Batman Shootings: What Is the Biggest Issue for You?

Will the mayhem at the Batman premiere in Aurora, Colorado, make us rethink some social issues - like guns, movie violence and event terrorist opportunities?

One gunman and one crowded theater. At least 12 dead and dozens injured, several seriously. For the premiere of a movie that earned a PG-13 rating despite what more than one reviewer has called its "incredible violence."

Americans awoke Friday morning to live news coming from Aurora, Colo., where a young gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest allegedly opened fire during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

The movie expected to gross $200 million this weekend. It is playing locally at the Rohnert Park Stadium 16.

At this point, 12 dead and 50 wounded are the number of casualties being reported. As information become available the figures could change up or down. But no matter what the final numbers are, there is one definitive: It's a tragedy.

The Friday morning massacre at the Century 16 in Aurora took place 15 miles and 13 years from Columbine High, where 12 students and one adult were killed by two high school seniors on April 20, 1999.

At the theater, the suspect is identified as James Holmes, 24, of San Diego. He was a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Medical School campus in Aurora.

In the movie theater last night, he had two handguns, a shotgun and an assault rifle, according to press reports. 

It’s the kind of tragedy that can open up wounds in every region in America. The incident Friday morning is likely to start at least one discussion, and probably several of them.

Should metal detectors become as standard as popcorn machines at movie theaters?

Should gun control laws be revisited?

Should the influence of movie violence be examined?

Will there be no more dress-up at movie theaters, which apparently allowed the Aurora gunman to enter with a handgun, a rifle, a gas canister and a gas mask?

We've listed several of these in the poll below, but you can use the comments to weigh in on the big question: What do you think is the biggest issue in this latest tragedy? 

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Kristina July 21, 2012 at 03:49 PM
My vote didn't show up :(
Christian Kallen July 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Kristina, not sure why your vote didn't show up. The polling tool has been improved so each user can vote once a day, or that's how it's supposed to work...
Janette Brown July 21, 2012 at 05:22 PM
gun control ?? can we really control guns? If someone wanted a gun they could get one . Then only the bad guys would have guns??? I myself would not own a gun. Answers to this problem is complex. I think this man was insane (obvious) and I really think we need to have a better way of treating the mentally ill in this county. Another complex issue with a lot of complex answers. My prayers go out to the families and survivors of this tragic event.
Tom July 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Guns don't kill people...people kill people! Like it or not, we have the right to bear arm here in the U.S.A, our founders made that possible for us in our Constitution. When people abuse that right, by randomly killing people, they should be dealt with to the full extent of the law! Meaning....put them away and throw away the key! My heart goes out to all of the fallen....here in the States and over seas.
Ambrose Bierce July 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Can we really control guns? Guns don't kill people? Of course guns kill people - 12 of them in Aurora. Control guns? The perp bought his guns and ammunition LEGALLY within the past 60 days. If we had stricter gun control, didn't allow semi-automatics to be sold anywhere, and had a cap on ammo, 12 people would be alive. We have all kinds of laws in this country, some I agree with and some I don't. But the sacrosanct attitude toward the 2nd amendment is insane. Times have changed, it's an ambiguous amendment anyway, guns are dangerous and deadly. Don't be a victim without taking a stand: Support Gun Control.
Tom July 21, 2012 at 08:52 PM
It just so happens he used a gun to commit this act, he could have straped a bomb to himself...then what? I read a story that happened in march in SF where 5 people lost their lives to someone with a knife...should we now ban knives? Planes were used not long ago to kill over 3000 people, do we now ban planes? Deal with the criminals not their choice of weapon. It's really funny when people want to change our Constitution to fit their view of the world. Well, I believe in the whole Contitution and not just parts of it. I won't be a victim without taking a stand : Joining the NRA
Ambrose Bierce July 21, 2012 at 09:00 PM
He used guns because they were legal and he could get them and rack up a big body count. The idea of "banning knives" is a false analogy. Planes kill people all the time - not just 9/11, but on a daily basis in Afghanistan and elsewhere. That's called "war," this is not that, this is a deluded society with itchy fingers and available firearms. If you think you "believe in the whole Constituion and not just part of it," you're conflating a legal document with the Bible. There is no divine right to guns, no matter what the NRA says.
Kristina July 21, 2012 at 09:09 PM
You do remember when we banned alcohol a long time ago....things ended up worse than when it's legal, so we re legalized it. With our technology, sure we could have red flags show up for those who buy a lot of guns or ammunition in a short period of time, but banning them would be completely stupid. We need to look deep down at the real issue....people who are mentally unstable, we have no way to help them in this country, no where for the, to turn. We need to work on the issues behind the weapons.
Tom July 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
It's not what the NRA says, it's what the Constitution says! The NRA just fights to help us keep this right....that's all. Some people may not like guns and don't have to own them...That's their right. But there's no reason to take away my right to own one if I choose to.
Tom July 22, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Amendment II A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
boethius July 23, 2012 at 05:08 AM
What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" is so difficult to comprehend? The comma before is a real important one and saves us from endless debate about what the Constitution means and doesn't take a Supreme Court justice or scholar to interpret or understand it. THAT's why knuckleheads and smart heads alike can own guns.
Janette Brown July 23, 2012 at 06:40 AM
This is almost as fun a debate as the "Hooters" debate !!! surprised Pat C. has not returned to cyber bully us ....LOL
Ambrose Bierce July 23, 2012 at 08:06 PM
For over 200 years the Supreme Court recognized the "well-regulated militia" as corresponding to the National Guard. Now a few years ago the current Court decided it didn't, that what was important was the last clause, "shall not be infringed." Well, if only the Supreme Court were perfect. The reality is that guns do kill people, they're easy to get, and even if (as Tom says) you don't like them and don't have to own them - guess what - you can still be a victim.
Norah Alford July 23, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Instead of obsessing on the accessibility of guns, why isn't there a mass demand for strong National legislation to force mentally ill people to obtain treatment? The most stupid attitude possible is to "require" sick people, who are not capable of making a rational decision to do just that. Too bad good old Ron isn't here to see the nightmare he created when he closed the mental instiitutions. Norah
Ambrose Bierce July 23, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Okay. Instead of taking away guns, lock people up. Not a perfect solution either. The current suspect was completely under the radar of the mental health system (such as it is); the only red flag was raised by the gun club where he applied for target practice! Irony abounds.
Janette Brown July 23, 2012 at 09:24 PM
NO matter what anyone says you do NOT need to own an assault weapon with tons of amo !! Unless you are going to war and why you can not even going hunting with an assault weapon !!! Try shooting a deer with an assault weapon! Hand guns is one thing assault weapons are another! However mental illness is one issue we all can agree on ...that something more needs to be done in America on mental illness.
ladyiamus July 24, 2012 at 04:33 AM
This was not a random shooting. James Holmes was doing exactly what he was supposed to do. Regardless of race...all of us are just a bunch of numbers. We cannot rely on the government to fight our battles. Banning guns is NOT the answer. Putting the "mentally ill" in their place will NOT happen because "they" are what made "them" "mentally ill." This is just a test.
ladyiamus July 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I just have to ask...what or who determines mentally ill? It's all just perception. I may think one is mentally ill for getting an abortion, but you may think its their choice.
Janette Brown July 24, 2012 at 05:18 AM
I think ladyiamus that what qualifies as "mentally ill" is a man that would go inside a crowded theater and shoot men, women and children! ok that said mentally ill is different than insane....he planned this .. an insane person does not plan...he in my opinion not going to get off on the insanity plea ...but sick in the head "mentally ill" YES and its not a matter of "putting the mentally ill in their place (quoting you ) I really am having a hard time following what you are saying ladyiamus? who is "they" and "them" ??? frankly you are beginning to scare me .....
ladyiamus July 24, 2012 at 06:25 AM
If you are scared, then what I am saying is not for you to understand. ( Im actually afraid for you because what I am saying if FAR from scary compared to what is out there in this lovely world of ours.) Did you know that there was a public statement which was released today that said, " We are NOT sure if he will get the death penalty..." So even though there is evidence and he confessed to it...they "arent sure." HMMMM...the degrees of mental illness is beyond my understanding. Killing people in a way this sick pig did is UNacceptable ! But whats sick to me is when "they" allow this to happen and make excuses for it. This sick freakin pig will sit in a nice cell with protection, full meals 3x a day, work out, clean clothes, internet etc, for YEARS all while I am paying for his life of luxury.
Kristina July 24, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Ladyiamus.....I completely agree that this idiot should not get away with what he has done, but for the sake of our country I sure as hell hope that they are just saying they "aren't sure" for media purposes and because everyone has a right to trial. Mental illness or not, you do the crime you pay the time, and for this situation hopefully straight to death row. We all pay while everyone sits in jail, so that will never change. Yes mentally ill people are doing what they are made to do, but some of them can be helped or put away before these tragic things happen.
Janette Brown July 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
There are a lot of people on death row ...Manson for example that I am sick as a tax payer supporting....I agree he is the worse kind of human being . Anyone who kills others, or child molesters or animal abusers are all pigs in my book and should just do them and us a favor and put them out of existence. By the statement "your are beginning to scare me" I just meant your way of expressing yourself is a little different and hard to follow but that's ok . You have made yourself clearer now.
Norah Alford July 24, 2012 at 07:18 PM
FUN? It's agonizing!
Tom July 25, 2012 at 03:40 AM
pdf July 26, 2012 at 05:44 PM
People kill people (intentionally) with guns.
pdf July 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Ambrose...Exactly my sentiments. The constitution has changed with the times (ie. women's right to vote...). Let's take a look at the constitution and revisit some laws that don't apply to this day and age. Remember when the constitution was written and why.
Tom July 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Yes they do pdf, as well as with knives, cars and planes, and as long as that evil exsists in our world, I believe it's everyones right to have the ability to defend themselves against such evil.
Doug Strickland July 29, 2012 at 03:39 PM
If we venture into a debate about guns, and what we attempt to define as "gun control", the it should be a broader discussion that includes the review of the efficacy of concealed carry laws. Colorado IS a concealed carry state, meaning if you own a gun in Colorado, you can carry it with you for personal protection. This is purported to lower massacre-scaled tragedies, since someone ELSE has a gun, and could "fight back". So why didn't this happen? There is no way to eliminate guns in our world. It's like unringing a bell. You can't. And as long as there are ways to hurt and kill others, there will be others hurt and killed. If we didn't have guns, this conversation would probably be about how we are going to control whatever it was that people are using to hurt each other. Humans are violent, many of them, and they will find ways to hurt people. Period.
Doug Strickland July 29, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Perhaps more importantly is how the Amendment does not define Who the people are protecting themselves from. This was addressed by the Supreme Court in v. Heller, defining that you don't need to be part of an army to arm yourself for protection. So while you toy with the definition of militia, understand that at the time of the Constitutions creation, the people had no laws against the possession of guns. It was considered an 'inherent right'. The constitution referred to those regular people forming together to protect this new thing - the country. It did not obviate existing law, nor did it remove any inherent rights of individuals to protect themselves.
Doug Strickland July 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Wait, WHAT?! Are you actually suggesting rounding up the mentally ill and putting them in forced "treatment?! The former Soviet Union called - they want their Health Minister back... Instead of rounding up the "sick" why not behave more like good people, and care for our brothers and sisters well being. If I see a friend is having problems, guide them to better choices. If I sense my friend is losing it, take him to where she can get help. Why do we need to rely on the government to do the right thing?!


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