Monday, July 23, 2012

Tunnel vision... or something else?

I can't tell you how many news stories I've read or TV reports I've seen since Friday that express shock and dismay that the killer in Aurora, Colorado was able to hatch a plot and in a matter of months acquire guns, ammo, tactical gear and bomb making materials to carry it out. The result: A dozen people dead and nearly a sixty others injured.

The killler's acquistion of  guns and ammo have especially been targeted.. But have any of those who express shock and vent rage at the availability of  firearms ever considered the horrors that have been fueled by something as simple as a can or two of gasoline?

Here are just a few examples:

Easy access implement
of mass destruction
Anger followed by a knee-jerk acquisition of a dollar's worth of gas set the stage for arson that killed 87 people at the Happy Land Social Club in NYC in 1990. 

Atlanta's Winecoff Hotel fire, America's deadliest, claimed 119 lives in 1946 and was initially thought to be accidental. Subsequent investigation has led many to believe it was arson likely fueled by gasoline.

More recently, a guy in Cleveland, Ohio used gasoline to kill nine including eight kids having a sleep over.

Twenty-nine were left dead after a little gasoline and a flame were applied to a hotel in Pima, AZ in 1970.

In South Korea, a twisted and depressed man used gasoline (or paint thinner) to kill himself and 198 others in a subway station in 2003.

A five gallon can of gas contains far more deadly potential than what was delivered by those firearms in Aurora last week. And the Aurora killer had bomb-making know-how.

There seems to have been huge potential for things to have been far more deadly if the Batman theater killer hadn't been obsessed with guns, and instead used bombs or arson to make his primary strike.

Booby-traps in his apartment made use of various components including a reported ten gallons of gasoline. The guy had the means to potentially kill hundreds in a matter of seconds. But he chose guns including a rifle with a defective magazine to carry out his first strike.

There's a history of mass killings done with gasoline or similar accelerants that have delivered body counts dwarfing the worst of those carried out with firearms. But I've yet to hear a single gun control advocate ever express upset about the destructive abuse of gasoline or speak out for restricting access.

The gun control crowd must suffer from tunnel vision. Or, more likely, these activists have a bigger political agenda when they exploit heinous crimes and crimes' victims in their campaigns that specifically target guns. 

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