Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn. ~Alfred Pennyworth in The Dark Knight
After a particularly rough day some years ago, a friend of mine jokingly mused “Now I understand what prompts people to bring a gun into the workplace.” At the time, the Post Office was the butt of many jokes regarding workplace violence, but outbreaks of gunfire in public places were not commonplace. Unfortunately, they seem to be more and more common these days. Of course, I refer with a heavy heart to the shooting at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film in Colorado that claimed the lives of at least a dozen people and injured scores more. And the worst of it is that the victims will disappear into the story while the shooter becomes an infamous celebrity overnight as we ponder the why and the motivation.
And each political side will have its day, with some claiming that this is yet another reason to ban firearms, while others claim that a system of leniency has catered to the derangement of this individual. Non-stop coverage will have already begun while I type this, and we will never know why this happened and what could be done to prevent it in the future.
The concerning part for me is that the media has already cast off the mantle of terrorism, as though only people of certain ideologies or citizens of certain countries are capable of terrorism. As though terrorism is restricted to an individual or group that have already been vilified. Ask any of the survivors of last night’s shooting and see if they’re not terrified. Will they ever be able to attend a movie again without wondering if it will be the last film they see? That is the definition of terror: inspiring intense fear and anxiety. We shouldn’t lessen the crime by creating an idea of safety rooted in the notion that because it didn’t happen in a war zone, or was not carried out by a person whose religious beliefs differ from ours, or because the shooter acted alone that it was not an act of terror.
My thoughts go out to the families of the victims, to the survivors, and to the family of the shooter who probably cannot imagine what would possess their child or sibling to do this horrible thing. It is my desire that a sense of peace and calm is restored to Colorado in the coming days and that people can come together to remember the good in humanity and not dwell on the evil.