Dark Night July 22nd, 2012
48 hours ago. I didn’t know anyone directly affected by the mass shooting in Aurora CO on July 20; 2 degrees of separation, weakly, yes, and I live less than an hour’s drive away. It leaves a mark though and so I will leave one here to remember it and some of the thoughts swirling in my head right now.
In the day following the shooting, I was curious whether anyone might have sixth-sensed this. I didn’t broadcast the question, but I asked a few close friends if they had any anomalous experiences beforehand. Generally, no they did not, though I did read later that a couple of other friends had strange feelings. I myself noticed only a few oddities: dreams I remembered and wrote down on waking the last 3 nights, choosing “dependent arising” as my gmail status earlier (for reasons nothing to do with the movie title The Dark Knight Arises). And while I’ve come to think of my Facebook news feed as a sort of crystal ball, I failed to ‘take a reading’ that day. I wonder if I would have noted something of significance in hindsight. While I cannot know this, I ran across someone else’s story that fascinates me. The story of one of the shooting victims, someone I did not know named Jessica Ghawi (aka Jessica Redfield).
Less than 2 months earlier, Jessica left a food court at a Toronto mall because of what she describes as an “odd feeling”, and minutes later a mass shooting ensued there which left 2 people dead. She devoted 1100 words to it in her blog. I wonder whether she had any odd feelings here in Colorado the night she died. I wonder whether she talked herself out of believing her strange feelings on June 2 were something beyond coincidence. I wonder this because I wonder it for myself; these feelings sometimes appear misleading and false and some people think I’m nuts for trusting in them. I never knew her but I wish I could ask. Her post sounds like something I might write. I can’t ask, and we probably won’t know.
Gun control. While I don’t think a ruling on this heated topic should be made based on an event like this, I’ve seriously and genuinely wondered what the situation would have been like if there had been gun-toting citizens there. There in a packed theater, 12:30 at night, dark, tear gas, gunman with 4 weapons and “dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear”, panic, confusion. My guess would be all the people with guns would shoot each other because of confusion over who the real shooter was. Maybe fewer unarmed people would have been shot. We probably can’t know.
Last time I was at Beta nightclub it was unbelievably packed (really now, Paul Oakenfold on a Saturday night is too big for Beta). Take the Aurora theater massacre, add drinking to the mix and everyone standing not sitting and then imagine a shooter. People would be trampled to death. (Remember Bali…) Hopefully we won’t know, or won’t know again.
Finally… against my mother’s wishes I saw a movie last night. In a theater. In Denver. At midnight. I’m still alive, why act like I’m not? Enjoy the gift that is the present.