It’s been 5 years since one of our nation’s heinous mass shootings. Only one of them. We have so many that we can say this in America. And these kinds of mass shootings continue today in spite of the efforts of many and the outright support of the majority of Americans to do something about them.
Aurora, Colorado where innocent people went to the movie theater to see the opening night of The Dark Night Rises. They were excited. They were happy to be at this event with friends and family. They likely bought popcorn, candy and softdrinks and texted friends and family that they had gotten in for the premier showing of a very popular movie.
(I have not nor ever will see the movie)
And then, without notice or warning, a young mentally ill man stepped into the theater through an exit door and started shooting. No reason. He just decided to shoot at everyone and anyone in his sight or even not in his sight. People screamed. Some ran out and got away from the shooter. Chaos reigned. It was dark. It was noisy with gunshots. It was so frightening that is was unimaginable to us and we can’t put ourselves there without getting shivers. No one could have saved the victims or killed the shooter because they were so busy trying to run, hide, save themselves or throw their bodies on someone else to save a life. That is what happens in mass shootings. They are totally unexpected.
But the corporate gun lobby would have us believe the impossible- if only someone had a gun..….. If only. Anyone remember another high profile shooting in a theater involving a “law abiding” gun owner and concealed weapons permit holder shot an innocent man over texting and popcorn?
If only someone had a gun……
Someone did have a gun. The shooter. He was in control of the situation because it’s hard to outrun high velocity bullets shot in rapid succession. The bullets came from high capacity drum magazines purchased on-line by the shooter.:
Mr. Holmes purchased all of his weapons legally, law enforcement officials said. In the four months before the shootings, he also bought 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for a semiautomatic rifle and 350 shells for a 12-guage shotgun, all over the Internet.
No need for background checks or any questions. I mean, doesn’t everyone want a bunch of 100 round drum magazines? Aren’t they necessary for just anyone to own?
The arsenal of weapons carried by the shooter were legally obtained. Guns are easy to obtain in America.
There are really no words for the grief and suffering caused by the deaths of 12 people and injuring of 70. There never are.
No words for burying your child who shouldn’t have gone before you. No words for the loss of a loved one forever taken in a violent and sudden barrage of bullets. No words.
No words for the families re-living the experience at the trial of the shooter.
No words for the lawsuit that found the ammunition company not responsible for selling those drum magazines to a mad man. No words for the family left to pay the company that made the bullets that killed their daughter.
No words for the law that Congress passed to allow immunity from these kinds of lawsuits called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms (aka- the gun industry Immunity law). No words for the idea that one industry should be immune from lawsuits like no other industry has.
This is America. This is the American gun culture. This is what we have, brought to us by the lapdog politicians who are afraid to speak out against the corporate gun lobby. This is what happens when the gun lobby gets a bill passed to allow immunity from lawsuits against a specific industry- the gun industry. This is what happens when one powerful lobby and industry gets its’ way with power and lots of money.
There is no common sense in any of this.
We remember those who were injured and living with the physical and emotional scars left behind. We remember the families and friends who will never be the same again. We remember that a mad man was allowed to purchase a gun and ammunition and take the lives of innocent Americans and we did nothing about it after it happened. We remember that we have done nothing after any of our nation’s mass shootings to prevent the next one. We remember that our politicians are spineless in the face of pressure from the NRA and corporate gun lobby.
We also need to remember that healing takes a very long time and many suffer from PTSD and other mental and physical injuries in the aftermath of shootings like this. All over America, families and friends ( the survivors) have to cope with the aftermath of mass shootings. This article about how Aurora has handled the aftermath mentions the mental health services still available in their community.
The scars are visible and invisible but they are there- all over America, and today in particular, in Aurora, Colorado.
Let’s also remember that the majority of us want to do something about mass and “everyday” shootings that take the lives of 90 Americans a day. And when we all stand up together with loud voices and demand that something happen, something may change. When we elect politicians who put the rights of Americans to be safe from senseless gun violence before gun rights, we may succeed.
How many more will it take?
Today we remember:
Jonathon Blunk, age 26
Alexander “AJ” Boik, age 18
Jessie Childress, age 29
Gordon Cowden, age 51
Jessica Ghawi, age 24
John Larimer, age 27
Matt McQuinn, age 27
Micayla Medek, age 23
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, age 6
Alex Sullivan, age 27
Alexander Teves, age 24
Rebecca Wingo, age 32