I apologize immediately for at any time I sound like a know-it-all during the next passage. Feel free to knock me off my high horse or ignore it if I do so. I thought today I should write about a serious topic, the shooting in Colorado. I almost feel as if I qualify as someone whose “voice” matters on this issue. See, I’m already on my that horse. I have my swivel chair lowered as much as possible to hopefully make me feel like a smaller person while I write this. I also have incredibly short shins and longer thighs so this is how I normally sit. I still feel as if I have something to say on this issue. When you’re done reading please discuss, opinionate, and curse wildly like a fanatic. I’m interested on what other people think other than “it was a tragedy.” When we think of something as nothing more than a tragedy, it usually happens again.
I feel qualified to make a diagnosis on this story because like the gunman I am a 24-year-old white American whose life did not turn out the way that 1) I thought it would 2) I was told it would or 3) I fantasized it might. The expectations I was told growing up were I would go to school, get good grades, have a lot of girls who liked me, I would excel in at least one sport, I would go off to college, I would be popular, I would get out and get the job I always wanted, and I would settle down with a wife in a cozy little town then die miserable. The misery wasn’t supposed to happen until around 40. This is what I was told and thought to believe. I think no matter what demographic or generation you come from you believe this at a young age. It’s around the time you’re 24 you realize if Santa can’t be real, neither can anything else you have ever believed.
(I should have known Santa wasn’t real. Kringle is a German last name. This Santa doesn’t look German)
Life as we know it doesn’t turn out the way we wanted or thought it would. Even scarier is we don’t turn out the way we thought we would. Each time I hear about this gunmen I always see a lot of myself in them. I remember one even looked a bit like me. I’m not sure what separates us. Maybe if I was raised in a place where having guns was the norm I too would have ended up like them. To go from shooting a clown once with a paintball gun to owning automatic weapons seems like a huge leap for me. I don’t think guns are to blame for this tragedy. Access to them is what the real problem is. I don’t know any real solution to the gun control problem. We can’t take them away because then the criminals will be the only ones on the street with them. For every psycho out there massacring others there are hundreds of gun owners who wouldn’t dream of doing it. You can’t take away something because one person ruined it. If someone drives their car through a crowded mall and kills people, you don’t take away cars or even shut down malls for that matter. It’s almost like the whole “if we don’t do this then the terrorists win” motto. If you stop doing something because the fear inside then we really have lost.
(The Blues Brothers drove through a mall. Does this mean we should ban movies based on SNL characters? No. We should do it anyway though. They’ve gone greatly downhill)
Already the media has begun to blame violence in movies, television, and video games. To say these have no violent influence is asinine. Of course it does. It influences murders into what to do. It gives them a vision into what it will look like. At the same time this is not the why. They don’t do it because they see the violence. They do it because of the state of their lives. Nobody watches a violent movie then thinks they’re going to imitate it in real life. Somebody will want to kill. They begin to plan it out. Then they see a violent movie and try to mimic that. I heard (which means who knows if it’s true or not) that there was a Batman comic from the 1980s where a masked man enters a movie theater and does what this gunman did. To say this is the only reason why he did it is so wrong. He would have done something like this anyway. If Magic Mike was based on a comic book I’m sure the gunman would have done it in Auditorium 8 instead of Auditorium 5. People like this are ticking time bombs. The way I believe to solve it is to change their life.
(I think feel sick just having this image saved onto my computer)
Who do I blame for what happened? That is a hard question to answer. You have to blame someone or something, right? The list is endless really. The things that made him do the things he did were very complex. As much as I think I can understand them, I probably won’t. The guy has been described as a brilliant science student who could not get a job after college. What does that say about me? Really, I wonder if I had done something like this would they describe me as “idiot blogger gone berserk.” The guy was described as a loner. Loneliness is the darkest cancer in life. The first episode of The Twilight Zone was about being alone. It’s such an important thing for us all to have others in our life. What I really blame is the lack of community around us. The world is so big and wide. No longer do we have an entire village depending on us and caring about us. When nobody needs you then why bother trying?
The gunman came from an affluent home. The article I read repeated it over and over again. No doubt this guy had a “cozier” life than many of us. I don’t see why that matters. If he was a poor black kid would we have expected this behavior? Would we be able to understand it more? I don’t think so. What bothers me most is he went into a movie theater during a film about a comic book. There were people in the audience who felt the same way about things as him. He probably killed someone who felt similar pain. What happened was the gunman gave up hope. It’s sick but when you’re a 24-year-old male you feel like if you haven’t accomplished anything yet you never will.
The only way to potentially keep tragedies like this from happening again is to be open. It doesn’t matter to who, but have as many people as you can to tell everything about your life to. Unfortunately many people don’t have this or don’t know how to obtain it. I know I have trouble meeting new people. Between fear of rejection, not being good enough, or being hurt in any other way you can easily convince yourself being alone is okay. It’s not. And if you are alone it’s not the end. Most people are. Most people aren’t out there thinking “Boy do I hope he doesn’t talk to me. I have way too many friends already.” People are scared to open up because they know everything that’s wrong with them. How could anyone love someone as flawed as they are?
I can guarantee things like this will happen multiple times again. Life can be tragic. Going forward I think it’s most important to let other people, especially those with nobody, know they are not alone. They may not have a girlfriend, they may not have much family, they may not have many friends, they might never say a word to anybody ever. These are the people who need to be smiled at most. Reach out and ask them a simple question about what’s going on in their lives. When they become timid don’t give up. People like that [me] are shocked to know anyone even notices them [us] sometimes.
(Usually the last picture I post ends up being the thumbnail on Facebook. I didn’t want it to be Magic Mike. I also thought a cute picture might make us all feel a little warm and more willing to help someone new out)