Spare Change News
Late last week, an unassuming gentleman walked calmly into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. With the exception of his outlandish clothing, nothing seemed out of place.
It seemed to the folks who were there that he was just part of the show, which happened to be a special midnight showing of the latest Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
But suddenly everything changed. The man hurled what is believed to be tear gas at the moviegoers and much to everyone’s horror began shooting. When all was said and done, 12 people were dead and 59 injured in what is the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Sounds like something from a Hollywood script, eh? But no, folks, what happened in Aurora was all too real; there is no easy explanation for what happened. There may never be one. There never really is when these kinds of tragedies happen.
As with many of those before him, we may really never know why another seemingly bright well-adjusted person suddenly became unhinged and chose to kill rather than to seek help. We are left to wonder why this happened and the victims are forever left with scars and nightmares. Loved ones are forced to live in a world without their loved ones and wonder what might have been.
In the coming weeks and months there will be much scrutiny around this tragedy. Many will have comments and opinions. The gun control debate will begin anew and fade just as quickly. After the shock has worn off we will go back to our lives and muddle along until the next tragedy.
But before that, I have some thoughts and opinions on this mess.
I am no expert but I do think some things need to be asked and said. Reportedly, the man bought a ticket for the midnight showing, slipped out the emergency exit, propped the door open, and slipped back inside. I suppose my first question is how did he manage to leave the theater through an emergency exit without being noticed, or someone finding it suspicious? How? Were there not ushers in the theater? Did no one see this or notice? Some would say that this is an unfair question to ask. I think not. It’s a fair question and one that, going forward, has to be asked.
At any rate you can be sure that if I’m in a movie theater and notice this, I will say something or for that matter walk down and close the door myself. My other question is about the red flags — this guy was buying ammo and gear online and no one became concerned. Why is it that when someone from a country we can’t pronounce buys a can of lighter fluid, Homeland Security is there in a flash, but when it comes to some white kid from San Diego buying weapons, not one voice of concern? What’s up with that?
When is someone going to have the balls to stand up and say “enough” to the National Rifle Association? If we want real gun control in the country, then that has to be done.
And last, maybe it’s time to put some controls over what can and cannot be bought over the ‘net. If it was that easy to purchase enough ammo to fight off a small army, then maybe it’s time for a reality check. These questions may never get asked or maybe it’s not the right time to ask them, but when will be the right time, if not now?
JAMES SHEARER is a co-founder and board president of Spare Change News.