Saturday, July 21, 2012

Deliberately Untitled

Nowadays I try to stay away from commentary on the kinds of atrocities that sick and disturbed individuals commit on groups of unsuspecting innocents such as the tragedy which unfolded in Aurora, Colorado not 48 hours ago.

I'm presuming by now that everyone has seen the usual awful media frenzy that surrounds this type of tragedy and are aware of the events. A young man apparently legally purchased an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a .40 Cal Glock and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within the last two months. He put on a mask and body armour, called himself "The Joker" and proceeded into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises shooting and killing 12 people and wounding almost 60 others.

Normally I'm glad when the perpetrator turns the gun on themselves or is taken down in a permanent fashion by the police. However in this one instance I'm glad he wasn't because he was able to inform the police that his apartment was booby-trapped, possibly averting the deaths of subsequent investigators. I'm also delighted that Colorado has the death penalty, only unfortunately it's a "humane" kind... something that this bastard did not allow his victims.

My condolences go out to the families of the victims of this senseless tragedy, sentiments echoed by many other influential people. The US Department of Defense released a statement yesterday: "...Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those impacted by this event. One sailor was injured and one, known to have been at the theatre that evening, is currently unaccounted for.  Two airmen were injured in the incident.  The Navy and the Air Force are working with the families of these service members to ensure they have the care and attention they need." I've since learned that the unaccounted for sailor was one of the victims, Petty Officer John Larimer, 27. 

Chuck Rozanski, President of Mile High Comics of Denver, Colorado [the outlet from which I have purchased much of my considerable Iron Man collection] also expressed condolences, and was relieved that none of his staff, their families or friends were victims of the incident and considers that his choice of local theatre for his midnight viewing was the right one: "I was at a different movie theater last night with my wife, daughter and her fiancé. Had the shooter chosen to instead make the quick drive from Aurora to Boulder, the horror of last night could have easily been ours to bear..." Rozanski however wants to help those less fortunate: "it is clear by the fact that they were willing to attend a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises that they were, at least by some measure, comics fans. That being the case, I think that it is beholden upon all of us in the comics world to pull together to help them in their time of need. For the families of the dead, we want to help with funeral expenses. For the wounded, we want to help with medical bills." and so 10% of all proceeds from the current Mile High Comics sale will be placed in a fund for them.

As you can imagine, director Christopher Nolan was upset and calling the shooting an appalling crime said: "I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me." Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer said: "I was going to send a note to Chris [Nolan] ... but I didn't have the words. Suddenly, words become meaningless because it's so beyond anything."

I finish with the words of wisdom... nay - a 'call to arms' from long time contributor and friend Bruce Russell: "Everyone, please go to a movie this weekend. Don't let one lunatic impact your life in a negative way. Go see Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Madagascar 3, whatever. Do your bit."

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