Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Doctrine of the Last Shot Fired

I haven't posted here about the recent mass murder committed by James E. Holmes in Aurora, Colorado.

Instead of writing about similar events and scientific theories related to the mass murder committed by James E. Holmes in Aurora, Colorado, I have been pondering THIS ESSAY by Tammy Swofford.


Right now, all sorts of people – experts and otherwise all along the medical and political spectrum – are tying themselves into knots and asking, "Why did this happen?" and "What can we do to prevent this kind of thing?"

Please watch the following short statement from Charles Krauthammer, a doctor of psychiatry:

Of course, as a doctor of psychiatry, Dr. Krauthammer is naturally curious about the workings of the brain of James E. Holmes. But will doctors and scientists really learn something of value so as to prevent another similar attack by another individual?  Not likely at all!

I think back to when my mother unexpectedly died in 1987 in the coronary care unit.

Upon her death, family doctor asked my father and me, "Shall we do an autopsy?"

We considered for a moment and asked the obvious question: "Will an autopsy help someone else?"

Our family doctor replied, "No.  It's just a matter of curiosity."

We denied the autopsy, and the doctor concurred with our decision.

I submit that ongoing analysis of James E. Holmes and his vile deeds is nothing more than a matter of curiosity.

Let us consider incarceration expenditures; after all, expenditures are considered for all sorts of other government departments and for various healthcare measures:

Note that the above figures are averages.

The death penalty also has high costs:
...California taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death row prisoner each year than on prisoners in regular confinement....
Expenditures aside, let us ask this question: CAN we prevent such massacres from happening?   After all, the maladies of the soul and of the human brain are numerous and, to a certain extent, unfathomable.  These maladies will likely remain unfathomable.

Moreover, do any of us really believe that James E. Holmes can be rehabilitated?  

We CAN, however, follow the doctrine of the last shot fired.

It is both justice and mercy to follow that doctrine.


midnight rider said...

LEO aside

I've read many comments the last few days about how if "I would have been in that theater I would have put that madman down right there"

A sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly but which in all practicality is not the case.

Had there been an armed civilian in there who maintained the presence of mind in the mayhem to draw his weapon and get off a shot he would likely have ended up dead or wounded as well. The way Holmes was armored it sounds like nothing but a direct shot to the eye would have taken him down, at least not from what is typically carried by the ccw community.

Understand that is not meant to cheapen the thought that an individual would have tried. Not at all. Someone returning fire at an active shooter, regardless of how heavily armored he is, is immediately going to draw his attention away from his intended victims and focus it all on the person shooting at him. Which may at least give those unarmed time to escape.

But when you make the decision to carry a gun, you must understand that you should be accepting the responsibility (if only between you and God) that you will put yourself between innocents and evil. That you are possibly going to be the only one standing between them and harm. And that there is a very good chance you will pay a very heavy price in such an event.

That is not meant to discourage anyone from carrying. More people should. I wish they would.

But no one should carry without understanding and accepting this.

Or end up behaving like a certain police officer I know.

Several years ago an active shooter erupted in a local grocery store.

The police officer was there, off duty but still armed, with his wife.

Instead of engaging that shooter (who was NOT armored but only armed with a handgun) he made sure he got out of that store as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this incident.

The officer ran for county sheriff last year. I gave him a nickname which I can't reveal here without revealing way too much personal info.

But he was soundly beaten at the polls.

Read this piece by LTC Dave Grossman.

And if the time ever comes, be ready to take your shot.

And hope you have good cover when you do so.

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