Early this morning I woke up to the terrible news about a 24 year old gunman going inside a movie theater during the midnight showing of BATMAN and firing on those who were inside. At this time, 13 are confirmed dead. One of the victims was a 3 month old baby.
I was shocked and saddened. Memories flash back to the day I received a phone call from one of my sisters telling me that our younger sister Colette had been murdered. I went into shock then too.
Later, I've heard some reactions to the tragedy in Colorado. One that really hit me hard was how the producers and writers of Batman should be ashamed of themselves as the gunman reenacted the first 6 minutes of the movie.
I told this person that we can't blame them. They didn't put the gun in the gunman's hands or chose to do this horrific act. I know that people want answers to what happened which also include saying the gunman was crazy or mentally ill. I have to cringe with those statements too as I can't help but feel this will mean that those who actually do deal with mental health issues will suffer with another black mark. I know about this too as I grew up with a bipolar father. Yes, growing up was hell but my father, even though he did threaten us, never carried through with his threat. My younger sister Colette wasn't as lucky.
Right now I agree with Twitter posts of Libba Bray that we need to find empathy and not dwell on hatred. I know how easy it is to be in that place. I was there some 20 years ago. My mother taught me a valuable lesson. At Colette's funeral, her ex-boyfriend's father and companion showed up. I was furious and so angry. I told my mother, "They have some nerve showing their faces here. Do you want me to tell them to leave?" My mother told me, "Don't you think he's hurting too? He didn't shot Colette. He lost a son too." **David, after leading Sacramento police on a high speed chase, ended up shooting himself. She then went over to David's father and thanked him for coming. He sobbed.
I love YA author Barry Lyga's blog on what happened. I feel exactly how he feels. Here's the link: http://barrylyga.com/2012/07/aurora/
And YA author Libba Bray's response nails it: We have a choice. We have a choice whether to be kind or not. Here's her link: http://libba-bray.livejournal.com/64903.html
I think what I'm trying to say is we need to not get caught up in hatred. If we do, then the gunman wins. We need to have more compassion, empathy.
My heart and prayers go to the families of the victims.