A nation mourns the tragedy in Colorado


Several people on FaceBook and Twitter are asking the star of “The Dark Knight Rises”, Christian Bale, to visit the wounded children still in the hospital in Aurora, Colorado fully dressed as Batman to show that “real heroes do exist.”

It’s hard to believe that it was only a few days ago when the nation awoke to the devastating news about the mass-shooting spree that took place in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado early Friday morning. As most of the nation knew, it was expected to be a day of entertainment and fun as thousands of Americans lined up in costumes and Batman attire to attend the final installment in The Dark Knight trilogy. In one theater in Aurora, however, it turned out to be one of the bloodiest nightmares in American history.

“I couldn’t believe what I’d heard about what had happened [in Aurora] on the news,” rising senior Mairead Kennedy said. “My whole family and I were shocked.”

Like Kennedy, several other families in the AHS community, and a nation informed of the shooting, the news of the 12 individuals reported dead and 58 wounded that night in Aurora stunned Americans. Even more, it spread a feeling throughout the country of how anything like this could happen in a country where the safety of its citizens is supposed to be its top priority.

The audience at the Aurora cinema had been about 20 minutes into the highly anticipated summer blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises, when the exit door opened and 24-year-old James Holmes entered the theater dressed in bulletproof attire, a gas mask, newly dyed red hair, and the weapons he would use to murder 12 people and wound over 50 others. Once quickly on the scene, police would capture Holmes in the back parking lot of the theater, where he would surrender willingly and inform them that he was Batman’s enemy, “The Joker.”

Leading some to believe that the film was Holmes’ twisted motive and it should be boycotted, many fans of the film’s franchise feel differently.

“What happened in Aurora was devastating,” rising sophomore Stephen Aderton said. “But I hope that people don’t blame the movie for what happened there – it’s a shame that something so many people love [The Dark Knight trilogy] could be used for something so horrible. I hope [the shooting] doesn’t affect people’s decision to see such a fantastic film.”

Even I have to admit as I was sitting in a very packed theater in Kingstowne, Virginia just a day after the fatal shootings that I had my own reservations about seeing the movie. I could feel a sense throughout the theater that many people shared wandering, uneasy gazes of what could happen in the first few minutes of the film, but slowly, that burden was lifted once the film continued on. Once again we could all be Americans enjoying a film together in a theater in safety, though what’s horrible is that this sense of safety had to be questioned at all.

“I really do believe that we shouldn’t live in fear,” rising senior Emily Blank said. “Though what happened in Aurora really devastates me, I didn’t want to let it affect my decision to see the movie.”

In Colorado, this feeling of not living in fear is shared by many of the brave individuals trying to enter Holmes’ booby-trapped apartment, where over 60 explosive devices were set up to explode if it were entered. Already three days after finding the lethal apartment, progress has barely been made in entering the facility completely.

With the news of the shooting, naturally hundreds of reporters and journalists flew to Aurora to report on the story of Holmes’ rampage. Anderson Cooper, however, was one of the first reporters to direct the importance of reporting not solely on the shooter, but on the victims and their families affected by the tragedy instead.

“Throughout this report I will only mention the killer’s name a few times, because I feel the country’s attention should be directed to the victims of this terrible tragedy instead of their killer,” Cooper said in his live report from Aurora on Friday evening.

Throughout the country, people have come together in support of Aurora through this terrible time. One FaceBook user even suggested an idea for the star of Batman, Christian Bale, to dress up as his superhero character and visit the children still being treated from gunshot wounds in the hospital in Aurora to let them know that heroes do exist.

“They need to know Heroes can be real too, not just the bad guys,” Jonathan Jared Adams, the FaceBook user who came up with the idea, posted. “Dear Christian Bale, please visit the injured children from the movie massacre as Batman. You have the power to be a hero right now, not a movie Hero, a real life, flesh, and blood one.”

Other AHS students joined in the cause in sharing Adams’ post and writing posts of their own on FaceBook and Twitter in support of those victims and families affected by the shooting.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims in the Aurora theater shooting this morning,” AHS alumna, ’12, Rachel Bergen said. “Heartbreaking.”