LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2012 — In 1999 it was a school in Columbine. In 2007, the Virginia Tech college campus was the scene. 2011 brought the horrific incident against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others.
Now 2012 brings us the Batman shooting from Aurora, Colorado.
At Midnight on July 20, 2012, moviegoers were eagerly waiting to see the premiere of the newest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” At 12:20am, a 24-year-old white male named James Eagen Holmes threw a couple of cannisters of tear gas into the crowd. He then began firing from one of the several guns he brought to the theatre.
Only a couple of days after an Iranian-backed Hezbollah homicide bomber killed innocent Israeli Jews in Bulgaria, Americans face a similar tragedy that hits far too close to home.
President Obama offered his condolences: “We never understand what lets people terrorize our fellow human beings like this.” Governor Mitt Romney hoped that we would find healing in God. We should remember “how much we love each other, and how much we care about this great country.” Both presidential candidates cancelled their campaign events for the day.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper insisted that Aurora, Colorado is a “safe city in a safe state in a safe country.” He cautioned us not to let “aberrations of nature take away freedoms we enjoy,” and that “We can’t let us keep it from our lives.”
Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan called this an “Isolated instance.” It was “horrible, tragic, but isolated.”
Police Chief Oates gave the figures. There were 71 people shot, with 12 deceased and 59 injured. There were “many, many rounds fired.” No other suspects are being pursued, and regarding the shooter, Chief Oates is “confident he acted alone.”
The District Attorney pointed out that the Aurora Mental Health Center would remain open 24 hours a day through the weekend. The FBI said there they had one hundred folks on the scene. “At this point we do not see a nexus to terrorism.”
Chief Oates took some questions and made it clear that he would “not be speculating on a motive.” The police were “on the scene within a minute to a minute and a half.” That night off-duty officers were not on the scene, although they sometimes are. The shooter surrendered without incident. For the victims, there would be “fifty victim’s advocates.” “Give them (the victims) some space of privacy.”
While theories will abound, it was one member of the media who offered a possible explanation to a situation so senseless that it defies one.
The way the fellow dressed (all black) and acted made it seem like he copied scenes from the last Batman movie acting exactly as the Joker did in the previous movie.
In the coming days, families will grieve, politicians will bluster, pundits will speculate, and cameras will cause some to jockey for position. Politically toxic individuals will try to link Holmes to a political agenda or use this as an excuse to curtail freedoms granted in the Bill of Rights.
The right thing to do is the one thing that normal Americans know how to do that the chattering classes have not mastered. We need to all be quiet, talk less, and listen more.
We do not have the facts. We do not know the motive. This is not a game. Innocent people are dead for trying to do something as harmless as enjoy a movie.
The best thing anybody without information can do right now is hug a neighbor and call a loved one to remind them of that love.
Updates: At 7:00pm Colorado time, another press conference was held.
Governor Hickenlooper stated that there were thirty patients still the hospital, with eleven in critical condition. He defiantly stated that Colorado would “rise back, lift ourselves above this.”
For those who want to donate money to the victims, go to http://www.givingfirst.org In the first three hours, $125,000 had been donated.
Police Chief Oates revised the number of victims downward by one person due to a double-counting. There were 70 injured, with twelve being dead.
The shooter purchased the guns from gun shops. The ammunition and magazines were purchased over the internet. About 3000 rounds of ammunition were purchased. Everything was purchased legally.
The Aurora public schools would be open at 9am for grief counseling. The police evacuated five apartment buildings, including the one where the shooting lived. The people from those five buildings are staying at the local public school, which has been turned into an evacuation center. They will have to stay there overnight.
The Tip line for those with information about the crime is 720-913-STOP, which is 720-913-7867.
The general information line is 313-739-1862. This is not for the media to use.
The suspect in being held in the Arapahoe County Jail. He will be arraigned at 8:30am Monday (Colorado Time).
Local Aurora community restaurants gave pizzas to the police as a sign of appreciation.
There will be a prayer vigil Sunday at 6:30pm. The next briefing will be Saturday at 2:00pm.
When things cool down in a few days, the police will deal with their own trauma. Three police department psychologists will be available to help counsel the officers.
The shooter has an attorney, but no motive will be disclosed at this time. Chief Oates insisted that the desire for media information would take a back seat to the need to ensure a proper legal trial without a compromised case.
Governor Hickenlooper and Chief Oates showed physical and emotional exhaustion. For the rest of America watching, the only thing to do is pray and comfort our loved ones.
Updates: The Saturday 2pm press conference:
Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Governor Hickenlooper offered heartfelt remarks, followed by Police Chief Dan Oates. Chief Oates introduced Jimmy Yacone of the FBI to discuss the explosives in the apartment.
Mr. Yacone stated that “The threat has not been completely eliminated. It has been severely reduced.” “Extensive evidence is being collected,” and ‘families should be allowed back in their home by tomorrow.”
The FBI lab at Quantico will make the final determination as of the substances. Had a neighbor or EMT entered the apartment they would have suffered injuries or lost their life. The devices used by the shooter were “sophisticated.”
Chief Oates noted that there were a “high volume” of commercial deliveries to his home and work over the last four months. Regarding potential defenses such as insanity, Chief Oates said the shooter showed “calculation and deliberation.” There have been 84 leads on the Tip Line.
There are no further hazards at the crime scene. The police have removed all the personal effects left behind by neighbors forced to evacuate their homes. The police would start to make stuff available to victims on Monday. Forensic work at the theatre should be completed by Monday. The defense will come in to look at it on Tuesday and normal operations at the theatre should return on Wednesday.
There is no evidence that the shooter had access to any dangerous materials at Colorado University, which is a well-known a research facility. Nothing is missing. Bomb-sniffing dogs were sent in, and no hazards were found.
The FBI behavioral analysis unit will work on the shooter’s motive. That will be presented in court, not the media.
“This apartment was designed to kill whoever entered it.” “Most likely a police officer.” “If you think we are angry, we sure as hell our angry.” “He threatened one of our police officers.”
There will be no more briefings with regards to that location. Explosives experts should be done by 7pm tonight. People from the other four buildings can return tonight if that is done. The fifth building where the shooter lived, hopefully no later than tomorrow.
Fire Chief Mark Garcia briefly spoke and stated that FDNY sent a team of specialized counselors. They learned after 9/11 that you “have to take care of your own.” “What makes us an all-America city is how we handle these crises. Go out. See a movie.”
Chief Oates returned and stated that the Sunday evening vigil is being sponsored by the Aurora Community of Faith. Many public officials will be in attendance. ‘We do not have any more planned updates. Nothing planned unless there is a substantive development.”
“At this point everything is pointing toward a state prosecution on all charges,” not a federal prosecution. “I don’t know anything about purchasing ammunition. I am not much of a gun person.”
Somehow loud music went off in the shooter’s apartment, which triggered interest by neighbors. We have evidence of a deliberative process regarding his assault and his apartment. What was in his mind is up to a jury.
The sheriff can discuss how the shooter is being detained and under what circumstances. The Arapahoe County Coroner will decide when to release names of victims. He is getting close, maybe by this afternoon.
Chief Oates refused to wade into the politics of gun control, leaving that up to legislatures.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.