Thoughts on Aurora

It’s been a little over a week since the shootings at the premier of the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado and I’m still deeply affected by the event. I don’t know why. I didn’t know anyone who was involved and yet….

I’ve been glued to the Comprehensive Timelines found on Reddit – most of the people involved in those threads are very much like me – completely dumbfounded that someone could do something like this.  I know people don’t want to talk about the shooter because no one wants to make him famous but I cannot fathom his motives.  There was no religious or political motive. It was just mayhem that seems to be his only motive.

How can you take someone’s choices away like that? That’s what murder is. When you take away someone’s life you take away their choices. How can you do that to someone? I cannot wrap my mind around what drives someone to do something like that.

Reading the accounts of those who made it out of the theater you realize that while they survived, these people will never be whole again.

I’ve heard that echoed by some of my friends who experienced other mass shootings.  They still jump at loud noises & watching the news of Aurora unfold triggered their post-traumatic stress disorder.

Things like this make you wish you could hug everyone. I’m a rather guarded person and I doubt anyone would ever describe me as ‘warm,’ but when things like this happen I just want to wrap everyone in a giant blanket of love.

The ‘news’ media is doing everything it can to sensationalize this story and ‘doctors’ are coming out of the woodwork to give speculative diagnoses on the shooter. If these fame-hungry people were truly doctors, then their time would be better spent offering free counseling to everyone who was at Century Cinema that night. But instead they shill for camera time and page views giving their ‘expert opinion’ about someone they’ve never met and for whom little public information exists.

As confused and saddened as this event has left most of this country, what I do know is that it has made me more acutely aware of how lucky I am to live in the United States. To us, mass murder at a public place is rare but in other countries it is all too common. We do not deal with suicide bombers or other acts of terrorism on a daily basis but for people in other countries it is their normal. I’m not sure if this paragraph makes sense or seems appropriate to some of you but I am just grateful that the tragic events of that night are not our normal. We are so lucky to live in a country where tragedies on this level are rare.

Still, that doesn’t lessen the horror of that night or the physical and emotional loss experienced by those who were in theater 9 and theater 8. And even though I so desperately want to understand what motivated a seemingly normal person to do this, I don’t think we’ll ever know. Even if he fully lays out an explanation it will never be good enough. Nothing will ever make this act understandable. It will always be heartbreaking.

I wish I had amazing words of wisdom for those involved and for those who’ve gone through similar situations. I wish had words of healing to give at this moment but all I can do is offer a giant virtual hug.

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