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After Aurora: How Can We Be Safe?

Will the rampage at the midnight showing of the Batman make us rethink security at movie theaters, malls or school events? Join the discussion, vote in the poll.

At least 12 dead and 71 injured, several seriously.

One gunman and one crowded theater.

The spectre of copycats.

Californians woke up Friday morning to live video coming from Aurora, Colo., where James Holmes, a young gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest, lobbed gas canisters, then opened fire during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, a movie expected to gross $200 million this weekend.

He was heavily armed and carried an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols.

The number of deaths and injuries wasn't confirmed at the time this story published. But no matter what the final numbers are, there is one definitive: It's a tragedy.

Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks of 2001, Americans have been on various levels of alert, but anyone with an ounce of cynicism has recognized that movie theaters, malls and school events—so-called soft targets because they are gathering locations with little security—are ripe for domestic terror or deranged madmen.

The Friday morning massacre at the Century 16 in Aurora took place 19 miles and 13 years from Columbine High School, but it’s the kind of tragedy that can open up wounds in every region in America.

All such events—not just the local ones—remind us of just how vulnerable we are.

And they bring the specter of copycats who think they can do it just a little better—or bigger.  

Do we keep the status quo and prove that we haven’t been beaten, or do we make changes because we want to see next year, want to see our kids get married and our grandkids grow up?

The incident Friday morning is likely to start a discussion—a very real, very serious discussion—about personal safety in public places.

Let's start it here.

Should metal detectors become as standard as popcorn machines at movie theaters? Should there be armed security, or will a thick dude in a yellow jacket be enough to stop someone carrying a gun who wants to get in with or without a ticket? Will there be no more dress-up at the theater, which apparently allowed the Aurora gunman to enter with a handgun, a rifle, a gas canister and a gas mask?

What do you think this morning in light of Aurora, the newest name in tragedy?

randy albin July 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
why do these incidents happen in colorado? when you are out and about, hope for the best. maybe then you will get what you wish for and receive the best experience

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