Batman is an illusion. Only you can defend your life and your loved ones.

A “lone gunman” shoots up a Colorado movie theater, and already the craven opportunists who know they cannot enslave an armed population are demanding still more gun control. The point is not to save you from events that cannot be prevented by any means. The objective, always, is to take away your power to resist statist tyranny.

How was a shooting like this possible? It was because no one else in the theater audience was armed. We have trained ourselves to rely on an imaginary cosmic Batman to protect us from the vicissitudes of life, delegating the responsibility of self-defense to self-important “professionals.” In reality, we are safe to go about unarmed not because cops are actually capable of defending our lives, but simply because virtually all of us are sane, normal, non-violent people.

It’s possible the Colorado gunman counted on his victims being unarmed. It’s also possible he’s too crazy to care. But in fact the audience was unarmed, so no one was equipped to take out the gunman before he could effect his killing spree. He murdered 12 people and injured 50 and yet he was alive and unharmed when he surrendered to police. Batman was camped out at the donut shop, as always, and the hapless victims of Gotham City were armed with nothing but throaty screams.

How can we prevent tragedies like this? We can’t. But we can end them after only one or two shots have been fired, instead of praying for the villain to run out of ammunition. There is no alternative to self-defense. When the shooting starts, if you are not prepared to shoot back, Batman will not swoop in to save you.

The good news, which will largely go unreported, is that the gun shops and shooting ranges will be busier than ever in the coming days. Batman is an illusion, always has been. But last night’s massacre illuminates this morning’s epiphany:

The only person who can defend your life and the lives of the people you love is you.

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