Last week, at a midnight showing of Dark Knight Rises (the new Batman movie), a madman named James Holmes brutally opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 and wounding 58 others. If you haven’t heard the story yet, read it here.
I think one of the best quotes to reflect on is by Eric Golub in his article on Washington Times Communities,
The right thing to do is the one thing that normal Americans know how to do that the chattering classes have not mastered. We need to all be quiet, talk less, and listen more.
We do not have the facts. We do not know the motive. This is not a game. Innocent people are dead for trying to do something as harmless as enjoy a movie.
The best thing anybody without information can do right now is hug a neighbor and call a loved one to remind them of that love.
Unfortunately, Golub is right. Our society has not mastered being quiet. The media have offered speculation after speculation, even incriminating innocent people. When trying to look up the subject’s name on “social media”, ABC News found the wrong James Holmes and broadcast to the world that he was a part of the Tea Party. Unfortunately, that was absolutely and completely incorrect. It is this insistence to be right, this desire to incriminate a “greater cause” for what happened that leads to horrendous mistakes.
Who is at fault for this horrible tragedy? None other than James Holmes. Already, people have considered suing the movie theater, the company that produced the movie, even the university that Holmes worked at in an attempt to blame them for what happened.
Probably the biggest political argument that many have been quick to jump on is that this tragedy somehow indicates the need for more gun control. However, the theater was a “gun-free zone”. Aurora, Colorado already prohibits carrying guns, shooting them within the city, and storing loaded guns in the car. It would be wise to read the words of James Alan Fox from CNN,
Mass killers are determined, deliberate and dead-set on murder. They plan methodically to execute their victims, finding the means no matter what laws or other impediments the state attempts to place in their way. To them, the will to kill cannot be denied.
Fox goes on to explain how more gun control would not have stopped this killing. However, he also argues that less gun control most likely would not have had an effect either. In the chaos of the moment, especially with tear gas, it would be very difficult to mount an effective self-defense.
Either way, we should all do well to remember that the victims in this case are real people, just like us. There are real families grieving, and it is time we stopped using this tragedy to prove a point, as some have done. Instead, please continue to offer your prayers for the families of those affected.