An American Travesty
By James Turnage
This is Friday, July 20, 2012. As we all know by now, 71 people were shot in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, early this morning. Sadly, 12 of the victims have lost their lives, and at least 18 more are in very serious condition. This unconscionable act had no relation to normal thought and understanding. People all over the world are mourning the deaths of these innocents.
Every time something such as this happens in this country, or anywhere in the world, I ask myself one thing: What makes someone so angry, regardless of their mental acuity, that they would decide to murder people they don’t know; persons with which they have had no relationship that might have been seen as a confrontation; people who somehow became expendable?
Sadly, events such as this are not unusual in my lifetime. I am as guilty as anyone for the extreme anger I feel occasionally. I have lived long enough to hate certain things, such as ignorance, stupidity, bigotry, prejudice and racism. But I would never consider physical harm to anyone.
Individuals such as this 24-year-old man have traveled beyond anger. They have achieved hatred.
I have written before about my lack of understanding about why our country is the most “gun crazy” in the world. This is only a small part of the cause and effect for the atrocity that happened in Aurora. The core lies in an attitude that permeates our entire country.
Political candidates, radio and television personalities, have all advocated a violent overthrow of our government. It happened with a senatorial candidate in my own state of Nevada.
We live in a new and dangerous world. It is controlled by media, not by independent thought, not by individual research or even intellectual discussion. Our citizens are constantly told what to think and what to believe by personalities who don’t even believe the words they speak. So much of the rhetoric is purely for ratings, and thusly for monetary reasons. Simply put, for advertising.
Regardless of the reasons, the responsibility lies within all of us. We have become a nation that is divided, a nation that has become intolerant, a nation that elevates extremists, and belies intelligent thought and discussion. This deplorable act in Aurora will become another anecdote in our country’s history that will demonstrate that one unbalanced individual’s personal hatred and misguided anger destroyed the lives of many, not only the victims who lost their lives, but, also the families and friends of those who had their lives shortened.
My day has been filled with sadness. My brother and his family live in Denver. Once I was positive that they were all safe, I thought I would feel better. I didn’t.