Yes, it seems I’m a bit later than most in posting about this subject. But, when faced with an incident like this, I need time to process it and get my thoughts together. If I don’t, my post would only be angry spewing and ranting and no one wants that!
When B came in on Friday morning to tell me there had been a shooting during the premiere for “The Dark Knight Rises,” I was half asleep. It wasn’t until I grabbed my phone and began to check Facebook and Twitter that the magnitude of what happened hit me.
When you find out about something like this, you go through a whole range of emotions. I was sad, then angry and then I asked what I am sure everyone else has asked, “WHY?” I’m not sure we’ll ever have a clear reason why. And I go back and forth between believing the shooter is mentally ill and believing he is an extremely intelligent individual who would just like us all to BELIEVE he is mentally ill. Naturally, as soon as this happened, calls for tighter gun laws went out. I am not here to get into a debate about that. What I do want to point out is that hardly anyone ever points out that what really may be needed is better and more easily obtainable mental healthcare in this country. It would also help to try to break down the stigmas associated with mental illness (something we at Band Back Together are working to do) so that people wouldn’t feel as ashamed about asking for or getting the help they need. I will say that I am seeing more calls for better mental health care but still not enough. Maybe if and when we decide to work on this issue, incidents like this one will become fewer and further between.
And just when the initial shock of this whole thing started to wear off, I learned something that made my blood boil. I learned that a certain religious organization (who I will not give the satisfaction of naming) was threatening to “super picket” a prayer vigil for the Aurora victims. They were tweeting things about God sending the shooter and thanking God for the shooter. Immediately people put out a call for volunteers to make a human wall if they showed up. These nutjobs responded that they would conquer any wall just as they had at a military funeral a few days earlier. Only, when you looked into it, they didn’t conquer anything. A small group of them showed up but they were unable to get past the wall of supporters so the slunk away like the snakes that they are. And, thankfully, in the end, they didn’t show up in Aurora either.
I will never understand the hatred of a group like this. I was raised Catholic but now consider myself agnostic. I have no issue with religion as long as it’s not being shoved down my (or my children’s) throats. Heck, I like a good theological discussion as much as the next person (and I had a good one with a friend just this past weekend). But these people twist the Bible to back up their hateful beliefs and it gives GOOD Christians a bad name. The last thing ANYONE needs after an incident like this one is hate being spread as people are trying to make sense and mourn. And I am willing to bet a day will come when this group will REALLY piss someone off and the end result will NOT be pretty.
My heart and thoughts are with the people of Aurora, the victims and their families. I wish them peace as they journey toward healing. And I leave you with this picture by CarlyMarie. I think it says it all.