My heart goes to the families of victims of Aurora tragedy.
I can not stop thinking of Jessica Ghawi, who had escaped shooting by minutes only a month earlier, of Alex Sullivan who was celebrating his birthday and marriage anniversary, of six years old girl who went to the theater with her mother, of three men who took bullets for their girlfriends… I can’t stop thinking of victims and injured and their loved ones and i can not stop thinking of what’s wrong with us and how can we stop the suffering.
‘Collateral damage’ is a phrase which was thrown around a lot during wars in ex Yugoslavia, but i think very few among us could ever think of death of another human being in such terms, we perceive others as individuals with their dreams, fears and hopes, as someone’s child, someone’s friend, someone’s neighbor.
Yet, it’s somewhere out there – the line – which if crossed – can lead to tragedies, such as shooting in Colorado.
Media is covering extensively the fact that James Holmes, the alleged killer, was a PhD student with enviable scientific achievement – ABC News has even obtained a video of his speech at the science camp.
In the video, James Holmes states he’s been working on the Temporal Illusion – “an illusion that allows you to change the past” in his words and further on expands on his mentor’s interest in subjective experience in reality as juxtaposed to fantasy.
All of these are subjects of definite interest to the majority drawn to philosophy and art, these are some of the ideas i explore in my own writing; but where exactly James Holmes has lost it?
He comes across as sane and intelligent in that video, how is it possible that he dismissed the fact that people in the movie theater were someone’s children, someone’s brothers and sisters, someone’s friends and significant others?
When was it that he, to the detriment of all, stopped perceiving people – as people – and began thinking of others as a part of some delusional pseudo scientific experiment or a video game?
I presume that the assigned public defender might claim insanity – but the suspect gunmen does not come across as psychotic, he seems to have planned the tragedy thoroughly and executed it with blood-chilling precision.
University of Colorado which he attended has made very few disclosures in these three days and the suspect himself, according to CBS News, does not speak, but even little that we know so far should make us all think deeply.
I believe it’s a warning not to ever think of others in any other terms, then as of fellow human beings, individuals and our own extended family; it’s dangerous to think of others in any other way – even in terms of their nationalities and religious affiliations – because that too is a halfway to generalization and there we are already on a shaky ground.
And we’ve seen it all, or have heard of it – of religious leaders blessing the killings of those others for they call their God another name; we know of monstrous tortures being executed in the name of science – of diabolical Nazi human experiments and Japan’s notorious testing of biological weapons in China, to name only a few.
I can’t wrap my mind around it, how is it possible, how can a human being deliberately cause such suffering, but sadly it is obvious there are those of us who are incapable of empathy.
I was thinking of what can be done to stop them and to prevent such tragedies. It seems the logical first step would be gun ban – albeit Colorado governor has claimed it wouldn’t have prevented the massacre… we can’t know that.
How could someone described as ‘weird’ by his former colleagues and as ‘recluse’ by his neighbors, someone rejected from a gun club – be allowed to purchase tactical gear and “drum magazine” which fires 50 or 60 rounds per minute?
If there is one thing for which i’d applaud our own government – it’s the systematic implementation of the gun ban ever since the campaign in 2004 - regardless of the centuries long predominance of the gun culture and widespread sentiment that ‘house is not a home without a gun’.
Of course, it’s of help that – being a small country with service based economy - we don’t have a gun lobby, or any other industrial lobby per that matter, but i believe it has to be done in States too.
In today’s New York Times op-ed film critic Roger Ebert says he is not sure ” there is an easy link between movies and gun violence.”
The link is obvious to me – we are living in a culture where violence is promoted even to toddlers, where even children’s TV programs, cartoons and video games are filled with violent content. How can there NOT be a link?
Also, James Holmes, like most mass murderers From Columbine to Virginia Tech, was on prescription drugs at the time of the massacre. Mood altering psychiatric drugs taken every day by tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children, can and do push some users over the edge.
I can’t recommend strongly enough Generation RX – a documentary about pharmaceutical lobby which sold an entire nation a scientific hoax: that millions of children have “chemical imbalances” in their brains and require treatment with profitable pharmaceutical drugs.
Behind all of it – behind violence in movies and games and behind the industrial lobbies – is greed and lack of empathy.
Prosecutors are considering pursuing death penalty against James Holmes; i believe that those who – even if indirectly – have enabled such tragedies by engaging into corrupt business practices and marketing of violent entertainment, should be brought to justice too.
the video obtained by ABS news http://www.youtube.com/watch?v47DpqTZoBw
Generation RX trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xehHwkPpevk