The Dark Knight Rises opens to tragedy in Colorado
UPDATE: The man who shot 71 people, killing 12, during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" had dyed his hair red and given himself the moniker, "The Joker," according to some media reports.
This morning, still reeling from such a senseless, incomprehensible act, I used this space to caution against jumping on the pro or anti-gun control bandwagons. After a day of monitoring Colorado law enforcement and explosives experts trying to enter the gunman's booby-trapped apartment its time to talk about access to guns and mental health services. I'm concerned the gunman got the former too easily, and the latter not much, if at all.
Why would a 24-year-old Aurora, Colo., man walk into the midnight viewing of "The Dark Knight Rises" set off tear gas and then use three guns to systematically shoot moviegoers, some of whom were children. I'm not talking about insanity in the legal sense, but wouldn't you have to be deranged to do that?
Everyone is looking to make sense of this. Is the gunman part of some extremist or domestic terrorist group? Did he have a grudge against the movie or the superhero, Batman? Or a love affair with both? He appears to be a lone wolf - no other accomplices were immediately discovered. He doesn't appear to be suicidal. He didn't turn his guns on himself or try to escape. Police arrested him without incident.
This discussion is eerily close to home. More.
With strengthened resolve not to let cowards make us hide in fear, Seattlites are applauding the reopening of Cafe Racer, the North End coffee shop where five people were gunned down May 30. We're also nearing the July 22 anniversary of the Norway shooter responsible for gunning down 77 people, mostly children and teenagers at a summer camp.
President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney both made room on the campaign trail to talk about the tragedy, taking two decidely different tacts. Obama talked about the fragility of life and the importance of not taking it for granted. Romney talked about the search for answers and justice. Both are right. So how do we start that conversation?
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics