This morning I turned on the news at 7am and saw pictures of emergency lights outside a movie theater. I immediately figured what happened, which is one of many things wrong with the situation. Suddenly, “The Dark Knight shooting” switched from a filming term to one of violence and death.
Shootings shouldn’t be so commonplace that a second of news footage leads me to that conclusion, but it’s become a reality ever since the day I sat in my college dorm room and watched similar emergency crews trying to make sense of what happened at Columbine High School. Now we see similar tragedies play out at school, at work, in a mall, at the movies.
My church has a security team. Our minister has received death threats and other churches have experienced violence born of hatred. I sit in public places (church, a movie, the library, a concert) and create action plans in case a shooter comes into the space. I doubt my ideas will help since I have no training, am not armed, and shooters don’t exactly announce themselves before they begin their destruction. After all, last night’s masked man opened fire in a dark room of seated people who were focused on a movie.
My heart goes out to the families of those killed, and to those dozens who were wounded. I pray for kids I don’t even know, that this cycle of hurt people hurting people will somehow end. That my kids won’t seek darkness, and that darkness won’t inflict them.