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Reaction to Mass Shootings

20 Jul

Yet again, there has been another American mass shooting. A man gassed a theater in Aurora, Colorado, then started shooting into the crowd. He didn’t know the people in the theater. So far, victims range from kids to adults.

Let’s try to understand how this happens. A man decides he has a problem with something in society, or that he is Batman, or something. He spends weeks preparing, obtaining guns, bombs or whatever else he deems worthy of vigilante justice. Then, he proceeds to attack a group of strangers then watch them die. Usually, he’s peaceful or even giddy while doing it.

Now, let’s try to understand why this happens. Can we? Can we ever understand why a perfect stranger would take away our child, our parent, our friend? What in the world did these people do to him, beside indulge in one of America’s biggest fun time activity – attend a movie? Why this movie, why this theater, why this day, why why why? Unfortunately, the people who were there will continue to ask this question well after I have forgotten it happened.

The people who were there will be affected in varying degrees. Those who were hurt or lost loved ones will be the most visually affected, of course. However, the nightmares begin now. Those who were just gassed, those in adjoining theaters, those who saw the blood, or those who were simply evacuated with no other affects, are touched in a way that no one should ever have to be bothered. They may never go to the movies again. They will have nightmares. They may develop unnatural fears of items associated with the incident. They will never forget what they saw, and they will be changed forever.

Why do some people believe it is their duty to cause such harm to so many others? Religions of many types state simply, “Be kind to each other.” Whether religious or not, this seems to me to be a mantra by which to live. Why do some people feel that they need to throw this phrase to the wind for their own personal vendetta?

These are questions that will never be answered. As a mom, I keep visualizing the mommy who watched her six year old die, possibly in her arms. I tear up. I pray for her in Christian style, as I pray for every single person in that theater. I admire the Aurora CO chief of police because I can see his heart breaking as he gives interviews to the media. I watch in awe, next to the rest of America, as these events unfold, and I wait to hear why from the suspect. I know I may hear why with my ears, but I will never fully understand with my heart.

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