A Sad Day In Colorado

My brother lives in Aurora, Colorado so as soon as I heard of the theater massacre I called him. He lives just a short distance from the theater so they were concerned about their grandchildren who like movies, especially late-night premiers such as the Batman movie.

Their grandchildren were safe but not a beautiful young teenager friend who was shot in the jaw, breaking her jaw and knocking out her teeth. She is in the hospital for a series of surgeries. Her pain and misery will go on for months.

I watched the young man, a scholar, who did the shooting. He sat in the court room, not reacting much except a slight wake-up call when the judge told him that he would be charged with murder in the first degree. This fellow was an honor student who could not get a job when he graduated from college. One reporter said he worked at McDonalds before he moved from San Diego to attend  graduate school in Denver.

To me, the young man was trying to figure out what had gone wrong in his thinking, to prepare arms to destroy innocent people including a man who’s wife was in the hospital having a baby. The man was shot in the eye and may recover from a coma, but he may never be the same, may never see his wife and baby again.

I’m not a psychiatric practitioner but I’ve seen folks with that strange look that tells you that something is not right. He will now undergo evaluations to see if he is legally able to stand trial. More likely he will go to a mental hospital just as the young man who shot President Reagan did. Also the young man who shot Arizona’s Representative to Congress is such a case.

Where does all this violence come from? What turns a young man to such heinous crimes?

We don’t have far to look. We are a militaristic nation and violence is part of our culture. Diplomacy is not effective and we are quick to go to war and then stay at war long after the need is there. Weaponry is exciting to our young people who see it all the time. I cringe to think that when I die some military group will fire their guns over my grave. Enough is enough! The flag will do.

We have so many sad families who have lost service men and women to violence. Also, the media thrives on violence and flock to report any such incident. And of course we have Hollywood and Television splattering our screens with shows and movies of sex and violence and other things that are not of good report.

In a way, I fell sorry for a young man who is bitter after spending four years in college in a technical area and not being able to find a job, to be humiliated into working in a fast food joint, and being left with thousands of dollars in student loans to pay. Evidently, this young man did not think that graduate school was going to solve his problems.

I haven’t figured out why he didn’t commit suicide. Instead, he did all he could to protect his person during the shooting. He used fast-firing weapons with large clicks. Here in Idaho, I asked a gun owner whom I won’t name why he was collecting such weapons. He said that it was because the gun community thinks that there will be more regulations trying to stop the proliferation of such weapons. Idaho, Montana and Nevada are ready to stand and fight to preserve the Right to Bare Arms. But the constitution was aimed at the right of a colony to keep a well-armed militia. It was not referring to the right of potential killers to bare weapons which they can turn on the public.

I’m not for total gun control. In this age, protection of ones home and family is paramount. The law in most states says that if an intruder forces you into a room in your house and you can not excape, you can shoot him. To do that, you don’t need an AK-47 and a thousand rounds of ammunition.

What we need in this world is some sanity. God help us to find it.


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