A reader who lives in the Aurora area writes:
I live about twenty minutes from the Cinemark Theater in Aurora. I pass through that part of town occasionally and have a friend who is a firefighter and responded to the gunman’s former apartment. Fortunately, I was blessed to be spared from the tragedy, although my heart breaks for all those who have been affected by it. I think there are a few interesting things about the tragedy:
1) This tragedy occurred in a “gun-free” zone. Unfortunately, and yet predictably, that did not protect anyone. You simply cannot legislate against evil. Evil – by definition – is evil and ignores, circumvents and scoffs at laws, ethics and morality. No amount of policy, rules, regulations or law will protect us against evil.
2) Colorado has largely been focused on healing (and the Broncos). Vigils have been held, prayers have been said and the community has united just a little more.
3) This tragedy has had far-reaching effects. I don’t mean to belittle the great heartbreak, sorrow and emotional trauma through which the victims, friends and family have and will suffer, but it has affected many others, too.
I saw the same movie the night after the shooting and I couldn’t help but watch the emergency exit. Even though I knew it was a theater employee, my heart raced when I saw someone head to the emergency exit and return. My friends that were there said the same thing – they watched the exits almost as much as they watched the movie.
4) People are taking advantage of this tragedy. Legislators and activists are blaming the “insane” gun culture of the US and crying for tighter restrictions on guns and related products. The thing I find most interesting is that not one of them is proposing a real solution.
The problem was an individual bent on harming others. This is best evidenced by the booby traps he set in his apartment, his slightly open door and loud music set on a timer. Not one of those traps was rigged with a firearm. Are you going to legislate against jars and wire too?
Every time I want to jar of Pallisade peaches, will I have to undergo a background check and have the FBI, BATFE and my local Sheriff’s office alerted that I bought more than a dozen jars? Will picture framers have to have an FWL (Federal Wire License) so they can sell a frame wired to hang? This young man was determined to do harm regardless of the tools he used. What’s most interesting, though, is that none of these cries for regulation have come from Colorado – New York, Illinois and the other usual suspects, yes, but not Colorado.
Coincidentally – and this is only anecdotal evidence – applications for CCWs are up a HUGE amount in Arapahoe County (the county where Aurora is located). Don’t ask me how I know, but the Sheriff’s office is only open from 9am-3pm on Tues-Thurs for CCWs and people were lined up at 8am these past 2 weeks. Middle of the day waits have been 2+ hours just to submit the paperwork and get fingerprints done.
It’s nice to see people getting more serious about the responsibility of personal protection, especially since this litigious society allows the police to neither serve nor protect (BTW, I’ve heard the response time to the theater was phenomenal, yet casualties abounded).
Sorry for the long email. I just had to get it off my chest.