From the moment I woke up this morning I have been inundated by the non stop media coverage from the Colorado shooting. How does one even process this? As more information comes in, the more the media mayhem continues. I think it is fairly clear this suspect was well prepared, and had this thought out. The guns were purchased legally. Colorado actually has a couple tiers in place to keep guns out of the hands of those with criminal records. After Columbine they amped up their laws. Sadly, this didn’t help any of the victims last night.
I know many people speculate this guy is nuts. It is possible. Can someone be completely sane, and take three guns into a theater and open fire? By law, yes. If he knew the difference between right and wrong in that moment, yes he is sane. But it is far more than that. Why did this man do this? I think there needs to be a serious disconnect in order to shoot people. In order to plan so carefully and to execute that plan. We know he is extremely intelligent. That is obvious, but the question still remains, what drove him to act in such a manner? In the coming days and weeks, we will learn far more about this guy. But it is too late now. Any help, or any intervention is too late. Was he withdrawn? Was he behaving erratically? Was it evident he was planning something? I think three guns purchased in just a few months should have raised a red flag. Even those of us who love guns, we don’t normally buy them one after the other. On average these firearms are costly, from $500 on up to $1800. That is quite an expenditure for a student. Add to that full tactical gear and tear gas. But there are no systems in place to flag these types of purchases. It is so very sad.
I think the culture of violence has to play into this. Back when I was a bullied kid, I never once thought of picking up a gun and killing anyone. Why then has everything changed? Why do we have shootings with frequency? Everything from Columbine, to the Toronto mall shooting? or Virginia Tech? Has this been going on, and we just didn’t know about it before the internet era. Now it is instant. We hear about all of this, all the time. Does that add to this? Is that the seed that gets planted in the brains of these shooters? Is it where it starts, and then festers? Does it form the basis of the delusions and the plans of violence? If the reports are accurate, the shooter calls himself “the joker” and has his hair dyed red, it may be this man identified with that character. He may be lost in the midst of a psychotic episode, and truly feels he is in a movie. Was he suffering and people did not help him? Was the school aware, and just let him withdraw and disappear? The Virgina Tech shooter is a good example of a school failing a very disturbed (hate that term, but can’t think of a better one) individual. I know hindsight is 20-20, but that kid had a serious illness and it was not addressed. Will that be the case with this shooter?
I think this type of violence will continue. It is a part of our society. I do hope it doesn’t get worse, but my gut tells me this will become all too common. Our time is precious, as is made all too clear by this incident. My prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless violence.