I got hit with the news about the shooting in Colorado about five minutes after I woke up this morning.
This has hit a lot of people hard, as it should. And a lot of nerds, because it was at the premiere for The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re at the midnight showing for a movie like that, you’re part of the nerd legion.
But I think it’s different even when it’s something that happens in your home. I’ve been to that theater before. Not often, because it’s pretty far from my house, but I’ve seen a movie there, meeting up with friends. I know people that live near that part of Denver. It’s my backyard.
A little over thirteen years ago, I sat in my best friend’s living room and we held on to each other like we were going to drown as the news from the Columbine massacre came rolling in. We’d both graduated from high school a little less than a year before it. I’d been to Columbine before for school stuff. I’d casually met some of the students at marching band events.
This feels the same. You feel helpless, because people are hurting and there is absolutely nothing you can do. You wonder how anyone could have so much hatred and despair in their heart that they could even conceive of doing something like this, let alone actually set out to make it happen.
It’s senseless. It’s a thing that literally makes no sense, a thing you can’t understand because you aren’t someone who could ever descend to that level. You watch a screen and cry for strangers and feel relieved and just a little guilty that it was no one you personally know and like. Because you also know of course that everyone there was someone to a lot of people, and they are crying for real instead of in the throes of empathetic pain.
And you’re reminded that this could have been you, or your friends, or your parents. It still could be, at any time, because these things happen and far more often than they ever should. There is a sickness that crops up with terrifying and depressing regularity, bursting out and claiming a group of victims in an instant and then disappearing while it incubates again. This needs to stop, be cured, but the how is a question that never seems to get answered, lost in a tide of political posturing.
I hope the injured recover. I hope the families who lost people today will find solace for their pain. And I hope that this won’t act as some sort of sick signal for others to go out and try to hurt and kill people, as happens sometimes. There’s already too much of this in the world, every day.
Stay safe, everyone. All my love to you.