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Editorial: Give victims strength through unity, support
7/20/2012 10:00:00 PM
Today, once again, our heads hang in sadness and disbelief.
In the early hours of Friday, a seemingly harmless venue - a movie theater - where people had flocked to see "The Dark Knight Rises" became an instant nightmare.
Minutes into the screening, authorities say, a lone gunman wearing protective gear stealthily invaded the theater, hurled gas canisters into the air and opened fire on the audience, some of whom first believed they were witnessing special effects to enhance the crowd's excitement, or that someone was pulling a joke or a hoax.
It was not a stunt. Rather, this was a scene of carnage that unfolded quickly in a neighborhood theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and seriously wounding 59 more, one of them a baby.
The shooting suspect, Aurora police say, fired at least 71 shots and had an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and two .40-caliber Glock handguns. People ducked. People hit the floor. People escaped any way they could. Too many could not get out of the path of the gunshots in time.
Unfathomable. Senseless. Heartbreaking. Tragic.
"Why?" we ask. This tragedy in Arizona's neighboring state defies the depth of human understanding. How could anyone commit such a heinous act? Answers may come slowly. Or they may never come.
We take pride in our country's judicial system - that a person is innocent until proven guilty and that everyone is entitled to due process of the law.
In this time of unbearable pain, we must remain faithful to that credo, as difficult as it might be.
Engaging in the worn-out debate about gun control would be a useless waste of breath in the wake of lives lost and changed forever - lives of those who simply wanted to relax and to see a movie about a fictional superhero.
We can't change what happened in Aurora on Friday. But we can remember the sturdy fiber that holds Americans together in crises such as these.
Above all, we must do what we do best - stand by to help and support the people of Colorado in every way possible - and keep them in our hearts as they struggle to recover from the unthinkable reality they suffer now.
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