A summary of thoughts and observations collected in the wake of the massacre at a movie theater on July 20, 2012.

The 2nd Amendment and gun ownership in America are hundreds of years old. Gun massacres are a phenomenon of only the last few decades. The last few decades have also seen the rise of violent and disturbing movies, comics and video games. Yet those who instinctively blame guns for these games never blame the pop culture.

In the wake of this tragedy, we still have people who insist that there is no link whatsoever between the coarsening of the culture and the rise of massacres by one or two individuals against ordinary citizens in a presumably-safe environment. The suspect in the Dark Knight Rises massacre declared publicly that he is the Joker. So there is at least one established link.

At least one author claims that violent Westerns of the 1940s and 1960s produced a generation of peace-loving, anti-war Americans. That generation also consumed the most wholesome, values-oriented media of American history. There are several differences between those old Westerns and today's violent media. For one, today's media is interactive. You can pick up a gun, slaughter all sorts of living beings, then turn off the game and have no physical consequence of your actions. Now, if you are mentally sound while doing this, you're not likely to manifest your play in real life. We already know that the Aurora suspect has a turbulent recent past. I'm not at all surprised that he experienced a transformation worthy of any fictional Batman villain.

Moreover, our culture has become more vulgar as a whole. Total respect for human life is down, even to the point where we have an entire class of activists who claim that you do not have the right to be born unless your biological mother gives you that right. The current popular culture celebrates zombies, vampires, and other hominids who have lost their humanity. A song titled "F*** You" was nominated for two Grammys. This is undeniable. And we should not be surprised that now we are seeing these gruesome acts of violence being acted out in presumably-wholesome facilities—grade schools, shopping malls, a military base, and now a movie theater. Yet millions of Americans seem determined to ignore these realities, and that is largely because they have an agenda (removing guns from our society) and they can apply these events to their narrative.