I don’t usually cover current events in this blog. However when I logged into Facebook this afternoon, I was horrified to see all the links clustered on my Newsfeed which brought me to news websites relating the latest mass shooting which occurred in Colorado today. In short, a man entered a movie theater at the midnight premiere showing of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on movie goers. In order to weaken his victims, the suspect, James Holmes, threw a canister of tear gas into the crowd. The people were distracted by the movie on the screen and according to reports, the suspect started shooting during a scene in the movie in which there was also shooting (not a surprise since it is a superhero movie). I can’t imagine the panic and confusion among the people trapped in that room.

According to the latest updates, 12 people were killed and about 50 people were injured, including a 3 month old baby.

When I went to Huffington Post, I was greeted by these images on the homepage:

I don’t personally know anyone from this area of Colorado but my heart breaks all the same. Another senseless shooting committed for no reason on defenseless people. This makes me angry, this makes me upset, and it also leaves me feeling confused. How does a person come to such a point in his or her life that he or she decides to commit such a heinous crime? This attack is not terrorist related but that doesn’t make me feel any better. How can someone be consumed by so much hate?

These types of tragedies always bring me back to the issue of gun control in the USA. One of the things I am most afraid of are guns. I never feel safe around guns, even if there are no bullets loaded in them. I do not like seeing them; even if they are on display in a museum. I shy away from policemen, not because I dislike them, but because the guns in their holster make me super nervous.

I don’t want to get too political because I know not everybody will agree with me. However, I’m from the Northeast and I identify as a liberal so my background influences the way I think. I do not like guns. Period. I realize they are necessary in some professions, such as hunters, policemen, security guards, people who work in the Army…

I realize stricter gun control laws aren’t the only answer but I firmly believe it would help avoid these types of tragedies. One of the biggest differences between Europe and the USA is that most European countries have very strict gun laws. You can’t just waltz into a store and buy a gun in Spain (gun laws vary in the USA depending on the state but it is fairly easy to acquire a firearm). I know Americans always stress the need for “protection”  and use the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights) as justification but I don’t understand that rhetoric. I always thought that if nobody could acquire guns to begin with, nobody would need to defend themselves in the first place. For those of you that are interested, here is a link to what I believe are the current New York State gun laws: http://www.nyfirearms.com/blog/nys-gun-laws/

The worst part is Colorado is no stranger to these types of tragedies. I was young but I do remember the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in which two high school boys killed 12 students and a teacher. When I was a freshman in college, the Virginia Tech massacre happened (32 people were killed).

This is such a thorny issue and there are so many things at play here that I don’t even understand. However, my stance remains the same–I am anti-guns and I probably always will be.

My thoughts are with the family and friends of the Aurora, Colorado victims.

PS. I am de-activating comments on this post. I realize this may seem unfair to some, but I really don’t want this to turn into a gun control debate. I don’t want to lose sight of what really happened. People were killed for no reason. That is the real tragedy.