Saturday, July 21, 2012

Condolences to Colorado

They said he was forgettable.

Early Friday morning, the Batman Killer made sure we knew his name-- James Holmes. Somehow, this brilliant young man, a medical student with prospects of being a doctor, the guy with twinkling eyes and a shy smile that spoke of secrets and mischief, the kind of which Dennis the Menace would be in awe, transformed into the stuff of which nightmares are made, a red-headed bogeyman who penetrated the excited yet peaceful atmosphere of the Aurora, CO movie theater just fifteen minutes into the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, terrifying its dark spaces, indiscriminantly wielding weapons no human should ever point at another human-- an assault rifle, a shot gun, and pistols. In his wake, he left a score or two of people injured and a dozen dead, including a girl as young as six.
His AdultFriendFinder profile obtained by TMZ

Yet he was arrested without incident, calmly gave himself over to the police without any resistance. On top of that, he told police of his explosive-outfitted home, knowing full well the investigation would extend to his place of living. The police turned up months of planning as well as this degenerate's booby trapped lair.

I have to ask why. Why would a man, hell-bent on the destruction of peace and innocence and humanity, give up his final hurrah? And why didn't he resist arrest? Why did he stop shooting? Why didn't he kill himself? He had to know that there was no happy ending waiting for him. What was his motive? What did he hope to accomplish?

Until now, I never gave thought to the safety of the movie house. There's something very sacred and American about the shared experience of watching moving displays of creativity under a blanket of total dark. I don't ever give a glance at my unknown neighbor (unless my eye is grabbed by the glaring blue screen of a cellphone); I don't ever sit in apprehension of the exit door. Now that will all change. At least, for me, this incident has just ruled out midnight showings; they're too isolated in that the parking lot is emptied of people strolling to and from their cars into the theater. That first layer of protection is gone, the layer of the public. At a midnight showing, everyone is inside, ensconced within, captivated by the action up on the screen, vulnerable to such an attack.

I truly feel for the people of Colorado and the family of the killer. My condolences go out to them. But I, also, feel saddened for America. Yet, again, we are stripped of our innocence, separated by tragedy and fear from one of the last safe places left within our nation.

I can't begin to think what ramifications have yet to ripple from this frightening event.


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