If you are a white, male cop, CNN has a message for you: You are a racist, a homophobe and a sexist.

You apparently marginalize non-white, non-male and non-straight people while defining yourself as normal, while the reality is that you are a sexless loner that will eventually resort to violence. But this is only true if you are a Trump supporter.

Side note: if you are a cop and are female or gay or black, Hispanic, Asian, etc., or anti-Trump, you are off the hook.

Want proof? Go see Joker.

A CNN commentator is claiming that the latest reboot of the comic book villain is a case study in how the President made it to the White House.

Jeff Yang, a frequent contributor to CNN Opinion, wrote in the online article published Sunday, that Joker acts as a political parable in the age of Trump.

Parable? So now Phillips is a political Jesus?

“It’s an insidious validation of the white-male resentment that helped bring President Donald Trump to power,” Yang wrote.

He wrote that the movie is about the “forgotten man who has been crushed underfoot by the elite, dragged down by equality-demanding feminists and climbed over by upstart nonwhite and immigrant masses.”

Yang claims that the movie’s director, Todd Phillips, is drawing “from the same well of resentment that Trump strums with his racist rhetoric at his rallies.”

He cites Phillips previous statements in which he criticized “woke culture” for killing comedy and making people overly afraid of offending others, especially on social media.

Phillips has also slammed the far-left media for disingenuously stoking outrage over Joker before its release.

“I think it’s because outrage is a commodity. I think it’s something that’s been a commodity for a while. What’s outstanding to me in the discourse of this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye-opening for me,” he said.

Joker grossed an impressive $93.5 million domestically on its opening weekend and has so far taken in more than $245 million globally. Actor Joaquin Phoenix has earned rave reviews for his performance in the movie, which brings a dark, gritty approach to the super villain’s origin story.

CNN’s Yang wrote that the movie’s ending embodies Trump’s survivalist instincts. For those who have not seen the movie, we will not explain this further. We don’t want to spoil the ending.

“Phillips may not have intended for his film to be a political parable — or maybe he did — but it’s hard to imagine a darker ending for our real-world horror-comedy than that,” Yang wrote.

Earlier this week (but after the interview with Phillips took place), the families of the 2012 Aurora shooting victims sent a letter to the CEO of Warner Bros. expressing their qualms with the movie and calling on the studio to support gun reform efforts.

Warner Bros. responded in a statement citing its “long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora.”

The statement clarified:

“Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.”

Is it merely coincidence that Joker was released almost in conjunction with the anniversary of the theater massacre?

Let’s go back seven years and take a look at an article we carried after the shooting. Would things be any different had the date of that tragedy been July 2019.

Friday, July 20th was intended to be an evening of excitement and entertainment. 

The first showing of the last of the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale was scheduled to run shortly after midnight.  Instead of excitement and entertainment, movie-goers were subjected to terror and bloodshed. 

The Aurora community was wounded and traumatized; an entire nation was shocked and sickened.  Like fingers closing around a smashed thumb, Americans throughout the country closed ranks to support and comfort a victimized Colorado community.

However, many responded with a knee-jerk reaction and pre-packaged panaceas.  Predictably, cries to remove the evil of firearms from the citizenry sprang up like an old, worn jack-in-the-box.  This time, the fact that the suspect had a large ammunition drum feeding his AR-15 revived cries to ban high-capacity magazines.  Heated arguments broke out well before the first of the murder victims had been removed from the theater.

One of the first to call for banning “assault weapons” and expanded magazines was Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) of California. 

Senator Feinstein is credited with crafting the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (popularly known as the Assault Weapons Ban).  Provisions of this law included strict restrictions on the number of rounds that a weapon magazine could hold.  Feinstein argued that had her legislation been renewed in 2004 rather than allowed to expire, that this massacre could have been averted.

Studies from the National Institute of Justice contradict the Senator’s claims.  According to a 1999 report on the effectiveness of the legislation…

“The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.”

Conversely, I would argue the following:

– The presence of a 100-round drum for the AR-15 most likely SAVED LIVES.  Oversized, third-party magazines are notorious for their poor construction and performance.  The shooter in this case was unable to clear a jam on his primary weapon.

–Had the shooter used a 20 or 30-round MIL-SPEC magazine, the rifle most likely would not have jammed.  Changing magazines is a very simple affair and dropping an empty instead of retaining it would have cut the time to reload in half.

–The real target for the AR-15 was not the movie-goers.  It was law enforcement, whose ballistic vests would have failed to stop the high-powered .223 Remington projectile.  That is why the shooter meekly gave up when approached by an officer.

Others from the gun-rights lobby have argued that had there been one lawfully armed citizen, the gunman would have been neutralized in short order.  In most cases, I agree.  In this case, I could not disagree more. 

The suspect was wearing substantial body armor, designed to stop handgun ammunition.  A CCW holder could have difficulty recognizing the capabilities of his or her opponent and accurately hitting a small area of vulnerability.

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The one person on TV who made sense was a former Navy Seal who said that had one person had a tactical flashlight, 3 – 5 seconds could have been purchased by blinding the suspect.  Ruger sells a 500- lumen tactical light that lists for $59.95.  At $15 per second of “get out of Dodge” time, I think I’ll get one.

So, what is the real solution? I used to tell my sailors that properly defining the problem provides at least 50% of the solution.  We need to better define the problem if we are going to address it.  This is what I think…

–Both this shooter and Jerrod Laughner in Arizona displayed symptoms of a mental disorder.

–Personality disorders most often strikes men in their early 20’s, the same age group as the Aurora and Arizona suspects.

–The number of beds for in-patient care of psychiatric patients has dwindled to a fraction of what it was before Geraldo Rivera’s 1972 expose on Willowbrook in Staten Island, NY.

–It is much more difficult to commit a person to a mental hospital since legislation addressing the abuse, neglect, and human rights of mental health patients.

The pendulum has swung far away from Willowbrook.  There must be a mid-point between 1972 and where we are now. 

In other words, the country needs to fix health care, including mental health, in both the medical and legislative arenas.  Parents of adult children must not be forced to wring their hands and pray for the best while a ticking time bomb is walking the streets.  At the same time, abuse of civil commitment must not be allowed.

Others have written about the 5 Stages of the Active Shooter.  That’s great.  It reminds me of the Kübler-Ross model of the 5 Stages of Grief. 

The difference is that Kübler-Ross provides insight of what should be done for the grieving party and by whom.  To my knowledge, the 5 Stages of the Active shooter model confines itself to one discipline – law enforcement.  This is the hole in the fence… who does what to support law enforcement interdiction and how.

For one thing, we need mental health professionals working on Active Shooter studies willing to integrate their work with law enforcement, institutions of higher learning, and legislators.  Establish a peer-reviewed model.  Develop methodologies of intervention.  Work with law enforcement at the beginning and not as an afterthought.  Finally, educate the public; Joe Citizen is a well-known force-multiplier.

What constitutes an “assault rifle” and whether they are/can be used for hunting or applied to legitimate, lawful activity can be discussed in a separate venue.  In the meantime, let’s work together to corral the crazies in a way that works and respects the rights of citizens and thereby preventing another Aurora or Columbine.

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