“Politics itself is not the problem, but there are reasons we react with revulsion to the thought of “politicizing” tragedies. What repells us is the rush to collective blame, the lightning impulse to assign responsibility to one’s political adversaries. There is nothing like an actual monstrous act to demonstrate the silliness of our tendency to reduce one another to caricature. [...] To look at the the frightened eyes of the survivors in Aurora, and see only our own intrinsic goodness, and our political enemies’ implacable evil, is the most impenetrable vanity. It’s not politics, it’s just tribalism. And it’s grotesque. But we shouldn’t mistake this kind of pettiness for politics itself, which is far too important an arena to cede to those who are incapable of seeing a tragedy and wondering, above all, what it says about themselves. We should be talking about why this happened, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it from happening again.” — Adam Serwer, Mother Jones
Read about each person on The Denver Post memorial page »
The Courier-Journal: “President Barack Obama will travel to Colorado on Sunday to visit with families of victims of the movie theater shooting. White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer announced plans for the trip on Saturday night. Aides say the trip will also include meetings with state and local officials.”
The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office has released the names of victims killed in Friday’s shooting at an Aurora theater, reports The Denver Post:
According to the office, 11 victims have been definitively identified. They are:
Jonathan T. Blunk
Alexander J. Boik
Jesse E. Childress
John T. Larimer
Alex M. Sullivan
The coroner’s office said Matthew McQuinn has been presumptively identified and that all families have been notified.
John Cole summarizes the next 48 hours in one post:
R- Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
D- Yes, but guns make it very easy to kill people in large quantities. He would not have been able to stab 71 people.
R- Stop trying to politicize this tragedy! What we need are not fewer guns, but more guns. If only someone else in that theatre had had a gun, they would have been able to stop him in his tracks.
D- Yes. Nothing could go wrong with crossfire in a dark theatre. This is absurd. There is a clear lesson here, and we need to do something about the ease with which people get firearms.
R- There’s no lesson to be learned, the guy was crazy. You can’t stop every crazy person.
D- We could try to make it harder for crazy people to walk around with a shotgun, a rifle, two handguns, and gas cannisters. (My note: and 6,000 rounds of ammo off the internet)
R- I knew Obama and you liberals were coming for our guns. Second Amendment!
Cole- And after 48 hours, the topic will die down as me move on to the next scandal/tragedy du jour, and then we can have this same exact conversation again the next time someone murders a dozen people with a gun.
Also, I see that I wasn’t the only one who watched O Brother, Where Art Thou last night. In my opinion John Cole is close to the perfect man because, in addition to his opinions (which I share, more often than not), he cooks, cleans, and gardens. And he loves his pets. Total package!
11: 17 a.m. – Aurora Police have advised media to stand behind their vehicles. They are confident in the safety of the perimeter, but are advising this extra precaution.
11:35 a.m. – Expecting an airhorn blast in 5-10 minutes; and then a detonation.
11:40 a.m. – Peoria St. is closed.
11:44 – The controller detonation has happened.
11:47 a.m. – Detonation was successful. Peoria is now reopened.
The living room of the 800-square-foot apartment is littered with about 30 softball-sized improvised explosive devices, according to a bomb technician at the scene.
Bomb technicians used a water bottle device to disable the “9D trip device” in the apartment, according to a source at the scene. They sent the device in with a robot, the robot dropped the water device and then retreated.
So I’ll bet this is why the police won’t release Holmes’ mug shot — he did dye his hair red, did call himself the Joker, and he probably gave the booking officer with the camera an extra big, terrible smile. Why give holmes the satisfaction? From NY Daily News:
“The man accused in the Colorado movie theater massacre was still behaving erratically on the day after his rampage at a midnight screening of “The Dark Night Rises” — the last film in the Batman trilogy. “Let’s just say he hasn’t shown any remorse,” a jail employee told the Daily News. “He thinks he’s acting in a movie.” A released inmate said Holmes’ behavior behind bars was increasingly irrational. “He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards,” the inmate told The News. “He’s spitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy.” [...] “All the inmates were talking about killing him,” Wayne Medley, 24, said as he left the facility. “Everyone was looking for an opportunity. It’s all they could talk about. [...] Holmes — who had dyed his hair red — was also wearing red clothing beneath the black body armor that terrified moviegoers saw when he opened fire early Friday morning, Danilov said. Jail guards “blacked out his windows with duct tape so no one could see him,” said Danilov. “He was cuffed in the back and had leg shackles. Six officers were walking him.” The deranged suspected killer, a former honors student and Ph.D. candidate, said nothing and walked slowly to his cell. Danilov said that if Holmes was released into the general jail population, “he won’t live to see Monday’s court appearance.””
According to NY Daily News, these photos may be of Holmes’ new look off the website “Adult Friend Finder:”
There are close calls and then there’s this:
“[James Holmes] rigged his apartment with what authorities fear are deadly explosives and blared techno music from his stereo in what’s believed to be an attempt to invite more devastation when the door was opened.
“[...] Kaitlyn Fonzi, a 20-year-old biology student at University of Colorado Denver who lives in an apartment below Holmes’ said she heard techno music blasting from Holmes apartment around midnight. Another tenant said residents called 9-1-1 about the racket. Fonzi went upstairs and knocked on the door. When no one answered, she put her hand on the knob and realized the door was unlocked. Fonzi decided not to go inside the apartment. At almost exactly 1 a.m., Fonzi said, the music stopped.”
President Barack Obama called Friday for a truce in the political war that is the 2012 campaign as he led an emotional silent tribute to the victims of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and urged a country often divided to unite “as one American family.” (via: yahoopolitics )
“And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. At the end of the day, what we’ll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others. That’s why we’re here. I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.” — Remarks by the President on the Shootings in Aurora, Colo. – NYTimes.com (via apsies)
The Boston Globe: [James] Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until last month, spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said. She did not know when he started school or why he withdrew.
The image of Holmes is from the University of Colorado.
Update: Live: KUSA reports he was studying neuroscience.
“Warner Bros., makers of “The Dark Knight Rises” have canceled the film’s red carpet premiere in Paris on Friday night in addition to media interviews with director Christopher Nolan and cast members. The Hollywoord Reporter said Nolan and Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman were at Paris’ hotel Le Bristol to promote the film. However, journalists at le Bristol for a daytime press conference were told to leave. In a statement, Warner Bros. said: “Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.” — Red carpet premiere of “Dark Knight” canceled after shootings
An opinion on some of the ‘reporting’ on the mass shooting in Aurora from Charles P. Pierce:
“Well, it’s nice to see people have things in perspective before the blood has dried.
“Because, really, it’s all about them. And their pet issues. And the gnomes that scuttle about their frontal lobes.
“I would like to recommend that, when an event like what happened in Aurora occurs, we all give ourselves a decent interval before wedging the bloodshed into the stifling cliches that pass for our current political dialogue. Maybe a day, maybe a week. Then, we can start arguing again about why it’s so goddamn easy in this country to outfit yourself to go to the movies as though you were coming ashore at Saipan. Then, we can start defending Rush Limbaugh, or excoriating HollyWeird. I just think it’s indecent to do it as soon as the sun comes up the next day.
“… [S]eriously, there isn’t anything to say right now. Everything is diversion, distraction, and evasion of the simple fact that someone very much like the rest of us walked into a movie theater, opened fire, and killed a dozen or so more people just like the rest of us. James Holmes is the bell, tolling, tolling. That’s all he is right now. To assume anything else is to wrap yourself in trivia against the storm.”
EDIT: Via MSNBC (ht Matt), apparently the explosives are dangerous enough that they’ve evacuated FIVE nearby buildings.
I can’t imagine…
ABC News: A California woman who identified herself as the mother of James Holmes, the 24-year-old man federal authorities said is the suspect in a mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, told ABC News her son was likely the culprit, saying, “You have the right person.” The woman, contacted at her home in San Diego, spoke briefly with ABC News and immediately expressed concern her son may be involved in the shooting death of at least 12 people overnight. “You have the right person,” she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. “I need to call the police… I need to fly out to Colorado.”
“And as someone who writes about movies, and who cares about the big, flawed thing we call fandom, I’m saddened by someone turning that shared enthusiasm into a weapon. And even if this tragedy hadn’t happened at the premiere of one of a dwindling number of genuinely mass cultural events, I hate the idea of using an audience’s suspension of disbelief, their openness to and absorption in the spectacle unfolding before them, as cover—the gunman reportedly started shooting during a sequence involving gunfire, meaning the audience was slower to react. We are vulnerable when we go to the movies, open to fear, and love, and disgust, and rapture, surrendering our brains and hearts to someone else’s vision of the world. We don’t expect to surrender our bodies, too.” — Alyssa Rosenberg: How the Colorado theater shooting exploited one of our last mass, in-person cultural events.