The joker kills for real
By Robert Sweeny
Movie mass murder shocks nation
They removed the bodies from the Aurora Century 16 theater on Saturday and the death count was at 12; the total could be higher in a few days. The fabulous Anschutz Medical Campus is just a short distance away and no doubt this great hospital complex saved many lives.
Local and national media frenzy is ongoing with this No. 1 story in the world on this hot Saturday afternoon. A continuing drought is hitting the Midwest and wrecking the corn crop that has reached all time record prices. Much of the wheat crop has been harvested, but food prices will rise.
Temperatures have risen with Colorado wildfires and now temperatures are boiling over the theater massacre where 12 innocent people were killed and 58 wounded in a Batman late-night movie premier.
Initial thoughts are of anger toward the shooter, who is a bright, well-educated 24-year-old from California who has no criminal record. At this point in time, it has been intimated that he may have some past mental challenges.
He was a medical science student up until June at the nearby Anschutz Campus. It seems that this is more of a mental meltdown rather than the usual act of terrorism that Americans fear.
There are few people, if any, to blame for this senseless act of mass murder. The apparently delusionary shooter seems to have portrayed “The Joker,” a villain in the Batman series of films.
Most youths of today have grown up with violent movies and video games where they shoot and kill digital foes with mass combat and high-powered weapons. James Holmes no doubt was exposed to this background of entertainment violence. I’m sure he played it on video games, watched it on television and portrayed in countless movies.
Americans of all ages are entertained by violence; most of us can contain our enthusiasm for action to separate fiction from reality.
We have raised our children on violence; we’re a free country so people are able to read, see and hear about anything they wish. We don’t wish to change these freedom rituals.
We have protected our gun laws allowing almost all types of weapons to be purchased legally thr ough gun dealers, shows and the Internet. Registration is necessary, and in this instance it appears all laws were followed.
Remembering the famed slogan, “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.”
No doubt the use of the AR 15, a combat automatic fire military rifle, will lead to calls to once again outlaw military weapons being sold to the general public. This was once a law but was repealed a few years ago.
The Constitution allows citizens to keep and bear arms. Under that rationale, the AR 15 could be assumed to be a weapon owned by civilians to protect Americans and defend the country. But, certainly not to be used on innocent moviegoers nestled in a neighborhood movie theater.
Had some of the moviegoers been armed, perhaps the shooter would be among the dead. He wore a bullet proof vest and helmet apparently suspecting that someone might be armed and return fire.
The shooter was arrested near his vehicle and faced the Arapahoe County judge on July 23. He has been given a public defender and no doubt will enter a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity.” He obviously is deranged and may end up in a mental institution, instead of a death row cell.
We can empathize even more with the Jewish students who were killed by a terrorist in a bus bombing last week by a terrorist with a U.S. passport. We can empathize with the Syrian people who are being slaughtered every day by their ruthless regime.
Suddenly, but maybe not surprisingly, terror and death has come knocking at our own door close to all of us and in a movie theater here in Colorado.
The pioneers had to use “vigilantes” to protect themselves from villains in our early history.
We can be angry and very sad.