A Night of Darkness & Tragedy: Reaction to the "Dark Night" Shooting

Monday, 06 August 2012 22:06 Written by  Diamond C. Latchison

On Friday July 20, 2012, countless fans, young and old alike, headed to movie theaters to see the third Batman installment, The Dark Night Rises at midnight screenings all across the United States. No one could’ve guessed that a night that was supposed to be filled with excitement and family fun would turn out to be a night of darkness and tragedy. In Aurora, CO, tragedy struck at Century 16 when a man filled with heavy artillery in a duffel bag slipped through a side exit door in one of the show screenings. He threw tear gas grenades, and he let off rounds of ammunition, with multiple weapons killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. The youngest person that died in this mass shooting was six months old and the man who caused the shooting. James Eagan Holmes refers to himself as “the Joker.”

When I first heard about the shooting it was the next morning. My brother, my father, and I stopped at McDonald’s after dropping my mother off at work and saw every news network reporting on the whole story and we gawked in shock. We couldn’t believe that just one person caused that big of a catastrophe with no guilt or no shame. The whole day, I watched CNN reporting on the shooting. I cried all day. I couldn’t believe that this guy really shot, killed, and injured all those people. It was just mind-boggling to me. It was quite disturbing to learn that when James first entered the theater wearing a costume and red hair, letting out tear gas and shooting rounds up in the air, people thought that it was a prank or a special effect for the movie. They didn’t take it seriously until he started letting rounds go off into the audience.

The whole shooting happened not too far from where the Columbine shooting occurred at Columbine High School in 1999 and that made me even more emotional. Even though those two shootings happened in different cities and they occurred more than a decade apart, I’m sure it stirred up some old feelings and brought back a lot of haunting nightmares for people who went through the Columbine tragedy, as well.

It’s disturbing to know that not only do people have to be careful outside of their neighborhoods but at a place where those thoughts of danger didn’t even occur until now. It has been nearly three weeks since the shooting, and I still can’t find the words to describe my feelings towards this traumatic event. My prayers continue to go out to the people of not only Aurora but Colorado, as well. I hope that this traumatic event isn’t forgotten and that this whole gun control controversy is taken seriously before anything like this happens again.

Diamond C. Latchison

Diamond C. Latchison

Diamond C. Latchison, an intern at GMO, attends school at Columbia College Chicago. She majors in magazine journalism with a minor in creative nonfiction writing. In her spare time, the St. Louis-native enjoys writing stories and poetry and reading books and magazines.

She can be contacted at dlatchison011@gmail.com

Follow her on Twitter: @dlatchison011

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