The Democrats are getting a little smarter, restraining themselves from posting “anti teabagger” screeds when there is a shooting that makes it to national attention.
The Denver Post reported right away that the latest shooter in Colorado is anti-Republican and in favor of tighter gun control laws. He recently turned 18, didn’t have a mental health or criminal record. He legally bought a shotgun and ammunition. He was also carrying a machete and three incendiary devices.
The first account of the story included a statement from a fellow student in their economics class that the shooter was a Socialist. Editors quickly removed that detail from the story as documented here
When caught by readers, the explanation was that the fellow student’s opinion doesn’t make it a fact. I don’t think that was the policy applied to speculation about George Zimmerman by people who never even knew him, let alone spent time with him in a classroom.
He was looking for the female librarian and debate coach who recently kicked him off the debate team. The student carried the shotgun into the school in plain view and the librarian left the school to lure him away – she and others pretty clearly knew he was going to try to kill her.
Early reports said two students were shot – that turned out to be wrong – the second girl was splattered by blood, but had no gun wounds.
Alea Iacta Est was written on the young man’s arm – it is Latin for “the die is cast” – a phrase attributed to Julius Caesar telling his troops they had gone beyond the point of no return when they crossed the Rubicon river to launch a war with Pompey.
It’s also the name of a large guild within the online combat game World of Warcraft. Probably a coincidence, but worth asking a question or two.
A shotgun is one of the least effective weapons around. They fire shotgun pellets that spread out in a circular pattern. That’s useful for shooting flying birds. When used to shoot at humans, the cause of death will be blood loss rather than destruction of vital organs or making the head explode. Since the pellets spread out quickly, the shotgun is only effective at very close range. Shotguns can also fire a metal slug which is a solid piece of metal, but since a shotgun does not have rifling in the barrel, a shotgun slug is also not very effective other than at close range. All of that is somewhat irrelevant since the shooting was at close range by a person who had little experience with guns. A knife in trained hands would be just as lethal.
Shotguns are illegal almost nowhere iin the world, ncluding the Soviet Union at the height of the suppression of people’s freedom. Since they’re used for hunting and are not easy to conceal (unless you shorten the barrel), they are not heavily regulated. There are 1.4 million shotguns in England and Wales.