July 20th, 2012...
I haven't seen it yet, but it seems the final movie in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has become more than just this summer's blockbuster.
By now all will have heard of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where a 24-year-old former Ph.D. student named as James Holmes was arrested following the killings of 12 cinemagoers and injuring of 71 others, including children as young as 6 years of age, who were in the audience at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
When apprehended, the man claimed to be the Joker.
And maybe he is.
What other kind of sick monster wakes up one morning and decides he's going to shoot up a movie theatre?
Surely no sane person would do something like that?
And if so, then why? What could a sane person hope to achieve by such an act?
There'll be that, certainly. Probably because of its proximity to Columbine High School, the central figure in this atrocity will inevitably be remembered in the same breath as Harris & Klebold.
Comparisons may also be drawn to Norway's Anders Breivik, who went on a well-planned bombing and killing spree in 2011.
There'll be questions as to his state of mind, and why Holmes was able to acquire his weapons as easily as he did. The gun- and anti-gun lobbies will go at it over rights, the US Second Amendment, all the usual arguments.
But nothing will change, and 12 families will mourn the loss of a brother or sister, son or daughter while platitudes and rhetoric echo around them.
James Holmes deserves to be forgotten - the Joker isn't real. But his acts and those of they who came before him should not be swept under the rug of politics - elected authorities must enact legislation to ensure things like this can't happen - otherwise they're failing in their duty to their constituents and fellow human beings.