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Aurora shootings

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The Aurora shootings refer to an incident that occurred on 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. Currently, there is a gag order for lawyers and the police in regards to this incident.

Smearing around the blame[edit]

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:

Of course, none of these assertions address the reality that a young man with a history of mental health issues[5] 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.

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.[6]


Colorado has since tightened its gun control legislation. There is greater requirement for background checks including checks at gun shows. There are now limits on the amount of ammunition a gun magazine can hold which 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.[7]

See also[edit]