Our thoughts today are in Aurora, Colorado, where a shocking and incomprehensible act of depravity and violence took place in a movie theater.
Here are some compelling articles and tweets about the tragedy:
On Gun Control
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long a gun control advocate, says it’s time to talk about the availability of guns:
“Soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they’re gonna do about it,” Bloomberg said. “No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right ot hear from both of them.”
Below is a chart showing gun deaths per capita in the United States. New York, which has tougher gun laws, has fewer per capita deaths.
In 2009, 31,347 people were killed by firearms in the United States. That’s an average of 86 people a day. Already this year in Rochester, about 100 people have been shot. Six times as many people who were killed in Aurora today will die by gun violence today across the country.
On Mass Shootings
USA Today compiled a graphic of the worst mass shootings in the past 50 years.
In an essay on how journalists can cover the Aurora tragedy, Al Tompkins of Poynter Institute wrties:
Avoid easy solutions. Inevitably somebody will start calling for increased theater security. How long will it be before we start talking about putting airport-like screeners in theaters where people are vulnerable, sitting in a dark place with people they do not know? The pro- and anti-gun lobbies will speak up for their causes.
Keep this in context. 1.23 BILLION movie tickets were sold in North America in 2011. The FBI says mass murder is a rare crime. Less than 1 percent of all homicides involve five or more victims — a rate that has not changed in decades.
We are already seeing reactions of fear. Rochester area police departments are planning to beef up patrols at movie theaters this weekend, despite no specific threat and no indication the Aurora gunman was not acting alone.
On Pop Culture:
Because the shooting took place inside a movie theater and the suspect allegedly referred to himself as The Joker, some will ask if “The Dark Knight” played a role in the tragedy. The Democrat and Chroncile‘s Jack Garner writes:
Ultimately, filmmakers and writers and performers can’t be responsible for the insane behavior of a few disturbed individuals. It’s impossible to determine what might trigger tragic actions from an irrational individual. Logic can’t be applied to an illogical person, by definition.
Links of the Day:
– Schumer and Gillibrand are touting $2.1 million they secured for new signs at the Syracuse airport. Millions of dollars. For signs.
– As more people get their news online, I’m worried about media organizations distorting their missions and coverage in search of clicks.
– The Wall Street Journal profiles the “happy, crazy mom.” This sounds like a miserable existence.
– You want me to bike to work? Um, where can I shower?