Here we go again.
As I slept in the early morning hours today I was jarred out of my sleep by the buzz of my cell phone with a text message. The message was very early – and I knew it wasn’t the local weather alert because I’m the one who sends them out and folks, they should arrive at 7 a.m. on the dot every day.
No this one was way early. As I checked the message I was stunned by what I read. A Colorado gunman had opened fire around 1 a.m. at moviegoers checking out the premier of the new Batman flick. At the time there were 15 people reportedly killed and 50 wounded.
I thought I was dreaming until I clicked on the TV and saw CNN’s coverage of the unfolding tragedy. As I sat in front of the TV I was just shocked beyond belief. What kind of crazy goes to a movie theater at 1 in the morning and randomly shoots a bunch of people? Including a three-month-old baby? Obviously someone who has some serious issues.
I dropped my head and sort of prayed for the victims. I just couldn’t get over the insanity of it all. Just last night I talked to a couple of my kids about going to our local theater and seeing the premier. We didn’t of course, and heck, there’s no way something like that would happen in my neighborhood, right? Wrong. That’s precisely what every innocent person in Aurora, Colo., thought as they overpaid for popcorn and soda and sat down to watch a movie for crying out loud. Little did they know that a 24-year-old med school dropout would allegedly arm himself for war and that they were his victims. What started out as an innocent evening ended up as possibly one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history.
Now of course, today there will be calls for tighter gun control. And those calls come anytime there is an incident like this. And the debate goes back and forth as to what effect such tighter controls would have. There are controls in place and to a certain degree they work. But nothing is foolproof and the fact is that anyone who is a criminal will get the weapons they want. They know where and they know how.
So what can be done? What will stop the madness?
To be brutally honest here, there’s absolutely nothing we can do. Just like suicide bombers and other terrorists, for the most part we are at their mercy. Police and others in law enforcement are basically helpless. They can’t be everywhere all the time. They can do their best to listen for the chatter of the crazies and hope they have enough time to halt the next tragedy. And that has happened. But there’s really not much that be done to prevent these tragedies.
If we install metal detectors at the movies, the crazies will pick the shopping mall. And if we do the same at the malls, they’ll find a grocery store. Or a public park. Or the local baseball field or whatever. The point is that humanity is pretty screwed up and all we can do is try and live normal lives without fear and worry over terrorists or med school dropouts going to the local theater armed for war.
And that’s pretty sad. Unfortunately, though, it’s the world we live in. But we can’t lock ourselves inside the house and just sit there in safety. That’s not the reality. No, we have to be out in the world and sad as it is, we’re in this world with people like James Holmes, the guy soon to be charged with multiple murders in Aurora, Colo.
Don’t think it can’t happen in your backyard. But don’t fold up the tent either.
One of the victims in Colorado was a young lady who reportedly barely escaped a similar shooting incident at a Toronto mall. This time she wasn’t so lucky…
It’s a sad day indeed…
– Andy Hachadorian