Like many people this terrible event hit me hard.
Due to my role as a martial arts and self-defense instructor I was getting emails, texts and messages all day about the event.
Before I begin anything, I want to say that above all there needs to be heartfelt condolences going to those affected by this tragedy (tragedy is a word used way too often, but it is appropriate here). There are people already trying to spin this in ways to prop their own agendas, and this is extremely low class. When all that a person can think of in the face of a tragedy is how they can use it for personal gain, they move to the very bottom of my list.
I want to address the absurd posturing and inflammatory comments, status updates on Facebook and Twitter and many news stories about “why is a six year old at a midnight screening of a movie”. The stories and comments are designed to inflame, they serve no other purpose, and furthermore are asinine comments made by stupid and heartless people.
There were youngsters all across the entire country at the midnight showings of the movie. The reason kids all over the country went to the midnight show is that the parents wanted to do something special for the kid.
There are many people blaming the parents for the six year old being shot when they “should have been home in bed”.
No one has a right to say the parent is in any way to blame because the parents had no reason to factor a violent gunman into the decision. Yes, violence can happen anywhere, and the later the time the more likely violence can occur. I get it, know it and teach it. But please, before making idiotic assumptions, please, please, please remember we are talking about AURORA, COLORADO, not freaking Kandahar! This does not happen every day here. The last time I checked, this was still America.
A further note to the posturing super-parents out there; It could have been any of us making the same decision if the movie was something our kid really wanted to see.
For the non-parents who still feel the need to express their superior parenting skills in public in an effort to get attention; until and unless you are a parent you will not understand the desire to give your kid special memories for when you are gone. I never considered my own mortality much at all until I became a parent. I have jumped out of airplanes. I have jumped off of buildings doing base jumping. I let a guy pile drive me off of the ring apron onto the floor in a pro wrestling match based on nothing more than his word the nothing bad would happen to me. From the time I became a parent, I have never had a moment where I do not know that at some point my kids are going to be living their life with be being nothing but a memory. I want them to have as many good memories as possible and that is where things like this come in. It is just a movie when you go on a Saturday afternoon, but when you take the kid to the midnight premier, that makes it a special occasion to the child. They will remember that even more.
Try using just a little compassion.
Sadly, when something like this happens, there will be media stories from all sides trying to inflame your outrage for or against gun control. Personally, I don’t have a whole lot of outrage left with all of the stupidity being batted around on a near daily basis, and the way the news media tries to manipulate my emotions.
Tighter gun control laws would not make any difference on a crime like this because if a criminal wants a gun he will get one, but this is not a case about gun control.
It is going to be spun that way by the politicians, but if we could keep our wits we would remember that people lost their lives. People were injured. All of this from nothing more than going to the movies. Please keep your judgments to yourself. The focus should be on the people involved, and their families, and remembering that these are people’s lives.
And in closing, I wish to answer the self defense question: there is no way to tell you what to do in a situation like this, and anything you read is not going to make even a little bit of difference anyway. Unless you have been around it a lot, gunfire will make you freeze, and when you snap out of the freeze (which can happen quickly, but other times it does not…sorry), you will be in a panic, and will not remember anything you have ever read on the subject of what to do when someone is shooting at you.
Take a moment and remember the people involved in this. They should be the concern.