|Articles on illegal behaviour|
The Aurora shootings refer to an incident that occurred on July 20, 2012. During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman entered a Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado, and randomly opened fire on the film's patrons.
Around 12:38 a.m., the shooter entered the theater wearing a gas mask, a ballistic helmet, and a load-bearing vest. Equipped with a 12-gauge shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, the shooter killed 12 people and wounded 58.
At 12:45 a.m., the police apprehended the sole suspect, James Egan "Jake" Holmes. He reportedly had his hair dyed red and referred to himself as the Joker, a nod to the antagonist of the previous film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. This report has been attributed to then New York Police commissioner Ray Kelly by Colorado prosecutor George Brauchler who actually prosecuted Holmes. However, Brauchler and other officials have said for years that Holmes never referred to himself as the Joker.
Smearing around the blame
In a fashion that can only be described as "not failing to disappoint," the shooting elicited many responses from gun nuts and the religious right:
- Former White House and Pentagon official Douglas McKinnon blamed the shooting on video games.
- Perennial advocate of Matthew 7:1 Bryan Fischer blamed the shootings on gays, liberals, and teaching evolution instead of having prayer in school.
- Voice of reason Rush Limbaugh tried to turn it into a conspiracy to link the movie's villain Bane with Mitt Romney's investment firm Bain Capital, and thus skew the voting results of the upcoming election in Barack Obama's favor.
- Avid skeptic Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said the shooting was a result of the "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs" and wondered why no one else in the theater had brought a gun.
Of course, none of these assertions address the reality that a young man with a history of mental health issues was able to legally purchase large quantities of firearms, ammunition, and body armor from online merchants using funds from student loans, and no warning signals or red flags went up.
Further compounding these issues, an individual known as Ben Chesley disclosed to the Aurora Police Department the entire plan of attack ~3-6 months before the incident occurred and the Aurora Police Department declined to investigate or take any preventative measures.
The shooting has also been the subject of conspiracy theories, some of which link it to subliminal messages in the Batman film itself, and to the later Sandy Hook school shooting.
Colorado has since tightened its gun control legislation. There are greater requirements for background checks, including at gun shows. There are now limits on the amount of ammunition a gun magazine can hold that were not in place before. The National Rifle Association and others successfully unseated some legislators who helped get the new laws passed but failed to repeal the laws themselves.
- ↑ https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/10/joker-aurora-shooting-rumor
- ↑ Douglas MacKinnon. "In Colorado shooting, a lesson lost." The Baltimore Sun. 2012 August 1.
- ↑ David Edwards. "Evangelical radio host blames Colorado shooting on 'the liberals' way'." The Raw Story. 2012 July 24.
- ↑ "The Batman Campaign? (transcript)" The Rush Limbaugh Show. 2012 July 17.
- ↑ Jennifer Bendery. Louie Gohmert: Aurora Shootings Result Of 'Ongoing Attacks On Judeo-Christian Beliefs'." Huffington Post. 2012 July 20.
- ↑ Reuters. "James Holmes, Accused Colorado Gunman, Saw 3 Mental Health Experts Prior To Deadly Shooting." Huffington Post. 2012 August 22.
- ↑ Andrew Moran. "Sandy Hook labeled in Batman film, conspiracies light up Internet." Digital Journal. 2012 December 20.
- ↑ How Colorado has tightened its gun laws since the Aurora shooting