Aurora shooting was tragic, but has also been misconstrued
By Jacey Gibb, Opinions Editor
The evening of July 29, 2012 was meant to be a joyous one. After four years of fan anticipation, speculation, and compulsive trailer watching, The Dark Knight Rises made its public debut. Unfortunately, instead of the release being the cause for celebration, one of the midnight screenings experienced a shooting that injured 70 people, and eventually claimed 12 lives.
The news was a real shock to me, and was one of those reminders that it’s good to be alive and lucky, regardless of how many trivial things may be going wrong in your life. I remember a post on Facebook from the morning after the shootings that read “I was gonna make a status complaining about the rain, but then I heard about the shootings in Colorado. So unbelievably terrible. Go enjoy some time with the people you love and care about, regardless of weather.” Every news outlet that I’ve come across has had extensive coverage of the event, from reporting on the actual shooting to recapping the first days in court, and while moments like the one I experienced while checking my newsfeed often give me a tinge of hope for humanity, the general reception to the shootings has me a bit puzzled.
[quote style=”boxed”]On any day of the week that ends with “-day” you can open up the paper and read about the latest natural disaster or terrorist insurgency that’s accumulated a death toll, and yet, because the deaths are overseas or on a more international scale, we’ve become desensitized to it.[/quote]
Any life lost is a terrible thing, and so by simple math, 12 deaths is horrific. But on a planet of over 7-billion people, the amount of media coverage seems a bit excessive. On any day of the week that ends with “-day” you can open up the paper and read about the latest natural disaster or terrorist insurgency that’s accumulated a death toll, and yet, because the deaths are overseas or on a more international scale, we’ve become desensitized to it.
Take the Syrian Civil War taking place right now in Western Asia for example. The population has engaged in an armed uprising against the government and since the movement began almost a year and a half ago, even the most conservative of death toll estimates place it at around 20,000, while others are saying the number is closer to 30,000. I know the two tragedies are difficult to compare, but even just by looking at the numbers, you can see a significant margin.
And yet the majority of the newspapers that I saw this week had something plastered on the front page about how James Eagan Holmes, the man behind the Aurora shooting, showed up in court and seemed to be in a “daze.” I’m not sure if maybe it’s because the general public has romanticized the idea of a normal person attempting to adopt the persona of a comic book villain (unconfirmed reports say that Holmes told authorities that he was The Joker as he was being arrested) or if everyone except me knew one of the victims personally or something, but it seems a bit ridiculous.
What happened in Colorado was terrible, and my sympathies, for what they’re worth, go out to the victims and their families. But if you’re going to dedicate your time to mourning the various tragedies happening in our world, please take a moment to look at ones outside of your own backyard.