The work of a madman

The accused Colorado gunman appears in court Monday. AP Photo

The accused Colorado gunman appears in court Monday. AP Photo

The suspect in Friday’s horrific shooting at a Colorado movie theater appeared in court today and didn’t speak a word. Police have said he isn’t speaking while in their custody, either, so it could be some time before we learn whether there was any kind of motivation for the man charged with murdering (as of now) 12 people and wounding dozens more.

My rule of thumb in these cases, absent any evidence, is to begin by assuming they are the work of madmen with thoughts and beliefs unthinkable to the vast, vast majority of us. Until investigators and reporters closer to the situation uncover more about the accused, I would argue that’s a good working basis for all of us.

At Hot Air, Mary Katharine Ham has compiled an excellent series of brief sketches from various news outlets about the 12 who have died so far (there are others with life-threatening wounds), complete with photos. I’m struck that survivors said five of the 12 died protecting others, including two soldiers and a Navy veteran who gave their lives.

***

This post is rather late in the day and pretty brief, and there are reasons for that. Among other things, I have a family funeral to attend tomorrow and two speaking engagements soon afterward for which I need to prepare today. I plan to post something tomorrow morning, but it may be a couple of days before I’m blogging on a regular schedule again. Thanks in advance for your patience, and please try to keep it clean on the comment threads in the meantime.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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261 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 23rd, 2012
2:40 pm

Sorry about your loss, Kyle.

Slick Rick

July 23rd, 2012
2:50 pm

Well done, Kyle – no Obama/Democrat bashing for a change. What a welcome change of pace!!!

Slick Rick

July 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

I’ll add: too bad we needed a mass killing to make it happen.

ragnar danneskjold

July 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

I misperceived the headline, thought it was about ObamaCare.

Oblama

July 23rd, 2012
2:52 pm

Time to reconsider the electric chair for these mass murderers. Some times a rabid animal has to be put down.

markie mark

July 23rd, 2012
2:58 pm

I believe that some human beings are unfortunately, innately evil. This is probably one of those times where we will never be satisfied with a conclusive “why” , because there probably wont be a good reason.

southpaw

July 23rd, 2012
2:59 pm

You and your family take care, Kyle.

As long as Holmes took to plan his attack, he had to have SOME motivation. I’ll be interested in hearing what it is. He doesn’t look as crazy as Jared Loughner, but looks can be deceiving.

You heard it here first, folks: We’ll hear renewed calls to ban weapons for everybody (except law enforecement and military) before we hear why Holmes went after so many innocent people.

Hillbilly D

July 23rd, 2012
3:00 pm

This was an irrational act and there’s no way to make sense of an irrational act. Unfortunately, when people like this are hell bent on evil and destruction, there isn’t a lot anybody can do, once they reach that point.

And to Kyle, sorry for your loss.

Slick Rick

July 23rd, 2012
3:05 pm

@ Hillbilly D – “This was an irrational act and there’s no way to make sense of an irrational act. Unfortunately, when people like this are hell bent on evil and destruction, there isn’t a lot anybody can do, once they reach that point.”

As apt a description of the current Republican party as any I’ve ever head. Chapeau, mon ami.

curious

July 23rd, 2012
3:05 pm

Something need to be done to help identify these type people. Blindly defending his 2nd Amendment Rights will eventually lead to some sort of gun control.

The NRA needs to take the lead on developing a solution.

WE IS... PENN STATE!

July 23rd, 2012
3:07 pm

I, too, thought this blog would be about The Great JiveTalker’s administration.

Slick Rick

July 23rd, 2012
3:10 pm

@ curious – The NRA can’t see through the fog of bullet smoke. All the NRA cares about is defending peoples’ rights to arm themselves as much as they can, irrespective of why, where, by whom and for what. The NRA can’t “take the lead on developing a solution” since the demise of the NRA and the repeal of the “right to bear arms” is the only solution to our gun crazy problem.

Thulsa Doom

July 23rd, 2012
3:11 pm

curious,

There is no solution for crazy. In a nation of 310 million people there are going to be some nuts walking around. And there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. We don’t want to become a police state and suppress everyone’s freedoms because of the actions of a handful of kooks.

Thulsa Doom

July 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

” the demise of the NRA and the repeal of the “right to bear arms” is the only solution to our gun crazy problem.”

You think so? Washington DC and Chicago have 2 of if not the toughest gun control laws in the U.S. And ya know what? Gun crime there is as bad or worse than anywhere else in the U.S.

Tealiban Party

July 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

southpaw
July 23rd, 2012
2:59 pm
You heard it here first, folks: We’ll hear renewed calls to ban weapons for everybody (except law enforecement and military) before we hear why Holmes went after so many innocent people.

I don’t think we need to ban all weapons. But perhaps we should reconsider the ease with which people can access 100 round clips, ammunition purchases over the internet, and the need for the public to obtain assault rifles. Who besides military needs 100 round clips?

Thulsa Doom

July 23rd, 2012
3:18 pm

“Something need to be done to help identify these type people.”

Unless you’re a mind reader you would have little to no way of identifying people like this guy.

brad

July 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

Tealiban, that’s a good starting point for a discussion. I think the answer to your question is “nobody”. Other thoughts?

bookman parrot

July 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

Slick Rick,
You are way off base.

Contarded To The Core, Hate for no other reason, except..,

July 23rd, 2012
3:27 pm

I find it ironic that @WE IS PENN STATE would come out here with the camouflaged raciLly tinged rant that he has in not only his name, but references to “jive talking” and all, yet from top to bottom the Peen State debacle was perpetuated by GUESS WHO?? Not much different than this clown with the red hair who indescriminately slaughtered and maimed a ton of innocent people in a SINGLE outing. Now that’s a pretty familiar narrative it seems over the past generation. But oh…he’s “sick” ,”deranged”, etc. No… he’s evil and an @@@hole just like many like him who cannot control their rage because they become convinced that others are trying to impinge upon their opportunities or whatever. Well, there you have it. Make excuses all you want (and many will) you are stuck owning him.

Don't Tread

July 23rd, 2012
3:29 pm

You don’t like civilian ownership of assault rifles, move to The People’s Republik of Kalifornia. They confiscate them there (after telling you to register them “for information purposes only” :roll: yeah, right). Or maybe New York City, home of “stop and frisk”, DC, Chicago…

Groups like NRA exist to protect our rights from those in government (and those who support them) who would take them away because some people abuse the right, such as nutjob up there. That guy looks like he’s completely gone off the deep end. (But the insanity defense most likely won’t work for him.) Colorado still has the death penalty, which is completely appropriate here…do they have the “fast track” program like Texas?

Middle of the Road

July 23rd, 2012
3:29 pm

It’s difficult to decide what is and is not legal with regard to gun ownership. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the laws already in place vary between states and municipalities. For example, the AR-15 assault rifle and 100-round clips used by Holmes would have been illegal to purchase in Denver but are perfectly acceptable to buy in the rest of Colorado. Seems like an earnest discussion among leaders and lawmakers from across the country need to review what should be done here. IMHO no civilian should be allowed to carry and use the above items. Alas, the two Glocks and shot gun would have still done some harm; but those items I feel are reasonable items to be allowable.

The line needs to be drawn somewhere, and it needs to be universal throughout the country.

GT

July 23rd, 2012
3:30 pm

I guess the guys in 9/11 were crazy too. The fact this happens in Colorado was just a coincidence. And the fact it happens far more times in the United States than the rest of the world combined are all coincidence.

Has there ever been a woman going off the track like this? I guess those macho women don’t sell themselves as believable as much as the Rambo characters. Or maybe women are just innately more intelligent or grounded in reality. Before the movies how many of these things happened? Maybe not even that far back, Gary Cooper never brought this dark side out of his fans. Go to a violate movie and take a survey, you will be shocked how many of those people are far right Christians. We wonder how this stuff happens. Right…

brad

July 23rd, 2012
3:32 pm

@Thulsa: I agree that gun control laws in DC and Chicago have not solved any problems. Since guns can be easily purchased in other states and readily transported, local gun controls are meaningless.

Jefferson

July 23rd, 2012
3:33 pm

Holmes has NO defense, trial should be in about a week.

curious

July 23rd, 2012
3:36 pm

Slightly disagree. When some non licensed gun dealer buys several guns within a very short time span, it could be a warning. He bought these guns from licensed dealers, so the sale had to be run through a background check.

Doing nothing is a sure fire method of losing all your rights.

Hillbilly D

July 23rd, 2012
3:37 pm

Slick Rick @ 3:05

My comment had absolutely nothing to do with politics. I think most anybody who knows me knows I’d frown on either side trying to use something like this to score political points.

Contarded To The Core, Hate for no other reason, except..,

July 23rd, 2012
3:39 pm

I watched a Vanguard documentary on life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and these guys spoke to how they aqcuire their weapons though initially they were not going to talk about it. It is no different than how extremely poor communities in this country become flooded with these high powered weapons – corruption in police, politicians, and gun sellers…and other “funders”, as with these militia groups. As is said in many an “urban” crime drama with social message embedding, “they don’t make these guns in the hood”. They surely seem to find their way there though. I’m still trying to figure out where this clown got all the money to purchase all this weaponry and tactical gear! It’s all part of a larger effort; it ALWAYS is.

Jack

July 23rd, 2012
3:53 pm

The killer has been watching too much TV: A weak-minded person wanting his 15 minutes of fame.

Kyle Wingfield

July 23rd, 2012
3:53 pm

Oblama: You can point out the ridiculousness of GT’s unfounded claim without resorting to name-calling.

G.I. Joe

July 23rd, 2012
3:53 pm

G.T. can’t help it Oblama. Born with a genetic defect for ignorance. G.T. would probably suggest Holmes get anger management and be released. Strange that G.T. sees this as a gun problem rather than give the responsibility to the one that pulled the trigger.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 23rd, 2012
3:56 pm

Does anyone else find the irony in Slick Rick’s 2:50 and 3:05 comments?

Oblama

July 23rd, 2012
4:02 pm

G. T. does plenty of name calling with the insults hurled at Christians constantly from G.T.’s mouth. What G.T. said was uncalled for and ridiculous. I didn’t start this – just responded in self defense.

HOT AIR

July 23rd, 2012
4:05 pm

G.T. remarks aren’t important enough to comment on. G.T. is trying to stir up controversy where it doesn’t exist.

Bruno

July 23rd, 2012
4:06 pm

As I mentioned in the thread below, nearly 100 people in the US die each day due to firearms, while a similar number die each day from traffic accidents. IMO, all of their stories need to be told, yet the media will pick out one sensational story like this one and beat it into the ground.

Personally, I’m not fascinated by people like Holmes. Whatever drove him mad doesn’t really interest me, because his “solution” was to harm innocent people. If he wanted to end his own life, so be it, but leave everyone else out of it.

JamVet

July 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

Though it would never pass the cruel and unusual punishment test, I favor having this person spend the rest of his life behind bars watching home movies of his victims, 24/7. And the walls and ceilings of his cell plastered with their photos…

Bruno

July 23rd, 2012
4:11 pm

BTW, I noticed that Kyle didn’t mention the suspect by name. I have to believe that was intentional, and for good reason. The media pretty much turns folks like him into celebrities. If we communally adopted a policy by which you lose your status as a member of society by committing a crime like that, it might possibly reduce the number of incidences. Banish his name.

brad

July 23rd, 2012
4:11 pm

@ GI Joe: I for one, don’t believe for a second that Holmes is not fully responsible for his actions. He deserves to be punished to the full extent of Colorado law. What I’d like to do is make it more difficult for the next guy to be as efficient a killer. To that end, I’d like to see drum magazines outlawed nation-wide.

Hillbilly D

July 23rd, 2012
4:13 pm

yet the media will pick out one sensational story like this one and beat it into the ground.

They make money doing that. If it bleeds it leads. If they didn’t put it on, folks wouldn’t watch but if folks didn’t watch, they wouldn’t put it on. It’s a Catch 22.

Bruno

July 23rd, 2012
4:14 pm

My alma mater recently lost a promising young student to an auto accident. To me, a story like this is more meaningful.

http://www.hmc.edu/newsandevents/ben-huppe.html

G.I. Joe

July 23rd, 2012
4:17 pm

So someone on here (who I want name) actually blames violent movies for this guy’s rampage? When are you ever going to blame the act on the one that did the act? That’s called responsibility. Holmes is an adult, committed premeditated murder against innocent people, and should get the MAX – death by lethal injection. This is not a right or left “thing” – it’s nothing to do with revenge – it’s JUSTICE.

Bruno

July 23rd, 2012
4:17 pm

Though it would never pass the cruel and unusual punishment test

Brother Jam–I saw you drawing attention to all of the blog insulting that goes on here on the last thread. Are we to assume that you will be leading by example from here on out?? ;-)

BTW, PB and I decided to skip the Doobie Bros concert tomorrow at Chastain in order to save up for a trip to NJ in Aug. You were at the top of our guest list, however, for whatever that is worth.

Bruno

July 23rd, 2012
4:19 pm

They make money doing that. If it bleeds it leads. If they didn’t put it on, folks wouldn’t watch but if folks didn’t watch, they wouldn’t put it on. It’s a Catch 22.

I know, HD. I guess it’s just the idealist in me who thinks the bully pulpit of the media could be used so much more productively. Seems that only the scumbags get all of the attention. Why not highlight more of the good folks of the world. They could probably build a mini-series just around you. ;-)

Logic was never intended for libs

July 23rd, 2012
4:20 pm

“I favor having this person spend the rest of his life behind bars ”

Of course not, you’d rather spend millions of taxpayer dollars on an insane scumbag. Shame on you, Vet.

HOT AIR

July 23rd, 2012
4:20 pm

He might enjoy home movies of his victims……….. serial killers do you know.

Logic was never intended for libs

July 23rd, 2012
4:21 pm

“But perhaps we should reconsider the ease with which people can access 100 round clips, ammunition purchases over the internet, and the need for the public to obtain assault rifles.”

Or we could outlaw insane people. I vote for outlawing insane people.

Illegal Immigrant

July 23rd, 2012
4:22 pm

In my country he would never make it to trial ……. or even out of the theater.

Contarded To The Core, Hate for no other reason, except..,

July 23rd, 2012
4:22 pm

Gotta love this headline:

“Colorado Shooter Appears ‘Dazed’ in Court” Been hearing this refrain ALL day and frankly am sick of it. “Dazed”?? How about SLLEEEEEEPPY as h3ll?!! I’m sure he’s been put through all kinds of interrogation since his arrest, nonstop! Maybe they should try “enhanced interrogation techniques” and see how they work? People were highly in favor of them and singing their praises still up until, oh about a year ago. There is nothing “dazed” about him. The jerks STAY PLAYIN’ the gullible (people). Amazing.

Logic was never intended for libs

July 23rd, 2012
4:23 pm

“since the demise of the NRA and the repeal of the “right to bear arms” is the only solution to our gun crazy problem.”

If it weren’t for those “evil” guns, you wouldn’t be posting on this blog. If it weren’t for guns, we’d be speaking Japanese or German right now.

I love how libs always blame the wrong thing. Heck, more people are killed by cars than guns every year but we never hear libs cry “ban cars now.”

Hillbilly D

July 23rd, 2012
4:23 pm

Bruno

Dude, if I see a camera, I turn and go the other way. Somebody else can have 30 seconds of fame, ’cause I don’t want my 15. ;-)

fair and balanced

July 23rd, 2012
4:24 pm

No need to discuss the NRA here- they have succeeded in controlling all levels of government and now can put unlimited money in advertising and lobbying with no disclosure. Both presidential candidates cower in fear of doing anything to anger the NRA. We will all be at the mercy of George Zimmermans who may or may not be sane when we go in crowded public places.(All that body armor will require a bazooka or propelled grenade- no problem if you have an NRA membership)

Of course Hollywood takes its share of blame. That trailer that has been pulled of gangsters shooting up a theater and this latest wack job truly believing he was the Joker should make us think about the culture of violence we are perpetuating. Sad – what is a six year old girl doing at a movie like that that starts at midnight. Was that responsible parenting??

” A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state” . This part of the second amendment was thrown in the trash by a conservative Justice who claims to be a literalist and strict constructionist. I assume the NRA got to him and his buds too, How sad.

Anyone want to convince me that selling an arsenal of highpowered weapons and ammo to the latest wack case is within the definition of a well regulated state controlled scheme? And how secure do the free citizens of Colorado feel when they go in the future to any theater? Maybe the framers knew something we can’t apparently comprehend.