Interesting Stuff

Real-Life Horror: The Colorado Theatre Shootings


For my review on The Dark Knight Movie click on the link.

When I got up this morning and turned on the news it was non-stop with the coverage about the shootings that happened at the Central 16 cineplex in Aurora, Colorado.  Many people attended the sold out screenings of the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  And the shooter scumbag now named James Holmes was part of the crowd attending the midnight screening.  He pretended to take a phone call and went out the emergency exit.  Soon after he came back inside armed in SWAT tactical gear, wearing a gas mask, and armed with numerous guns including an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two .40-caliber handguns.   He threw in some gas canisters and then began shooting.

The shooter James Holmes.

James Holmes in his first court appearance.

We have now heard the stories from the people inside theater number 9 on how they survived.  Some pretended to play dead to fool the shooter, some had no idea he was the shooter and was shot, others tried to help the victims who were shot but left in fear for their own lives, and people described the victims who were lifeless on the floor while leaving the theater.  All of this while The Dark Knight Rises Movie was playing inside the theater.  It was a very scary experience for those people inside that dark theater.  And all you can do right now is pray for the victims.  This cell phone video from the scene was just chilling.

One of the victims that was killed was Jessica Redfield.  This person was involved in another shooting at the Eaton Center in Toronto, Canada where she got away unharmed.  She had a great future being a sportswriter but around a month later she was shot and killed by this shooter.  Here is her blog post about the Eaton Center shooting.

There are three debates that are going on about this shooting.  One is should The Dark Knight Rises Movie be pulled because of this event?  I say no one should be scared and frightened because of this shooting.  I still plan to go see The Dark Knight Rises this weekend and will have a review here on Geek Alabama.  And I encourage all of you to go see the movie this weekend.  I believe movie theater companies are going to have to increase security for a while.  And the chains are probably going to have to ban costumes and fake weapons inside the theater.  But I am not afraid of going to a movie theater to see any movie and you should not be either.  In fact it is probably safer to go see a movie now.

Two is about gun control.  I am a big believer of allowing people to have a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun like what is done in Texas.  If someone had a concealed weapon inside theater number 9 would there have been that many killed or injured?  But I do wonder why people should be allowed to carry these big automatic weapons like the AK-47 and other automatic weapons.  Are these types of weapons needed in society today?  I don’t think so.  But I have no problem allowing people to have shotguns, pistols, and other less harmful weapons.  Some people are arguing that we should have strict gun controls in America and I think that is wrong.  If we banned all guns and weapons the criminals would still have weapons and go around killing people.  This is something that would not work and would also conflict with the 2nd amendment.

The third debate is something that even affects me.  James Holmes was described as a loner by some people and they wonder why he dropped out of school and purchased the weapons to harm all those people.  My thoughts about this guy is he MIGHT have some forms of autism like I do.  And this is where the debate begins.  The F.B.I. has this article talking about the suspicious activities to look for in the possibility of terrorism.  The list below describes what some activities people do that has Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

I draw maps and take plenty of photos and videos of what some people thinks are “inappropriate.”  I go around here and there and take pictures and videos of traffic, traffic lights, and trains.  And yes I have had some police contact about these activities thinking I could be doing something involving terrorism.  Some examples below.

This is something I love to do without having the police getting in my way.  This is also something I do that does not involve any terrorist activity.  What I am afraid is going to happen because of this shooting is the police are going to be more active in talking to people who do activities that are “inappropriate.”  I hope this will not happen but I am guessing I am about to see more police that look at me funny while I take a picture of a traffic light or film a train going by.

Overall this is a horrible day in America.  12 people are dead and around 60 were injured.  And even the shooter’s apartment was rigged with booby traps.  So James Holmes pretty much just snapped.  And he will have to face the people he harmed.  Click on the link to find out ways you can help from the Colorado shootings.

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16 replies »

  1. I agree with you. It was the first thing I said to my husband. So sad, he could of been helped these things are very predictable

  2. Yes I believe he could have gotten some help. But he decided to take it out with innocent people. There should have been some warning signs about this guy but nothing was done about it. Sad.

  3. I mean I agree he could be on the Autism Spectrum. Therefore, would probably not have the ABILITY to feel the empathy. Hard wired different so bit more than just a choice.

  4. Since I am on the Autism Spectrum there are times where I like to be a loner. But I know the difference between right and wrong and this guy did not think things through before shooting these people.

  5. A few diagnoses could describe what little we know about this guy so far – though my gut feeling is that he might be Asperger’s suffering some kind of psychological disease: psychosis or paranoid schizophrenia or maybe a serious bipolar episode. Age-wise, schizophrenia seems a likely candidate.

    I think it’s dangerous to allow fire-arm possession at all. Well. Maybe if everybody was commanded to have them and given disciplined training – in terms of skills and attitude, then maybe it would be worthwhile in being able to reduce the non-proportional danger that the tiny minority presents. But when people can have them on a voluntary basis, then I suspect that many of the people who choose to have them, who are prepared to use them to kill or are prepared to risk ownership even though the criminally minded might steal them and use them to kill, might not be the safest trustees for them. The facts are that people wanting to obtain firearms conveniently, are making an implicit statement: they are giving permission for dangerous individuals to obtain them conveniently also.

    Logically, each human being having free will and vulnerability to mood swings at least, lapses of judgement occasionally, and rarely but catastrophically violent presentations of a mental health disorder … statistically there will be these situations. Even if all persons demonstrating psychopathy /conduct disorder / anti social behaviour disorder are initially screened out. Solutions must surely – logically – demand extreme measures. Maybe rigorous and exhaustive investigation into personality and mental health. Maybe regular required sessions for all fire-arm permit holders to check they still possess the licenced fire-arm plus the required sanity. I don’t know! But if things go on as they are, then this sort of thing will happen. Again and again and again. Status quo. People say “one in a million” to imply something that isn’t really going to happen outside of a fairy tale or a nightmare. In a country of 100’s of millions – then really – it amazes me that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more frequently.

    (Aspie from England).

  6. @Kwigal, please don’t say someone on the autism spectrum does not have the ability to feel empathy. He or she may not be able to express feelings the same way as a neurotypical, but feelings and love are there. So is morality and kindness.

  7. Yip, its a spectrum so every body has different deficits and his environment may have been a lot different than yours. I’m not condoning his actions at all just looking at the situation from a different perspective than most. I’m not for the death penalty.

  8. Thanks for the comment. I do think we should still allow people to have the right to carry a basic firearm. Maybe new safeguards could be put into place to check if the people holding a gun or permit is still mentally capable of carrying a firearm every few years. But if we took away all guns in America the criminals would still get weapons off the black market and it would not be good.

  9. I do think the death penalty will be put on the table for this guy. Remember people in America still wants prisons to put people to death who kill other people unlike most of the rest of the world. But I hope the worst he will get is life in prison without parole.

  10. I do think this guy knew what he was doing when he walked into theater number 9. So I hope this guy faces justice and gets punished for what he did.

  11. I like to play “Devil’s Advocate”. I actually feel disgust and anger towards the actions of the perpetrator which is I think a normal human response. And so I can understand it. But I like to try to understand reasoning. @Nathan Young … “I do think this guy knew what he was doing when he walked into theatre number 9. So I hope this guy faces justice and gets punished for what he did”. I just wonder what you mean. I don’t know what he was doing. I wonder what you think he knew what he was doing?

    What was the logical outcome of this situation in this person’s mind? Escape? I don’t think so. He seemed to have thought through the scenario in some detail with no obvious means of escape. Infamy? Well – maybe for a short while but in reality not for long. Things like this soon drop out of mass social memory. I figure – maybe he has incredible low-self-esteem such that he has developed a low sense of value for others as well as for himself. And maybe he has some need to punish society at large. Maybe his undoubted intelligence had a twisted sense of ironic humour … e.g. people go to watch Batman vs the criminally insane. Maybe he was mad and expected Batman to actually appear. Maybe he wanted to be “saved” by being killed by a genuine hero (Batman being iconic to smart people because of his own genius). If Batman were to actually exist – then life for him might be worthwhile – even ending with his death. He did say he was the Joker. Maybe he wanted to provide an opportunity to “make” Batman. Hmmm. With low-self-esteem then of course there would be a desire for punishment on his part.

    I don’t really understand the Justice part? Doesn’t that presuppose the guy desired to do mass harm and get away with it? His actions do not seem to support that theory. Of course – in literal Justice e.g. eye for an eye … we’ll all be guilty of something and duly punished for it – which leads into the whole religious deal with salvation from sins – although that should also encompass this guy if (Christianity in this case) is properly afforded to everybody. We are all guilty – indirectly of hurting others one way or another. Some with a better excuse of ignorance than others of course. That’s just life.

    Anyway – sorry to be argumentative. I just like to challenge ideas and explore reasoning. Personally I think there should be a news black-out on the identity of mass-murderers. That would remove the possibility of infamy – one possible motive. Of course – many people would object as they find the whole thing fascinating (a human response despite or because of the morbidity – as this blog + my comments are attest). And if the guy desires punishment – to be hated and feared because maybe that’s how he feels anyway and he desires that to be objectified from others – then actually treating him instead with love and compassion would probably give him a huge guilt trip that would be more painful / punishing from his point of view.

    From a purely practical point of view … unless the guy can be clearly and unambiguously diagnosed with some neurological/psychological disease that can be 100% cured – then while he lives and is free then he is a liability to others – so from a practical sense he should either be locked up forever or killed. But personally I don’t like to confuse killing to remove a liability with execution which is basically to feed the blood-lust of others – or so it often seems to me.

    People are complicated. Or so I have observed.

  12. Maybe this guy was in his own fantasy world while he was shooting those people. But I believe in most cases people know they are injuring and killing people no matter what their mental state is. You know the news and media is going to go non-stop on a story like this. A news black out would not satisfy the people who loves this type of coverage. Plus people wants to know if they are safe and the shooter is not on the loose. And if their loved ones are involved in the mass shooting.

    His parents have already visited him in jail and maybe he will have realized what he has done one day. He is going to have plenty of time in that jail cell to think thoughts through. I wonder when the trial occurs if he will have remorse when he faces the victims in their eyes in that courtroom. And there will be plenty of psychological tests to see if he is mentally competent to stand trial. He is either going to be in jail or in a mental institution for probably the rest of his life.

  13. Hmmm. When I said news black-out – I mean specifically that the identity of the killer remain obscured. Sorry – I try very hard to use precise language when I write but never quite successfully. I misspell, use incorrect grammar – and worst; miss out words or forget to specify something or state a pivotal clause etc. After every post I write I still find fault with it upon re-reading later. Often I shy away from writing because of this … but sometimes things pique my interest so much that I feel compelled to comment.

    I have had mental health issues myself – on top of my Asperger’s … and I have acted in self-destructive ways. And even in ways that society would label “bad” though I’ve never meant anyone any harm by my actions and have never done anything as far as I remember to harm anyone. I still find it difficult to imagine wanting to physically hurt people – at all let alone killing them! But I try to understand other people’s perception of the world. And I wonder whether, from this person’s point of view, although he surely new what he was doing killing and injuring as it was no random act of passion but instead very very carefully pre-meditated and thought-out on multiple levels of thinking, maybe for some reason he genuinely did not recognise the value of life of other people. The nature of their existence. And maybe, in some twisted way in his mind if it had gone faulty, there were very good reasons for doing what he did. That justified it. Maybe he thought he was doing a good thing – something that was ultimately good for society. But as I say – it is outside of my imagination. I can only go as far as wondering whether these states of consciousness exist and what that means for us.

    I have developed a great deal since I was young with little understanding of other people. And I observe people often do not understand the actions of others. Empathy seems very limited in scope. Very attuned between people in specific and particular ways only. I observe people often miscommunicate. My intelligence and interest in such things allows me this privilege. There seem to be some common instinctive reactions within most neurotypical people – but beyond that common joint understanding of things seem to depend on cultural upbringing and other societal memes. Intelligence and social status also seem to effect perception and values. It seems to me though that people still often think that their way of thinking is the right and only way and that all else who think slightly differently or have different values must wrong or maybe even evil or something.

    I’m not trying to justify the actions of this individual – he scares me! And I would like to see the threat he represents neutralised in some way. And I would hope the people he hurt (incl. family/love-ones) could feel the satisfaction that he is made accountable for his actions. But it does interest me how he thinks … and I suspect that saying he knew what he was doing killing and injuring etc. might be over simplistic when trying to understand his motivations and state of mind.

  14. Great article! I said he MIGHT have Asperger’s because we have seen this before in the news and I do hope the mental health people who will evaluate him finds no signs of Autism or Asperger’s.