Normally, I feature a Fun Facts Friday post on Fridays.
But today, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to all the families affected by the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting. My family lived in Colorado from 2006-2010, and we still consider it a home away from home. We were extremely saddened to hear of the tragedy there.
Few of us will ever forget April 20, 1999... Columbine. 13 people were killed and 21 injured by two gunman at a Littleton, Colorado high school. More tragic events followed: September 11, 2001; the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings; and the 2009 attack at Ford Hood, Texas. Just to name the ones that popped in my head.
12 people were killed and 59 wounded when a young man opened fire on a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.
So many times people try to blame the movie industry, particularly violent ones, for giving criminals ideas.
I offer a different view... most books and movies try to figure out the atrocities that happen in real life instead of insight them. They try to show the senselessness of violence and the amazing heroes who often step forward during such times. The great books try to figure it out--the factors and characters that lead up to horrific events.
Sadly, most real events are far worse than anything I've read in a book or seen on television or at the movies. Even the make believe worlds filled with vampires, aliens, and so forth can't match the horrible things regular human beings do.
I just read two amazing books: Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Both are set during WWII, one from the German perspective and one from the Russian. Both were bone chilling. Nothing is as shocking as history.
Maybe there's nothing to learn from today. Maybe, sadly, some people are messed up. Bad things often happen without good reason. People lose loved ones without explanation. There's little we can do to understand the mind of a mad men. And I for one like to think those responsible for the events listed above are freaks of nature. Anomalies we simply can't explain.
But let's not blame movies and books. Whatever motivates these types of people, they will find it where they need it. No matter what we do.
Please join me in sending thoughts and prayers to those in Colorado.