Sunday, July 22, 2012

Did God Jam James Holmes's Gun and other Miracles?

Myths are in the process of being written about the massacre in Aurora.  Religious fanatics have no good answers for why God did not intervene, so they are biding their time and cherry-picking through the evidence to try to find opportunities to insert their magical fantasy version of what really happened.  For example, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has already started shopping around the bogus claim that it's a "miracle it wasn't worse".  Well, just about anything could be worse (or better) than it actually turned out to be, but that hardly qualifies it as a "miracle".  Also, don't even try to say that he was using the word "miracle" casually or by accident.  He is a politician with speech writers who almost certainly want to pander to the rampant religiosity that people temporarily turn to whenever bad things happen.  

Now others are also reporting that James Holmes's AR-15 likely jammed about half way through his rampage, which is why these individuals carry multiple backup weapons.  It is actually quite common to have jams, especially in guns that are being fired rapidly.  However, in looking for the smallest scrap of information to spin, religious fanatics are sure to point to this and say, "Well look at that! God MUST have made it happen".  Hallelujah, it's another "miracle", right?  Wrong.  Why, after all, would God allow this guy to crank off about half of his ammunition, presumably killing at least half of his victims, and then make one gun jam?  Why too, if he is working a great sacred miracle of jamming one whole gun, would he not jam the suspect's other guns, since he switched over to using those as backups, just as planned.  That's quite a "Holy Mystery", now isn't it.  If it was a miracle, then it was truly one of the laziest and most ineffective ones ever.  Surely a better miracle would have been to make the gun blow up in the face of the attacker when he attempted to crank off the first round, or his first bullet to ricochet back and hit him right between the eyes, killing him instantly.  I could write a better miracle in my sleep.  

Then there is James Holmes's apartment that he rigged with flammables and explosives.  Now the fact is that, lacking proper training, experience, and even testing, it is unlikely that he would have been able to put together a system that had that great a chance of working.  I base that on the fact  that numerous terrorists who have been trained in explosive ordinance technology, such as Faisel Shahzad (aka the Times Square Bomber) and Richard Reid (aka the Shoe Bomber), among others, have failed to get their bombs to go off.  Even the Columbine kids tried to set off some crude bombs with less than stellar results.  So, in all likelihood, even though Holmes was a science geek, it is unlikely that his untested, Rube Goldberg contraptions would have worked all that well.    But people will point to this fact as well, and say, "See God made sure those explosives never went off".  

Others may point to the downstairs neighbor who says she thought of entering apartment when the loud music started playing on a timer, but decided against it.  Must have been her "guardian angel", right?  Not so much.  Legally speaking, many people would probably be reluctant to enter someone else's apartment, since one might be charged with trespass, breaking and entering, etc.  Also, it's unlike that a woman would enter an apartment late at night, because she might fear being raped or otherwise attacked by the guy inside.  Holmes is variously reported to be somewhere between 6 feet tall and 6' 3".  BTW, one wonders why she and not her boyfriend went in the first place, or why she didn't call the police first, instead of going to bang on the door.  If she had done that however, that too would have been interpreted as some sort of telepathic message from God telling her not to go up there in person.  In reality, it is just common sense.  


  1. I understand where you are coming from, though I am religious, it can go both ways. At least look on the bright side that his GUN did jam and the neighbor didn't walk into the apartment. Whether you believe in God or not. At least be thankful that more didn't die. Don't go and find reasons to oppose GOD though. There's a "but" to every thing in life. I believe in GOD with all means, though we all ask WHY?. Why are we here? How where we created? But don't wrong people with strong beliefs in GOD. Id rather be around a person who thinks positive than a pessimistic person who looks for the wrong answer.

  2. No doubt it was lucky that the gun jammed. That is great if we are relying on random luck rather than an intelligent, all-powerful being.

    However, if there is a god and he is willing to jump in halfway through the shooting then we have to ask why he wouldn't jump in earlier, say on the first bullet, as opposed to the 50th. I think that we would all agree that if god only made holmes's gun jam on the last bullet that this would be a pretty useless excuse for a miracle. It would be like only parting the Red Sea half way. Gee, thanks a lot, God.

    Why are we here? Because things had to be somehow. Otherwise things would have been different. If you hadn't been born then your parents might have had a different child with different experiences. I am plenty positive about life in this sense. Out of the many possibilities, it just so happens that the one that happened contains us. That's a great thing (for us).