Something Wicked This Way Came

The Century 16 theater had been characterized for some time as a  ghetto cinema in the heart of Aurora, Colorado. The Aurora Mall, within walking distance of the theater, fought hard against youth crime and gang influence and seemed to have cleaned up the bad influence in this area. Police and community did a lot to revive the shopping complex and once again families could feel safe about coming to the mall or seeing a movie at the 16 screen cinema; all that changed during the midnight premiere showing of the movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Twenty four year old James Holmes sat down and began watching the movie with the rest of the audience, then went to his car out in the parking lot while leaving the back door to the theater ajar. He donned a gas mask, ballistic helmet and body armor, leg, groin and throat protectors, and approximately twenty some odd minutes into the movie, tossed a canister of gas into the viewing crowd, then began to randomly shoot into the audience, stopping only to reload. Seventy one people were shot, twelve were killed. This was a horrible event and it will be some time before a lot of people will recover from this act of violence.

I can’t sit and weigh through the small amount of information that has developed over the four days since the attack, no motive has yet to be discovered, wounded victims are still recovering, the bereaved plan their funerals. At a time like this I believe most of the country-the world-is in agreement that this is a terrible fate that fell on this town and as talking heads and city officials scratch their heads to figure out why this could have happened we all wait for an answer, a solution to the problem. The sad truth is, there is no solution. We will continue to have heinous, deranged individuals in our world and we can try to do what we can to protect the innocent, but some will slip through the cracks. A couple of men took down the Federal building in Oklahoma City back in 1995 killing 168 people. Cancerous individuals like Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacy pop up every so often and in spite our best efforts to understand what makes them do the evil they do, we are held victim to their crimes and stop them only after the atrocities have started-or ended.

These are not the acts of organized political groups,  nor is it the insurgence of a religious fanatical organization raining down judgement on the world. This kid who painted his hair red and referred to himself as the Joker is just as deranged as David Berkowitz (who testified his neighbor’s dog told him to start killing people). Insane, irrational acts of violence will come in various shapes and forms. Taking away video games or prohibiting certain music, banning television shows and stopping the sale of firearms will not stop it. We will never be totally free from the wicked thoughts and actions of some, so we must hold on with hope and belief in the goodness of most humans, that we will be there for one another in greater numbers against any emerging evil, whenever tragedy such as this strikes. We must be the beacon that lets others know the kind-hearted nature of humans will outweigh the wicked that comes our way.


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