By Mike Ullery
Most everyone has, by now, heard about the tragic shootings in a Colorado movie theatre on Friday morning.
There is no doubt that this was a very tragic event. I am sure that
all of us share in the sadness, sorrow and shock at the events that
This is perhaps jumping the gun, but I am already filled with
apprehension as to the stories and angles that will be sought, as well
as the conclusions to be drawn by members of the media and the public as
the investigation into this horrible act unfolds.
Our first concern is, as it should be, for the victims and their
families. News hounds are already searching for anyone who might have
known someone who went to school with the cousin of one of the victims.
And then, there is — the shooting suspect.
From our perspective on this case less than 24 hours after the
shootings, we have a young man in his early 20’s who, allegedly entered
the theatre after first tossing either smoke or gas, then began shooting
Police apparently apprehended the suspect outside the theatre, still in possession of one, or more weapons.
I know that everyone, myself included, would love to know the answer to one question, "Why?" We may, or may not, ever truly know the answer to that question.
Police will investigate to learn more. Psychologists will undoubtedly get a crack at the suspect. CNN probably has Dr. Gupta already preparing his dissertation
into the suspect's state of mind at the time as well as his sanity. The
remaining members of the media will follow every move made by the
suspect. They will probably also track down his family, if they have not
already done that.
None of this is new. One has only to look at other high-profile cases
over the years. Lee Harvey Oswald comes to mind. It was the media's
obsession with the man who killed President John F. Kennedy that put
Dallas Times-Herald photographer Robert Jackson in the parking garage at
Dallas Police Headquarters to document that moment when Jack Ruby
killed Kennedy's assassin.
So it shall also be with the Colorado shooting suspect. His life will
be put under a microscope. His family will be hounded. Everyone will
want to know why he did "it." What is sad, is that even if the suspect
bares his soul, certain factions of the media will not believe him and
will continue to search for their own version of the truth.
When all is said and done, will any of it matter? Sure, knowing why
might answer some questions. Will knowing why a young man opened fire on
a theatre full of innocent people bring back those he murdered? Will it
ease the pain of the wounded or lessen the pain of family members?
Does anyone care to place a bet on the phrase, "insanity plea" being
thrown about as a defense attorney or public defender weighs in on this
Whether, or not, the suspect is sane should have no bearing at all on
this case. Why he chose to massacre innocent people should not matter
in this case.
This will turn out to be a prime case of how screwed up our justice
system is in America. Granted, everyone is innocent until proven guilty
... beyond a reasonable doubt.
What about times where someone commits a crime, or crimes, so heinous
that there is but one alternative, to remove that person from our
society? What about when those crimes are committed in a situation where
there is absolutely no doubt as to who perpetrated the act?
There are some acts where "why" does play an important factor. There
are some acts that are so heinous that "why" should be of no
If it is determined that the young man in custody for the early
morning shootings in the Colorado movie theatre, is without a doubt, the
man who pulled the trigger, time, after time, after time, shooting down
men, women and children, in cold blood, then there is only one fate
that can be handed down.
This young man should then be executed. If he is, in fact, guilty,
his trial should be held quickly. Evidence should be presented. If it is
determined that he did perpetrate the crime, he should be sentenced to
death, the sentence to be carried out immediately.
End of story.