Aurora, Colorado Shootings Highlight Semi Automatic Weapons Debate

By DiMarkco Chandler:

Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured in Aurora, Colorado, during a sold out movie premiere of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” when 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly opened fire on the audience. The coroner released the identities of the 12 victims overnight. Sadly, they were mostly in their twenties, the youngest being a little girl, only six years old. We have learned that one victim had just gotten a master’s degree, another just finished high school. Someone else was supposed to be celebrating his birthday; and for another, it was a night out with a group of fellow sailors.

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, six years old, was at the Batman premier with her mother, who still is in the hospital in critical condition, hanging to life. Unfortunately, her little girl didn’t make it out alive. 12 people died just because they went to see a midnight movie. As they are being mourned and remembered, their stories are emerging. Many of the victims died as heroes, sacrificing their lives to save their girlfriends. Matthew McQuinn dove on top of his love. “He was one good guy. He was always there for family and friends when it was needed,” said David Jackson, Matt McQuinn’s stepfather. Alexander Teves, fresh out of grad school used his body to block a bullet heading for his girlfriend. John T. Blunk pushed his girlfriend under the theater seat. He told her “we have to get down.” John Larimer leapt over his seat to protect his girlfriend; then his fellow sailors dragged his body out, never leaving a man behind. Micayla C. Medek was described as independent, and fun; Alexander Boik just 18, an artist musician; Jessica Ghawi had just escaped a mass shooting in a mall in Toronto a month earlier; Gordon W. Cowden had brought his teenagers to see the Batman movie; Rebecca Ann Wingo had been a loving mother to her young daughters; and then there was Alex N. Sullivan who was celebrating his 27th birthday and would have also celebrated his one year anniversary to his wife, Cassandra. His family searched desperately for him after the shooting, only to find that, sadly, he was officially among the dead.

On Sunday, Barack Obama arrived at Colorado where he began meeting with local officials and family members of those who were gunned down inside the crowded theater last week. The entire nation mourns the dead of our fellow brothers and sisters who were massacred this past Friday in Colorado, and our hearts and prayers go out to all of their families.

This isn’t just another shooting. No incident like this is ever just another shooting. But months, maybe years from now, that’s the way we’ll look upon this terrible tragedy, unless someone says enough. Someone has to stand up to those who profit from the sales of semi automatic weapons. What is wrong with us? Are we numb? Have we lost our connection with our fellow human beings? Twelve people lay dead, never ever able to breathe the breath of life again. Husbands waking up to empty beds. Mother’s walking through playgrounds alone. Women, left without the love that made them feel alive, special, and able to face a challenging existence. If we don’t stop our own self-centered insanity now, this thing will happen again.

You know, there’s a story, I don’t know if it’s in the Bible or not, but there’s a story I remember from when I was a child. Someone told me that all while Noah was building his Ark, the people looked at him as though he had lost his mind. The story suggested that Noah proclaimed, it’s going to rain. But nobody listened to his claims.  Nobody wanted to stop their comfortable daily routines. Perhaps they thought, “It doesn’t rain where we are.”  Perhaps they were surprised, or believed Noah was somewhat gullible.  “What is this guy Noah talking about? It doesn’t rain here in Mesopotamia; not this side of the Euphrates River. You’re preaching your message to the wrong people.  Are you trying to put a damper on our freedom?  Well Noah, if you are, you’re not going to get very far, because we’re just not having it.”

Now I know the story of Noah did not quite go that way. Nevertheless, my rendition suites my purposes.

How loud does the drum have to beat? How many innocent people must die before a Noah steps up, and at least attempts to say, “Let’s go. Let’s be uncomfortable together.  Let’s get on the boat and stop this insanity?”  Let’s with one voice tell all who believe that freedom to bear arms is their constitutional right, that that does not mean automatic weapons. If we left it to those that profit from these instruments of mass destruction they would be willing to sell us all tanks, hand grenades, and bazookas; because as they say, “The people have a right to protect themselves from their government; dam the protection we need to live in a free and open society.”  I thought the other side cared about businesses. There is nothing that I know of that can close a business owner down quicker that a shooting like the one that occurred last Friday. So much for caring about businesses.

Let me put it another way. The sky is falling the sky is falling the sky is falling and I’m not chicken little; but I’ll bet you won’t get my little metaphor, and in fact I’m willing to bet you’ll choose to ignore my warnings for what you call safety in arms. Have you forgotten the old adage:  “He who lives by the gun dies by the gun?” America, all snug and comfortable, are we not living by the gun?

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