I tried to imagine what it was like in that theater. Maybe meeting up with a group of friends, or on a first date, or finally getting that long-awaited night out with a spouse. Having a lap full of buttered popcorn or Reese's Pieces. Making jokes about the lame previews or updating a Facebook status. And having absolutely no idea, that in just a few minutes, a man named James Holmes would sneak in the back door and start shooting people.
I don't understand the kind of evil that lives inside a man like James Holmes. As a society, we will probably try to throw out new legislation to fix it, but unfortunately, laws do not protect us from people who break laws.
Can you imagine the panic in that room? Hearing the screams? Watching the shadow silhouettes drop to floor?
I honestly can't. I tried to, but that kind of horror is literally unimaginable to me. Unless you were there, I don't think that you can truly understand what it was like in that room.
Even bearing that in mind, I couldn't help but be upset when I watched a television interview with theater survivor, Jamie Rohrs.
Many people have criticized them for taking two young children to a midnight movie premier, but I won't. I've got a bigger complaint here, which comes from Rohrs' statement below and what he subsequently did as a result.
"I'm trying to keep him low.... and he's crying, " Rohrs said. "People are running all over. I'm tripping and falling. I don't know if I laid him down or sat him down. I'm wondering maybe there's more of them. [I'm thinking] 'He's crying and they're going to come get me.' I look up to see if I can run. I'm ducking, dodging, turning left, turning right... Every time you hear a gun shot, it's like, 'Oh, I'm dead.'"
"I'm just disoriented after I put him down, " Rohrs said. "I'm just waiting for me to hit the ground and fall down dead. You could see the gunfire and people are dropping."
So Rohrs just left his infant son on the floor, jumped over the balcony, ran outside, and drove away. He only returned after his fiancee called him and told him that she and the children were safe.
I understand that it was fight or flight at that point. What I don't understand is how any parent leaves his baby there to be crushed or shot to death as he runs away.
I've read many articles defending this anti-hero.
"He put his son down, not because his crying was alerting the gunman to his whereabouts, but so he would be safe under the line of gunfire."
First off, Rohrs is the one who said that the baby's crying was alerting the gunman to his whereabouts, not everybody else. And secondly, when did leaving a baby on the ground to be trampled to death become the safer choice? If I was a baby, I'd take my chances with the gunman.
"It would have been too hard to get out with his son."
Really? Because I've held a 4-month old son before and I remember that it's not that difficult. When my son was that age, I could securely cradle him in one arm and do just about anything with the other.... laundry, help my daughter with her homework, type an email. And none of those were life or death situations, obviously.
A 4-month old is the easiest child to carry out! It's a good thing that nobody left him with the 4-year-old instead. Imagine the excuses then.
And, Rohrs, if you've having trouble with the whole parenting concept above, just think of it just like holding a football and running 100-yards to score a touchdown. That might help.
"There was nothing he could do to protect his son."
Maybe not. Many innocent people lost their lives in that theater to no fault of their own.
But as sure as I'm sitting here, there is one thing that I know for certain: I would give my life to save either of my children's lives in an instant. If all I could do was use my body as a human shield, that's exactly what I would do.
You might argue that it's easy for me to say since I've never been in that kind of life or death situation, and I would have to agree with you.
So instead of me, let's use Rohrs' fiancee as an example. She saw the gunman coming in her direction, so she moved her daughter and took a sharpnel through the thigh and ankle. Same theater, same crisis, same panic. One parent runs away and the other protects her child.
"He did what he had to do to survive."
Maybe. But if my husband and children were facing death, I wouldn't want to run away and leave them there. I would want to stay and face it together. Because if I left them there? All that guilt? All that sadness? Living life knowing that I had abandoned my family wouldn't be living life at all.
When Legarreta and the children were safe at the hospital, she called Rohrs. He drove to see them, and this is when he decided to make his romantic proposal of marriage.
"He just looked at me and he said, 'I know this is not the time and place, but will you marry me?' And I said, 'Yes,'" Legarreta told CNN.
"It just smacked me in the face," Rohrs told Dateline. "I realized, 'Yes, this is the one.' And how she took such good care of our children. Just got 'em out safe. I'm just so thankful for her."
Good freaking grief.
Have you ever known of a time when somebody proposed out of guilt and it actually worked out?
Because nothing says, "I love you", like, "Will you marry me because I cheated with your sister?" Or, "Will you marry me because I gambled away your money?" Or, "Will you marry me because I left you and our children to die at the hand of a crazed gunman?"
But Legarreta said yes. Bless her heart.
That's the emotion talking, people. Because just a few hours before, she had looked death in the eye and said, "Not today". She held her babies close, thinking it was the last moment that she would have with them on this earth. She felt a piercing pain in her leg and wondered if the next shot would be through her head.
If they do get married, I wouldn't be shocked if they were contributing to the divorce rate shortly thereafter.
My only advice to Jamie Rohrs is to take a look at the character in the movie that you were so desperate to see. Heroes don't just live in comic books, dude. They don't just live on movie screens. They don't just live behind masks.
Heroes live among us.
It's the man who breaks into the plane cockpit on 9/11. It's the fireman who pulls a woman from her burning home. It's the 19-year-old stranger who steps in and protects a mother and her children.
And it's the mother who takes a bullet for her 4-year-old daughter in a Colorado theater.
Good news, Rohrs. Looks like you're marrying up.
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