After the Aurora Massacre – What Can We Learn
I don’t think that there is a single person who upon hearing about the theatre massacre in Aurora, CO wasn’t emotionally impacted. It hits our senses like a ton of bricks and we are so angry that the behavior of one person has not only taken the lives of so many but also has impacted forever the rest of the people in the theatre, their families, friends and every other person who hears this story. We can’t understand this. Here is a group of people who were out to enjoy themselves at a movie premiere having their lives completely altered forever. My question is
If you think that the changes that you see in another person may result in danger to the individual or someone else, don’t just ignore it. You may be wrong and nothing is lost. But, if you are right, you just might prevent an event of catastrophic proportions and get help for the person who is in need before they ruin their own life and the lives of those around them.
I, personally, have witnessed a murder. One man shot another man at point blank range just 5 feet away from my driver’s side car window. After he killed him, he looked at me and told me to get out of there, and I did exactly that before he might have decided to change his mine and shoot me as well. I was fortunate to escape with my life but the murder is forever etched in my mind. I knew the murderer from having seen him around but did not know the person who was murdered other than having seen him that evening. What I knew of the killer was that he was rather quiet, always pretty much stayed to himself but was always a very polite person. But, what if I had known the killer better? Could I have done something that would have kept this murder from ever happening?
I have since learned that no one “just loses it” and kills someone else. This theatre killer is just one more example that proves that there are usually signs of trouble. Everyone was shocked when this person’s mother told the police that they had the right person so what did this mother know that led her to say this and why did she not say something if she knew that her son was in trouble? What changes did she see in her son that made her aware of potential danger? Did she do anything to reach out to him to help him? One of the most important things that I know is that “if you see something, say something”. If you think that the changes that you see in another person may result in danger to the individual or someone else, don’t just ignore it. You may be wrong and nothing is lost. But, if you are right, you just might prevent an event of catastrophic proportions and get help for the person who is in need before they ruin their own life and the lives of those around them.
The other most important factor is to always be aware of your surroundings. Whether it is your workplace, the local restaurant that you frequent, your child’s school, the mall, or as in this case, a movie theatre, check out your surroundings. Be aware of the location of the exits. Become familiar with places where you might be able to reach where you can hide out. Think about what you might do to protect yourself and those with you if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where someone has entered your space with a weapon.
Think of it as the same thing as when you are given instructions on an airplane about what you should do in case of an emergency. It is also the reason that we do fire drills and earthquake drills. That pre-planning is not done to scare you into worrying that the plane is going to crash or that you will have a fire in your home or an earthquake is going to hit your area. It is to help you to survive should such an emergency arise. So should you prepare yourself for any imminent threat that may present itself. If you are prepared, you will improve your chances of survival by acting and reacting according to the script that you have already rehearsed rather than having no idea of what to do next. It might just save your life!
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