July 25, 2012

"Any of you boys want to shoot, now's the time"

Science fiction writer Adam-Troy Castro writes a chilling tale of exactly what would have happened if some wannabe-Rambo had whipped out his substitute dick in that crowded Aurora theater and tried to take the shooter out.

Shorter version: a lot more people would have died.

Because the theatre is dark and Holmes is wearing black and the air is full of smoke and not everybody knows where the original shots came from, the firing continues anyway. There are now people shooting from six locations in the auditorium, indeed the four corners of the auditorium, a pattern that no organized military commander would ever sanction and which has the effect of the famed circular firing squad. In the next ten seconds or so, three of the gun wielders fire wildly, two others to greater effect, one more shouting at the others to hold their fire dammit, because the bad guy is down. Another half dozen innocents go down, two fatally. The sitrep in the theatre is now full-on panic, people climbing over another in their passion to escape, some of them going down because they happen to flee toward a disoriented shooter who interprets their advance as assault. More woundings. More deaths.

Holmes gets up, sees what’s happening, and grins like the loon he is, because his plan has succeeded greater than his wildest imagination. He styles himself The Joker and is pleased to see that his vicious prank has had an effect the comic-book and movie Joker would have proved. He empties a clip into the head of a child and, what the hell, let us not imbue all of our alternate-world shooters with too much incompetence, goes down with a bullet through the neck, dead. This is not NECESSARILY what would happen, of course -- remember, he is armored, and he is wearing a gas mask, and is the only person in the auditorium not disoriented, and chances are that he will continue to fire at an audience already busily engaged in slaughtering itself, but we cannot continue this fantasy with the premise that return fire continues to miss him, because all the people who wish the theatre goers were armed will otherwise erupt with rage at what they perceive as me stacking the deck. So, okay: a brilliant shot, from a guy in the back who sees his opportunity and takes it, and who puts the bad guy down with a one-of-a-kind genius act of marksmanship, that ends his threat forever. I will give you that much, because it’s the fantasy you want.


The shooting goes on for another full minute after James Holmes is dead. He only got about half the people he got in our own tragic version of events. However, his mission has been completed by others, in the meantime, who not only matched his total in our universe, but exceeded it. Twenty dead, another eighty wounded, more than half of them by friendly fire. 

Gee. That improved things.

Because of this idiotic fantasy, we can't have meaningful gun control in this country.

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