A shooting in a crowded movie theater gives everyone the excuse they need to climb back up on their favorite soapbox and begin their rant anew. It’s guns! It’s violent video games! It’s the disregard we have for human life! It’s untreated mental illness!
It’s bad parenting.
A news story I just read mentioned that the shooter’s mother had a gut feeling that it was her son. Somehow, she knew – even though he’d graduated from high school, gone to college and was smart enough to be in a Ph.D. program for neuroscience – she knew that he had it in him somewhere. Well, she didn’t really know, not until now anyway. She had been watching and waiting and hoping that she was completely overboard on her assessment of the situation. You see, when you are somebody’s mom you imagine the worst that could happen and then you shake your head and shake it off. I don’t know why she had a hunch but I can imagine the feeling.
The analysis is just beginning. She and the man’s father will be at the center of it. Every night the news programs will choose another chapter of blame to explore until we are exhausted and wanting to forget these poor people who just went to the movies one night and ended up in a living hell.
What happened will become fodder for many different things – the gun control people who think that having no guns means having no violence, the concealed carry people who think a Dirty Harry in the audience could have stopped the killing. This will be evidence for everyone’s Congressional testimony no matter what their position on the issues.
Maybe there’s no explanation. Is it possible there is no one and no thing to blame? That a man’s mind became so lost that he thought he should commit mass murder and that this happened to him not because of video games or the accessibility of guns in our country but for no reason? I think it is possible but we just can’t abide such an idea. Because if we agree that it was random or an accident or just happened, we have to give up on the idea that there’s a way to prevent a recurrence.
Better we should find out what mom did wrong and make sure we don’t do the same thing. Find out which video game he played and grab it out of our son’s hands. Picket the gun stores or pack heat, depending on your point of view. It’s therapeutic if nothing else.
It’s so hard to accept that terrible, inexplicable things just happen.