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The Youngest Victims

Why Mothers Take Babies to Movies

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A 3-month-old was injured and a 6-year-old killed in the movie massacre in Colorado—which has outraged many who wonder what such minors were doing at a Batman flick in the first place. It has a lot to do with expensive moviegoing and our kid-centric culture.

Amid the flurry of tragic and disturbing details released following the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last week that left 12 dead and more than 50 others injured, at least two facts were especially jarring for many parents: Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest person killed at that midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, was just 6 years old, while a 3-month-old infant was among the injured.The outcry was swift and fierce.

Colorado Carnage

Batman Taught Holmes How to Be Nuts

Warner Bros

As the nation reflects on the movie massacre in Aurora, there’s a case to be made that the accused shooter went mad, and that the art and culture around him shaped the kind of lunatic he turned out to be.

Even the most wacked-out nutjob has to learn how to be a lunatic, and always has. In the Middle Ages, he would have known to grow a beard, head to a cave, and play the hermit. During the Industrial Revolution, he would have known to say that all those new gears and levers were messing with his mind.And now, in the early-21st century, he learns that being crazy involves dyeing your hair Joker-red and committing mass murder. In the debate around last weekend’s shootings in Aurora, which took place at the premiere of the new Batman film, it’s easy to feel torn between the notion that violent movies breed actual violence, and the idea that James Holmes, the 24-year-old man police have accused of the crime, is just a madman whose actions speak only for themselves.


Do Women Need Guns?

As the debate over gun control rages in the wake of the Colorado shootings, one self-defense expert tells Abigail Pesta that handguns play an important role in society: they stop rape.

Paxton Quigley remembers the moment she decided to get a gun. It was more than two decades ago, when a female friend in Los Angeles called her late one night with some terrible news. A stranger had broken into her home through a bathroom window. She had called 911, but the police had arrived too late—a half hour after a brutal rape.“I asked my friend, ‘If you’d had a gun, do you think you could have stopped the attacker?’” Quigley recalls. “She said yes.

Sharing the Burden

What Columbine Taught Me

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Liz Carlston, who survived the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, knows what those who lived through the Aurora theater shooting must be going through. From finding gratitude to talking and more talking, her advice on how to heal.

I am so sorry.I am sorry for the lives that were lost. I am sorry for those who have been physically and emotionally wounded. I am sorry for the heavy sense of grief and shock felt in the Aurora community.As a Columbine survivor and graduate, knowing firsthand what it is to encounter unprecedented violence ending in a shattered sense of reality at the graveside of friends and neighbors, I am sorry.Since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, I’ve been blessed to move forward and ultimately choose a joy-filled life.


Colorado Shooter: Insane or Just Plain Evil?

RJ Sangosti, Pool / AP Photo

Defense attorneys for James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people in a packed movie theater, will likely present an insanity defense. But proving it won’t be easy.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, a shackled James Holmes was ushered by deputies into the courtroom of Arapahoe Superior Court Judge William Sylvester. His hair dyed orange, his eyes glassy, the man accused of murdering 12 people in a Colorado movie theater sat about 20 feet from the victims’ family members. During the 10-minute court proceeding, Holmes looked at times like he was in a catatonic state. When Judge Sylvester asked if he understood the charges being brought against him, he sat silent while his public defender Daniel King answered for him.


Christian Bale Visits Shooting Victims

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In Aurora.

It’s what you do that defines you. Actor Christian Bale is in Aurora, Colorado visiting victims of the movie theater shooting. Bale starred in three Batman movies, including The Dark Knight Rises, which was playing during the shooting. A spokesperson for Warner Brothers said, “Mr. Bale is there as himself, not representing Warner Brothers.”

Read it at The Denver Post


87 Gun Deaths a Day

Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Colorado shooting was horrifying. But the real tragedy is how unsurprising it is. James Warren on America’s grim gun-death toll—and why we can’t seem to fix it.

As the nation grieves over the Colorado shooting tragedy, consider this less singularly eventful but more intrinsic reality: In Chicago alone, over 4,000 people age 21 or younger have been shot in the last four years.The nation averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control. The crime lab’s research estimates the annual cost of gun violence to society at $100 billion.

Don’t Blame Batman

Nolan’s Twisted Fiction

Warner Bros. Pictures

Yes, Batman may be violent—but that’s not why a madman shot up a Colorado theater. Will Brooker writes that the nuanced ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy offers up more complicated answers.

There are connections to be drawn between the tragic events at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last week, and the movie those people had come to see, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. But they’re not the obvious ones. Yes, we can find parallels to last Friday’s news if we search the 73-year history of Batman: there have been a lot of Batman stories in that time, across TV, movies, and comic books, and some of them may seem to offer eerie coincidences.


It’s Not About The Guns

RJ Sangosti, Denver Post / AP Photos

What these mass slaughters have in common has less to do with the ease of getting weapons than with our society’s reaction to monstrous acts perpetrated by those with mental illness, writes David Dow.

I’ve been a gun-control advocate for thirty years, but when I received two emails Friday afternoon advocating gun control while the bodies in Aurora, Colo. were still warm, the solicitations left me cold. It’s not just because the exploitation of a tragedy to achieve a political objective is obscene; it’s because we’ve had this argument before, we know it by heart, and it doesn’t matter a whit.Gun-control advocates say if we had more rigorous laws, Columbine and Virginia Tech, and now Aurora, would not have happened.


Holmes’s Campus Mayhem

RJ Sangosti / AP Photo / Denver Post

Six weeks after dropping out, the alleged shooter becomes the big man on campus in a chilling turn of events. Christine Pelisek and Eliza Shapiro report.

Just four hours before a dazed James Holmes appeared in Arapahoe County Court yesterday sporting a Joker-esque orange-and-red coif, a suspicious letter was slipped under a door in the central administrative building of the university where the suspected gunman had studied. Security officers dispatched a robot to check the letter for explosives or chemicals, but didn’t find any. Then around noon, a second letter was delivered to the central mailroom on campus, causing another flurry of anxiety.

Selfless Heroes

Good Rises in Aurora

Pete Souza / The White House

The president spoke movingly about the courage of those who risked their lives to save others in Colorado. But to see the ‘brighter day’ he promised, we’ll all need some courage, says Michael Daly.

When he stepped before the news cameras after visiting the wounded in Colorado on Sunday, President Obama quoted Revelation 21:4, a verse about finding the end of grief in grace.But it was another kind of scripture, one written by human action during those horrific moments in a movie theater, that filled the president’s face with same emotions many of us of every faith were feeling.If the devil was personified by the pure evil of the movie-theater gunman, then God was to be found in the pure goodness of those who showed such selfless courage in the face of the bullets.


Hospital Releases 2 Shooting Victims

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While CU defends supporting Holmes.

Colorado hospitals on Monday released two more of the victims of the deadly shooting spree that wounded 58 and killed 12. The University of Colorado Hospital said one of its patients had been discharged, while nine remain there—including five in critical condition. The Medical Center of Aurora also discharged a patient, while still having five patients in the center, two in critical condition. Meanwhile, the University of Colorado defended academic and personal support given to the suspect, James Holmes, 24, while he was a student there. Holmes received $171,024 from the National Institute of Health in his first year of the Ph.D program at CU, of which $26,000 is set aside for “personal expenses.”

Read it at Associated Press


Warner Bros. to Donate Some Profits

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

To Colorado shooting victims.

Warner Brothers, the studio behind The Dark Knight Rises, will make a “substantial” donation to victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting, sources told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. The studio is reportedly in talks with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office to make a lump sum donation. Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer will reportedly set out a companywide email Monday evening advising employees of the donation and how any individual can personally donate. Despite the shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, The Dark Knight Rises still made $160.9 million in three days, the best opening for a non-3D film ever.

Read it at The Hollywood Reporter


Lawyer: Holmes's Family Supports Him

RJ Sangosti, Pool / Getty Images

Mother disputes earlier reports that she knew son was troubled.

The attorney for James Holmes's family, Lisa Damiani, said she could not comment on the whereabouts of Holmes’s family, but insisted that they support the shooting suspect, during a press conference on Monday. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday in Aurora, Colorado, and he appeared in court on Monday. Damiani read a statement from Holmes’s mother, Arlene Holmes. Arlene Holmes reportedly told ABC News “you have the right person,” in the statement, Damiani said Holmes “was referring to myself” when asked if she had a 24-year-old son named James who lived in Aurora.

Read it at Denver Post

Cheat Sheet

6 Facts About James Holmes

From left: Getty Images; AP Photo

He had a quiet upbringing, an unusual online presence, and was ‘strangely quiet,’ according to one professor. What we know about the Colorado shooting suspect.

He Had an Unremarkable UpbringingRaised in quiet neighborhood in suburban San Diego, James Holmes seemed like a normal, yet quiet, kid. His mother, Arlene, worked as a nurse and was a regular attendee and volunteer at a nearby church. Robert, James’s father, was a software manager who had authored studies for the Navy and Marine Corps. The Holmes family tree stretches back to the Mayflower. James was an honors student at Westview High School, but for an unknown reason didn’t walk in his graduation ceremony.

Holmes’s Dazed Court Showing

In his first appearance since allegedly killing a dozen people, the suspected Colorado shooter struggled to keep his eyes open as he faced the judge.

More on the Colorado Shooting

The Suspect

What We Know About James Holmes

6 Facts About James Holmes

6 Facts About James Holmes

What we know about Colorado’s shooting suspect.

American Gentility

The Batman Shooter’s Mayflower Ancestry


The Shooter’s Evil Plan


‘This Could Have Happened Here’


Holmes’s Life in Aurora


What About Gun Control?

My Gun Control Fantasy

My Gun Control Fantasy

Obama and Romney won’t even mention the ‘g’ word after the tragedy in Aurora. That’s pathetic, writes Judith Miller. What if four ex-presidents got together to do the right thing?


The NRA’s Bizarre Priorities

No End in Sight

Carolyn McCarthy’s Lonely Crusade


Why Don’t Mass Shootings Lead to Gun Control?

Seize the Moment

Endorse Gun Control, Mitt!


Photos & Video From the Scene

Tweets From the ‘Dark Knight’ Shooting

Tweets From the ‘Dark Knight’ Shooting

A gunman killed 12 and wounded countless others at a shooting 15 minutes into a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. These are tweets, photos, and videos from the #theatershooting scene.


Colorado’s Night of Horror


Witnesses on the Colorado Shooting


The Mind of a Killer

A Diabolical Villain

A Diabolical Villain

No one seems to know what set off the murders in a movie theater, but the discussion should be about whether the NRA is also culpable, writes Michael Daly.

Hazy Profile

What Makes a Mass Murderer Tick?

Expert Advice

How to Survive a Disaster


Hollywood Reacts

Hollywood Looks Within

Hollywood Looks Within

Few in Hollywood think “The Dark Knight Rises’ caused the tragedy in Colorado. But some do wonder if popular culture has desensitized people to the very real consequences of violence.

Obama 'Heartbroken' By Shooting

At a campaign stop in Florida, the president said the day wasn't about politics. Ultimately, what matters most is 'how we choose to treat one another and love one another,' he told the crowd.