Movie Marquee: Now Showing—Another Senseless Mass Shooting. Rick McKee, editorial cartoon in The Augusta Chronicle, 7/23/12
Since the tragic July 20, 2012 shootings at an Aurora, Colorado theater, numerous adjectives have crossed my mind to depict the massive massacre. Some of the more prominent terms have been: tragic, horrific, heinous, deplorable, depraved, etc. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, all too familiar, as the editorial cartoon (referenced above) suggests.
Alongside of most of us, I have been grieving and my vulnerability has been reactivated, once again. This crazed scene hit closer to home than even the two proximate Colorado bloodbaths that made world news in 1999 (Columbine) and during 2007 (New Life Church). We live about 12 miles from the now-notorious Century Theater in Aurora. Fortunately, our son turned down an invitation to join a few friends, who emerged physically unscathed after viewing a midnight showing on 7/20 in an adjacent theater, but left quite emotionally shaken.
Besides my list of descriptive adjectives for this disturbing event, I have viewed the Aurora incident from various vantage points. Some of my perspectives are:
Sensitive, Compassionate Man: I don’t like to learn of anybody becoming seriously injured, especially by senseless acts.
Protective Husband and Father: I don’t suspect I need to say more about this one.
Concerned Citizen: Wondering how this country can overcome its deep-seated fears and stresses that lead to such a disproportionate amount of violence. Also, I’m perplexed as to how we can justify the sale of assault weapons, which seem to serve as a “green light” for bloodbaths. Frankly, I favor much tighter gun control altogether, which I realize is a highly controversial issue.
Seasoned Psychotherapist: I required a lot less than 40 years of practice to realize that mental health is very relative—we’re all in the human “soup” and most of us must endure several defining periods, during which we do well to tread water, metaphorically speaking. On a similar note, I appreciated this excerpt, which I read today:
All I will say is that we should never jump to absolutes. It’s lazy and does a disservice to all of us when we use shortcuts like pure evil and sociopath. When we dehumanize individuals like alleged shooter James Holmes it allows us to not have to examine our own humanity. We can distance ourselves from “this sick person”. Not ever acknowledging that “these sick people” who commit heinous acts are our brothers, fathers, uncles, mothers, sisters, wives and husbands. Shawn Maxam,,7/12, www.goodmenproject.com
Mystic: Ultimately, there are no accidents, just life happening in such an often-incomprehensible way as to give us individual and collective customized coursework. Some of the lessons take a long while to assimilate and apply, but it behooves us to pay close attention. A lot of hard-hitting global lessons have been coming fast and furious since the turn of the millennium. Enter the desperate need for sustained kindness, unconditional love, unifying, etc. Clearly, these are my lessons, as well—I’m not “holier than thou.”
In view of the preponderance of male-perpetrated killing on this planet, I hear the calling louder than ever to produce Whole Man Expo. As I implored the gathering of presenters, sponsors and volunteers at our launch party last night, “GIVE ‘EM HEAVEN!” Hoping that many jump on the bandwagon.