(This post was initially composed the day after the shootings in Aurora. A week and a half has taken just the smallest bit of the edge off, but not much. I’m posting this to get some things out of my head.)
By now we’ve all heard the story and seen the headlines – a gunman named James Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado killing twelve and injuring dozens more.
There’s enough armchair analysis of Holmes’ actions already. It’s easy to conclude that he is insane. He could just be angry. There is little question that he is methodical, having acquired his weapons over several weeks and elaborately booby-trapping his residence.
Regardless of why he did what he did, though, the results are the same.
Twelve people are dead who shouldn’t be.
Dozens of people are injured who shouldn’t be.
The survivors will never be the same people they were before.
A community is shattered.
I’m angry because nobody was able to predict what Holmes was going to do and stop him ahead of time.
I’m angry because the same laws and regulations that let him acquire his weapons are the same laws and regulations that let people that I care about acquire weapons for personal protection that I hope never have to be used.
I’m angry because people shouldn’t have to worry, even a tiny bit, about getting attacked while in a movie theater.
I’m angry because some have made the declaration that, effectively, the victims deserved to be shot. (Libby Anne’s response, here, deserves attention.)
I’m angry that ignorant, sanctimonious people are taking this as an opportunity to attempt to advance their own benighted agendas. (See James McGrath’s comments on Rick Warren here. Or Ed Brayton’s comments on Ray Comfort’s inane analysis – does anyone actually pay attention to Ray anymore?)
I’m angry because the overwhelming majority of people are good people, and the actions of one really bad person have such capacity to drown out their actions.
Is there a silver lining to this? Something that makes the deaths and injuries mean something? I’m hard pressed to find it if there is.
And perhaps that’s what makes me the angriest.