaths became big stories — and some gang guy stabbed in the shoulder or shot in the foot didn’t — because it happened relatively often and therefore wasn’t big news. It was reported. But, unless it was a murder or a life threatening injury it wouldn’t be on the front page. A civilian being shot or stabbed, period — would be front page news, though.

Most of the guns had come from the states.

Teh thing about guns is — yeah knives and baseball bats and lead pipes and piano wire can kill people — but it’s a lot easier to kill with a gun, and it’s a lot harder to escape getting shot.

Again, wouldn’t a .22 (or, fine, a higher calibre hunting rifle) be enough to scare away animals and, okay, intruders? If it’s solely a deterrent?

Why handguns? Why shotguns?

228. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

@227: Canada has over 33 million people The UK over 63 million.

America has over 300 million! Everything is going to be worse here. There’s a lot more people and yes, a lot more crackpots here.

And if a Greece-like failure ever comes to America, I think the crime wave will be enormous.

229. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

227: “Why do we need handguns? Or shotguns? Couldn’t a .22 (still dangerous) keep that theoretical home intruder at bay?”

Think of a shotgun as a flashlight and a pistol or rifle as a laser pointer. If you are scared in the dark with an intruder approaching you don’t need to be as accurate with a shotgun. For that reason shotguns make great home defense weapons. If an intruder isn’t frightened off by the mere sound of the gun cocking, and he’s approaching you seeing the gun in your hand, he’s not acting rationally and you have to either shoot or surrender and take what comes.

You always have to make a choice what to do. A gun just gives you more options — in case the Jesus in you doesn’t take over and accept the crucifixion.

And it’s one thing if it’s just protecting yourself. Maybe you’ll take your chances being shot. But what if you have a wife and/or daughter and the prospect is their rape and murder in front of your eyes?

Some scenarios are worse than just taking a bullet and losing some property to a thief.

230. Hat Rick - July 22, 2012

Jack, as you know, it is much less common for any private individual in Canada to own guns than in any state in the Union. It is also probably significantly more difficult. I haven’t tried purchasing a handgun in Canada. My firearms are the United States.

It IS possible to own a gun in Ontario, from what I gather, but one must pass a course and obtain one or more licenses, including a license to transport the gun from one place or another. Ammunition must be kept separately from a handgun and the weapon itself cannot be kept loaded but must be kept in locked condition. However, DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in this and no one should rely on this posting for information as to whether it is possible to own a handgun in Ontario.

As you may also know, the recent shootings in Scarborough and other places in Toronto were possible regardless of the gun control laws in effect in this province.

The question is whether the risks associated with not being armed in the United States are worth banning the possession of handguns on the part of the public. I don’t feel that they are. I feel that I have every right to be armed, to defend myself and my family with every means available, including by means of a handgun, if any of us are confronted (Heaven forfend) with an armed intruder.

I believe that self-defense is an essential element of personal safety which is, itself, inseparable from the freedom one has.

Where does one draw the line? That’s an interesting question. In theory, there is no reason that a state could not decide that everyone should have the right to carry weapons in public, so long as one is bound to use it lawfully. I haven’t decided whether I support Open Carry Laws. I certainly don’t necessarily oppose them. But one should be required to pass stringent background checks before being allowed to carry firearms in public. And I do draw the line on assault weapons, which are not reasonably necessary for self-defense (let alone hunting).

The bottom line is that the United States is different from any other country by reason of its history with respect to firearms. Like it or not, this is simply reality. The tradition of revolution is too deeply ingrained; the respect for the right of self-defense is too strong; the need to feel safe from predators is too great, for any widespread gun ban to be tolerable, in my view.

Finally, the idea that the Second Amendment exists to protect against tyrannical government remains ridiculous, as I see it. Laws should not be interpreted so as to permit absurd results, and the Second Amendment therefore should be seen as the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense (or recreational hunting, much as I oppose it), not to protect the ability to overthrow a tyrannical government.

231. John from Cincinnati - July 22, 2012

Hmm. The movie was a Batman movie yet somehow Trekkies are blamed? Exasperating!

232. Azrael - July 22, 2012

@226. If you actually think any segment of the media actually tells 100 percent of the truth at any time, then I feel very sorry for you.

233. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

#206.

Yeah, I went to see “The Dark Knight Rises” on Friday. I loved it, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first two. But a great way to end the trilogy, nonetheless. Bane was badass, and I actually thought he would wipe Gotham City right off the map. I didn’t think, while watching both “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”, that either Ra’s Al Ghul nor the Joker would actually be able to destroy the city. But Bane was different. And the scary thing was, despite his montrous size and get-up, he felt real, and damn threatening. The scary thing is, Bane WAS sane. He was no irrational madman. That is what made him work so well as a nemesis. Tom Hardy was awesome.

234. Daoud - July 22, 2012

So, at long last, we can forgive Tom Hardy for Shinzon, eh Red?

235. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

Ra’s al Ghul was a fanatic. The Joker was an anarchist lunatic. But Bane was a man with a plan.

236. Keachick - July 22, 2012

The thing is about guns – they have only one function – to scare and/or intimidate and once used as they were intentionally made to do, ie to maim and/or kill.

On the other hand, bats (cricket/basball… bats) have other functions. Indeed, their primary function is to hit a BALL in a sports game, not a person. The fact that you can hit a person with a bat and cause (serious) injury, even death, is a secondary function and a very unfortunate one.

The same goes for knives – their main function is culinary. We cut our food with one kind of knife, we cut our steak with another kind of knife – steak knife. There are butcher’s knives to cut meat, there are knives to cut up vegetables, knives to cut rope, thread etc. Another form of knife is an axe, which can be used to chop down trees and cut wood. All these functions do not maim and/or kill anyone and are used by the vast majority of people in their various capacities with no intention of doing any harm to anyone.

Even a bomb (explosive device) can have other uses like being used in the controlled demolition of a building (presumably there is no one inside that building) or in mining. There again, no living creature (person or otherwise) is the intended target.

Not so with a gun, any kind of gun.

Certainly guns have now been used in sport like target shooting and skeet shooting. The targets are not living creatures. However, target practice and skeet shooting can still be about honing the gunman’s skills for the time when he will in fact use the gun to maim/kill another living creature. The operative words for any GUN are MAIM/INJURE (causing the victim suffering and pain) and KILL.

Hence the controversy about guns, their control etc. Even a handgun, with the usual six(?) bullets, can injure/kill more people in a much shorter space of time than anyone wielding a knife, bat, bow and arrow, rope, whip, chain… is able to do.

No doubt many of you will say, “Yeah, tell us something we don’t know”, however I do think it is important to recognise and state the major difference between what a gun is made to do and what other items, like knives and bats, are made to do, even when these other items are sometimes used as weapons causing injury and death. The fact is that just about anything could be turned into a weapon – heel of a woman’s shoe, scissors, piece of glass, bottle, you name it, but their scope and power is limited compared to any gun, even the smallest.

This is the whole problem with the arms industry. If only a small portion of many of the weapons now in the hands of a legitimate, well run and disciplined military organization, which I have to believe is what most of the US Military is, were used as they were intentionally made to function, then most of this planet, if not all, as we know it, would cease to exist. Trillions of dollars are used to fund the productions of products that can and should never be used. I don’t think that there has been any other manufacturer in existence who produced items (at such a huge financial… cost) which are not intended to be actually used by their owners for which they were made. The sheer waste and criminal stupidity of such a situation surely leaves one speechless… this is real mindf*ck stuff!

237. Jim, London - July 22, 2012

@ 223 The reason the media dont report it is because A) there will always be something deemed more news worthy and B) they wait for a shocking story (Raoul Moat as an example) which will sell loads of papers/draw in viewers etc.

The Mets firearms unit ‘Trojan’ deals with in excess of 1200 firearms incidents in London per year… 365 days in a year and you can see how it easily equates to at least one incident per day where shots have been fired by suspects.

238. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

233. Red Dead Ryan – July 22, 2012

The first two Batman movies fell apart for me. But there was NO weak spot in TDKR. It was just…riveting. Beginning to end. An AMAZING film. I was floored. And such a GREAT ending. The type I love.

239. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

Tom Hardy WAS fantastic. That man should be in Star Trek again. No doubt about it.

240. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

#238.

Yeah, I agree about the ending. The arc that began in “Batman Begins” is now complete, but at the same time, leaves the door open for the next director, and the next actor to play Batman.

241. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

#239.

He might not want to play another “Star Trek” nemesis”, but maybe a Starfleet captain instead.

242. dmduncan - July 22, 2012

240. Red Dead Ryan – July 22, 2012

I wish they wouldn’t, though. I wish they would leave Nolan’s contribution alone and don’t try to expand on it without him.

Reboot it in a few years with someone else directing.

And Anne Hathaway! Uh! Not a fan of hers, but her Catwoman? MY type of girl! Loved her in that role!

243. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2012

#242.

Yeah, Anne Hathaway was great as Catwoman. Good chemistry between her and Christian Bale, and between Batman and Catwoman.

I hear that Christopher Nolan might continue on as producer, but won’t be writing or directing any more Batman flicks. I think WB wants to keep the franchise moving forward for while longer. I can’t see anybody trying to top the origin story of “Batman Begins”.

The next director will probably go for a bit more of the fantasy route, at least in regards to the villain. Villains like Mr. Freeze, Man-Bat, the Penguin, the Riddler, etc.

I can see Alfred Molina as the Penguin, and Mark Strong as Mr. Freeze.

244. Ahmed - July 22, 2012

@ 238. dmduncan – July 22, 2012

“The first two Batman movies fell apart for me. But there was NO weak spot in TDKR. It was just…riveting. Beginning to end. An AMAZING film. I was floored. And such a GREAT ending. The type I love.”

Great to hear that, now I’m more excited to see the movie.

@ 232. Azrael – July 22, 2012

“@226. If you actually think any segment of the media actually tells 100 percent of the truth at any time, then I feel very sorry for you”

No, I don’t believe that the media ever tell the complete story, on the contrary. I think that the media is driven by the ratings and the special interests of the major corporations that own these media outlets.

Check out “Manufacturing Consent” a documentary about the media:

“The film presents and illustrates Chomsky’s and Herman’s thesis that corporate media, as profit-driven institutions, tend to serve and further the agendas of the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent:_Noam_Chomsky_and_the_Media

Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AnB8MuQ6DU

245. Keachick - July 22, 2012

#230 – “That’s an interesting question. In theory, there is no reason that a state could not decide that everyone should have the right to carry weapons in public, so long as one is bound to use it lawfully. I haven’t decided whether I support Open Carry Laws. I certainly don’t necessarily oppose them.”

For the love of all that is good – It is bad enough that, in the US, law enforcement officers are allowed (and most clearly feel the need) to openly carry firearms in public, but everyone else as well? Really? Even if all the checks are made and person is found to be OK, seriously why would anyone want to be seen carrying a gun on them? Frankly, the first word that came to me, upon reading this post, is BULLY.

Clearly, the US is not about attracting overseas tourists to their Land of the Free, otherwise such a law would not even be proposed. For me, as a law abiding tourist, it was bad enough to see armed airport security guards (and especially after the events of 9/11, is more understandable), but in a public place, to see virtually “every man and his dog” carrying a sidearm, that is just so gross and with mothers with their infants and children about?! How can you guys even sanction even the thought, let alone the reality? How can you live like that?

I just want to weep, that this is what it has come to for some people in the US. No, we are not perfect here. NZ unfortunately has its crazies as well (the Aramoana massacre in the 90s, for instance), but this (post #230), NO, NO, NO!!!

246. Keachick - July 22, 2012

I recall saying a while back that Tom Hardy should be in Star Trek again, obviously not playing Shinzon and that was after seeing him in This Means War playing alongside co-star Chris Pine.

Those two actors were great together in This Means War – good chemistry. Tom Hardy playing a captain of another ship working with Kirk to deal with an adversary or other difficulty could work…

@Bob Orci – Even though, I have not yet seen this upcoming sequel, I am looking forward to a third film in this Star Trek film series. No time like the present to think about a possible storyline that might include the appearance of Tom Hardy. Besides, after hearing the Cumberbatch voice, hopefully maintaining its essential Britishness, in the sequel, it is possible that some of us may need an English accent fix, and Tom Hardy’s lovely accent will probably do very nicely. I am assuming that you are now open for suggestions…

247. Keachick - July 22, 2012

To clarify the use of the word “bully” in my post above.

I did not mean to infer that the poster him/herself was a bully. I realize that the poster was referring to legislation being proposed, if I had read your post correctly in this respect. It is just that I see the open carrying of guns as akin to a way a person might intimidate or bully. It is a feeling or impression I have when I consider the idea of people walking around with sidearms, concealed or otherwise. In NZ, if you are found carrying a handgun, you can be prosecuted for carrying a concealed weapon. This law also applies to knives.

It is similar to the offence caused here a few years ago when an Indian immigrant couple innocently had the sign of what looked like a Nazi swatika painted on their front windows. People were very upset and the couple had to remove the sign. Of course, this was just a symbol. It was nothing akin to a weapon, presumably with ammunition (or bullets being carried on another part of the person) which can LITERALLY be used in an offensive and harmful manner.

(Interestingly, the backstory to the Indian couple showing the swastika was because they were Hindus and within that religion the symbol is a very ancient powerful symbol of peace and unity. Hitler had misappropriated the ancient Aryan symbol, using only one of the two symbols which went together and twisted the original meaning. This very traditional old Indian couple, apparently, had not been aware of what this piece of human trash known as Adolf Hitler, had done to their precious religious symbol and were horrified to learn. I found it amazing that they were not aware of the horrors that had been endured by millions of people in Europe, but there you go. Strange but true.)

248. Hugh Hoyland - July 22, 2012

No offense to any of our friends in other lands, but I think they want to comment on American laws and society with any sort of legitamacy they should first study the founding of the United States in general and the American revolution in particular.

The US Constitution is an amazing document. It was writen in an attempt to impede, what seems to be, the usual course of civilization (War, Oppression, Tyranny ect.) which has been the lot of man through most of history with just a few periods of freedom and peace.

249. Ahmed - July 23, 2012

@ 248. Hugh Hoyland – July 22, 2012

“The US Constitution is an amazing document. It was writen in an attempt to impede, what seems to be, the usual course of civilization (War, Oppression, Tyranny ect.) which has been the lot of man through most of history with just a few periods of freedom and peace.”

But how you explain that the United States was involved in so many wars from 1774 to this day ?

List of wars involving the United States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

250. Jim Nightshade - July 23, 2012

Harry Ballz sir I agree with ya about the new superman trailer….Supes just isnt good as a darker figure…He is the light….the hero to admire the prime colors in his suit….his selfless heroic acts….Donner and Reeves got it right best…..he is america…the ultimate Alien adopting america as his home….I am sure it will make a ton of money cuz the guy that made the batman movies is producing it….but so far as I can tell from that little trailer now on the internet…nope thats not my superman…never was never will be..I grew up watching george reeves superman in glorious black an dwhit on the JP PATCHES show here in the pac nw….He was a clown and had the longest running locally produced kids show in america…he still made appearances for decades has a statue in seattle and only retired last year…he died sunday at 84 and he introduced us young kids to superman….and warner bros cartoons and he was even SUPERCLOWN on his show haha….sigh….feeling old Harry…Feelin old sigh….

251. Vultan - July 23, 2012

#250

Yeah, I agree with you and Harry.

I wanted to ask the filmmakers: “Why so serious?” Take away the supersonic shot at the end and the rest all looks like a commercial for LL Bean or some other clothing line. Nice photography. Very pretty… and somber. But not my Superman.

252. VulcanFilmCritic - July 23, 2012

Kind of late to be piling on, but here’s my two cents:

I once got to ask director Nicholas Meyer a question about the news media, and he said that he thought the media were all LAZY and STUPID.
And I guess the culture of LAZY/STUPID must have infected this former FBI profiler. Like a good TV talking head pundit, It seems he’s just speculating, blowing it out of his [*bleep*] so to speak.

From what I’ve heard, preliminary investigation on the suspect’s apartment fails to support this theory that he’s a comics fan at all. His comment about him being the Joker when caught by the police may have been just a lame retort. The Joker does after all have green, not red hair.

I don’t think we will ever know what turned a quiet science geek into a mass murderer. The question is, why are there so many of them? We blame it on: the lack of gun control, violent movies and video games, easy access to chemicals and explosives on the internet, etc, but a friend pointed out that there was a similar time, quite recently. Between the closing of the American frontier and the beginning industrialization was a rather strange time. The book “Wisconsin Death Trip” shows graphically in pictures what it was like. There were unexplained murders, gangs of people killing innocents, depravity and mental illness.

Are we in a time that is so different? Now I’m not justifying killing of any sort, least of all the cruelest acts a human being can do to another but It seems the world has changed too fast for some of us to adjust, as may have been the case at the end of the 19th Century. These killers all seem to be alienated from society, and in a downward spiral. The only thing unusual about this particular murderer is how rapid his descent has been, from honor student to dropout in a matter of months.

Perhaps it’s just a case of a violent psychotic break, or maybe he took some weird drug like “bath salts” hoping to cure his demons.
And frankly I don’t care. If I did believe in a deity, I would hope that he burns in hell for what he did. In all likelyhood he will find his own personal hell here in Earth in what remains of his wasted life.

As for an apology to Star Trek fans for the inappropriate use of the word “trekkie” I wouldn’t hold my breath.

253. Hat Rick - July 23, 2012

Hi, Keachick,

As I said, I haven’t made up my mind about the Open Carry Laws. In certain places in the United States, from what I’ve read and seen, it is already the case that one can see private citizens walking around with holstered guns, although I have not been an environment where this is usually the case. I’ve never felt less safe because I know that someone who is not a law enforcement officer is able to openly carry a firearm.

If you go to Nevada and patronize a Walmart, there will be a sign on the glass next to the entrance banning firearms within the store itself.

Nevertheless, it seems it would be unusual to see anyone in an urban area there exercising the open carry option.

I’m not familiar with whether Nevada cities and counties, for example, can limit the right to openly carry a firearm. And, of course, the usual DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on firearms law and urge you (or any other reader) NOT to rely on this posting for any such information.

For more information, see, for example:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/apr/07/nevadans-are-free-don-their-arms-open/

254. Hat Rick - July 23, 2012

^^ More information, for what it’s worth, is available at :

http://www.nsrpa.us/legal/nevlocal.html

The above is presented for the sake of interest only and I do NOT endorse the accuracy of the information contained within and urge anyone to do their own research as to the applicable laws themselves.

However, the webpage I just cited seems to indicate that localities within Nevada are NOT permitted to pass more restrictive laws than are permitted by the Nevada Constitution, unless they were already in place before a certain date. (“Nevada has a “Statewide Pre-emption” law, so counties and localities cannot pass gun laws that are more stringent than the state law. The NSRPA had a lot to do with getting this law passed in Nevada. Clark County (Las Vegas area) had some laws which pre-date the pre-emption (they were “grandfathered”) and are still in place.” Source: Op. cit.)

Article I, Section 11 of the Nevada Constitution states as follows:

“Sec. 11.  Right to keep and bear arms; civil power supreme.

1.  Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes. ”

See: http://leg.state.nv.us/Const/NVConst.html#Art1Sec11

However, I would say that in my experiences in places like Las Vegas, it is highly unusual to see any private citizen carry around a firearm. I don’t recall seeing it myself.

Further information (no endorsement is implied):

http://www.gonv.org/index.htm

255. Holger - July 23, 2012

I’m just wondering. Many here have felt that discussing an apology by Mr. Van Zandt is totally inappropiate in the light of the COL tragedy. Fair enough. But using it as an opportunity to do the same old, partisan, firearms control debate is appropriate? I.e. if Trekkies think an apology would be nice, they are nerdy weirdos living in their fictional parallel reality, but if opponents and proponents of the right to bear arms bring up all of their well-known arguments on this occasion, then that’s OK? As I said, just wondering …

256. Hat Rick - July 23, 2012

The difference, Holger, may be that there is a plethora of concurrent discussions in the public realm about the issue of gun control and, more importantly, there are reasons to believe that discussions of this issue might result in a further understanding of the nature of American society and the proper role of firearms within it. CNN’s Piers Morgan brought this issue up in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and, while he was criticized for it because some considered this discussion to be too early, there is no question of its newsworthiness. This is especially so because most people, when confronted with this violence, immediately ask what could be done about this and whether what we did in the past was wrong. These questions are a natural consequence of the event itself.

A discussion of whether fans of a fictional universe were defamed by a comment made by a news analyst in passing, on the other hand, is strictly ancillary to such questions. One can validly argue that such discussion trivializes the causative event — the deaths of so many people at the hands of such a violent perpetrator.

I’m not one of these who think that all discussions about an event must defer to the sensitivities of the victims or their families, if such discussions are (i.) based on newsworthy events, and (ii.) respectful, implicitly or not, of the fact of the consequences of the violence itself. A discussion on gun violence seeking to understand the consequences of such violence inherently respect those consequences if they are reasonable opinions derived from an understanding of the underlying facts and relationships to relevant causally related factors, both subsequent and antecedent.

Of course, in this I presume to speak for no one. I speak only for myself, as a matter of my own opinion, for what it’s worth.

257. Patriot Gamer - July 23, 2012

Ahmed —

What about all the wars the Muslim world has been involved in? Care to show us THAT list? I’m sure it goes a LOT further back and on top of that, the damned Muslims never LEAVE the places they wage war and conquest on.

I find that the nations and people who bitch about the US role/interference in the world are the ones who harbor aspirations and designs of conquest themselves and have a not-so-rosey history themselves.

At least we can say the US is the one coming to the aid of countries whenever there is a disaster or crisis? When have we seen a caliphate do that? Or a Communist nation? Hmmm…?

Buehler? Buehler? Buehler?

No, the US is not perfect but it’s track record is a hell of a lot better than any bloody Islamic regimes…or a communist one!!

Put that in your hookah pipe and smoke it!!

258. boborci - July 23, 2012

plot thickens. Judge seals case!

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/07/20/web-news-batman-shooter-sealed/

259. Samuel T. Cogley - July 23, 2012

@Patriot Gamer: way to miss the point of what Ahmed was saying and to act butthurt-letting Faux Noise mess you up like this does nothing for you. Please try and read what he’s been saying before you fly off of the handle.

260. Patriot Gamer - July 23, 2012

I know what he was saying and what the f*** does Fox News have to do with MY point? Absolutely nothing!!! Sorry you don’t like what I had to say, but thems the facts.

261. Anthony Pascale - July 23, 2012

Patriot gamer and Red Dead Ryan

Warning for anti-religoius trolling

As to those who questioned why I put up this article, yes I realize that it seems narrowly focused to Trekkies in a time of tragedy, but I guess I always default to defending Star Trek fans and when I heard what this guy said I was incensed. For too long Trek fans have been smeared in the media and the notion that “Trekkie” was some kind of generic to be equated with a crazed fan of any type was uncalled for.

Of course other outlets also called out Van Zandt included CNN Geek Blog, Gawker and an editorial on USA Today amongst others so I am not alone is seeing that this kind of scapegoating is wrong.

I am sad to see some above engage in other kinds of scapegoating as well.

If people cant find a way to be civil and not try and get partisan and divisive, I will just close this thread

262. Uberbot - July 23, 2012

#250, 251 –

Way to rush to judgement on Man of Steel!! It’s only a TEASER!!! You haven’t really SEEN anything yet!! Damn!!

You can’t make a judgement on a film based on a teaser!! At least wait til the official long teailer is out!!

263. Uberbot - July 23, 2012

#200 — excellent post, Rick!!! I agree!!

264. Horatio - July 23, 2012

At least with politicians you expect them to be rotten. It comes with the territory. Always beware of anyone seeking power.

Its the so-called news media, reporters and analysts and pundits, who have betrayed the public trust. Brian Ross at ABC made a unfounded sweeping generalization about this tragedy and so, unfortunately, has Van Zandt.

And they don’t care. Nobody ever seems to hold these so called newspeople accountable.

265. Ahmed - July 23, 2012

@257. Patriot Gamer – July 23, 2012

Just to be clear, I was responding to post #248. Hugh Hoyland regarding the idea that the US Constitution somehow was enough to prevent the United States from going through, as he put it, “usual course of civilization (War, Oppression, Tyranny ect.) “.

I disagreed with that assessment, after all humans were waging wars against each other since the beginning of time, from Africa & Asia to Europe and the Americas.

And here are lists of wars in our little planet

Lists of wars
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_wars

The new Man of Steel teaser was a bit underwhelming. Somehow it just didn’t give me the impression that I was watching a Superman teaser.

266. Jim Nightshade - July 23, 2012

Yup vultan…and that supersonic computer flying effect was already done by iron man movies ago…not impressed…reminds me of the dumb halo ring around the deathstar when it blows up that lucas added to star wars…yuk…i hope superman will be more fun than this trailer suggests

267. Harry Ballz - July 23, 2012

258. boborci “plot thickens”

Bob, a shooting range owner is now claiming he refused membership to James Holmes weeks before the killings because of a “creepy voicemail”.

Doesn’t this remind you of the reports about a fake Oswald at a shooting range prior to the JFK assassination?

In both cases other parties are trying to establish a pattern of intent.

268. boborci - July 23, 2012

267

si

269. Harry Ballz - July 23, 2012

250. Jim Nightshade ‘sigh…..feeling old Harry”

Ah, Jim, “let me show you something that’ll make you feel young, like when the world was new”

Boy, TWOK really answers ALL of life’s little foibles, doesn’t it? :>)

270. Uberbot - July 23, 2012

#265 — I agree it didn’t show much but I dont think we have enough visual and auditory data to really form an opinion about the film yet. We just don’t know — based on the teaser. But that’s what a teaser is supposed to do — tease.

I’m sure the actual trailer will show us more…

271. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

249. Ahmed – July 23, 2012

But how you explain that the United States was involved in so many wars from 1774 to this day ?

***

Good question, and I usually give it a comical but serious answer:

Someday we are actually going TRY the Constitution and discover that it works!

From the very beginning we have had a hard time doing what we say. White men were created equal — black men, apparently not. Declare a war? Why bother?

And when people like me insist on doing what IT says, others defend the status quo “necessity” of killing foreigners and making the world safe for American corporate interests.

And right now we are in a media driven frenzy to disregard the Constitution even more.

People have been finding ways of being less honorable than the document since it’s authorship. Which is no surprise. It’s a document, made of paper and ink. If the ideas which it represents do not live within the hearts and minds of the people responsible for practicing them, it cannot survive.

Americans are a schizophrenic bunch who praise the glory of the Constitution, and then lock it in the dungeon when it threatens their ability to get something they think the country should have. People pretend to want the truth. Then they shout it down when it opens its mouth to speak.

America has issues.

I think what you can say about the US Constitution is that it may perhaps be a document written for the future, for a people better than those who conceived of it.

Sadly, I do not think we are that future people. And the document may not live long enough to to be found by them. It is surrounded by closet authoritarians.

272. Keachick - July 23, 2012

#257 – “I find that the nations and people who bitch about the US role/interference in the world are the ones who harbor aspirations and designs of conquest themselves and have a not-so-rosey history themselves.”

LOL I am no doubt one of those people you would see as bitching about the US’s role in the world. As anyone who knows me knows that I am from NZ and yes my country has been critical on occasions about some aspects of US foreign policy. However, as for the idea of NZ having aspirations of conquest, perhaps you might like to look at an atlas sometime.

Most New Zealanders, despite some disagreement, consider Americans to be friends and allies. However, speaking for myself, it does concern me here that the US does have such a large arsenal of very dangerous weapons and, among other concerns is, that accidents can and do happen. It is my fear and concern, not only for our safety, but the safety of the world, which includes the USA, which prompts my need to speak out.

That is not to say that I don’t have some really deep concerns about China, because I do. China has, on at least two occasions, openly bullied our government while being guests on our soil. Lord only knows what is going on behind the scenes. They also have massive armed forces and are nuclear capable and their track record on human rights issues is not exactly exemplary.

However, sadly, the terrible events, which this thread is about, did not take place in China (would we necessarily even be able to learn about such?), they took place in the US…

Perhaps this could be the “mother hen” in me talking. What can I say? I guess, once a mum, always a mum.

273. NCM - July 23, 2012

@ 256: Well said, Hat Rick.

I must have dodged most of the antagonistic comments, b/c I get the sense of some good discussion on this thread–Thanks for allowing it, Anthony.

I support the right to ‘bear arms,’ but also the notion of ‘all things in moderation.’ When it comes to guns in the U.S., where’s the moderation?

Dmduncan, you list the cases of three women (if that anecdotal evidence had any weight, it might suggest we’d be best off only arming women). I think it’s clear that women in the U.S. are far more likely to have a gun in their home turned against them than against an intruder. The same is true for American kids.

The numbers and heterogeneity of this country do somewhat limit the usefulness of comparison to UK and Canada, but it’s still noteworthy to compare gun deaths in UK or Canadian cities to those in like-size U.S. cities. Also, both India and China have us well out-numbered and while we can’t trust their reporting any better than our own, perhaps, I think it likely they have far fewer gun fatalities.

274. Azrael - July 23, 2012

@273. Given the fact that the Chinese government openly denied the existence of the Tiananmen Square protestors seen on worldwide tv, and the brutal massacre of said protestors by government troops, also seen on worldwide tv, in 1989, I doubt they have fewer deaths by any form of violence than the US. A close ally of China, North Korea, recently had a bloody purge of government officials who did not fall closely enough in line with the new regime, and China certainly did not object. Russia, or more properly corrupt Russian “President” Putin, continues to block attempts by other nations to try to stop the bloody massacres in Syria (mentioned by others above).

I would say the rest of the world is no better than the US, no matter what they think about it.

275. Vultan - July 23, 2012

#271

No more slavery. No more Jim Crow laws. Not to mention the skin color of the man in the White House…. (not a big fan of his, just saying….)

Anyway, I guess things can get better if you give it a century or two.
The future may be the next thing to happen.

276. NCM - July 23, 2012

@274: I recognized the lack of faith in what’s reported. To discuss topics entered into on this thread, provable equations won’t serve; we have to invoke intuition and educated guesses.

The acts of violence you mention are political. Would you speculate that homicide rates among China’s citizenry are similar to those in the U.S., or that China and India would endure no greater violence if their populations had unfettered access to firearms?

277. Keachick - July 23, 2012

I don’t know what the crime, especially murder, statistics are for either China or India. However, China does hand down some very harsh sentences and has no compunction about using the death penalty. I don’t know about India, but I suspect their way of dealing with crime is not dissimilar.

I somehow believe, that once an angry, aggrieved and/or psychotic person has easy access to a weapon like a gun, then it is more likely that they will use it…

278. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

273: “Dmduncan, you list the cases of three women (if that anecdotal evidence had any weight, it might suggest we’d be best off only arming women). I think it’s clear that women in the U.S. are far more likely to have a gun in their home turned against them than against an intruder. The same is true for American kids.”

It might suggest we’d be better off ONLY arming women if either those links or myself implied that ONLY women were attacked. Fortunately for me, I am very careful about where I place and omit my only-ies, and this one is your contribution.

The reason why 3 links with women appeared was because I was looking for a more recent story I remember of a woman who was being attacked in a trailer by an intruder. Her husband had recently died. She had a baby, and lived alone in an isolated area. She was calling police, but had to shoot the intruder before the police got there.

I didn’t find that story.

But I found several very similar ones on the first results page. Who knew identical scenarios had happened more than once?!?

There was no deeper motive than that, NCM, if that’s what you were implying.

Aside from that, I’ll bet real paper money that the women who prevented themselves from being raped and/or murdered by those intruders, using GUNS, would not be impressed by your conclusions, since you weren’t the one being intruded upon.

It’s wonderful to be able to recommend to others courage to and endurance through what dangers you haven’t a care about, but those women were apparently concerned enough to own guns, and their concern turned out to be well founded, since their weapons were, in fact, useful for the protection of their lives and well being.

So I applaud you, NCM, but not everyone is as lucky. Not everybody lives in a secure high rise or even neighborhood. And the police don’t always, or even ever, show up in time to save you from the sorts of horrors that human beings inflict on one another.

I also grew up in NYC. A city that has had strict gun laws for decades, and which averaged somewhere between 1500 and 2000 MURDERS per year during the time I lived there.

Some of those numbers were contributed by my own neighborhood. I was around 7 or 8 when my friends and I stumbled across the body of a naked murdered school teacher. Female. Her skin was blue. I thought it was a mannequin. It was not. That evening the news reported she had 2 kids. I was one of 3, and I knew how terrible her kids must feel, because I knew how terrible I would feel if somebody came to tell me my mom had been killed like that. My mom had made steak that night, and the news was on while the plate was in front of me, but the thought of eating flesh sickened me. I tried, but I couldn’t stomach it. All I could think about was how her kids felt, the color of her skin, and that someone had dumped a mother and once living person face down in the dirt, like trash.

And I was 17 years old when an crazed Viet Nam vet held a 1911 .45 ACP two inches from my forehead and I had time to wonder if death was going to “feel” like anything I was familiar with. And even then, in that moment, I wasn’t as hysterical about gun violence as people far removed from it are made to feel by what the TV tells them.

Illegal guns are almost as easy to get on the streets of NYC, despite its strict gun laws, as drugs. Strict gun laws hamper people with no criminal records, not people with them.

This is not something I’ve heard. This is something I know.

But sure, I could also post links to gun tragedies to point out what we already know — guns are dangerous! They kill people! Innocent people! (Just like cars; but those are so useful we are all willing to not feel those tragedies so deeply!) But that’s the prevailing media sentiment anyway. Why would I want to get on that bandwagon? It’s too full already.

Instead I think I’ll do the opposite and point out the times when guns are of benefit in saving lives, because that is what gets forgotten by people who are safe and comfortable enough to never need them, and who do not want anyone who is not as well off as they are to have their protection.

Hell, if I had Bloomberg’s life, I might be sounding just like he does right now. Telling everybody in the country from his billion dollar, limousine lifestyle that guns aren’t good for them either.

Fortunately for me, I got the life I have, blessed by more precious things than wealth and power and big-city provincialism.

And unfortunately for those with the “GUNS BAAAD!!!” mantra, it’s just not that simple. Guns save lives too. Though I won’t hold my breath waiting for Maher, Stewart, Colbert, or SNL to ever make the point.

279. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

But hey, NYC has definitely been improving its murder and rape rates.

Looks like between 1998 and 2010 there have only been 9772 homicides, and 43,633 reported rapes.

280. NCM - July 23, 2012

Whoa, DM. Really didn’t mean to piss you off and that was really a joke about arming women. You seemed not to notice that I said I support the right to bear arms. Again, it’s a matter of proportion. What does a citizen need to protect himself in the worst case scenario? You don’t read stories of citizens relying on this that and the other when they effectively defend themselves against an intruder. Should there be no moderation or regulation–no flags raised when someone begins amassing a personal arsenal?

I grew up in a house full of guns and kids. We were all taught to use them, and prided ourselves on our safety awareness. We didn’t always live in the safest neighborhoods, but the only person one of us almost shot was one of our own. In fact, we had two uncomfortably close calls. In a third instance, a deranged stoner pulled a gun on my dad, in front of my brother. What haunted brother most was that he almost bolted before he realized that doing so could get his dad killed. I also had a great uncle who was maimed by a pistol whipping at the tender age of 89. Who doesn’t have a gun story if you live in these United States?

If I lived secluded, without kids who could possibly go wrong with a gun, I’d have one and feel prepared to use it if I had to. All the same, statistically speaking, I’d be more likely to find myself on the wrong end of it.

281. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

280. NCM – July 23, 2012

Truly, I’m not pissed off, NCM. Though it is tedious hearing these media-driven one sided Bloombergian anti-gun fests when you realize how much crime happens to people who can’t defend themselves. I wish it were a nice simple issue, but NYC has had strict gun laws for a long time, and I didn’t even total up the worst numbers I have for it, which numbers are amazing for a city that was not at war with another country.

And hey, if you get a gun, you need training if you are not comfortable with it. That’s the best way to avoid pointing it the wrong way in an emergency.

“Should there be no moderation or regulation–no flags raised when someone begins amassing a personal arsenal?”

Sounds like a good idea. I even suggested a means of doing it via credit card purchases.

And of course it’s possible. To say that the Second Amendment permits you to have nukes if it permits you to have BB guns and that we therefore cannot take the Second Amendment seriously is a Slippery Slope fallacy.

We can easily have a principled objection to nukes but not rifles, under the Second Amendment just as it is written, on the grounds that concentrating that much power in the hands of potentially unstable individuals is too dangerous to others. As a check against tyranny, the Second Amendment does not require that every individual in the country by himself have the power and means to destroy an entire dictatorship all by himself if it should happen to threaten him.

That would be a bizarre and extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment, and just plain fallacious. And it’s really that same concentrated-power argument you use, I think, to deny people the right to automatic weapons.

But there will still be the suspicion that this is more Open Conspiracy maneuvering to eliminate citizens’ means of defense without eliminating crime. Particularly when it is driven by the media using events like the Batman massacre to whip up people’s emotions, and where it is hard to explain how Holmes got to be what he became.

Because if anyone has an explanation for Holmes, having the background he does, I’d like to hear it. Watching the video of him at 18 doing that presentation — I don’t get it.

So I think Bob is right that it’s a good idea to look closely at what he was studying in CA and Colorado, who his teachers were, if he ever volunteered for any “studies.” I don’t think that’s unreasonable to look at, at all.

282. Patriot Gamer - July 23, 2012

#272 — Hi Keachick,

I don’t view NZ as anything other than a friendly nation. I think you hit the nail on the head about the countries I was referring to. It’s usually countries like Russia, Iran, China and a few others that complain about the US. And that’s because those nations are the ones with the dreams of global conquest — not the US!

And nations like THOSE are the reasons the US has to have that big bad arsenal of weapons we have. Sure, it would be nice if we didn’t have to, but keep in mind those weapons keep not only the US (somewhat, because that’s changing) safe — but allies like NZ as well (should it ever become necessary).

But, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle with regard to “dangerous weapons”….and would you not agree that it’s far better that the US be the “top dog” than say, Russia or China or a North Korea or Iran? Who would you trust more? And if you say one of those I’m going to reach through this computer and slap you! LOL!!! ;-)

283. Patriot Gamer - July 23, 2012

#278 — A supremely excellent post my friend!!! Perfectamundo!!!

284. NCM - July 23, 2012

DM, as is often the case, I think we agree more than we disagree; though I think you might disagree with that assessment–and I’d have thought it a more perfect post if you’d noted as much irritation with the NRA’s hair-trigger resistance to any regulation as with Bloomberg’s attempt to seize this moment.

I think it’s justifiable to thoroughly investigate influences that might have led to any killing, but if some are suggesting, as a matter of course, making professors part of an investigation whenever a particularly bright, college educated person goes nuts and kills people, that’s creepy. Does anyone making that argument have issues with racial profiling; with the notion of greater scrutiny of all Muslims post 911, or of all military superiors when a serviceman goes ballistic?

Please don’t mistake my argument for slippery slope BS. I hate that tactic and find it’s almost always simply ridiculous.

285. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

NCM, obviously I have some passion for the subject which, given my experience, I think is understandable, but I am not a member of the NRA and I don’t follow what they do. I have been following the Colorado shooting, however, and Bloomberg has been unavoidable during coverage of it. And his message is the one being amplified by the networks.

Usually when I hear about the NRA on TV, it’s in a joke designed to make the audience feel negatively about the NRA. And I’m just not a good mark for political humor that tries to make me feel a certain way about people or groups I don’t know much about.

James Holmes had a Masters in neuroscience, working on a Phd. The video clip shows a very bright and, from what I see, a likable fellow talking about temporal illusions.

So it may be that he was experimenting with altered states of consciousness and that he never made it back in one piece after an experiment. He may have participated in a research project. I don’t know.

The guy is a mystery. I’d like to see some answers, but looking at where the coverage is going? Don’t think we’ll get ‘em.

286. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

And NCM, I don’t disagree with your assessment. It’s probably true. And I always like to read what you have to say.

287. Anthony Pascale - July 23, 2012

Article has been updated again. Mr. Van Zandt issued an apology to Star Trek fans for his comment.

288. dmduncan - July 23, 2012

Aww, that’s very nice of him.

289. JGLJR89 - July 23, 2012

Nice apology. I hate when non-Trekkies call me a Trekkie. Also hate when Trekkies refer to me or themselves as Trekkers.

290. Buzz Cagney - July 23, 2012

Fair play to him for the apology.

291. NCM - July 23, 2012

I think you’re one of the best ‘contributors’ on this site, DM, and I appreciate your “passion.” Even so, I find unbridled passion will hijack reason. As one who also feels passionate about what goes on in this world, I have to constantly school myself not to be too easily swayed by an argument that would be a comfortable fit if I’d simply slip into it.

Have a good night, DM.

292. Jai - July 24, 2012

NCM, re: #291:

“I think you’re one of the best ‘contributors’ on this site, DM,”

I think he is too. In fact, if there was ever an election for “Trekmovie class president”, I’m pretty sure DMDuncan would win it. And deservedly so.

You’re also completely right about the importance of balancing passion with reason. Always a good attitude for life in general.

293. Jai - July 24, 2012

DMDuncan:

Just wanted to mention I also saw “The Dark Knight Rises” during the weekend, and I loved it too. It was as good as I’d hoped it would be. I felt like applauding wildly at the end, and kept thinking “Nicely done, Mr Nolan. Nicely done”.

294. Jai - July 24, 2012

Keachick, re: #277:

“I don’t know what the crime, especially murder, statistics are for either China or India. However, China does hand down some very harsh sentences and has no compunction about using the death penalty. I don’t know about India, but I suspect their way of dealing with crime is not dissimilar.”

India actually has a very different attitude to the death penalty. Capital punishment is legal for some severe crimes (including murder), but in practice it’s very rarely used; even if the official punishment is the death penalty, it usually ends up being a lengthy prison sentence/lifelong imprisonment instead. The number of criminals who have actually been executed since India’s independence in 1947 is pretty small; only 52, according to official statistics.

295. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 24, 2012

“As to those who questioned why I put up this article, yes I realize that it seems narrowly focused to Trekkies in a time of tragedy, but I guess I always default to defending Star Trek fans and when I heard what this guy said I was incensed. For too long Trek fans have been smeared in the media and the notion that “Trekkie” was some kind of generic to be equated with a crazed fan of any type was uncalled for. “

Despite my better judgement, I’ll see if this posts. That’s just it, Anthony. At least 12 people died and several dozen were wounded, and the main headline here is what some “journalist” called “Trekkies/Trekkers.” I understand the need to report the article here because there is a Star Trek tie-in, and it was a very inappropriate one.

I’ll just speak for myself. You say you wrote the article to report on and combat the way the hard-core Star Trek fans have been “smeared” in the past, with this current smear showing that the misconceptions had about hard-core Star Trek fans are still alive today. The only issue I had was that it seemed like, by the article completely ignoring the “elephant in the room” of the tragedy and only focusing on the “flea” of a comment on its back, this article and its headline kind of reinforced the very stereotypes and misconceptions it was trying to combat. That’s all.

I applaud Mr. Van Zandt for the apology made on his twitter account: https://twitter.com/ClintVanZandt

296. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 24, 2012

Acknowledge the elephant, then mention the flea. That’s all I am saying.

297. Calastir - July 24, 2012

Apology accepted.

298. Keachick - July 24, 2012

Anthony was not ignoring the “elephant in the room” at all. It is good that Mr Van Zandt apologized, but this apology may have only come because Anthony Pascale made this smearing an issue early on, so that this misconception could be cleared up quickly, sooner rather than later. Mud can stick and once stuck, some mud can be very hard to remove.

Being smeared with the notion that Trekkies could easily be the types who could go shooting people in a cinema is not quite the same as being referred to as basement dwelling geeks who come out to do dress ups at some Trek convention or however else some non-Trekkies may conceive Trekkies as being. To date, whatever weird or negative assumptions joe-blogg may have about a big time Star Trek fan, I doubt that one of those assumptions would be of a mass murderer. With Van Zandt’s ill considered comments, that changed. Thankfully, an apology has been given and I have heard no more mention of the “Dark Trekkie” comment in any of the news reports I have been seeing here on television.

299. Uberbot - July 24, 2012

Apology accepted you buffoon!! Now don’t do it again!!! LOL!! Oh — and by the way — I’m a TrekkER…not a Trekkie…LOL!!

300. Pensive's Wetness - July 24, 2012

Apology accepted (but your still a retard, dude)

301. Uberbot - July 24, 2012

Now I want an apology for being called a Trekkie!! LOL!! This guy just can’t keep from putting his foot in his mouth! Anthony, send him an email telling him he needs to apologize to Uberbot for calling him a Trekkie!!!

I’m insulted!!!

HAHAHA!!!

302. sterj - July 24, 2012

Apology accepted, Mr. Van Zandt. Thank you for doing that. Perhaps we all learned a lesson or two here:

1. Watch your words, especially in the midst of a great tragedy when everyone’s feelings are so raw.
2. If you fail #1, then apologize and correct your statement ASAP.
3. Look at the greater picture and make sure your response is appropriate for the greater good. (I failed this one utterly by not first expressing my condolences to the victims and their families. Shame on me for stirring this tempest in a teapot further and making it a political case.)

303. dmduncan - July 24, 2012

291: “I think you’re one of the best ‘contributors’ on this site, DM, and I appreciate your “passion.” Even so, I find unbridled passion will hijack reason.”

Absolutely. And one of the most special things about Star Trek is that through the Spock, Kirk, McCoy relationship, it points that out as a unique aspect of the franchise.

As passionate as I become, I always try not to commit logical fallacies through emotion. Star Trek helps to remind me of the importance of that. In the end, I want my arguments to stand on their merits, not on my emotions.

And thanks for the compliments, NCM and Jai.

304. dmduncan - July 24, 2012

293. Jai – July 24, 2012

Oh I’m glad you loved it too! I actually DID applaud at the end and I wasn’t the only one!

TDKR isn’t just a good movie, it’s a movie that should be studied by people who want to know how to make a GREAT movie.

I will be seeing it again this weekend.

305. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 24, 2012

The apology made to hard-core Star Trek fans was made on a twitter account that has 359 followers. Most of the people that heard Mr. Van Zandt’s “dark trekkie” comment on television are not going to check his twitter. So, for anyone that thinks that his apology was doing anything more that smoothing the ruffled feathers of some disgruntled hard-core Star Trek fans is very likely very mistaken.

The elephant in the room was made out to be the “dark trekkie” comment, while several dozen people injured and a dozen dead were mentioned in passing in the above article as if that was the flea. People are free to agree with that if they want to, but it does more harm in my opinion than “dark trekkie” did. Most people know that hard-core Star Trek fans are not trying to kill people. They may think the hard-core fans are a bit “out there,” but not homicidally so.

306. Hat Rick - July 24, 2012

Well, I’m surprised the apology was made, but pleased.

I also want to thank Anthony for his efforts, even though I was one of those who doubted the efficacy of the request, or even the propriety of it at all.

307. Hat Rick - July 24, 2012

Thanks, Uberbot (263). That was a nice compliment.

308. Charla - July 24, 2012

I loved what Jason Alexander wrote in regards to the tragedy in Aurore on his TwitLonger account. He really nails it. I encourage anyone interested in the topic of gun control read it.

Here is the link: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/if2nht

309. Harry Ballz - July 24, 2012

308.

Yes, Charla, that really nails it. It should be required reading for every redneck who drives a pickup truck with a rifle hanging in the rear window.

Of course, that is assuming they can read.

310. Jack - July 25, 2012

An apology wasn’t necessary. A clarification would have been fine. Nobody was smeared.

311. dmduncan - July 25, 2012

So Jason Alexander defends the American right to use automatic weapons, tanks and bombs — as long as they are all pointed outward, toward men, women, and children on other shores? All made to point that way by people that Jason Alexander did NOT vote for? Or did?

I would like to know who Jason Alexander is going to vote for in the next election. Because Mr. Obama has more innocent blood on his hands than James Holmes. And if he votes for Obama again, then he will not be able to feign ignorance, and Alexander will be a complicit supporter of the next innocent Pakistani death caused by Obama’s decision, if Obama should win by the contribution of Alexander’s vote.

Drone strikes under Bush: 52
Drone strikes under Obama: 282

Pakistani children killed under Obama: app. 60.

Right now, the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” line actually sounds better than the “to make omelets you gotta break eggs” principle of “Hey! We were aiming for TERRORISTS, not CHILDREN!!!”

Yes, indeed, Mr. Alexander. Let’s keep those weapons in the hands of trained professionals.

From a purely utilitarian perspective, it may actually be safer for more people if America had a citizen militia, per Second Amendment, who ARE the citizenry, instead of standing armies who could be alienated from and used against the population and sent abroad to kill and die among foreigners.

312. dmduncan - July 25, 2012

Again — someday we may try the Constitution, and discover that it WORKS!!!

313. dmduncan - July 25, 2012

Wait, there’s more.

When you pull the trigger, you are personally responsible for the terminal location of your bullet.

That is always true.

However, it gets more complicated when you are ordered to pull the trigger as a member of the military in a hierarchical chain of command. If you miss your target, you are still personally responsible for where your bullet goes, but when you are ordered to shoot by a commander, then who orders you shares responsibility with you if you miss.

The POTUS is the Commander and Chief of the armed forces, and he is the SUPREME trigger-man. On his desk, right next to the “The Buck Stops Here” sign there should be another that reads: “The Bullet Starts Here.”

314. Keachick - July 25, 2012

I agree with Jason Alexander and I also agree with your comment, dmduncan.

315. Azrael - July 25, 2012

@314. Uhm, that is not really possible, Duncan is not agreeing with Jason Alexander AFAICT. Unless you have a split personality, one of which agrees with duncan, one of which agrees with Mr. Alexander.

316. dmduncan - July 25, 2012

I do not DISAGREE with some of Alexander’s points, so it is possible for Keachick to agree with us both, but he’s also saying the exact same things I keep hearing over and over on TV, and I’m saying something more original. I do not speak anybody’s talking points. The real solution, if there is one, is going to be found in a change more radical than what anybody who sounds like Alexander is actually advocating, and requires an abandonment of the thinking that makes America the dirty cop of the world.

317. Vultan - July 25, 2012

Both Duncan and Alexander make excellent points, but the real issue here is gun control and not interventionism. Even if the US reduced its military presence around the world and stopped being the “dirty cop” (a reduction which I support by the way), these military grade weapons and their ammo would still be available to civilians—and quite easily as it turns out.

When I got my first shotgun at the age of 13, my grandfather taught me to treat it as a deadly weapon and not a toy. “Think of it as loaded even when it’s not,” he told me. “And never point it at anyone.”

And I don’t see that same level of seriousness in American society today, from Washington to the NRA to Hollywood. Too many toys.

318. dmduncan - July 25, 2012

317. “Both Duncan and Alexander make excellent points, but the real issue here is gun control and not interventionism”

Interventionism is the absence of gun control abroad. A bandaid solution to one leaves the latter and perhaps MORE serious problem unfixed, and I have trouble when some people use some killings to fix half the problem quickly while ignoring a larger number of killings that will leave the status quo significantly unchanged. If those killings don’t matter, it’s because they are under-reported, which again means this is a SELECTIVE media generated frenzy — and those raise my suspicions.

“these military grade weapons and their ammo would still be available to civilians—and quite easily as it turns out.”

I’m not concerned about “civilians” with guns and ammo. I’m concerned about psychopaths with them.

Politics isn’t a field of expertise overflowing with genius, but I still think there’s probably a way or two of keeping semi-automatic weapons out of the hands of murderous schizophrenics and psychopaths, which legislators haven’t tried and may think up someday.

I mean LEGAL weapons of course. There is no “gun control” for illegal weapons except to stop producing them everywhere on earth.

So I don’t think gun control is the real issue. I think it’s a natural consequence of having a society that takes a more conscientious approach to its own defense, and has a greater sense of community and responsibility toward one another, all of which I THINK would be more likely features of an America that had more respect for the Second Amendment, and developed a means of defense that reflected that respect.

“Gun control” is also the cry when your society is spinning out of control. When your society is healthy, you don’t need external control. But when it’s the Weimar Republic, it needs control. And Germany got control alright.

The real issue is trigger control, and that’s much harder to obtain, and no, America isn’t serious about it.

But I can already hear the wheels grinding out there in the heads of some people who are about to retool the conservative anti-immigration strategy argument for guns: You gotta stop the leak first, then fix the roof.

I’m not so sure that’s a good approach.

But I like Jason Alexander, he makes me laugh, and he should not “shut up.” He has the right to say whatever he wants, just like anybody else. And he does seem to be TRYING to say something constructive.

Now, just to make it clear:

My only personal satisfaction in shooting a semi-automatic weapon is target practice. For example: If I can hit 7 out of 10 cabbage sized bullseyes from 500 yards out with no optics, and do it under 2 minutes because I have 10 rounds in my magazine and I don’t have to manually eject a spent shell? Not only is it a great feeling, but it’s spiritual work. It’s not unlike Zen archery. It’s work on yourself, your mind, your concentration, your fear. Because the time between rounds you accurately send down range is decided by you, not the mechanism, which shoots as fast as you pull the trigger. So you become your own obstacle to speed and accuracy, and you are the obstacle you seek to overcome.

It isn’t a violent experience. It is a peaceful one.

Though I haven’t done that in a long time, that is still the value a semi-automatic weapon has to me. Not as a weapon for hunting or killing or self defense. I don’t have a semi-automatic rifle, but if I got one, that would be the reason why.

319. Patriot Gamer - July 25, 2012

Wow, some really great posts here…I’m impressed!! :-)

320. Vultan - July 25, 2012

#318

The main problem I have with the “gun culture” in this country is the way guns are glorified and treated as status symbols, like cars and cell phones and computers. But as Jason Alexander points out, none of those things are made with a destructive force in mind. Hmm….

I just wish these weapons—”tools” to some—were treated with more respect by citizens and those in the very influential media (yeah, I’m looking at you, Hollywood!). Maybe a little more George Stevens’ “Shane” kind of analysis and less Michael Bay-ish overcompensating would help.

321. Jai - July 26, 2012

Fans of “The Dark Knight Rises” should check out this intelligent, insightful review in The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/25/dark-knight-rises-christopher-nolan-s-masterpiece.html. Probably the best review I’ve read so far. (But don’t read page 2 or any of the comments unless you’ve already seen the movie, because there are some major spoilers).

An interesting fact about the “warlord’s fort” in TDKR. It’s actually a famous medieval royal palace-fortress in North India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehrangarh_Fort. It’s a popular tourist destination (I’ve been there myself); you got a few awe-inspiring glimpses in the movie, but it’s even more spectacular in real life. The interiors of the palace are very well preserved too.

322. dmduncan - July 26, 2012

320. Vultan – July 25, 2012

I agree.

323. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 26, 2012

Re: #316

If dm only agrees with *some* of Mr. Alexander’s points, then it is NOT possible to completely agree with them both, which is what post 314 would lead anyone to believe is being said there.

“…So I don’t think gun control is the real issue. I think it’s a natural consequence of having a society that takes a more conscientious approach to its own defense, and has a greater sense of community and responsibility toward one another, all of which I THINK would be more likely features of an America that had more respect for the Second Amendment, and developed a means of defense that reflected that respect.

“Gun control” is also the cry when your society is spinning out of control. When your society is healthy, you don’t need external control. But when it’s the Weimar Republic, it needs control. And Germany got control alright.

The real issue is trigger control, and that’s much harder to obtain, and no, America isn’t serious about it…”

This is the exact point I was making when I mentioned horrible massacres in the US that could have been prevented if only people have paid attention and cared. But if society (any society, not just the US) is sick, more or less, how can it prevent the truly sick-minded from themselves and the rest of us? It’s a real question. I hope we all end up being able to act on the right answer some day…

324. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 26, 2012

“have paid attention” should be “had paid attention.”

325. JP Saylor - July 26, 2012

Ah, nice to see he apologized. :)

326. Holger - July 29, 2012

Nice that Mr. Van Zandt apologized in a perfectly appropriate way.

327. LizardGirl - July 29, 2012

Anthony fought for us trekkies (whether you wanted him to or not), and in the end it paid off.

There is absolutely NO WAY that this overshadows the tragedy in Aurora. That was never the point.

The point is, that ones reporting/covering situations like these be responsible for themselves and their words. The idea is to cover news in a pure and honest manner, while being respectful to victims of tragedies.

Not to say that there aren’t mistakes made. It happens. When it does, own up to it as did Mr. Van Zandt. Thanks for your apology. I personally appreciate it!

328. Spock/Uhura Admirer ;-) - July 31, 2012

“The point is, that ones reporting/covering situations like these be responsible for themselves and their words. The idea is to cover news in a pure and honest manner, while being respectful to victims of tragedies. “

In an America (and perhaps a world) where news is now a business, that is rarely ever the case. I’m sorry to say it.

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