Yesterday a lone gunman carrying a rather large arsenal of weaponry attacked and killed ten persons and wounded dozens more as they watched the Midnight premier of the new Batman movie. Apparently the assailant was white male, aged 24, a graduate of UC Riverside and was until recently a student at the University of Colorado's medical school. Apparently something in the Batman movies "inspired" the violence that took lives and has affected many more. It's important to note that everything used in the attack was obtained legally.
We have been told a number of things about the shooting. First, this is not considered an "act of terrorism." I will beg to differ. Although we don't know the motive or any ideology, but the person involved sought to terrorize the community.
We're also told that this is "a senseless act of violence." I understand why the phrase is used, but really when does any act of violence really make sense? I understand why police and military use lethal force (I'm not a pacifist), but even there wouldn't there be a better way?
As we consider this horrific event, may we first remember those who lost lives and their families and friends. Let us remember and pray for those who have been wounded, especially those critically wounded, and their families. Let us also remember the community of Aurora, CO who have been traumatized -- perhaps better, terrorized by this act of violence. Finally, it is worth remembering in prayer the assailant. We don't know what led to this, but if, as I suspect, there is a mental health issue involved, we can consider whether or not we do enough as a nation to help those with mental health issues.
So, may we stop for a moment and remember these lives, even as we ask the question -- how do we bring an end to violence in our communities? Jesus has said that peacemakers are blessed and Paul reminds us that we've been called to be ambassadors of reconciliation -- may this be our response to this event of violence.