There isn't much to update on the shooting that took place last week in a Denver-area theater during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. President Obama visited some of the injured survivors over the weekend, and there is some information trickling out about how shooter James Holmes amassed his arsenal: "He received a large volume of deliveries over the past four months to both his home and work addresses, which police believe begins to explain how he got his hands on some of the materials used in the rampage and the subsequent discovery of his booby-trapped apartment, Aurora Police Chief Paul Oates told reporters Saturday. Holmes purchased four weapons and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition in recent months, Oates said."
There's still no clear motive for the attack, or none that police are disclosing.
Iain and I went to see the film over the weekend, and, as we stood in line waiting for the theater doors to open, I overheard a lot of nervous jokes/comments referencing the shooting. People were thinking about it. Some people were openly scared.
The objective was terrorism. Mission accomplished.
Temporarily, anyway. For the most part, we will all, those of us not directly affected, go back to life the way it was before, the way we always do. We will resume our normal activities as the fresh horror of this latest "senseless tragedy" fades into the recesses of memory, cataloged alongside the other acts of terror perpetrated by white men with unfettered access to deadly weaponry.
And we will do that because we don't have a choice, because we live in a nation where it is considered radical and traitorous to assert that healthcare a right, but perfectly normal for one of our elected officials to say, without compunction or hesitation:
These are rifles that are used in hunting. Just the fact of the matter is this is really not an issue of guns. This is about sick people doing things you simply can't prevent. It's really an issue of freedom.The ability to own to 100-round magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles is an issue of freedom, and regular mass murders committed by people with access to that weaponry is something "you simply can't prevent." Like earthquakes or rainy days.
It is a fact of life in the United States that sometimes a heavily armed man will walk into a crowded place and kill people. So we go about our lives with the understanding that will happen and the belief that it won't happen to us—a collective fantasy that allows us to tolerate a life under threat in order to indulge people who speak the word "freedom" without understanding what it really means.
To be truly free would be to live a life without that threat at all.