The first thing I heard from the outside world after waking up this morning was that a mass shooting had taken place at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora. I’m still reeling from the news and all sorts of reactions are stirring inside of me.
How evil, How sad, how hopeless, how frightening… How could this happen. Will it happen more often. Shootings happen all the time, and this isn’t the first time people have been attacked in a theater, but while this is always tragic and unacceptable, such an attack as the shooting spree that took place at that mall movie theater in Aurora exceeds all levels of horror one can expect to endure in the real world.
To be a fan, or moviegoer out for a night of entertainment –completely trusting in security (not to mention humanity), looking for some harmless fun, stripped of any defense– vulnerable to some monster who’s plotted to violently destroy lives, hopes, and any illusions of safety by shooting fish in a barrel, with no apparent motive is truly terrifying. Tha fact that it could have been anyone anywhere– because this sort of thing doesn’t make any sense no matter how you dissect it– is a wake up call to us all.
I’m not talking about gun control, and I’m certainly not pointing out the relationship of the situation to the Batman story and suggesting that someone in that theater obsessively train to become a real Dark Knight to combat the real evil that terrorizes the innocent. This isn’t Kick-Ass, and it isn’t a game, or an open opportunity to spread anti second amendment sentiment. Nothing about what has happened suggests that so-called “gun control” is the answer, and like it or not there is a reason for the right to bear arm and the logic against it comes from the same kind of sleepy docile, and dazed mentality that we have fallen into as a society.
I don’t know what can be done. Ore freedom, or concept of safety has been torn apart and ripped from our tenuous grip. heightened security is surely not the answer, at least not the kind that results in long lines, cavity searches and absurd rules. Those that run these kinds of tasks become just as complacent in the repetition of it all and forget to think critically, relying on policy and directives that try, but never can account for every possible scenario. Maybe if the companies that own these malls could sack up and put the money into the kind of manpower it takes to secure the facility in question this sort of thing could be avoided. No guard = opportunity to do harm.
Really, I think that is a big chunk of the problem. Calculated risks like cutting costs on employment to maximize profits results in, at best, a downward spiral of standards and performance. When you are dealing with security the stakes are much higher. I can’t think of one mall I have ever been to that has guards posted strategically around the perimeter. At the very least, locking the doors is a necessity. Those who manage these public places must be responsible for what happens in their domain. They need to control who has back door access and lock it down. It’s not a question of making people feel safe. It’s about making your establishment reasonably safe given the evidence.
I don’t think this mall in Aurora was unique in allowing back door access, but the asshole that went in there with guns and gas bombs exploited that ignorance. Complacency cannot be tolerated. These are just my thoughts as they occur to me and I’m about done. If you would like to weigh in with something insightful, please comment.