Despite distance, Colorado tragedy hits close to home

Like millions of others worldwide, there was a large number of University students who attended the midnight premier of the highly anticipated film “The Dark Knight Rises” in Champaign on Friday.

Some dressed to take the form of the Caped Crusader for the night, while others settled for T-shirts with the unmistakable Batman logo ironed on their shirts. This was an event for a younger demographic.

At some point during the showing at a theater in Aurora, Colo., the moviegoing experience was interrupted by a shooting rampage by a gunman and his semiautomatic assault rifle.

The alleged shooter, James Holmes, is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 in one of the worst mass shootings in American history.

“This could have happened to anyone” is an especially apropos phrase that comes to mind. The gunman opened fire on a different version of us.

The events in Colorado are overwhelming and troubling. The ritual of going to the movie theater is so ingrained in the American psyche as safe and fun, and a horrific man took advantage of the ritual to fill a theater with lethal ammunition.

If only Batman were real. Perhaps he could have stopped the tragedy.

Talks regarding the merits of gun control will come, but this is also a time for mourning and reflection.

It can be argued that a national headline hasn’t hit as close to home to college students as this since the shootings at Northern Illinois.

We at The Daily Illini send our sincerest regrets to the Aurora community and especially to those affected by attack.