Far too much nonsense is spoken on this side of the pond every time someone in the US commits a mass murder with legally-obtained firearms. There seems to be a genuine belief among some commentators that less guns would somehow make incidents like this less likely to happen. What poppycock. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Just like the civilians of Hiroshima weren't actually mass-murdered and irradiated by an atomic bomb - if Harry Truman hadn't had a nuclear weapon handy, he could just as easily have got the job done by bashing people over the head with a police truncheon, one-by-one.
As you know, at moments like this I much prefer to turn to Kevin Baker and his Fan Club over at The Smallest Minority, an oasis of non-paranoid thinking in an otherwise communist world. And I'm so glad I popped over there today, because it turns out that the real problem in this instance is not that there are too many guns in American cinemas, but that there are far too few, and that in any case the noble minority who sensibly have a firearm in their pocket as they're munching on their popcorn haven't given anything like enough thought to the logistics of shooting someone in the head in such challenging terrain -
"I took my grandson to see Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter on its opening weekend. When we got to the theater, I took my Kel-Tec PF9 out of the center console (in a pocket holster) and put it in my pants pocket. He saw. "You carry a gun in the theater?" he asked. "It's my job to protect you," I replied.
Now I have to practice head-shots with the thing. Maybe I ought to get the laser..."
Also worthy of note is the first reply to Baker's latest inspiring attempt to make the world a safer place -
"I felt it important enough to break my silence here and note that violent crime continues to drop in this country and world wide, making incidents like this outliers. Of course the media will cover this story to the point of nausea and make it seem like it happens everywhere all the time which it does not."
Nothing very surprising there, you might think, until you discover that this was Markadelphia, regarded by the KBFC as the blog's resident liberal "Antichrist" figure. And that usefully illustrates America's real problem - it's not that there are millions of gun zealots out there, it's that the so-called left are too cowed to face them down directly, and indeed that many on the left buy into the gun free-for-all ideology themselves. How else can we explain that the first response of a 'liberal' to a blogpost about defending yourself in a cinema with guns talks about anything other than the fact that the post is just utterly unhinged? I mean, if this incident is such an 'outlier', Mark, don't you think it might have been worthwhile to point out that the belief that it's too risky to take your grandson to the cinema without a lethal weapon may just be a tad disproportionate? Or if it isn't disproportionate, that it might be more rational (and fairer on others) to just forego trips to the cinema until such time as the whole unspeakable mess is sorted out?
In truth, of course, while a 'newsworthy' event like this is certainly an outlier, the daily toll of routine gun deaths in the US is anything but. 81 Americans per day die from firearm violence - and the per capita death rate is almost twenty times higher than Scotland's.