An American Tragedy


I’ve tried to go about my weekend like everything’s normal. I slept in until 8am. I cooked breakfast, did laundry, played with my babies, but like the rest of America my heart is with those affected by the senseless shootings in Aurora, Colorado.

I have imagined myself as a patron in the midnight viewing of “The Dark Knight Rises”. I am sitting in the middle of the dark theater, eating popcorn and twizzlers, watching the epic battle of good and evil on the screen. It’s dark and it’s loud and I am engrossed in the movie completely unaware of the man who has just entered through the exit door wearing riot gear. I don’t notice him until he’s standing in front of the screen. Is this part of the show? How Awesome! Then he detonates smoke bombs. I see the smoke makes its way thru the theater like a pack of ghosts on the haunt. My eyes begin to burn. Oh, God! I don’t think this is part of the show anymore. He has a gun. Oh, God! He begins methodically stalking the aisles, picking off random victims. Oh, God! Is this really happening? I am going to die. People are screaming and running trying to get to an exit. People are pushing and jumping on one other. The gun continues to fire, it doesn’t stop. Bang! Bang! Bang! The Screaming doesn’t stop. Blood is everywhere. I can feel the panic they must have felt and the fear. Will I make it out alive? Will I live to see my family one more time?

I have imagined myself as a police officer working the scene. I feel the pain and hurt as I carry a six-year-old child out of the theater. I walk pass dead bodies. Someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s father. There is blood splattered everywhere. I fight back the tears and the guilt. We should have been here, got here earlier. Is there something we could have done to prevent this? Could we have done more? I feel the hatred surging thru the police officer’s body rising like the sun in the East. Where is the person who did this? I want to see him. I want to hurt him. I want to get my hands around his neck.

I have imagined myself as the mother of this monster. The shock and sadness she must have felt when she heard her son was responsible for the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. My son, the honor student, just killed twelve innocent people. I am the woman who gave this man life and he has chosen death. Regret overtakes me. Tears for those who were lost pour from my eyes in a steady stream. My thoughts are filled with images of family members mourning, crying out for their loved ones. I imagine my son in an interrogation room filled with people who wish him dead. I sink into a sea of despair. I keep rubbing my hands together, trying to remove the blood stains.

I have imagined PTSD for the victims. I have imagined years and years of therapy for some and possibly medication. I imagine them refusing to leave their homes. I imagine them constantly looking over their shoulder if they do. This person doesn’t look right? Could they have a gun? Could they be a killer? Will life ever be normal again? Only if I had stayed home. Only if I had not went to the midnight showing of “the dark knight rises”. My life would still be the same, just a little sadder, for those that did.

As much as I can imagine, it can not begin to compare to what these people are really feeling. The pain and the lose. Too many people had to wake Friday to the horrible news that there loved ones had been shot and didn’t make it. There are family members, this very second praying, that there loved one will survive. And, For what? For what reason, would someone do this? I can put myself in the victims shoes, but I can not the assailant. He can not be human. His veins must pump straight arsenic and his heart petrified stone. He arose and covered Aurora, Colorado in a canopy of fear and death on Friday morning. And, I pray, along with the rest of the world, that Goodness and mercy will prevail. They have to…