The recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has brought gun violence front-and-center this week... just as it did last year when Gabrielle Giffords was shot near Tuscon, Arizona and countless times before that. I've been thinking a lot about the Aurora shooting because I was also at a midnight showing of the same movie on the night it happened. When the Columbine shooting happened I was in high school also. Similarities like that hit closer to home.
Watching the news for the past 24 hours, I see people discussing gun violence and statistics. The worst being the high number of incidents in the U.S. At 70 casualties, including 12 deaths, the Aurora shooting qualifies as a mass shooting and is therefore all over the news. But one news report I saw said that the same number of gun related deaths had occurred in Chicago in the last 7 days.
I was fortunate enough to watch The Dark Knight Rises in its entirety and enjoy it. I did not learn of the Aurora shooting until the next morning. Since then I have thought a lot about the movie and the event. In the movie, you learn that within the last few years Bruce Wayne's company has created a "fusion reactor" capable of producing clean energy. It will revolutionize the world. But at some point Bruce Wayne learns that the technology could be easily weaponized and reports that the reactor does not work. He lied. He was aware of the risks and chose not to accept them for the sake of some other gains. He refused to release something to the public that could cause so much harm. Spoilers: Someone weaponizes the reactor.
In the U.S. we take that risk every day. Why are people surprised at the gun violence statistics? I am surprised that there isn't more gun violence. Last week I witnessed someone buying bullets at a Wal-Mart. I had never been present when someone was buying ammunition and the experience was as easy as buying beer or cigarettes; A very nice person in the sporting goods section helps you make a selection, asks for ID, and that's it. Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) come's to mind.
Bruce Wayne's best efforts failed but they were his best efforts. Are we making our best effort?
Bruce Wayne eventually does everything he can to clean up this mess and saves the city from the weaponized reactor. When will we save our country from gun violence?