So many lost: victims of the Colorado shooting identified
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.
Today most will agree, this isn’t just another shooting. But no incident like this is ever just another shooting. Nevertheless, months, maybe years from now, that’s the way we’ll look upon this terrible historic tragedy, unless someone says enough. Someone has to stand up to those who profit from the sale of automatic weapons. What is wrong with us, are we numb. Have we lost our connection with our fellow human beings? 12 people lay dead, never ever able to breathe the breath of life again.
Tomorrow, in Aurora, Colorado, husbands will be waking up to an empty bed; mother’s walking through the playground alone; girlfriends, left without the love that made them feel alive, special, and able to face a challenging existence. If we don’t stop our own greedy, self-centered insanity now, this thing will happen again. Why? I’ll tell you why; because it’s never been truly about the constitution. The constitution is a convenient ruse. Just listen to your common senses. We put automatic weapons in the hands of anyone that can afford to buy them because it’s about profits for one business and one business alone.
I’ll say it again; it’s about profits and not constitution protections. Father’s that what’s taking your wives, mother’s that’s what’s taking your children, girlfriend’s that’s what’s taking your boyfriends and America that’s what’s killing your children.
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 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’re at; perhaps they believed Noah 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 you’re 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 interested in change.”
Now I know Noah’s story did not quite go that way, nevertheless, this rendition suits 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 those who believe that freedom to bear arms is their constitutional right, that such freedoms doesn’t mean the possession and use of automatic weapons.
If we left it to the gun sellers that profit from these instruments of mass destruction they’d be willing to sell us tanks, hand grenades, bazookas, because as they say, the people have a right to protect themselves from their government; damn protecting one’s neighbor from misguided individuals that wake up one day eons removed from all sanity.
Let me put it another way. The sky is falling the sky is falling, and I’m not chicken little; Have we 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 by our refusal to intelligently address our gun problem.
The sky is falling; yet, it’s not too late to run for safety. But we haven’t got much time.