So I’m sitting in my office early this morning, watching the news unfold from Aurora, Colorado, and feeling generally useless.
If you haven’t seen the news yet (that rock you’re living under must be damn comfy), 24-year-old James Holmes entered a crowded movie theater approximately 30 minutes into the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, and opened fire. He was armed with a shotgun, a rifle, and 2 handguns, as well as smoke bombs and/or tear gas canisters, and was dressed in a bullet-resistant vest, riot helmet, and gas mask. Police quickly apprehended him in the parking lot of the theater (where they happened to be stationed for crowd control). Thus far, there are 71 confirmed victims – 12 dead and 59 wounded. (Sources: BBC News and ThinkProgress)
You know that feeling that starts in the pit of your stomach and you can’t really tell if it’s anger or sadness or rage or fear or a mix of everything all at once? That’s what I had for most of the morning. I watched the tweets roll by. Some Congressman wonders why no one in the theater was armed, because they could have shot the shooter and prevented so many casualties (Tea Party Congressman links Colorado Shooting TO Attacks on Christianity – of course he’s from Texas). Panic on both sides of the gun issue, hyperbolic statements made by the un- or mis-informed, and downright ridiculous PR stunts/nightmares followed.
“In one year, GUNS murdered 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States.”
— Tristan (@polarizeme) July 20, 2012
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) July 20, 2012
(Note: I grabbed that tweet from Markos because the original from CelebBoutique has been removed.)
Some have even gone so far as to blame the violence in the movie for this tragedy. I could discuss gun rights and gun safety, or violence in our society, or try to find where to properly place blame. None of these things are productive, though. So instead of sitting in front of my Twitter feed crying, I did something productive.
I’m nowhere near Aurora, Colorado. I know my blood won’t go to the victims there, but it will go to someone who needs it here in Dallas. That’s something, even if it’s just a gesture.
My thoughts go out to the people of Aurora, the family and friends of the victims, and the family and friends of the shooter. Everyone needs a little love right now. Hug your family, call your friends, smile at a stranger, and never, ever forget to be awesome.