My heart goes out to all those people in Aurora who were the victims of the tragic shooting. Every time I hear something or see someone talking about this on TV, I feel the tears well up in my eyes. I realize this isn’t my normal type of post for this blog so just consider this a moment of reflection.
I don’t know any of the people who were killed or seriously injured during this tragedy but I know so many people like them. I know a 6 year-old girl like Veronica who was the youngest victim of the shooting. My neighbor’s daughter is that age and she’s one of my son’s favorite people to play with in our neighborhood. And I know a family like the Sullivans who desperately searched for their son Alex for more than 14 hours until they heard the disturbing news. I understand it was Alex’s birthday that day.
These were just ordinary people living their lives enjoying a night out at the movies. No one could have ever dreamed something like this would happened.
BUT I believe …. there was someone who knew.
I’m not in any way trying to turn this into a political debate. Trust me, I’m a political junkie and can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Nor am I going to get up on my soapbox and preach about gun control. I have always found it hard to believe our founding fathers were thinking about semi-automatic weapons when they wrote the 2nd amendment.
No this is about something deeper. Something we can all do to prevent another tragedy like this from happening again.
After 911, a campaign was started called “If You See Something, Say Something.” Whether we got complacent as a nation or just moved on with our own lives, somewhere along the way the campaign seemed to lose steam. I believe this idea should be brought back and start a nationwide discussion about how we can do a better job of preventing these senseless crimes.
I’m not talking about a creepy ‘Big Brother’ kind of thing. I’m talking about paying attention to the people we come into contact with on a regular basis. Has a family member become withdrawn and showing signs of depression? Has a co-worker or friend done something completely out of character? Has a neighbor been shut up in his house lately and you haven’t seen his car move in days?
More and more information has started to come about this nutjob in Aurora who killed all those people. The investigation has shown his plan was in the works for at least 4 months. I’m sure we’ll eventually learn why or what triggered him to do such a horrific thing.
My point is … someone knew. It’s a rare person who just snaps like this and starts shooting. This person planned his attack. He slowly started to slip into his fantasy world and created his plans. I mean, he rigged his house because he knew the police and investigators would come after him. He made these plans to take a few more out with his death wish.
And someone saw this happening and did nothing. Someone saw him becoming more introverted. Someone had a conversation with him about the strange things he was doing. Someone saw him change into this other person capable of committing such a heinous act. And they did nothing.
Please know, there is not one person who I am pointing a finger towards to shoulder this blame. The ultimate blame should and will always rest on this man’s insane actions. He made the decision to act on his deluded fantasies. He will and SHOULD ALWAYS be the one who will take the full punishment for his crime.
But I believe in my heart that someone knew.
When we look at what happened in Aurora and other incidents like the shooting of Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), it makes me wonder how life would be different if someone had stepped up and said something. At the end of the day, you’ll reach out to someone whose going through something tragic in their lives. I’m sure they would appreciate your attempts to help them feel better and let them know they aren’t alone. They’ll know someone cares … and this would be a bad thing …. BECAUSE WHY?
So I urge you all to think about these words as we try to heal as a nation: If You See Something, Say Something. As hokey as this sounds, the life you save could be your family or your own.
(Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. And now back to your regularly scheduled program …. )
Photo credit: Aurora Movie Theater