James Holmes, suspect in the recent movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado appeared in court for the first time today. Keli Goff, a writer for Loop 21, has made a connection between Holmes and ‘stop and frisk’, the controversial practice employed by the NYPD. The practice has reportedly targeted African-Americans more than whites and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire for his support of it. Now Goff asks the question of whether or not the Aurora incident will change what a gun wielding criminal looks like to the NYPD.
Any time politics are mentioned in the same breath as a tragedy, whether it occurred a decade ago like 9/11, or days ago, like the shooting in Aurora, there will be some who view those doing the mentioning as callous, insensitive and self-serving.
Sometimes that view is spot on. But as plenty of others have already pointed out, there is rarely a better opportunity to engage the public on an issue of great importance than when that issue is forced into the public consciousness by a tragedy. So while I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the victims of the Aurora tragedy I also want to acknowledge that this moment presents an invaluable opportunity for some serious self-reflection by our country, particularly on the issue of gun violence.
Like all of you I am both saddened and angered that some coward robbed so many innocent lives, and in doing so forever robbed our country of any sense of safety and security during one our most innocent and treasured pastimes: watching a movie with our families. But I am also sad and angry at the cowardice many of our elected officials have shown on the issue of gun control in recent years.
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