On the EDge: Colorado shooting: Have we become, comfortably numb?

OPINION – I think Pink Floyd got it right, I think we’ve all become comfortably numb.

We have become so blasé that we don’t feel much anymore, we aren’t shocked or outraged as we should be, we accept far too much of what should be unacceptable behavior.

There has been some very bizarre news from a local to national level recently, everything from some guy trying to steal a commercial jetliner from the St. George airport to the shooting spree in Aurora, Colo. during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie.

There was a momentary jolt, a speed bump in our minds, if you will, before the discussion splintered.

In both instances, there was dull acceptance. “Well…you know…if a crazy person wants to (sneak into an airport, go on a killing spree, or, well, fill in the blank with your own idea of tragic behavior) there’s nothing you can do about it.”

So, are we to simply accept these intolerable attacks on our humanity?

In both instances, there was abject ignorance. “What do you want, a police state?” to “You’d better not use this to try to take my guns away. You’ll get my gun when you pry it from my cold…dead…hand!”

Look, people, have we become so desensitized, so defensive, so utterly inundated with bizarre behavior that mass murder and the attempted theft of a commercial jet no longer freeze our spine? Have we witnessed so much calamity and mayhem that our threshold for shock has risen to a point that we shrug off such horrendous behavior? Have we become so jaded and selfish that the first response we have to a gunman opening fire on a movie house is “Better not try to take away MY guns?”

God have mercy on you if that was your reaction, because you have truly lost touch with your humanity.

You can, unfortunately, learn a lot about the human condition by monitoring social media. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Colorado, I saw an outpouring of posts proclaiming “I Support the Second Amendment,” “Guns Don’t Kill People, Bad People with Guns Kill People,” and, of course, proclamations that the president has an agenda to strip people of their right to bear arms, which could not be further from the truth.

If you dared argue that the sale of assault weapons, such as the AR-15, which was one of the weapons used in the shooting spree in Colorado, should be examined, you painted a bullseye on your own back and became the target.

There was rarely such thing as calm and rational discussion.

As a point of disclosure, I have, in my lifetime, collected a few weapons and used them for target shooting and hunting, although I must admit that I could never drop the hammer on a deer I had cleanly in my sights. After a couple of years in Utah, I soon realized it was a place where I really didn’t feel the need to protect myself with a gun because, well, you might get into a beef and go home with a bloody nose but the odds of having some clown pull a weapon on you in Utah are slim. You really don’t need a gun for self-defense in the Beehive State, and, contrary to the NRA or gun enthusiasts, not because of how many people own and carry — legally or illegally. I just don’t buy into that argument, just like I don’t buy into the argument that all guns should be banned.

So, I know a lot about guns. I’ve shot a lot of different kinds of guns. I know what they can do, I know the differences, so my question was, and remains, relevant.

My point here is that people were so caught up in their own needs, wants, and desires that they lost focus.

“You’re not gonna take MY guns away!”

Well, I don’t want to, unless you have a weapon that serves only one purpose — to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible, which is the purpose of assault rifles.

Look, there are race cars out there capable of going faster than 200 mph. We are all entitled to purchase a car, right? But can we purchase a race car to make the daily commute from St. George to Cedar City a lot faster? Of course not. Race cars have a specific purpose — to drive as many laps as possible around a racetrack as quickly as possible. To turn one loose on Interstate 15 would be to endanger the lives of innocent people needlessly.

Do we need race cars on the interstate?


Do we need assault rifles in our homes?



No bad days!


Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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  • Hugh Vanderborgt July 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Sorry Ed, but we CAN purchase a car that will greatly exceed the speed limits on our Interstate. If you have the money of course. Lamborginis, Ferraris, Porsches to name a few, are all available and street legal. (Maybe not 200 mph, but close.) And I for one. would like to keep it that way, just in case I win the lottery. But our laws state that they have to obey the posted speed limits, just like that pick up truck pulling a camping trailer that passed me yesterday doing 80+ in a 65 zone. It is not the car, it is the driver. Sound familiar?

  • Firefly July 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Sorry Ed, you are wrong on this one. I was agreeing with most of what you started with till I got to the part where you said “you really don’t need a gun for self defense in the Beehive state”. Try telling that to the young family that was traveling through the Beehive state a couple of years ago and stoped at the Wal Mart in Cedar City parking lot in their motorhome. The familly was rudely awakened by an individual pounding on their door demanding they take him to Florida. The husband attempted to close the door to the motorhome because his family of a wife and two small daughters where in the motorhome. The individual then forced his way into the motorhome and threatened the family with bodily harm. where upon the husband/father produced a shotgun and shot and killed the intruder. Or, the crazed individual who resided in the vicinity of the old hospital near 400 East in St. George, who upon learning that an african-american family had recently moved into his neighborhood decided that he could “not allow that”. The individual then went to the new family’s home and pounded on the front door till the homeowner answered the door. Whereby the crazed individual, who armed with a 2 ft. sword, demanded that the family move out of his neighborhood immediately. The homeowner quickly closed the door and retrieved a handgun the crazed individual that he was armed and to leave his property. As the homeowner called the police the crazed individual started to hack at the front door with his sword. Consequently, the homeowner, fearing for his life and familly, shot the individual through the door. Fortunately, he did not kill the individual and the reponding police caught up to individual as he was crawling to get to the hospital on 400 East.

  • Firefly July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    So you feel that guns are not needed for self defense in Southern Utah? I think you would find that your statement is beyond silly if you truely felt that way. It does not matter what type of firearm(s) we can have. What matters is that this is still a free country and we still have the freedom to choose what, how many, and when we can buy any gun we desire, regardless of configuration , hunting bolt action rifle, semi-auto assault weapon, semi-auto handgun or revolver. What is realy sad is that you chose to retire to a country that seriously denies the citizenry their God given right to defend themselves. Hope the drug cartels have no interest in the area you live in. We will keep you in our prayers Ed.

  • Murat July 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I choose to own assault rifles because we live in precarious times. There are many plausible scenarios in which an assault rifle would be a life-saver. For example, genetic engineering has become a sophisticated science, and with the high number of trained practitioners, there is a possibility that one will become disgruntled and create a virus that effectively turns people into crazed, flesh-eating zombies. If this happens, a baseball bat simply will not suffice.

  • ron July 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    You’re absolutely right, Ed, but it’s a losing battle. The majority of Americans are in favor of REASONABLE gun control, but the NRA zealots somehow manage to maintain ownership of the issue. How they do that,–money? fear? imaginary threats?-but they do. BTW, enjoying “Plygs.”

  • techguy July 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Don’t you mean Ohio Bridge BOMBER, not Bomer?

  • Space Cadet July 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    A momentary jolt? Acceptance?
    I don’t know who you are referring to as comfortably numb. The only ones who are comfortably numb are the sheep who don’t believe that evil happens and that they personally will never be a victim and therefore guns should be restricted or banned.

    I don’t know anyone who is in a state of acceptance! Are you kidding me? You must be sipping to many margaritas down in Mexico. Who do you see accepting this horrible mass murder? Get over yourself!

    Why do you regard people who don’t want a police state as suffering abject ignorance,

    Clearly, a very appropriate response to a mass murder event is ‘don’t take my guns’, because the first thing the loony-left tries to do is take my guns whenever something like that happens. If there would have been armed civilians in that theater, there would have been a much different outcome. The worst case scenario would have been that it would have bought precious seconds for a lot more of those people to get out of that theater. I don’t presume to think that everyone should or is capable of carrying a concealed firearm, but there are plenty of others who are capable. Police only respond to a crime after it has been committed. I would bet that if your wife and kids were in that theater when the homicidal maniac entered, you would have had nothing but praise for the responsible, concealed carry citizen who was able to take that killer out before he did harm to your family. If you say you wouldn’t — well you are being dishonest or you don’t care about your family.

    You need to get off your soapbox when you say that people like me are jaded and selfish because we choose to not be a victim of violent crime. And although you and other so-called journalists and media loons choose to be victimized simply by not taking the responsibility of protecting themselves, doesn’t give you the moral or legal authority for limiting my ability to protect my family, my friends or anyone else who needs help in an emergency situation. Burying your head in the sand is YOUR choice.

    I would love to know what you would do if someone (God forbid) committed a violent crime against you or your family… would you just roll-over and take it? Try to call the police to clean up the crime scene? The fact is that a firearm can be a great equalizer. A petite young woman is now on a level playing field when she encounters a 200 pound rapist, as long as she is properly trained in the use of the gun. Without it, she is a victim like most unprepared people, who think nothing bad could happen to them, and if it did, the police would somehow show up just in time — that, Ed, is comfortably numb!

    I challenge you to put up a sign in your yard wherever you live, now and in the future that proudly proclaims your home to be free of guns! I dare you. I know you won’t because you know what would happen. That is the first place the criminal will invade.

    Now, this issue of ‘assault riffle’. That is one of those weasel words that the progressive left likes to throw around to create an emotional and irrational reaction. You people look at a rifle that looks cool and call it an assault riffle. There are many rifles that take magazines for multiple rounds, of all calibers. Only when it carries a name like AK-47 or AR-15 do the progressives get worked up. You need to quit trying to demonize something just because it scares you.

    These firearms are not full automatic weapons. That mass murderer in Colorado didn’t use a full automatic. The fact is he could have used any rifle with a magazine. Putting a sling on it doesn’t make an assault rifle, putting a scope on it doesn’t make it an assault rifle, putting a hand-guard on it doesn’t make it an assault rifle. What makes it an assault rifle is the person using it and the folks who want to control the freedoms GIVEN in the 2nd Amendment all while trying to evoke an emotional response from sheep.

    I suggest that it is you who is truly arrogant and ignorant. You have no basis for assuming that we as a society are numb, selfish, ignorant, etc.

    Clearly you should replace your title of Journalist with Liberal Activist and fellow sheep along with ‘ron’.

  • Space Cadet July 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Why does it take so long to moderate a response?

  • ron July 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Space Cadet (good choice of a name), that’s quite a rant. I’ll accept the title “Liberal Activist,” but believe it or not, I don’t want to take away your guns. I just want to see some common sense gun control (a dirty word to you NRA sheep, I realize) put in place and enforced to keep military-quality weapons out of the hands of nut jobs like the kid from Colorado. And I really don’t want to be in a public place where everyone is packing when a shooter opens up. Amid all the chaos, the only thing you would-be cowboys would do is multiply the carnage.

  • Space Cadet July 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Hahaha… well, Ron, we can just agree to disagree. As far as the NRA goes and TNP… it’s Sheep Dogs… not Sheep. Note the relationship between the two.

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