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Saturday, July 21, 2012

White House Responds to Colorado Movie Massacre

The White House is responding to the tragic event that happened at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman, 24-year old James Holmes, shot up the theatre during the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie.   Twelve people were killed and scores of others wounded.

Tom Sullivan embraces family members on July 20 while searching frantically for his son Alex, who was celebrating his 27th birthday at the movie theater.  Photo: Barry Gutierrez/AP.

Said Vice President Biden, "Jill and I were shocked to learn of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado this morning. The reason this is so deeply felt by all Americans is that, but for the grace of God, the victims could have been any one of our children, in any one of our towns. It is every parent’s worst nightmare to receive ‘that phone call’ and to sit by their child’s bedside, praying. We know what it’s like to wait and wonder and the helplessness a parent feels at this moment. Our hearts go out to each and every person who is suffering right now as a result of this terrible event. The prayers of an entire nation are with the victims and their families. We stand with the city of Aurora and the state of Colorado in mourning."
James Holmes,  Aurora gunman in Batman movie massacre.
Equally shocked are the president and First Lady Michelle. "We are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come."

The president ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday. 
President Obama has pledged his support to the people of Aurora. Speaking in Fort Myers, Florida where he was attending a campaign event, the president remarked:
"Now, even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.  Such violence, such evil is senseless.  It's beyond reason.  But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.  The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved.  They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.  They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled. "

He canceled the rest of his campaign events planned for Friday, returning promptly to the White House. The first lady canceled her scheduled appearances in both Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, Virginia.

The movie's director, Christopher Nolan, had this to say about the tragedy.
"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
Holmes remains in police custody.  He is expected to appear in court on Monday.  No word yet on the motive for his madness, although it was reported that before his rampage he said, "I'm the joker."  (After he gets his life sentence in prison, he can further add to his description, "I'm a idiot".)

Several vigils around the community in Aurora have been planned. [Photos].

Amid the massacre, movie goers are calling the Batman movie a hit. On a FaceBook page, one viewer writes:  "Of course as an avid Batman fan, The Dark Night Rises was incredible!!!"

This has got to stop
While massacres in communities like Fort Hood Texas, Columbine, and VA Tech make national headlines, every time, shootings in communities in areas like the South Side of Chicago and the Nation's Capital go virtually unrecognized, on a national level.

Gun control continues to be a topic of debate, while hundreds of innocent victims die each day at the hands of those who easily obtain weapons of mass destruction, all in the name of Second Amendment rights.

Do you really need to have an AK-47 in your home?

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