Friday, July 20, 2012
Woke up this morning to news of a massacre at a midnight movie premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve dead, 59 injured, some critically. At first, moviegoers thought the man in the SWAT gear who released a tear gas canister before he started shooting, was part of the movie special effects. And then he calmly opened fire. So strange that I mentioned this movie in yesterday's post. I know my daughter's friend, who is so passionate about Batman he wrote his college essay about the character, is heartbroken today. As we all are. I always want to know the motives in cases like this, I gather the details obsessively, trying to work out what provokes such horror, the moment in the life of the shooter where everything went irrevocably wrong. I am never satisfied, because really, it never entirely makes sense. I remember reading about the Columbine boys who committed that massacre at their high school, a whole book on their lives up to that point, including interviews with their parents, and there was nothing there that helped me truly understand, even though one of the boys seemed to have been a sociopath who extremely influenced the other. At this moment, there is a forensic psychiatrist on TV saying this act is "darkness turned inside out." The shooter was a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, who was in the process of withdrawing from his doctoral program. And now Colorado, the nation, is once again soaked in sorrow.