Day 186 Question 186:
What scares you?
Honestly, the direction that the world is headed terrifies me. I do not live every day in fear by any means but with how many tragedies we see unfold every day all over the country…hell all over the world…there is a sense of nervousness that can take over to even go out anywhere anymore. The news is constantly filled of stories of women being raped or children being kidnapped or even worse mass shootings in public venues. I believe the mental health of being around the world is deteriorating and there is no specific cause for that. I believe there are an abundances of causes…stress, bullying, anger, loss, neglect, etc. I always want to know what is going through the mind of someone when the commit a horrific crime. What drives them to want to harm or even kill others??? Is it something that could have been prevented? In the mass shooting at Virginia Tech a few years back, after doing a little bit of research about the gunman, it was obvious that this was a young man with issues. This is a crime that could have been prevented. This young man had all of the warning signs of someone that had great potential to just snap and that is exactly what he did and it cost the lives of several innocent victims.
If you have turned on the radio or TV (if you live in the United States) today, there is no doubt that you have heard about the mass shooting at a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. A 24 year old man entered the theatre through an Emergency Exit about 20-30 minutes into the movie. He donned a bulletproof vest and a gas mask. He threw some a canister that emitted tear gas then just proceeded to open fire. By the way media sources and witnesses are speaking, he was shooting at random. By the end of this tragedy, 12 completely innocent victims lost their lives and 50 more were injured (some minor while others were critical). Several news stories have stated that this was indefinitely a planned shooting and they believe that guns were stashed in the theater prior to this showing. The gunman told authorities that his car had explosives in it (which none were found) and that his apartment was booby trapped with explosives (causing authorities to have to take very cautious measures of searching the place before entering). No motive has yet to be released. What could his motive possibly be??? I cannot wrap my brain around the entire incident. What could possibly be going on in the head of a 24 year old young man that would think it is ok or right to kill innocent people like that?? Did he have a bad home life? Was he abused in any way? Was he bullied as a kid and did he have built up anger and resistance? Was he suffering from any mental disorders? Did the media and the hype of this movie play a part on his decision to go on this shooting spree? Does he feel any regret or remorse? Did he have any fear before entering the theatre? Were there warning signs that this young man could have done destructive things or harmed others? These are all questions that keep running rampant through my head and over time some of them may be answered while others may remain a mystery.
The United States is a country that is known for being Free. That is the reason why so many people come here. I find our freedom to be lessening as time passes. Our freedom is being lost due to fear. I could be completely wrong, but I would guess that the sales for this movie this weekend will drastically decrease in sales (from what was expected) because people are now fearing even stepping foot into a theater. The actions of one could potentially spawn others to do crazy and drastic things…we see copycats all of the time. My freedom being taken away (even unintentionally) terrifies me. The idea of closing myself in because we see more and more of a prevalence of violence and rage makes me sad. I will not stop living life because I do believe everything happens for a reason but I do not believe that people should have to be constantly looking over their shoulders or live with a burning feel in their stomachs that is brought on by anxiety. People should NEVER have to live in a state of fear but with the rates of violence increasing everyday more and more people are. My question is: what is the solution? Are we headed for even more chaos and destruction in the world of violence and senseless killers? Have we been doing enough to avoid these types of situations? All of these questions can be answered but all of the answers are going to be strictly a matter of opinion. There is no one solution for all. I have opinions of why our country is deteriorating….greed, selfishness, media, stress, technology boom. Are we moving at too rapid of a pace and people are just creating chaos with all of the new tools they have to play with? Where do we draw the line?
I know this isn’t my typical feel good, positive entry. Every once in a while I am struck by something that happens in the world and I must get out my thoughts. What happened at this theatre is tragic as was Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings (among many many more). It scares me to think what this world may come to if we don’t stop seeing through the eyes of violence and anger. I have never heard a truer statement more than: An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind. Some people may consider me naïve and ignorant but this world will never thrive or prosper in the way we hope it does if we keep resorting to violence for the answers. I have come to learn about myself so much over time and I have been angry in the past and let irritation hold such a type grip on me. I realized how easy it was to change all that just by asking questions and listening to why others feel and think as they do. I remind myself about how different people are from me and that is ok…the world would not be so beautiful and diverse if we didn’t have differences. I just believe instead of rejecting differences we should embrace them and instead of telling someone they are wrong we should offer to educate them and show them different views. We live in a country where we are being forced what to think and I believe this is the cause of so much anger. We should offer our knowledge and our wisdom…NOT force it.
Below are some of the articles I found that pulled at my heart strings. I guess I just wanted to offer to others my words so they can look at themselves and their actions. Many of you have children and those children need you more than ever. Remember that they are people and they need guidance. I ask that you think about those people that are so different from you and accept them instead of reject them….remember you have no idea where they are coming from….offer help before anything else…some people may not take it but at least you tried. I ask that you just be kind. I ask that you teach love to as many people as you can. I ask that you stand behind your morals and values but don’t force them on anyone else. I ask that you teach any children and young people around you respect, compassion and empathy. I ask of you to question what is setting you back in life and what is making you angry then asking yourself what real value does anger or violence have overall? I ask that if you feel depressed or overly stressed or overwhelmed in any way that you ask for help. These requests may be minor and may not move mountains but they are important requests that I do believe could be passed on from person to person to person…and hopefully we could see some differences in the world. The world does not have to be an ugly place….it is only an ugly place because we are making it that way. The only solution I can really come up with for the majority is to change the way you think….change behaviors….realize that each and every one of us chooses what we do and say in life and we must stop thinking negatively if we want to “be the change you want to see in the world”. ~Ghandi
Mass Shooting at Colo. Movie Theater, 12 People Dead
A lone gunman dressed in riot gear burst into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” and methodically began shooting patrons, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 38.
The suspect, James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, was caught by police in the parking lot of the Century 16 Movie Theaters, nine miles outside Denver, after police began receiving dozens of 911 calls at 12:39 a.m. MT. Police said the man appeared to have acted alone.
Witnesses in the movie theater said Holmes crashed into the auditorium through an emergency exit about 30 minutes into the film, set off a smoke bomb, and began shooting. Holmes stalked the aisles of the theater, shooting people at random, as panicked movie-watchers in the packed auditorium tried to escape, witnesses said.
“You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going,” one witness told ABC News.
“I’m with coworkers and we’re on the floor praying to God we don’t get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding,” another theatergoer said.
Police said 10 victims died inside the theater, while dozens of others were taken to local hospitals, including a child as young as 6 years old.
A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes’s mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.
She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.
“You have the right person,” she said.
“I need to call the police,” she added. “I need to fly out to Colorado.”
Holmes was wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet and carrying a gas mask, rifle, and handgun, when he was apprehended, according to police. Holmes mentioned having explosives stored, leading police to evacuate his entire North Aurora apartment complex and search the buildings early this morning.
The highly-anticipated third installment of the Batman triology opened to packed auditoriums around the country at midnight showings on Friday morning, and features a villain named Bane who wears a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Trailers for the movie show explosions at public events including a football game. Though many moviegoers dressed in costume to attend the opening night screening, police have made no statements about any connection between the gunman’s motives and the movie.
Aurora Theater Shooting Is Deadliest In U.S. Since Virginia Tech
Last night’s tragic shooting at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado was the largest mass shooting in the U.S. since the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, which killed 32 people and wounded 15 others. 12 people were killed and at least 38 injured Thursday night at the Aurora movie theater, just a few miles away from Columbine, Colorado, the site of the school shooting in 1999. There are about 20 mass shootings every year in the U.S. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence lists hundreds of mass shootings since 2005. The Aurora shooting suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, has been arrested.