The Tragedy in Aurora, CO
We never think any sort of tragedy will happen to us, regardless that we’ve been proven wrong on multiple occasions. Once again, on July 20, 2012, we were proven that no matter where it is, tragedy can strike. A night that should have been a joyous occasion turned tragic in the blink of an eye.
During the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes, dressed in protective and tactical gear, released a smoke/gas irritant inside of theater 9 of the Century 16 Multiplex in Aurora, CO. After the reality of what was happening began to sink in, realizing that this was neither a prank nor a publicity stunt, the moviegoers began to rush towards the exit only to be met with a rain of bullets from James Eagan Holmes’s 12-gauge Remington Model 870, Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, and a .40 S&W Glock Model 22 handgun, murdering 12 people and wounding 58 others.
Most people think talking about this, giving Holmes any attention, or letting this impact or lives would be tantamount to letting him win. But, how can we ignore this? How is this not going to affect our lives, particularly our movie-going experience? We can say we’ll still go to the cinema just the same as we always have, but there is a scar left by this tragedy. Any kind of movement in the auditorium will send a surge of panic through our nervous system. Watching a movie is supposed to be an escape from the real world. For me, when I’m having a bad day, whether it be a rude customer, and idiotic co-worker, an argument with my wife or family, or just an overall gloomy mood, I can head to my local theater for whatever impressive film is showing at that time, and forget all of my worries. But, thanks to this madman, it will never be the same again.
While I’m obviously bothered by what this psychopath has done, something really does bother me a bit more. Our cavalier and insensitive attitude towards this tragic event. It was barely 24 hours later, and I ran across these stupid memes making light of this tragedy. What is wrong with our society where this is acceptable behavior? It truly disgusts me to see the lows that we can sink to. Some might think it odd that I’m bothered more by this than the actual event, but this disrespect towards the victims and their families is like kicking them while they’re already down. Just… disgusting.
A bit of faith was restored, though, when I discovered that Christian Bale had taken time out of his obviously busy schedule to visit the victims and site of this mass shooting. It’s one thing to release a statement to the public (which is still very generous), but it’s a completely different thing to take time from a ridiculously busy promotional tour and visit the victims in person. No matter what people think of Bale, you can’t deny that he is truly a stand-up guy. I can’t find words to express how impressed I am with Christian Bale, not as an actor, but as a person.
Another bothersome bit is that some media outlets will, if they haven’t already, find some sort of way to blame Heath Ledger and his performance as Joker in “The Dark Knight,” for this tragedy. Much like Columbine, when fingers were pointed at Marilyn Manson, ICP, Eminem, and Doom instead of the true culprits, we’ve got an obsessive need to blame someone. It will help us sleep better knowing that there is an explanation to what happened, a rhyme to Holmes’s reasoning. But, as usual, the simplest explanation is probably the correct one: James Eagan Holmes is crazy.
Should we allow what the insane James Eagan Holmes has done affect how we continue on with our lives? No, of course we shouldn’t. But, we won’t be able to help it. No matter what I or anyone else says, there will always be a part of us that is afraid of going to the cinemas. I send my condolences to anybody that was directly affect by the events in Aurora, CO on July 20, 2012. I’m sorry that you’ve had to endure this tragedy. Nobody should have to suffer something like this. But, sadly, this is the world we live in…
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