At least 12 dead and by some reports 50 injured, several seriously.
One gunman and one crowded theater.
James Holmes, a young gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest, opened fire during an Aurora, CO, midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, a movie expected to gross $200 million this weekend.
The number of deaths and injured isn't confirmed. But no matter what the final numbers are, there is one definitive: It's a tragedy.
Since the Sept. 1, 2001 terror attacks, Americans have been on various levels of alert, but some with more cynicism have recognized that movie theaters, malls and school events—so-called soft targets because they are gathering locations with little security—are at risk for domestic terror or deranged madmen.
The Friday morning massacre at the Century 16 in Aurora took place 19 miles and 13 years from Columbine High, but it’s the kind of tragedy that can open up wounds in every region in America.
All such events—not just the local ones—remind us of just how vulnerable we are.
Do we keep the status quo and prove that we haven’t been beaten, or do we make changes because we want to be that much safer?
The incident Friday morning is likely to start a discussion about soft targets.
Let's start it here.
Should metal detectors become as standard as popcorn machines at movie theaters? Should there be armed security? Will there be no more dress-up at the theater, which apparently allowed the Aurora gunman to enter with a handgun, a rifle, a gas canister and a gas mask?