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Colorado governor got it right: "this is a human problem, right?"

When the news first broke in the wee hours of Friday, July 20 of a massacre that had occurred at a theater in suburban Denver, everyone turned their thoughts to Columbine, the scene of that state’s worst school killings.

Since Columbine, the gun control rhetoric had died down for the most part. Occasionally, a politician like New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg will get on a stump and cry out that we need more gun control because someone in his city killed an innocent gang member.

Well, for the first time in quite some time, a politician got it right. Colorado’s Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the real problem: “You know, I worry that if we got rid of all of the guns, and certainly we have so many guns in this country... he would have found explosives, he would have found something else, some sort of poisonous gas, he would have done something to create this horror,” he told the Huffington Post.

He’s right. James Holmes seemed normal to most. He had been a Ph.D. neuroscience student at the University of Colorado. However, his application to a local gun club was denied. Why? Because the owner of the club profiled Holmes, saying the guy’s voice mail was strange. Yes, he profiled Holmes.

Further, if guns were the problem in America, more guns would be on America’s death row, not the perpetrators of murder. Rather than take away the rights of millions of gun owners, perhaps we should spend more of our time evaluating the mental capacity of those persons that are drawn to the dark side.

Holmes had, after all, dressed in all black, dyed his hair blood red, in an effort to identify with the sinister villain of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” into which Holmes burst in to kill 12 people and injure 59. Holmes was obviously drawn to that darker image. Perhaps it’s time to hold producers of such movies accountable along with mass murderers.

It’s time for all of us to deal with our dark side and not wait for another national tragedy to point out that many are capable of what Holmes allegedly brought on to many in a Colorado theater last week.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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