Some guy walks into a movie theater and shoots 71 people …
It sounds like a joke waiting for a punch line. But the joke is America’s lack of credible gun control and the inane theory advanced by America’s gun lobby that the U.S. Constitution guarantees any American the right to own an AR-15 assault rifle. The reality is that gun violence in the workplace traumatizes not only the direct victims but also bystanders, police and paramedics, and the workers who witness it.
James Holmes, a 24-year-old graduate student armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, burst into a Colorado movie theater’s screening of The Dark Knight Rises, set off tear gas canisters and opened fire – killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. He also had a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and a 40-caliber Glock handgun.
Police arrested him near his parked car in the back of the movie theater. Another 40-caliber Glock handgun was found in the vehicle, and more than a thousand rounds of ammo. In recent days, Holmes had purchased 6,000 rounds of ammo over the internet.
Holmes, a floundering graduate student, was wearing a ballistic helmet, a gas mask, a throat protector, a tactical ballistic vest, a groin protector and ballistic leggings. Holmes had colored his hair red and told federal authorities he was the psychotic Batman villain “the Joker.”
He surrendered without incident.
There was no shortage of tears on Friday, including police officials traumatized by the massacre and movie theater employees reeling from a workplace that had become a bloody battleground.
The dead included a six year old girl named Veronica.