Friday, July 20, 2012

Stop the Blame

Aurora, Colorado has experienced an unspeakable act that no one should ever have to live through. There's a lot of buzz on Twitter, blogs, and news sites. Folks are blaming lax gun laws. Some are blaming the film. Some are saying that it's because he was allowed to wear a costume in the theater. I even saw someone blame Alice Walker for a recent comment she made.

First, gun laws or not, if someone is determined to execute a mass murder s/he will get the necessary weapons any way possible. Second, studies have shown that movies (books, music, video games) do not incite people to murder.

It's understandable that, when atrocious acts like these occur, we as a society want to understand them. Part of that is because of fear. Part of that is our desire/need to prevent future incidences.

What was it that compelled James Holmes to open fire on strangers? Initial reports state that he was withdrawing from his current graduate program. That he was quiet, a loner, had few friends. Was this typical behavior for James Holmes, or was this new behavior?

Each of us is responsible for our own behaviors, but we're also responsible for the safety and well-being of others. At what point are we going to stop placing band-aids on problems in the form of laws and regulations, and begin to address the real problems: how we treat others and allow others to be treated? What could have been done to prevent the death of twelve and injury to seventy? Before James Holmes entered the theater. Before he bought guns and ammunition.