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Reason for killings may never be known

The question that was on many people's lips Friday as the horror of the Aurora, Colo., midnight theater shootings took hold was a simple one-word one: "Why?"

The answer is: We may never really know.

We know what happened and when. About 30 minutes into the midnight showing of the newest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," a gunman clad in a gas mask and armor tossed tear gas into a crowded theater and then opened fire with guns. Reports have said that 12 to 14 people were killed in the hail of bullets and more than four dozen others, the youngest a 4-month-old baby, were injured.

Authorities seem certain they know who. On Friday, they arrested James Holmes, 24, who had bought the weapons that law enforcement said was used in this murders over the past couple of weeks. As of Friday night, attempts by authorities to enter Holmes' apartment were being thwarted as they tried to determine how to get around an elaborate set of booby traps they found at the residence.

For some reason, a man from San Diego described as smart, high-achieving and shy who had been studying for a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Denver decided to withdraw from that program and, according to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who said he had been briefed on the matter, began painting his hair red and calling himself "The Joker," after Batman's green-haired, murderous arch-nemesis, before turning into a mass murderer. Whether Holmes is proven to be the killer in this case is for the judicial system to determine.

But there was a gunman, and why this thug committed these despicable acts may never be known. There are any number of reasons frustrations, fears and insecurities can manifest themselves in violent fashion. But what is clear is that the individual who did this foul act meticulously planned out the details and tried to hurt even more innocent people by booby-trapping the apartment. Regardless of the murderer's reason for committing these heinous, inexcusable crimes, he deserves the death penalty. That won't breathe life into any of his victims, but this is such a cowardly, premediated, purely evil act that this murderer has forfeited his right to live.

There will, of course, be attempts by factions to argue their various positions that, for instance, tighter gun controls are needed to stop violence, that looser gun controls are needed so that victims can shoot back, that violence depicted on movie screens and TVs and in video games and comic books leads to violence in real life, and others.

But what it all boils down to is this: If an individual is intent on committing a violent crime, he or she will find a way to rationalize a reason for doing it. That criminal alone is responsible for what he or she did, and that criminal is the one who should pay the price for the crime.

Comments

agirl_25 1 year, 8 months ago

I think a lot of times the main reason people go on these sprees is to make a name for themselves but I wonder sometimes how many of us can remember some of the worst ones of recent times. Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 in Norway in twin attacks. He set bombs to go off in the city and then went to a youth camp and shot at people at random. He admitted his crime and also to his hatred of Muslims, altho I don't believe the youths he shot were Muslim youth. An Asian student, Seung Hui Cho, killed 23 and himself on the campus of Virginia Tech. Sad, very sad...100 dead and we cannot remember the murderer's names and yet another nut has killed another dozen and I don't even know his name or the circumstances of his crime. Has this become so commonplace and have we become so conditioned that it seems like an everyday occurrance now? My heart hurts so badly for the families for the hundreds of families who have been touched by all these tragedies and each blog I have read had gun control as the answer but even in the countries where shootings occurred and they had some of the very strictest gun control laws, it was not the answer. Yes, the criminal should pay the price but we have become a nation so soft on crime and afraid to hurt the feelings of the criminal and I think Mr. Holmes is going to spend his time rollng his eyes and making strange faces and enjoy his celebrity status. The only good thing to come out of it is the fact that the law says he can in no way profit from his crime.

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QUIK 1 year, 8 months ago

The writer is right that we may never know the reason why such a crime was committed. Yet if I think about much lesser crimes that we can see some of the underlining ideas of cause and effect, such as speeding, fights, rapes and robberies. The softening of our views on violence, discord, manners and the rapid news outlets on crimes, may assist us to care less for others. I believe while we may never know the true answers for hate or revenge, we do know that any form of love, compassion, forgiveness and tolerance can't hurt.

Tony Wright

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