Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Tragedy

Twelve dead. Fifty-nine injured.

I went to THE DARK KNIGHT RISING yesterday. It may have been a good movie. It may have been a terrible movie. I don't know. I just couldn't concentrate on the movie. My mind was in Aurora, Colorado. It never stopped being on the tragic shooting in the Century Theater there.

They say James Holmes bought a ticket to THE DARK KNIGHT RISING, went into the theater like everyone else, opened an exit door, went to his car, got his arsenal of weapons, came back through the exit door and started firing.

I sat down at the bottom of the theater near the exit doors. I always do. Mostly because I go alone ninety percent of the time and that is a good place for a single to sit. This time I paid more attention to those doors. I got there early. I looked at those door, closed my eyes, and imagined being in Colorado. I saw the hate in the eyes of the shooter, I heard the confusion, I heard the screams, I saw the fear in the eyes of the victims, I felt the pain shots piercing a body, I felt the pain of everlasting grief for the family of the victims.

Then I wondered. I wondered what gets a human being to the place that he is so troubled that he goes to the theater armed with an arsenal of weapons and starts firing. I wondered if I were in that theater when Holmes started firing if I would have thought like many did, that it was part of the movie, a promotion. I wondered if I would have ducked under my seat or been a hero:

I wondered what the wait would be like for families not knowing if their loved ones were killed or injured. Can you just imagine the heartbreak knowing your son and/or daughter went to the movie, you know there went to THE DARK KNIGHT RISING, you are home watching TV and there is breaking news about a shooting at a theater where you know they are at? What a helpless feeling. You would try to call them on their cell phone but most likely the call wouldn't go through because all circuits would be busy. Would you drive to the theater? Would you cry because of the fear? No human being should ever have to go through that feeling. Not in the past. Not now. Not in the future.

I also wondered where our relatives are safe. At the theater? At McDonalds? At school? At work? At an army fort? On an airplane? In an office tower? In a Mall? In their own home? At a Post Office?

My heart goes out to the victims and their families of the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. My hope is that we will find a way to prevent spree killings in the future.

Comment Away.


Pat said...

I don't know what to say about what happened in Aurora. I just can't get my mind around it. Too many things throw me off. As you ask, where can a person be safe? And what was this for? It wasn't someone with a misguided idea about politics or even, as far as we know, hate. Or an extremely troubled life. What was it that drove him? What did he hope to accomplish? I'll leave the gun discussion to others. There will surely be one. If not, there probably should be. Not that it will accomplish anything.

It's just all too sad.

William J. said...

Hi Pat

Every shooting effects me greatly but this one probably bothered me more than the school shooting here in Oregon because of all the unanswered questions.

I will tell you that the music was so loud during The Dark Knight Rising that you couldn't even hear the actors and actresses talk. I very much doubt anyone heard the shots until after people started screaming.


Lady DR said...

It was a horrible, senseless tragedy and I can't begin to imagine what was behind it. I have to admit I'm glad they took the shooter alive and hope they may be able to find some answers. The man had obviously planned this well and well in advance, given the way he executed the shooting and the issues about his apartment being booby-trapped and other issues.

I can see where folks might well have thought it was part of the movie promotion, which makes it all the more frightening.

I'm sure the anti-gun contingent will use this as yet one more reason for increased gun control. They may have valid points. The pro-gun folks will also have valid points, one of them being, if one person in that theater had been carrying a gun, with a legal concealed weapons permit and target range qualifications, could he have stopped the guy before he did so much damage? It's scarey to think places we consider safe are no longer necessarily so. School, universities, theaters, public gatherings.

My heart goes out to the victims, the families and all the folks who are beginning to wonder just where it's safe to go.

I never had occasion to "need" my gun, on the trip out west, although there was one instance, walking Scamp in the evening, when I was glad to at least have it, in a dark motel parking lot with a man digging through dumpsters. Do I carry my gun wherever I go? Nope. Are there places where I do carry it? Yes, but rarely. The point is, legal purchase and legal carry are two very different things.

As Pat said, there will be and already are discussions started. And the odds are, they won't accomplish anything.

William J. said...


If either side uses this shooting as an excuse to support their argument they sorely misguided.

Colorado has strong gun laws. The instituted a bunch of new controls after the Columbine shootings. The guns were bought legally. They weren't assault rifles. The person had a speeding ticket on his record that is all.

And frankly, it wouldn't have made a tinker's damn if someone besides the shooter had a gun in the theater and in all probability it would have increased the injuries and death because most likely someone would have been hit in the crossfire. The theater was sold out. The exit doors are at the bottom of the theater. The most undesirable seats. The speed of the shootings was sift. Mostly likely anyone having a gun would have been in the middle of the theater and the chances of anyone getting a clear shot at the shooter is about the same chances I have to get a date with Sandra Bullock. They would have had to shoot over or through other theater goers. If they ran down toward the shooter they would have been killed by the time they got to him.

Dumb arguments on both parts. This is not the time or the shooting to promote a side of the gun argument whether it be the gun control side or the gun rights side.

The say the shooting is not cooperating and they also say they didn't find anything in his apartment, as soon as he is assigned an attorney he will be told to keep his mouth shut and we most likely won't know anything for a couple of years.

It is scarey the number of places that our safety has been taken away from us. I'm not going to change where I go because of it but boy am I going to worry about my friends and relatives and their safety.

I think you should carry your gun in a lot of places if you are out alone. Of course you had safety courses, target practice, and a good instructor in Himself. Although I will never own a gun or allow one in my house I'll admit I didn't worry as much about you on your trip to Arizona because I knew you had a gun.