It’s a beautiful name. Poetic. Romantic. The sort of name a writer might choose for the setting of their novel. Dawn. New beginnings. Sunrise. Pink and purple.
There is a twisted irony in such a beautiful name being associated with a terrible tragedy, seared into our memory, inseparably entwined.
We all heard about the shooting different ways. We all heard different versions. Even weeks later the facts are confused, rearranged, and obscured. No one really knows what happened in the theatre that night. No one ever will be able to completely reconstruct the details. Even if you took a time machine back you wouldn’t be able to see what was going on in the dark… you wouldn’t be able to see into the mind of the shooter.
But we know what happened when it was all over. We know that when the shooting stopped twelve people were dead. And when the shooter is locked away where he can’t hurt anyone again, when the last of the blood is cleaned up off the floor, when everyone has forgotten and moved on to other news – twelve people will still be dead.
What happened in Aurora is not political. What happened in Aurora has nothing to do with gun control, gun laws, movies, filmmakers, or the position of the stars in the heavens. What happened in Aurora has nothing to do with church or state, theology or denominations, or the latest trends on twitter. What happened in Aurora has everything to do with life and death and how we react to it.
I am sickened and saddened by the articles directed to me on the subject. I have read few of them, but I gathered the gist. Bloggers and forum frequenters all over the internet are using the event to push their personal beliefs and further their debate. They blame everything from guns and gun control to the Batman franchise and violent films. They see Aurora as a warning against the evil in the world, a sign that we need more protection, or proof of their favorite conspiracy theory.
Twelve people died.
Perhaps the killer was influenced by Batman. So what? Perhaps someone put him up to it. So what? Will being right change the facts? Will one more or less law mean that tragedy will never happen again? Will insulting and deprecating someone you don’t agree bring comfort to the families of those who have lost a loved one?
Take a step back and consider what really happened that night. Twelve people died. Step back and ask yourself what that means to you. Does it matter who is responsible? Can pointing fingers and laying blame bring them back? Can it heal the hurt or bring comfort to the wounded? Does it do anything but bring about smug and satisfied feelings in the hearts and minds of the debaters?
Do not disrespect the memory of the dead by using them in a petty debate.
Do not use them as weapons against the enemy.
Do not throw your dead over the walls.