This morning, I awoke to news of the shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.
The gunmen, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, a former PhD student at last count injured 58 people and killed 12. The more we learn from listening to news anchors, reporters, and press conferences held by local police, the more bizarre the events of the day become. Local authorities and bomb squad experts are currently at his apartment contemplating how they will disarm a series of explosives, and other “incendiary devices” noting that doing so could take days.
Understandably today’s event is a senseless tragedy. What shocks me even more, however, is that it is being publicized for political gain simply because it is an election year.
At approximately 10:45 A.M. Eastern time, President Obama made his first public remarks on the incident during what was originally billed as a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida.
He made two statements that I find particularly troubling.
“We are still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora. What we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody, and the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”
I’m not entirely sure what about this incident facilitates the involvement of the FBI and the federal government on any level. Law enforcement have said they believe Holmes acted alone and they do not believe this to be an incident connected to any terrorist organization.
President Obama goes on to say:
“I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater? As so many of our kids do everyday. Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I am sure you will do the same with your children.”
I take issue with this statement for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is extremely disconnected from reality. Let’s examine just how many things are wrong with that statement.
1). The White House has its own movie theater and receives movies often ahead of their public release.
2). If the First Family were in a public movie theater, the place would be secured and cleared out entirely.
3). The First Family gets a well trained security detail.
Not exactly the same thing.
Watch the president’s full remarks here.
It’s a sad day in this country when the possibility of having to go through a metal detector to attend a two-hour movie becomes a frighteningly real possibility.