On talking without thinking
By Chris Clancy
It’s not often I get angry these days. Which is just as well. Not a good idea at my age. But one recent Saturday I did. It happened as the news of the Aurora theatre shooting was breaking.
I was working online at the time.
This was the second such tragedy to hit Colorado.The first being Columbine - in 1999. The objectives in both cases were the same. Pick a soft target, get well tooled up, choose a particular date and time and then slaughter as many innocents as possible.
But there were differences. In Columbine there were two shooters. In Aurora there was one. In Columbine the shooters killed themselves. We’ll never know their reasons – not from their mouths anyway. In Aurora the shooter was arrested by the police. We are told he sat on the ground and meekly surrendered.
He may or may not say what his reasons were – not that it matters – no sane person will ever truly understand why he did what he did.
Who is he?
Twenty four years old. An honours graduate from the University of California, Riverside. In June 2011 he enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Medical School.
Four months ago he dropped out and, apparently, set about planning his atrocity.
This was not someone who just snapped. We can only wonder. What on earth was going through his mind during this period? Where was he in his own head?
God only knows what nightmare world he’d stepped into.
The news came through that one of the dead was a six year old child, Veronica Moser. Her twenty five year old mother, Ashley, had also been shot – in the throat and abdomen. She had been rushed to a hospital in critical condition.
I turned on the TV and flicked through to the first news channel I could find. Bill O’Reilly appeared. He was musing about why parents would want to bring their children to a midnight screening of a movie in the first place?
His incisive conclusion was they did it because they didn’t want to pay babysitters - because they were too expensive.
The implication of what he said was galling. In his addled way of thinking, he was trying to make some kind of superior point about parental responsibility.
The word “inappropriate” hardly begins to describe it. What exactly was the point of your remark Mr O’Reilly? What were you thinking as you spoke – if anything? How could anyone have possibly known what was going to happen that dreadful night?
By your own admission you are a simple man. But even by your standards this was the height of ignorance and stupidity.
Why don’t you go the whole hog – how about emailing that young woman for starters – really stick it to her – say something like, “Your six year old daughter is dead because you’re such an irresponsible cheapskate!”
Nice one O’Reilly.
How very insightful of you.
Lovely piece of journalistic commentary.
Chris Clancy lived in China for seven years. Most of this time was spent as associate professor of financial accounting at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. He now lives in Thailand where he spends his time reading, writing, lecturing and, whenever he gets the chance, doing his level best to spread Austrian economics.