[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 54°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 47°F
Monday, May 2, 2016

No other direction for blame with shooting incident

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This should be a time for healing.

A time of remembrance.

A time for the majority of us to step back and not provide an opinion.

Just take a breath, sit back and reflect.

On Friday, July 20, during a midnight screening of, "The Dark Knight Rises," a man walked into the theater, set off canisters filled with either smoke or tear gas, and began firing.

The man, later identified as James Holmes, 24, killed 12 people and injured close to 60.

It has been reported Holmes purchased a ticket for the film, walked to the back exit, propped it open, walked to his vehicle and put on body armour and a gas mask.

It was reported after he surrendered to police officers, he said, "I am the Joker," the character famously portrayed by the late Heath Ledger in the last Batman film.

Later that day, an Evangelical Christian Minister took to Twitter and released the following: "When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it."

Later that day, a Republican Congressman from Texas basically stated the shooting could be linked to the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Another person later tweeted the shooting should be compared to abortion.

Still, one day later, an ABC reporter took to the airwaves and stated the shooter may be connected to the Colorado Tea Party.

His evidence? A man named James Holmes was a member of the Colorado Tea Party.

The man later turned out to be a James Holmes who was in his 50s.


Actually, that's a big oops.

Why would this even become a political issue?

I can understand President Obama going to Aurora, Colo., to speak. Others before him have done similar things.

But what I can't understand is why does something like this, a completely senseless act, become political fodder?

Just moments after coming to the office Sunday, I called Clay County Republican Party Chair Jodi Lohrman.

I wanted to hear her thoughts on a reporter immediately speculating the shooter may be a Tea Party member.

"I don't know if it's because it's a political year or the nation is so polarized in its beliefs," Lohrman said.

While speaking with Jodi, it became clear to me that she didn't see this as a political issue.

All I could really think was thank goodness.

Rather, she saw this entire episode as an individual act. No one else is to blame.

The movie, its directors, actors, or series of films shouldn't take blame.

This is not a political issue, although the prospect of gun control may come up now -- especially with this being an election year.

But Jodi and I seemed to agree.

This is all about an individual. One person who has allegedly killed more than 10 people.

"I think it's just mankind not taking responsibility for actions," she said. "It's troubling to me that we don't take individual responsibility and that needs to be done ... really that's the whole basis of what our country was built upon. You can't have freedom without responsibility."

We talked about the response from host Glenn Beck, who elected to rip the ABC reporter for his reporting.

My response? Why didn't Mr. Beck also rip the others, who laid blame in every other direction except for the person who should be held responsible? Why?

Why is it important to cherry pick in these instances?

It's approximately 8 p.m., Sunday evening, and I am finishing this column.

The television is on the Fox News Channel. It's the Mike Huckabee Show.

Huckabee opened his show with dialogue about the shootings. He discussed how God has been taken out of school and this is partly to blame for acts like this.

I can say I don't recall praying while attending school. Maybe I did, but that has been a few years ago.

But I haven't decided to purchase a weapon and conduct a mass killing.

For that matter, I have watched the first two Batman films. Ledger's portrayal of The Joker didn't convince me that a life of crime was the way to go.

I liken this entire situation to that of someone who grows fruit.

If you own an apple orchard, you will have some bad apples, every year.

We live in a nation of more than 300 million people.

Even we have some bad apples.

But for some reason, it's acceptable to look for blame everywhere else.

That just doesn't make sense, does it?

No one else other than the person firing those weapons should be blamed.

This is not a political issue.

This is not a stepping stone for gun control.

This is an unfortunate situation that didn't have to happen.

At all.