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Tuesday, July 24, 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, I now post the following, reproduced in full and with permission, from Tammy Swofford's blog site as her essay presents an issue which is being avoided and should, in my opinion, be addressed:
Apparently, we lack a doctrine of “The Last Shot Fired”. The Colorado theatre massacre warranted the use of deadly force.

Why must tax-payers now bear the burden of incarceration of James Holmes? We will also bear the burden of every bite of food which enters his mouth. We will pay for behavioral analysts who ponder the nature of evil. We will pay for the toilet paper and toothpaste he uses and bear the burden of his medical care.

The doctrine of deadly force lacks a necessary clause. Rabid animals should be put down immediately for the safety of society. If a rabid dog suddenly becomes docile do we let down our guard?

The last shot fired should be from the weapon of a responding officer.

Would that I had been present and fully armed when James Holmes showed his combat-clad form, because I would have taken the shot, even with his weapons down. My shot would have been the last shot fired.

Think about this issue.

New Swofford Commentary Site
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.

90 comments:

  1. Once it becomes obvious a perpetrator is bent on doing violence every effort should be made -- literally -- to stop him DEAD in his tracks.

    The very second an individual takes up a deadly weapon with intent to harm innocent life he should be regarded as having lost all his "rights," and his life should be forfeit.

    I believe in SUMMARY JUSTICE for those caught with blood on their hands.

    It has always sickened me that a creature such as Charles Manson continues to take in oxygen, and that he does so at public expense.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  2. I just stumbled across THIS at Silverfiddle's site: "Assigning Blame for Aurora," at Silverfiddle's site.

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  3. AOW,
    Thank you for considering my thoughts and expanding on them. So that your readership is perfectly clear on where I stand on the issue of James Holmes, let me link to an article which I penned several years ago when writing for the Dallas Morning News:

    http://www.mail-archive.com/deathpenalty@lists.washlaw.edu/msg00088.html

    We are defined as a society, by the way we respond to evil.

    Tammy

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  4. Tammy Swofford is one smart gal. I strongly agree with what she wrote.

    I also found the link you cited here very interesting, which is why I included it at the end of my post.

    Excellent post!

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  5. i couldn't agree with tammy more on this issue. great post, aow!

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  6. "We are defined as a society, by the way we respond to evil."

    I couldn't agree more with Ms. Swofford. The liberals will go strk raving mad over such an idea as the "last shot fired" doctrine.

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  7. As usual, another simplistic wingnut response. It really shouldn't be nay more simple than just banning assault weapons.

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  8. Moyers and the NRA:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/bill-moyers-nra-enabler-of-death-colorado-shootings_n_1695658.html?utm_hp_ref=media

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  9. Libmann, thanks for a nonbiased, non ideological article by MOYERS :-)

    AOW, the fact that they're still saying ALLEGED KILLER is curious, too. We know the law, we understand..I do understand, however WHO ELSE DID IT? It's NUTS!

    And, yes...we will be paying millions that this man who took all those lives and permanently injured others is comfortable, well defended and psychoanalyzed for as long as he shall live...also bringing out culture down with the weight of the constant idiotic "WHY?" "WHat could be done?" As if we will EVER not have crazies amongst us?

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  10. Quite a post. You put some work into this one. Regarding the basic question, though, of whether cops should have the power to simply walk up and shoot people like Holmes, outrage may be over-ruling common sense.

    Because... let's not forget that cops have been brutalizing people for centuries, and need restraints on their behavior rather than a free rein to do whatever they like, which this would give them. Our society has been dealing with issues of police brutality for a long time now and we have finally managed to establish laws, rules and procedures of training that have made our police a lot more professional and less like attack dogs. Let's not throw that away.

    In time of war there's no problem. An obvious enemy combatant can be, and will be, shot on sight. In the case of Holmes, any cop entering that theater with weapon in hand had the right to shoot him dead there and then, seeing Holmes with those weapons. No new law is needed for that.

    When you're talking doctrine, what you're really talking is Law. I agree it's a damn shame he was arrested instead of shot dead on the spot, but I feel the same way about illegal aliens. What we need isn't more laws, we have way to damn many of them now. What we need is a lot less regulation and a whole lot more enforcement.

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  11. the only counter issue that puts question to the very logical argument that you have posted is that in this case the person was not shooting when he was arrested and to a degree gave himself up.

    I am sure that if the person in question was still firing that in fact he would have been killed.

    Because he was not firing and he was aprehended, he must be, as the law states, accussed and tried. I should not have to remind those on this site about your own constitution and the rights to a fair trial.

    Additionally, until found guilty he is an accussed and is considered innocent until proven otherwise and since he has not confessed, he cannot be considered "the murderer" and thus is "alleged".

    I am, so as not to be seen as the spoiler here, a believer in the death penality and with a set limit on the numbers and time period of appeals. Those that believe they have a right to appeal should be given a fair chance to say that they were not given justice and if failed, sentance carried out within a set time frame and not some rediculous 10 years on death row which is both costly and in fact inhumane.

    Of course it is also my view that ownership of fully-automatic weapons, the ability to purchase ammunition on-line and no single nation-wide gun-law should also be put on trial, but of course that is another topic.

    Damien Charles

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  12. Apparently, the automatic weapon that Holmes was using jammed. If that jamming of the weapon hadn't happened, then more carnage would have followed.

    As FT pointed out earlier in this thread. we are still, as taxpayers, caring for Charles Manson, including expensive medical care (prostate cancer treatment, I believe).

    Meanwhile, my dear friends Warren and Jackie are going through HELL with her health care -- no government help for THAT.

    In my view, when an individual slaughters people as Holmes did, the individual becomes a waster of oxygen.

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  13. I'll go out on a limb here....

    I watched all the television coverage of James Holmes yesterday.

    Is he faking? I think that he well might be!

    Let us remember what he has extensively studied: neuroscience and aberrant behaviors.

    Holmes must have been a good student along the way. He was receiving a $1700+ monthly check from the NIH as he was supposedly a promising Ph.D. candidate.

    Criminology is my hobby. I kid you not!

    It is my estimation that Holmes is working the system and/or trying to prove that he is an Übermensch -- maybe something along the lines of the film Rope and the real-life case of Leopold and Lobe, with some variation, of course.

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  14. Possibly of interest to some:

    Ice-T Defends Gun Rights: "The Last Form Of Defense Against Tyranny"

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  15. Z,
    See my comment above about Warren and Jackie.

    You know the particulars.

    Holmes is getting all the medical care he needs, etc. Jackie is not!

    Yes, I am ENRAGED!

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  16. The clever axiom among leftists is, “First create a crisis and then take full advantage of it.” It brings us to this conclusion: the problem isn’t guns; the problem is leftists. Imagine enslaving people to generation after generation of poverty and illiteracy. Who would do such a thing? This is the legacy of Johnson’s so-called great society, which in spite of the billions spent, didn’t turn out so great.

    Imagine ordering state hospitals release mentally incapacitated people into the general population. Who would do such a thing? This is the legacy of Carter’s Mental Health Systems Act, resulting in the release of about 1.5 million souls, who became homeless people. These are mentally ill persons who pose a danger to society and themselves, who are starving, who suffer unsheltered winters, and who the left uses to advance their political agenda. San Diego, California Democrats ordered police to round up their homeless people, and they put them on chartered buses and sent them to Phoenix, Arizona.

    These examples make one ask, “What in the hell is wrong with these people?”

    And the answer is … they are leftists. Under these circumstances, who would ever recognize that James E. Holmes was suffering mental incapacity? And isn’t it true that he’s entitled to his civil rights? So the problem isn’t about guns … it is about the damage leftists do to society while protecting and preserving their political niche —the one they laughingly call progressivism.

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  17. Black Sheep,
    I am taking this position because this case is so clear cut.

    Furthermore, the evil deeds of Holmes were not a crime of passion at all.

    Think of Lizzie Borden for a minute. She likely killed her stepmother and father; let's assume that she did so. She committed a crime, evidence was murky, and she was not a danger to others.

    Now, think of John Hinckley and Russell Eugene Weston, Jr.. Just look at the photo of the latter! Now, THERE is a true paranoid schizophrenic. He died in the attack on Capitol Hill. He was resuscitated! For what?

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  18. Tammy,
    Thank you for commenting.

    You have said something extremely important in your comment:

    WE ARE DEFINED AS A SOCIETY BY THE WAY WE RESPOND TO EVIL.


    What Holmes has done classifies him as evil. Anybody here disagree?

    Mental illness does not excuse him, IMO. If he even is mentally ill at all. I don't know if he is or not.

    But I DO know these two things:

    (1) Holmes is very smart and is likely to escape or try to escape (Remember Ted Bundy? See THIS).


    (2) Holmes is very young and could well live 60 more years.

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  19. Black Sheep,
    let's not forget that cops have been brutalizing people for centuries, and need restraints on their behavior rather than a free rein to do whatever they like, which this would give them

    I disagree.

    Ms. Swofford and I are not speaking of just any crime. We are speaking of massacres and horrors.

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  20. The American goverment should put this terrible guy to death for the murders that he commited. Preferably this slould be done by a firing squad.

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  21. Quite a post. Let's not forget that Tammy lives in the great state of Texass where they get off executing the innocent.

    Not that the death penalty isn't appropriate in this case but strutting clown displaying their own blood lust accomplish nothing.

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  22. We do not "get off" on executing the innocent in Texas. I disagree that any of our juries relish the task of considering a death penalty. We do have a strong sense of responsibility.

    I do believe we need a new suite of laws which address the rules of engagement to what is known to be a massacre in progress.

    The police showed up. I presume not a shot was fired at the assailant. Holmes did not want suicide-by-cop. Hence, he did not aim his weapon to engage a lethal counterforce.

    I contend we need a shoot to kill order, on sight, when the police are responding to what is known to be a slaughter of the innocents and the target properly identified. As far as I am concerned, if the blood is still flowing by the gallons from the victims, it is still a crime in progress.

    I also doubt the insanity of Holmes. His methodical booby-trapping of his apartment speaks of rational and calculated thought.

    Tammy

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Tammy Swofford and I generally agree on things. In this case, can you imagine the outcry?

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  25. Liberalmann,
    I have deleted your comment because this blog post is NOT about gun control, nor does this post have one iota to do with Obama.

    Stay on topic, or remain silent.

    Thank you.

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  26. Tammy said:

    if the blood is still flowing by the gallons from the victims, it is still a crime in progress

    Please note Tammy's bio. She holds a BSN.

    I don't know in which exact areas of nursing that she has experience. However, she is acutely aware of the victims' plight.

    In no way can Holmes be considered a victim, IMO.

    ---------

    I am becoming more and more convinced that Holmes is showing his "smarts" by committing a horrific series of crimes -- each murder and injury counts as a crime -- and, in several ways, getting away with it. If anyone is "getting off," it is Holmes. He deliberately chose not to commit suicide-by-cop.

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  27. Sam,
    The constant drumbeat of we-must-understand-the-guy (sometimes even the poor guy) is a dead end.

    As for the mental issues, I read in the WaPo yesterday or today about how all sorts of people who are mentally ill are now being placed in homes IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS in Northern Virginia. These folks were previously housed, in some cases in institutions.

    Now, I realize that some of these now-released individuals do not pose a danger to others. But we certainly cannot say that about all of them. The mentally ill are notorious for not taking their meds! They required supervision to take those meds; now, they won't be getting that supervision.

    God help us.

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  28. AOW, they built a residential housing facility for mental patients in a lot behind a house belonging to a friend of mine. One afternoon, she came home & found one of the patients (adult male, approx. 35 yrs. old & 210 lbs) in her living room. Fortunately, he was harmless, but the local politicos are not. Her complaints met with deaf ears, both from the county & the facility administration, leading me to believe that the fix was in. Corruption in low places, etc. Her only recourse was a lawsuit that she could not afford. So it goes. And, of course, when some innocent somewhere is inevitably murdered by a relocated nut, the liberals will wring their hands and blame everybody but themselves.

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  29. Great posts and mostly great comments. I would have "seen" him raise and aim his gun, you can take that to the bank. Now the bastard will get 3 hots and a cot a day for the next 50 years. We're talking millions of $$ because nobody dared to.

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  30. My support for the death penatly is limited to those cases were there is a clear danger to this society as society has the same right to defend itself as ordinary citizens do. You might say all murders fall into this category but not for me there are those limited to a specific circumstance and although this is a sin all sin is equal before the Lord. Therefore my sin is no greater or less than any one elses so I can not agree with any policy that gives power to the government to terminate life.

    However, the DC sniper would qualify as an attack on society and therefore society has a right to defend itself after a trial. In this case, I would have to agree that his actions are no differrent than a terrorist and therefore he is a threat to society.

    AOW thank you for moderating Liberalmann but he can not help himself for him there is utopia out there were if we could just ban 17 oz sodas, semiauto weapons, spicy foods, sharp corners, fast cars, running with scissors, jay walking etc etc etc then life would be grand..see Demolition Man

    As to this guy, I have a conceal carry permit and when his gun jammed the end would have been swift and final for this tragedy....

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  31. Since I moved out of NYC, I found that the problem of funding healthcare for prisoners is a major election issue. The county sherif has his hands tied by state-wide law. He has to provide generous healthcare. To some extent he’s tried to reduce the prison population by taking lessor offenders and confining them to their home with electronic monitoring. In many cases they want to be in jail to get the healthcare. And they’ll violate the rules or even commit crimes to get back in.

    That they can get better healthcare by committing crimes is obscene. AOW, I share your outrage.

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  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  33. I believe Liberalman could be president of my country, Haiti. He is that stupid.

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  34. Also, if this is true

    WE ARE DEFINED AS A SOCIETY BY THE WAY WE RESPOND TO EVIL.

    then America is in serious troubles, yes?

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  35. Louis H. said...
    I believe Liberalman could be president of my country, Haiti. He is that stupid."

    Louis! Je t'aime, monsieur! :-)
    vous avez raison!
    IL est vraiment stupide.

    AOW... I read that and TOTALLY got that about Warren and Jackie..it's UNBELIEVABLE that this Holmes, the MURDERER, may get free EVERYTHING for the rest of his life..paid for BY US, but good people like them could lose EVERYTHING because of their predicament.
    MAN....that they'll even have a TRIAL for HOlmes and they still call him ALLEGED KILLER (HELLO? WHO ELSE DID IT?) is beyond belief. I never thought I'd say an AMerican shouldn't have a trial, but this guy? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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  36. LEO personnel 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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  37. Liberalmann,
    Look here.

    If I had wanted to make this post about a discussion about gun control, I'd have posted about that topic.

    I might write such a post, in fact.

    HOWEVER, THIS POST IS NOT A POST ABOUT GUN CONTROL.

    I WILL NOT PERMIT THE HIJACKING OF THIS THREAD.


    Therefore, I am deleting your comment of July 24 10:47 PM.

    Furthermore, if you come back and say one more word about gun control in this thread, I will delete every comment you make here and every comment you have ever made at this site.

    Go ahead. Test that ultimatum. See what happens.

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  38. Midnight Rider,
    You and I are pretty well versed in firearms and in firearm safety. The importance of a safe shot -- a shot that endangers an innocent party -- is important.

    However, if a massacre is in progress, that theater (pun intended) is a battle zone. It is not always possible to get off a safe shot in such a crisis situation.

    I saw my own father faced with that exact problem in a different venue. A chicken-killing dog had raided our hen coop; that Doberman bitch had one of the hens in her mouth, and the other dog, a Collie male, was coming in right behind the Doberman bitch. Dad took the shot in spite of endangering several of our prized laying hens. Now, Dad was an expert marksman, so no harm to our hens followed. But he explained to me that he really had no choice other than to let the dogs continue to raid the hen house.

    Dad did something very similar when a rabid skunk was at our basement door; I was a child at the time and watched the whole thing from the safety of our dining-room window. Damage to the door? Yes, indeed. Could there have been damage to the washing machine, which was on the other side of that door? Yes, but that didn't happen. Dad did, of course, take every precaution to make sure that his shot, if missing the target, would most likely not hit the furnace. But letting that skunk get away was not an option.

    Of course, in the scenario that Tammy has described, she is speaking of law enforcement and their encounter with Holmes, who apparently was outside the cinema.

    You mentioned there is a very good chance you will pay a very heavy price in such an event. Absolutely true. But, like the folks aboard Flight 93 on 9/11, sometimes it is necessary to draw the line even if drawing that line means a terrible end for oneself. I think of such a situation as standing for good in opposition to terrible evil.

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  39. Z,
    Before all is said and done with trying Holmes and punishing him (incarceration, execution, whatever), the state of Colorado may well spend tens of millions of dollars. How many good folks in Colorado are in a situation similar to that of Warren and Jackie?

    And what about the victims?

    Why not take that money and give it to the victims and their families?

    I heard somewhere that one victim's medical bills will run some $2 million! Who's going to soak up that cost?

    Let us all remember that most of those killed or wounded in the Aurora Massacre were quite young -- under age 55. What of their families' future? What over their house payments, their funeral costs, their children's college fund, lifetimes of debilitating injuries? Etc., etc. Are those things less important than all the money that is going to be spent on Holmes?

    I don't believe that everything comes down to money. However, where is the justice in spending piles of money on Holmes while his victims languish?

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  40. Bob Mack,
    There have been a few similar incidents here that I've heard of. I'm sure there have been more. Some of the incidents involved sexual assault, BTW; those did make the news but were reported without outrage.

    Still, Northern Virginia continues to move these folks into the residential communities.

    Within two miles of me stands a halfway house for druggies. Mostly, there is no trouble. Now. But for a long time, within two blocks was an open-air drug market; finally that big plot of land was developed, and the open-air drug market was no more. However, a few of those in the halfway house go on scouting missions: robberies are way up in this area. We all know why, the police are discouraged. The politicians and do gooders just say, "That is the price that society must pay to rehabilitate these people." Pfffft.

    PS: My house was invaded in April of 2009. The invader(s) didn't get much because I came home unexpectedly in the middle of the day; in fact, as I was coming in the front door, they were going out the back. I don't know for sure who invaded my home and tore the hell out of my bedroom in a search for valuables. Another incident followed shortly thereafter: on this block, any unlocked car sitting in a driveway was gone through, probably in a search for GPS units. I live in one of those good neighborhoods, too. But our officials insist on importing problems.

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  41. Average American,
    Now the bastard will get 3 hots and a cot a day for the next 50 years.

    Yep.

    Here's something else that is getting to me: the prosecutors in Colorado are checking with the victims' families to see if they support the death penalty for Holmes. Huh? Criminal justice is not supposed to be a referendum!

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  42. Jason,
    That they can get better healthcare by committing crimes is obscene.

    True.

    I've once said in jest to Mr. AOW (back when we were so up against it financially after his stroke and I had a terrible toothache): "Maybe I should go get arrested. Then, I'd get dental care for free."

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  43. That Charles Manson (age 77) may receive expensive treatment for prostate cancer boggles the mind (emphasis mine):

    Rumors that criminal mastermind and cult king Charles Manson has been diagnosed with prostate cancer are true, but the good news (or bad news, depending on your point of view) is that – like most prostate cancers in elderly men – it is growing slowly and isn’t immediately life threatening. Prison doctors, in fact, according to our sources, have said “watchful waiting makes sense” in Manson’s case. In other words, if the cancer becomes more aggressive, they likely will recommend surgery or radiation – but not before. Also, we are told Manson still is in the possession of what has been called his “prodigious and insatiable sex drive”, the outlet for which we will, in the interest of modesty, leave to the imaginations of our readers. – Derek Clontz

    In my view, palliative care is one thing, restorative care another.

    ----------

    We all know that Holmes, like the Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan, will receive excellent medical care for as long as he is incarcerated:

    Hasan was initially hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, under heavy guard,with his condition described as "stable". News reports on November 7, 2009, indicated that he was in a coma. On November 9, Brooke Army Medical Center spokesman Dewey Mitchell announced that Hasan had regained consciousness, and been able to talk since he was taken off a ventilator on November 7. On November 13, Hasan's attorney, John Galligan, announced that Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down from the bullet wounds to his spine, and will likely never walk again. In mid-December, Galligan indicated that Hasan was moved from intensive care to a private hospital room, yet still remained under guard while recovering. Galligan further stated that doctors said Hasan would need at least two months in the hospital to learn "to care for himself."

    No rationing of medical care for him?

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  44. The issue is not gun control. Period. The issue is gun safety, should we flip the coin. My husband taught BOTH of our sons the gun safety necessary to take them hunting. Here is what he told them:

    "The only time you point a gun at a person is if you intend to kill them." In other words, don't point it, unless of course, in fear of your own imminent demise.

    How many times did James Holmes intend to kill people? Every time he pointed his weapon at another human.

    Tammy Swofford

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  45. Midnight Rider is eloquent in his discussion of the reality of combat. It is one thing to shoot a weapon at a paper target; it is something entirely different when that target is shooting at you. I doubt if the average person, licensed to carry, has combat experience. This means that the average person, licensed to carry, is ill equipped to take on someone like Holmes, who is shooting a weapon into the theater. And certainly not until the shooter’s gun jammed. I agree that the worst-case scenario is that someone licensed to carry, in the heat of battle, pulls out his handgun and attempts to take on the enemy from too far away to be effective with a handgun, and ends up shooting an innocent. A head shot at more than 15 yards would be a remarkable feat, especially after adding in the adrenalin factor. My advice to people who carry firearms is this: first, do no harm to the innocent.

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  46. Mustang,
    Yes, distance is a huge factor with a handgun -- as is "buck fever" (so to speak).

    I wonder how close Holmes stood to those that he wasn't shooting towards?

    There was also, of course, the factor of the body armour he was wearing.

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  47. NOTE TO ALL:

    Next week, I'll have a short post about the topic of gun control. Clearly, this thread is not about gun control.

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  48. I've once said in jest to Mr. AOW (back when we were so up against it financially after his stroke and I had a terrible toothache): "Maybe I should go get arrested. Then, I'd get dental care for free."

    I've said the same thing to my husband, only regarding education! Maybe I should rob a bank!

    I agree completely; Holmes is a rabid dog and should be put down immediately. If some doctor wishes to study Holmes' mental state, let him or her bear the cost of his incarceration, NOT US!

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  49. I think Holmes is beyond rehabilitation. I also think he will “work the system” and he’ll be laughing to himself about this tragedy sixty years into the future. We do not reaffirm our value of life by keeping this piece of shit alive for more than four minutes after a finding of guilty.

    I also take exception to the notion that a person can be “not guilty by reason of insanity.” If anything, find him “guilty but insane.” He is clearly guilty. His mental condition should fall under matters of extenuation or mitigation.

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  50. Now the little bastard is reportedly spitting on the prison guards to the point that they are forcing him to wear a mask.

    I say cave his teeth in. That'll make him think twice about it.

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  51. Brooke,
    He's spitting, huh?

    Why am I reminded of Silence of the Lambs?

    He's showing TOO MANY classic symptoms. Who does all that? A faker.

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  52. Mustang,
    he’ll be laughing to himself about this tragedy sixty years into the future

    He's going to be doing more than laughing, IMO.

    I won't spell it out -- too vulgar.

    If he's found guilty but insane, what is the penalty? I'm going to look that up.

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  53. Typically, a verdict of guilty but mentally ill = life without parole.

    HERE is information from Amnesty International, and HERE is information from the ACLU.

    Also, if anyone can stand to read it, HERE is "Too crazy to kill?"

    According to that last link:

    The Supreme Court in 2002 banned the execution of mentally retarded criminals. In 2005, justices ruled that it was also unconstitutional to put to death juvenile criminals. But the circumstances regarding the execution of inmates who are mentally ill - but not insane - are less clear-cut, though previous high court rulings have held that the mere presence of mental illness doesn’t necessarily exempt someone from execution.

    The doctrine of the last shot is much better, I think.

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  54. I honestly wish someone in that theater would have had a licensed concealed weapon and shot that piece crap down!

    I despise the fact that now, the victims families and all American tax payers are paying to keep this SOB fed, housed and getting his free cable tv, and whatnots. Makes me livid.

    He deserves to die. Period.

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  55. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  56. Liberalmann,
    Deleted. You are, once again, off topic for this particular blog post.

    I'm losing patience with having to explain the matter of remaining topical over and over again to you.

    FYI: Next week, I will have a post about gun control. Weigh in then.

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  57. Hmm... who is famous for being a mass murderer, (sadist on top of that), and every time he is arrested getting off for being insane/mentally ill/whatever?

    The Joker.

    And who is this guy imitating? Why, the same guy. And he studies neuroscience. Ya, coincidence senses are tingling here.

    On studying the guy... what is the point. He killed people. Im sure its interesting to science what caused it, but pure curiosity shouldn't keep a mass murderer alive. If so, the scientists can pay for it, or like they did in the Old days, go to an insane asylum and study them there. Or foot the bill.

    About the Last Shot... I completely agree. A known murderer deserves capital punishment (in every era up till now...), and someone insane and a murderer is little better than a rabid dog. We don't keep those around to study, or out of misguided sympathy. The insanity letting off murder in general baffles me... they would fail to understand what they did wrong, and have the capability to kill again. Rabid dog. Yes, killing willy nilly is one thing... but keeping alive those that have killed, or could again, is more insane than anything else.

    -Wildstar

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  58. In October 1993, a scum sucking pig by the name of Richard Allen Davis kidnapped a young girl named Polly Klaas, raped her, and murdered her. California prison officials paroled Davis in June 1993; he had completed one-half of a 16 year sentence for kidnapping. Davis is on death row today … where he’s been since 1996. Why are we holding on to this worthless piece of crap? His behavior at the time of sentencing, in court, was utterly disgraceful.

    Davis began his criminal career at the age of 12 … it is a significant rap sheet. You can read about it here. What we should wonder is this: would Polly Klaas be alive today if “society” has squashed Davis before he got to her? Did anyone from the California prison system have to answer for Polly’s death? Herein lies the problem. Government is never responsible for its terrible decisions, including those that have nothing to do with the administration of justice.

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  59. Miss AOW, I speak with God every day and not one time has He ever mentioned the liberal man. If He had, it would probably be an apologie. Anyway, don't worry about your faith; liberal man is not qualified to judge you.

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  60. "It is one thing to shoot a weapon at a paper target; it is something entirely different when that target is shooting at you."

    Mustang is 100% correct on this point. The worst thing you can do is to confront someone with a gun unless you are absolutely sure that you can pull the trigger, because, if you don't, the bad guy will. Believe Mustang and I and others who have been there, it is not as simple as it may appear, especially the first time.

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  61. Liberalmann,
    I have deleted yet another of your comments. In that comment of July 25, 2012 10:07:00 PM EDT, you called me a fool and a hypocrite. I will not tolerate such statements in my own home (my blog).

    Via comment notification, I have a copy of ALL comments. Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that I have that comment on file AND/OR perhaps you forgot exactly what you said in your comment of July 25, 2012 6:50:00 PM EDT.

    In that comment, your referred to Christianity, then went on to try to discuss how to prevent these horrors from happening.

    Again, this thread is not about prevention! Read the blog post again.

    I will allow to stand your comment of July 25, 2012 10:55:00 PM EDT. That comment is marginal, but as the owner of this property (blog site), I will allow that comment to stand. Make that comment again, and you are gone.

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  62. Louis,
    The Lord hasn't mentioned Liberalmann to me either.

    Perhaps Liberalmann is "channeling" Nancy Pelosi? See THIS.

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  63. Wildstar,
    Yes, killing willy nilly is one thing... but keeping alive those that have killed, or could again, is more insane than anything else.

    EXACTLY!

    PS: How goes the Latin study? Looking forward to finalizing your course grade -- when you are well prepared for the final exam. Get that A for the year!

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  64. Wildstar,
    Mrs. AOW read your comment to me, and I just have to say something.

    pure curiosity shouldn't keep a mass murderer alive. If so, the scientists can pay for it, or like they did in the Old days, go to an insane asylum and study them there. Or foot the bill.

    True 'dat!

    You have a great idea there, too. No wonder Mrs. AOW says that you are so smart!

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  65. Sam,
    Richard Allen Davis was paroled many times before he murdered Polly Klaas. It is indeed very likely that she would be alive today had Davis not been paroled.

    In the case of Russell Eugene Weston, Jr., a mentally ill individual if ever there was one, prior to the Capitol Hill shootings he did, he had spent around 50 days in a mental hospital after threatening a Montana resident. He was released after testing as being of no danger to himself or anyone else. More information about Weston HERE. Yes, we the taxpayers are paying for his care. Not that one can call his warehousing "care." Clearly, he is a classic case of hopeless.

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  66. AOW please take out the last comment from Liberalman...curse words have no place in an adult conversation.

    Midnight Rider, I have accepted what you have and pray I never actually have to follow through. However, I can not fathom how any one with the means to react could not react to such an event. How could you live with yourself afterwards knowing that maybe just maybe by returning fire that opened a chance for someone to escape or a chance that the shooter would be distracted long enough for someone else to shoot back. Yes the shot would be almost impossible given the darkness of the theatre, the crowd, and his armor. But I could live with myself if I did nothing...could you?

    As to Liberalmann...yes as Christians we agree that murder is a sin. Self defense and defense of others is not murder as there is no criminal thought behind the act. I agree that it is horrible that we will feed, cloth, and house this guy for many many years. But that is a function that we have allowed the ALCU and other communist groups to cause us to create prisons that are nicer than some places we live and work. The answer is not to condone Capital Punishment in so many cases but rather to make prisons what they should be punishment.....

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. And of course by returning fire you also run the risk of killing more innocents. Arming people to prevent shootings and other violent crime is ridiculous.

    Really? "ALCU and other 'communist' groups caused us to create prisons that are nicer than some places we live and work?" What other 'communist' groups, lol? Yeah, it's all their fault. Let them rot, it's the 'Christian' thing to do. Guess what, Christianity is closer to Communism than Capitalism.

    You guys just can't help stepping in it.

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  69. Liberalmann,
    And of course by returning fire you also run the risk of killing more innocents. Arming people to prevent shootings and other violent crime is ridiculous.

    Now, THERE is an on-topic comment. Thank you. No sarcasm, covert or overt, intended on my part.

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  70. Society would be far better off without the presence of the insane. They are no good to society OR to themselves.

    The CRIMINALLY insane should all be gassed. PERIOD!

    Evil acts are no less evil ,because the perpetrator presumably didn't know what he or she was doing. My advice is to WASTE 'EM -- humanely of course.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  71. " ... curse words have no place in an adult conversation. ..."

    I politely disagree, Blogginator. There are many times when expletives provide the best possible response to outrageous bits of nonsense or malicious fabrication.

    The classic four-letter words are like ornaments. You must know when, where, how often to use them in order for them to be effective and enhance -- not detract -- from the essence of the discussion.

    As a libertarian I have little tolerances for prudes and bluenoses.

    Meaning: Sticks and stone may break my bones, but names can never harm me.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  72. I should have aded to that last post:

    There's a time and a place for EVERYTHING.

    ~ FT

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  73. FT,
    It depends on what the word is.

    I let some strong language stand, but other strong language I will delete.

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  74. Profanity is the weapon of the witless.

    ~ Louie

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  75. Freethinke..
    I am in favor of well placed cursing. The character on that HBO clip from the Newsroom was well exceuted cursing. I was speaking about a post from Liberalmann which contained no such eloquence and was composed mostly of the word "Fuckwad". There was little else in the post.

    I served in the military and my career routinely puts me in places where use such words as amin part of their vocabulary as they are proud examples of government run schools.

    As you said there is a time and place for everything. I failed to see how that random word added to our conversation other than to illustrate again the intellectualy weakness of the participant using the term.

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  76. "Society would be far better off without the presence of the insane. They are no good to society OR to themselves."

    H*tler thought similar visions... along with Jews, gypsies and gays.

    My question would be how do you draw the line.

    I know the event in Aurora was horrible and people can feel emotive about this but have a re-read through many of the comments. We can conclude that you all think your Constitution is of no value (except for free speech and the ownership of guns).

    Your Constitution GUARENTEES that everyone has the right to trial (let alone presumption of being being innocent until proven guilty in a court of law). From what I see here, most consider that mob-violence and linching is prefered above that.

    Punishment afterwards, sentencing, executions, costs of imprisonment, legal fees etc, that is a different matter of course.

    My own personal view on punishment is not popular amongst my colleagues. I believe in the death penalty and that there should be no life-sentences. If your going to send someone to die in prison then you may as well execute that person. Effort should be made to improve and speed up appeals and limit them to two and once exhuasted, a maximum 14 days for that execution. Any self-confessed and remorseless murderer should die within 48 hours of sentancing.

    Having said the above, everyone deserves their day in court and the burden of proof is on the state.

    Cheers

    Damien Charles

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  77. It may surprise a few here, especially AoW and none more than myself, but I agree with most of what Damien Charles wrote here.

    We divurge on the issue of right to carry and self defense in the face of a massacre but in the aftermath, once the individual has surrendered his Constitutional Protections must be honored. If not then they mean nothing. The responding officer becomes judge jury and executioner of the surrendered.

    "Society would be far better off without the presence of the insane. They are no good to society OR to themselves" would seem an overly and grotesguely broad statement. Who is to make that judgement? What is the definition of insane? And if a doctor judges someone insane are we then to euthanize them though they have committed no crime? What if prenatal testing shows that a child will be born mentally retarded, maybe with Downs syndrome or some other mental defect? Are we to force that mother to have an abortion because there is a chance the child will be born "insane"? Where does tis thinking lead and where does it end?

    Take it a different direction. Holmes enters the theater and begins his massacre just as he did but with 2 differences.

    1> he is not wearing any, or verylimited, body armor.

    2. Someone such as myself or AoW is in that theater, armed, and when his guns jams we tka eht eshot and stop the massacre (a notion I wholly support).

    Now, first responders are responding. Mayhem and pandemonium are still ensuing.

    The person with the concealed carry license, who stopped the massacre, is very likely in their own state of shock. First from witnessing the massacre and secondly from having to shoot and presumably kill someone themselves (anyone other than a person combat hardened who says it wouldn't happen to them should probably rethink carrying a gun). They may not have even reholstered their weapon yet.

    The police enter the theater amid the smoke and screaming and confusion and people running and trying to get out

    and see Aow or myself standing over a dead body amidst all the other dead and wounded

    still holding our gun

    and although we throw our hands up to say we didn't do it

    Under the Last Shot Fired doctrine. . .

    Unless I am misapprehending the doctrine.

    Just something to think about.

    And none of it changes my mind on the right to carry and self defense.

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  78. Something else to consider. . .

    In a society such as ours where a citizen's right to use lethal force in certain self defense situations we cannot allow L.E. to be held to a lower standard.

    If Holmes had laid down his weapons and stepped away from them, was no longer a threat, and AoW or I had walked up and put a .45 round between his eyes we would have been arrested and tried for murder. And using the "I just watched him shoot 70 people" as a defense would not work. Nor should it.

    Why should we allow our police to do the same thing without reproach? What kind of doors does that open for L.E. abuse?

    So either their standards for a righteous shooting have to be the same as ours

    OR ours must be lowered to theirs.

    Which would seem to lead to nothing more than vigilante justice.

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  79. MR,
    using the "I just watched him shoot 70 people" as a defense would not work. Nor should it.

    I'm not sure that a conviction would ensue. Juries are totally unpredictable.

    Now, I do not favor vigilante justice. Is it morally wrong? Maybe, maybe not. That a topic that could be up for discussion.

    Let's take another example....Remember that horror in the Amish schoolhouse some years ago? Have the fathers of those girls seen the man walking away from the scene and had they shot him dead, I highly doubt that much would have happened -- other than the death of the vile criminal, of course.

    And let me ask this: Is it morally right for all this expenditure for Holmes to occur while the some of the survivors have medical bills to the moon -- perhaps a lifetime of disability and a lifetime of the dreaded pre-existing conditions which affect health insurance coverage -- bear the penalty for the evil man's actions?

    Holmes is gobbling up taxpayer resources while people like Warren and Jackie -- and you, to a certain extent in a different situation from that of Warren and Jackie -- are languishing! Is THAT morally right?

    ----------------

    Once again, both Tammy and I are speaking of massacre situations and while the blood from the multiple victims is still flowing. You do realize what it was like in that cinema when the first responders went in? The floor was slanted, and the first responders were wading in blood up to their ankles at the lowest level of the cinema.

    Thank God that, so far, deeds such as Holmes have been few. He is an aberration. May such vile men and their deeds remain aberrations!

    -----------

    From what I can tell, Holmes, apparently well versed in neuroscience, is playing the system. Watch that film of him in court! At one point, he "snaps out of it" to listen to an exchange between the public defender and someone else. Then, he catches himself and goes back to the bug-eyed stare.

    -----------

    Now, if a jury finds him guilty, it is not as if the expenses end. To the contrary! Especially if he is warehoused for life.

    -----------

    So either their standards for a righteous shooting have to be the same as ours

    I'm not sure that those standards have ever been the same.

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  80. Damien Charles,
    I believe in the death penalty and that there should be no life-sentences....Effort should be made to improve and speed up appeals and limit them to two and once exhuasted, a maximum 14 days for that execution. Any self-confessed and remorseless murderer should die within 48 hours of sentancing.

    I'll go along with that.

    You know what? I rather imagine that Holmes is getting sexual pleasure from all that's going on right now and will get sexual pleasure from all the delays, too. I base that statement upon my studies of criminology; not a professional in that regard, but I have taught one certified sociopath. Sociopaths are truly amoral!

    The Dahmer case was of a different sort. Ever studied that one?

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  81. Holmes is playing a game called diminished mental capacity; suddenly, a psychiatrist emerges from the university.

    If this dirt bag began to plan this horrific event several months ago, but only recently sought the help of a psychiatrist, then he is milking the system. Justice delayed is justice denied.

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  82. AOW,

    I also have studied to a level criminology and of course work in a related field. Interestingly I get the same sneaking suspicion that you do though of course we are only watching from a far.

    It is very interesting how many get an almost seductive if not sexual-like high from simply wanting attention. Psychologically speaking most people wish to be the centre of attention, loved, cared-for, admired, sympathised - so those that take it to the extreme or the psychotic will do whatever and thus get the pleasure when it succeeds.

    Again, professionally I must remind both myself and others, that we do not know the full story yet and like with a recent Florida shooting case (yet to finish) it is amazing how much distortion on both sides can confuse the case.

    Last comment - I find it interesting the comments about shooting/responding in conjunction with rights. Most legal systems do take into consideration the speed and heat of the moment but ultimately will only judge on the result. In other words, judgement comes on to what actually happened and sentancing takes into consideration circumstances.

    Cheers

    Damien Charles

    ps, all the best for the games, team USA looks enthusiastic to say the least!

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  83. Damien Charles,
    judgement comes on to what actually happened and sentancing takes into consideration circumstances

    Usually, that is the way it works. However, juries are notoriously unpredictable! Justifiable homicide, whether or not the term is a legal one, often play into the jury's decision.

    -------------

    I've had no formal course work in criminology although I did, of course, take psychology and educational psychology.

    I had an experience with a certified sociopath -- a brilliant individual with an IQ approaching 200 -- when I was teaching late elementary school.

    The details are too personal and too involved to go into here other than my saying that I saw up close how a sociopath's brain works. A young sociopath's brain, that is. He was not schizophrenic; rather, he had always been a bit strange, and that strangeness ramped up incredibly after a serious head injury that really warped his personality into the classic manifestations of sociopathy: bed wetting, torture of animals, and, of course, aggressive and passive-aggressive behaviors.

    Interestingly, this individual told the psychiatrists that I -- OF ALL PEOPLE! -- was the only one who had ever cared about him. Of course, I DID care about his as he was my student. But I wouldn't say that we bonded -- even though HE felt that we HAD bonded. What I did do: I went to bat for him in that I INSISTED AT THE PERIL OF LOSING MY JOB he see a qualified counselor and, ultimately, be confined for treatment. The confinement ended, of course, when he reached adulthood.

    As you know, there is no cure for sociopathy.

    I saw the above-mentioned individual a few years ago at a social occasion. He is an adult now, of course. God help me! He looked at me with such love in his eyes! Not sexual love, but a child-mother kind of love. He and I talked, of course. A good chat.

    I wish that I could have helped him more all those years ago. God knows that I tried to!

    Still, I make a point of keeping my distance from him if at all possible. Yes, I am a bit afraid of him -- never mind that he didn't show any signs of violence toward me.

    ------------

    I'm not sure what I am so interested in criminology.

    Perhaps my interest stems from my interest in neurology and the senile dementia that three of my grandparents had and from the fact that one of my parents' best friends died of brain cancer. We helped to caregive the latter.

    Also, my father was always interested in abnormal psychology. I have my theories about why Dad was so interested in the topic but won't blab on about that right now.

    -----------

    Thanks for your best wishes for Team USA.

    I have little interest in the Olympics EXCEPT for the following:

    1. women's gymnastics (because my sister-in-law was a world competitor in that field back in the 1980s)

    2. diving

    Honestly, team sports bores me to tears!

    I did watch part of the opening show last night. Loved that show, especially the history/heritage aspects!

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  84. Mustang,
    Holmes is playing a game called diminished mental capacity...

    And he knows EVERY way to play that game! As I've mentioned before, he has studied neuroscience, which often focuses on aberrations, be they physical or psychological. I read yesterday that he is now claiming amnesia. Very convenient, huh?

    We don't yet know all the facts of Holmes's past psychological history.

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  85. WHAT!

    Comedian and actor Dane Cook integrated the Aurora, Colo., shooting incident into his standup routine at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles Thursday.

    “So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie,” Cook said, “And I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but the movie is pretty much a piece of crap. Yea, spoiler alert.”

    “I know that if none of that would have happened, pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, was probably like ‘ugh fucking shoot me,’” Cook said.

    His comments regarding the shooting were met with groans that morphed into loud laughter and cheers.


    SICK, SICK, SICK!

    Who is this guy, anyway?

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  86. AOW,

    items are starting to appear that he was seeing a doctor/lecturer/student councillor (psychiatric) at Denver University.

    The items are being requested by his defence as they are embargoed by the court at present.

    Though again we have no idea and cannot really speculate, it very well may have to do with his leaving his docorate - a classic short-term collapse? Either way it will put diminished capacity in the way of the death penalty as the Judge would order any jury to say not guilty due to diminished capacity (insanity) if any doubt is shown.....

    As for the olympics, I am opposite to you, team sport interests me more than individuals except for gymnastics and fencing (I fenced in my early youth but was not really coordinated to go that far). I am actually heading off on Tuesday to see the sailing which is my passion now - I have a friend that lives ten minutes walk from the area (far south England).

    Cheers

    Damien Charles

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