Editor's note: An editor at a sister Patch in Urbandale, Iowa reflects on how close to home the Aurora, Colo. shooting hits, the morning after her 19-year-old son attended a midnight showing.
By now, you've probably read or watched the horrific news that a lone gunman entered an Aurora, CO, movie theater and shot and killed at least a dozen people, wounding 50 more people who were watching the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises."
As I watch and read the news, I'm thinking of my 19-year-old son, sleeping safely in his bed after going to a similar midnight showing of the movie in Urbandale.
His Facebook page was open on my computer when I got up. There were dozens of posts at 3 a.m. from kids who were emotionally blown away by the movie. The best film ever, they said, oblivious to what had happened two states away.
I wondered how I would have reacted if I were in that Colorado theater. A gunman in black comes in, shoots at the ceiling, sets off a gas canister, possibly of tear gas, and begins shooting people. Like fish in a barrel.
Would I have run for the exit? He shot people who did. Would I have been frozen in terror. Would I have hid? Protected a family member? Would I have survived? Would my son have survived?
Will I ever feel safe in a movie theater again?
Sadly, I think we'll be horrified for a few days. Movie theaters will tighten security. Perhaps we'll have to go through metal detectors to get into them, as we do at airports. And we'll accept this as a fact of modern life.
I flew after 9-11. I sent my children to school after the Columbine school shootings.
Yet, I wonder when America will develop the political will to make guns harder to get and own. How many more horrific events do we have to become immune to?
Will it ever change?