By Michael Bryan
In response to the horrific slaughter of innocents in Aurora, CO, Pearce shared the following insipid statement on his Facebook page:
"Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because noone was prepared to stop it."
In Pearce's worldview, the problem Aurora highlights is not that a mad man had access to assault weapons and used them on his fellow citizens, but that those citizens weren't sufficiently armed and ready to meet the threat.
Yes, the killer was a bad man, but he had far more than just 'a weapon'. He had a fucking armoury. He had four guns with hundreds of rounds of ready ammunition. He had body armour from head to toe. His home was full of IEDs that required the evacuation of surrounding apartment buildings and are still being disarmed.
Consider how that night might have been different if that bad, mad man had not been able to arm and armour himself to the degree that he posed a lethal threat to the lives and safety of his fellow citizens - including the police. If he had not been able to legally aquire the assault weapons that allowed this unstable monster to mow down dozens of his fellow human beings in moments? If he had not been able to armour himself to a degree that he was effectively immune to any civilian weapon?
If this bad man had not been able to transform himself into a walking terminator, then perhaps Pearce would have a point, albeit an insensitive and boorish one. But to place the burden of self-protection on every citizen, when any mad man has the means and legal right to purchase equipment more suited to a war zone than a suburban movie theater, is to stack the deck against peaceful citizens and ensure that more innocents will be gunned down by ferociously armed-to-the-teeth mad murderers.
For Pearce to claim that this tragedy was not a result of the uniquely loose nature of America's gun laws, but to lack of weapons among those in the theater is absurd, stupid, and insulting - much like the man himself.
I do believe that responsible citizens should have the right to own and carry guns for hunting, sport, and self defense. But no American outside the armed forces or police has any need - nor should one have the legal right - to arm himself with the sort of equipment that makes one such a dire threat to public safety.
Assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition systems have no place in the armoury of any citizen merely interested in defense of themselves and others, sport, or hunting. No private person going about their daily lives has a need for the sort of combat weapons to which this monster had legal access.
Allowing the sale of such equipment is an unacceptable threat to public safety, because the only possible use of such weaponry is the sort of mass slaughter we've far too frequently in our nation.
Or political terrorism. Or armed insurrection.
Given the proclivities and history of the reactionary right in this country, maybe that explains the real motive of the right-wing paranoids who would block any legislation that would protect our citizens from such weapons of slaughter.