When I first heard the news the other day, I tried really hard not to think too much about it. I preoccupied myself with other things to keep myself from thinking about it, but now, today, I realized I could not get it out of my mind. For much of the night last night, I looked online and tried to learn about the victims as much as I can. I don’t know why. Perhaps I wanted to make a personal connection to who they were… get to know them for some reason.
But why? Why do I care? I guess it’s because these people may have been geeks like me. They were, after all, in the cinema to watch Batman. I myself am planning to watch it tomorrow. Across the thousands of miles that was our connection. These people had something similar with me. It was as if it was me in that cinema. It could have been me.
Who is to blame? James Holmes? Guns? It is true that it is James who did the killing, but I dare you to deny that if he had an axe instead of guns, he would have killed far less people. Guns are a big part of why these 12 people are dead. This is something America needs to accept if they wish to keep the death toll from things like this down. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure many in America would not. And that’s the tragedy. And so more of this will happen. Denial makes it inevitable.
Here in the Philippines, it has been a part of life to submit oneself to bag and body checks whenever one enters malls, hotels, schools, transport depots, public buildings and so forth. This all came about after a spate of bombings in the 90s that resulted in tightened security across the country. It’s a measure that’s never really gone away. People have come to accept it as a way of life, and in fact, people feel weird and strangely insecure when no such checks are made or if such checks are made so perfunctorily.
It is certainly some sacrifice on personal freedom, but it’s a sacrifice I am personally willing to pay. I think the time is coming that America may need to adopt such measures. It’s a sad world that we have to do this, but this is now a part of life. We can take the negative view and consider it oppressive, but I think it’s all a matter of choosing, and fighting to see the good in things.
My condolences go out to all the families who have lost loved ones. In spite of what I said earlier, I’m truly hoping these things will never happen again.