It’s been 5 years since that tragically fateful night in Aurora, Colorado, when one man entered a sold-out movie theater armed with assortment of weapons and opened fire. In the aftermath of this unimaginable attack, 70 people were left injured, and 12 were killed. It was the highest casualty count of any shooting attack in the United States at the time.
I remember waking up to read the news the following morning and being aghast at what I had found. The attack had really hit a nerve with me, and it turns out that even being a thousand miles away, it still hit close to home. The sister of a girl I grew up with in school had been one of the 12 victims. She was there on a date to see the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
It could have just as easily been me in that theater, or any one of us movie fans. After connecting so deeply with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I had anxiously awaited years for this final chapter. This was our movie, and this was our moment to enjoy it, but this coward had taken that from us. I was left in a state of disbelief, sadness, and anger. I felt guilty to still want to see it. A shadow had been cast over the entire movie, and not even Batman could save us from what had happened.
I didn’t see the movie in theaters until probably a week or two later. I went to the movies to see it with my parents, and there was definitely a different feeling in the air. Still to this day I can’t help but look for the exits after sitting down for a movie. It still crosses my mind every single time. This senseless act of violence spelled a dark time for movie theaters.
Even 5 years later, as I’m getting ready to leave to see Christopher Nolan’s newest film, Dunkirk, I find myself wondering just how far have we’ve come. Our gun control laws still fail us. We’ve had even worse shootings in America since. It’s up to us to be aware and to take action to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.
5 Minute Movie Guy