First off, I would just like to say that my thoughts are with the victims and their families during this heart wrenching period. This unexpected tragedy will not easily be forgotten.
James Holmes, the alleged shooter, managed to take a fat dump on America’s joy of going to the movies. Like the rest of the nation, I regularly go to the movies to see the latest on the big screen. But what Holmes has done will forever change the way Americans enjoy their movies. Remember the Columbine shooting (which freakishly happened less than 20 miles away from today’s massacre)? The aftermath saw an increase in schools’ security systems, additional guidance counselors trained to spot behavioral problems, and a nationwide spotlight on bullying. Remember 9/11? Now it’s simply impossible to get through airport security with anything on you. They can practically see you naked.
The Aurora, Colorado theater shooting will rank among these events as it will change the way we as a nation attend the movie theater. In light of the shooting, AMC Theaters announced that it will no longer permit attendees to wear costumes, masks or face paint into the theaters. Holmes was wearing all black–easily assumed to just be a Batman-themed costume. What can we expect next? Metal detectors before getting our tickets ripped? Bags looked through by security guards? A well-lit auditorium?
I anticipate that these probable changes will be received badly by the public. It just makes me uncomfortable to know that the victims couldn’t even watch a movie in peace. Is there no safe place anymore? Really, this could have happened anywhere, to anyone, but just the fact that it actually did happen sickens me.
But this should not prevent any of us from enjoying our weekends. The movies are an integral part of American culture and should not be avoided because of a psychotic loser. I, for one, will go see The Dark Knight Rises in theaters tomorrow with my homies. Not going to the movie just gives in to the terrorism Holmes was trying to accomplish.
I agree with what President Obama said in his public address. Today is not the day to talk about the politics of the shooting. What today is about is coming together as Americans and hugging our loved ones just a little tighter tonight.
On a side note, the police have detained Holmes, who was a neuroscience graduate student at the University of Colorado. The police have not released the alleged shooter’s motive. They are still trying to disable a bomb that has been wired as a booby-trap in Holmes’ apartment. As of late, there have been 12 victims.