The tragedy in Colorado has touched Americans in different ways everywhere during this otherwise lovely summer of 2012.
At the Showcase Cinema complex in Revere Monday evening the theaters were evacuated during a showing of Batman. Some theater goers were terrified as they exited the theaters for what apparently turned out to be a false alarm.
The mass murder and shooting of so many innocents last week at a movie-plex in Aurora goes to prove once again how chance and fate often mix and with the worst possible results.
However, it is the fact that this outrage took place at a theater at midnight where large crowds gathered to watch the new Batman movie which many of us find so disturbing. That our children, families, teenagers and adults in this instance were slaughtered, shot and injured while watching a movie is what is so hard to take.
The loss and the injury of so many innocents because of outrageous violence never seems to make much sense. Twelve died. Seventy were wounded. There are apparently at least four or five in the hospital who were shot who will never walk again. For nearly all who survived, there will be a lifetime of mental anguish to follow.
The perpetrator said he was trying to impersonate The Joker, the implacable and diabolical opponent of Batman, the cartoon turned Hollywood character. He dyed his hair orange. He wore Army style battle gear, including a helmet and gas mask, bulletproof vest and boots. And he carried a shotgun, an automatic weapon and two automatic pistols. Also, he had purchased 6000 rounds of ammunition off the Internet.
He aimed or sprayed gunfire at as many innocents as he could before he ran out of ammunition.
Unbelievably enough, there has not been a nationwide call for further gun control restrictions.
What we have witnessed since the mass shooting is the collective shock and anger of a nation. There is also the effort to forgive the shooter as certainly he must be insane to have planned and done such a horrific thing.
His actions have once again highlighted how violent, at times, out society can be. Once again, this depressing event at a movie theater on a summer night reveals how dark life can become for those heading in the direction of this shooter.
He was an honors student, extremely bright, non-violent for about 23 years – and then this.
At the Showcase Cinema complex here over the weekend and into the new week, too, extra police watched carefully, looking more closely than usual into the crowds wherever they assembled.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Even man’s inhumanity to man such as that we witnessed in Colorado cannot stop this nation very long from putting this horrible event behind us and moving on.
What is especially tragic is that we all get to move on with our lives while those who died and who were grievously injured at the theater by the gunman are either dead or suffering, and their families, too.
The shooter now begins his long involvement with the American legal justice system, which will keep him behind bars where he belongs, one way or another, for the rest of his life.
The summer of 2012 will always be marked by this tragedy.
And what a shame that is.