Late yesterday afternoon, I came this close to publishing a Facebook status poking fun at those who were going to see the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I even began writing the thing:
To anyone out there who is standing in line to buy “Batman” movie tickets while dressed as Batman…
That’s as far as I got. I never settled on a punchline, but the ones I considered all had lighthearted fun at the expense of those planning to brave large crowds and sleepiness in order to watch a movie they could easily see tomorrow, next weekend or a month from now.
I canceled the status, and I’m glad I did.
This morning, I — along with the rest of the world — awoke to discover a gunman had entered a midnight premiere of the film in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire. Twelve people died and dozens were injured. An unknown number of lives were changed forever.
The alleged shooter was a 24-year-old named James Holmes, who until recently had been a PhD student at the University of Colorado. At the time of this writing, authorities are trying to discover his motives, as well as secure his apartment, which apparently is booby-trapped and contains explosives.
In the days and weeks to come, we’ll undoubtedly learn more about this young man. We will also, hopefully, learn more about his victims. If we’re fortunate, we won’t have to endure any copycat gunman. If we’re lucky, our judicial system will hand Mr. Holmes the sentence he deserves.
And if we’re smart, we’ll all be reminded how precious life is and how none of us, no not one, know our final hour. No one walking into that Colorado theater, not even those dressed as the Caped Crusader, knew what was about to happen to them. None of them knew their Father in Heaven would be calling some of them home.
If they had known, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have spent their final hours at a movie theater.
And they most certainly wouldn’t have spent it thinking of “funny” things to write on Facebook.