We’re all reeling from the horror in Aurora, Colorado. It is the topic of so many conversations, news stories, blogs and commentaries, from here on the East Coast to the West Coast. We all know, though, that nothing can come close to what those who were involved, have family or friends who were involved, and/or live in close proximity…their pain is unimaginable to those of us who (knock on wood, of course) haven’t.
But, the constant feed — and replaying — of information from Aurora, especially during times when there is no new information, is so frustrating to me. News outlets play them for their ratings (sensationalism sells, right?) while politicians and others continue to use the events to point blame. My favorites, and I have some in my own family, are those who pull out the trite “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” type of comments and the others who say that horrors in Aurora just prove that we need more guns. Unfortunately, given the power of the NRA over both sides…due, in my opinion, to some combination of greed, racism (or any other number of ‘isms’) and/or cowardice…there is more than enough blame to go around. On both sides of the political aisle.
Perhaps this time, as we think about the victims and the people they left behind, we’ll try to be mindful of them in the future, when we vote, when we make our political contributions, when we do (or don’t ignore) the violence in our own communities. Perhaps we won’t forget this time. Perhaps we’ll turn our sadness into resolve. Perhaps we’ll work to remind our politicians. Perhaps we’ll remind our children and our neighbors. Perhaps we’ll acknowledge that Aurora, Colorado is really like so many of our communities, only concentrated — that there by the grace of God go we.
How many does it take?
July 2012: Aurora, Colorado: 12 killed October 2011: Los Angeles, California: 11 killed September 2001: Carson City, Nevada: 4 killed August 2011: Copley Township, Ohio: 4 killed January 2011: Tucson, Arizona: 6 killed August 2010: Hartford, Connecticut: 8 killed November 2009: Fort Hood, Texas: 11 killed April 2009: Binghamton, New York: 14 killed March 2009: Samson, Alabama: 11 killed December 2008: Covina, California: 9 killed December 2007: Omaha, Nebraska: 8 killed April 2007: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia: 32 killed March 2005: Red Lake, Minnesota: 9 killed October 2002: Washington, DC area: 10 killed April 1999: Littleton, Colorado: 13 killed