The big news this morning is the mass shooting incident in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. I don't want to spend time reporting the news since you can get better details elsewhere online. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this senseless crime.
What can we learn? What can we take away from another mass killing like this one?
First, I think this reiterates the age old lesson that this type of thing can happen to anyone anywhere. If you live in society you are not immune to violence. Also, this may send home a unique message that your children are not safe either. On a Thursday midnight movie showing the majority of the victims are of a younger demographic, out of school for the summer.
Next, gun control is a sensitive political topic. People from both sides of the debate will use this occurrence as further proof to solidify their position in the debate. While its obvious on which side of the debate I stand (as a firearm instructor and proponent of firearm education) I do think that we often miss the point. The lesson that must be learned is that regardless of how you feel about the “right to bear arms” you currently live in a society where people can and do purchase firearms for personal use. That reality must be accepted so that you can move forward in preparing yourself and your loved ones to deal with and react properly to situations that will exist as a bi-product of that reality… like it or not. The only choice you don't have is to move forward in life ignoring that reality.
Lastly, and naturally following my sequence of thought, this will serve as one more situation stuck to your brain that will hopefully serve to help you better understand how you would react in a similar circumstance. You cannot help but think, what would I have done if I had been there? What would my children have done? As sad as these things are, they can serve to help you create a stronger mental determination designed to give you clarity if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
Let me conclude by saying that if you are a firearm owner and/or concealed carry permit holder, you need to make some serious decisions. You need to think about what you are willing to kill for and what you are willing to die for. That is a personal decision that will be a little different for everyone. You must have a deep down conviction about what and who you are really willing to defend with deadly force. Think about it and think about today's incident. Think about the people who have lost loved ones to this awful act of violence.