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Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: Snellville Reacts

Snellville community leaders react to last night's shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Col.

Reports flooded in this morning of a shooting that took place during a viewing of Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Col.  Suspect James Holmes, 24, tossed tear gas into the crowd and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 38.  

Pastor John Byerly of weighed in with his own thoughts in a conversation with Snellville Patch.  

"Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims and their familes in this senseless tragedy," said Rev. Byerly.  "I don't think any of us  can understand what drives a person to do such evil. Things like this can drive us to fear and despair, but I hope they drive us instead to faith and courage. It is the Lord's help we need more than any in this nation.

Evil will not triumph where faith is strong."  

had a similar reaction to the news, expressing sympathy to the families of the victims.  He noted the amount of preparation it must have taken for the suspect to have pulled off such a massive attack.

"Whenever something like this occurs, we immediately try to determine the reason, but unfortunately, I don't believe there is one," said Emanuel, "aside from the obvious- the perpetrator is mentally disturbed. I can think of no other reason for a person to randomly shoot or assault people...

Of course, the question that immediately comes to mind is, 'How do we prevent something like this from happening in the future?' Hopefully, we can find a way to better identify and help people who are intent on hurting others." 

One Snellville Patch reader posted on our Facebook page:

"A very dark night for many....this could happen anywhere. Security I imagine for movie outlets will have to be increase like other events in our world. I pray for the families...."

(Editor's note:  Snellville Patch has reached out to other community leaders for their reaction, and will continue to update this story.)  

Does the world feel less safe than it has in the past?  Should more security measures be imposed in public spaces?

4 Horseshoes July 21, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Im pretty sure one of the largest mass killings in US history was perpetrated by box cutters.
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 01:47 AM
4 Horseshoes, The people who died at the Colorado theater last night are only 12 of the 34 people statistics tell us will die from gunviolence today—and among 19,000 murdered with guns since the attack on Representative Giffords in Tuscon.This beats the box cutters.
Kenneth Stepp July 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
4 Horse You make a good point. I guess we could make owning boxcutters illegal. That sounds like a great idea. I wonder why the left wing members in America haven't mentioned making boxcutters illegal. At the least we should strengthen the laws on buying them at boxcutter shows. And making multi blade boxcutters illegal. maybe even prosecute anyone that owns a boxcutter. Lets pray for people that owns boxcutters. They could go crazy at any moment. As you all know a boxcutter by itself could go nuts and kill people. Maybe a good civil lawyer could sue a boxcutter manufacturer because their product can kill without human involvement. I honestly believe we've made progress today. We may have saved lives. Tomorrow I will purge my home of boxcutters so that my family will be safe. Thank you 4 Horse. Regulating boxcutters could be all America needs to solve the violent crime issues. George, are we in agreement now? That is the same logic the left uses when they speak of American citizens owning guns isn't it?
4 Horseshoes July 21, 2012 at 02:47 AM
George Do you actually try to find facts before you post??? An estimated 14,748 persons were murdered nationwide in 2010. This was a 4.2 percent decrease from the 2009 estimate, a 14.8 percent decrease from the 2006 figure, and an 8.0 percent decrease from the 2001 estimate. Please read more! http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime/murdermain I guess knives dont kill people ? I guess we need to regulate hands and feet too....seems like they murder people too. And again please do your research! http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls I was taught and still believe in the saying "An armed society is a polite society". - Robert A. Heinlein
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 01:46 PM
4 Horseshoes Yes, I always check my facts,let me refer you to a web site supported by over 600 mayors of both parties in the United States.The web site is www.fixgunchecks.org The difference in numbers comes for the length of the time period.Let me quote again what I said,"since the attack on Rep. Gifford"which is over a year ago and explains the difference in numbers. Glad to be of help and appreciate your interest in this important issue.
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Kenneth Stepp, At least against box cutters a person stands a chance.This person purchased legally a AR15 Assault rifle,a Remington-12 guage shotgun, two .40 caliber glock handguns,6000 rounds of ammunition,with a 100 round magazine for the assault rifle.Your logic appears to have some fallacies.
Dave Emanuel July 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Let me get this straight George. You favor more control of guns by the same government that supplied automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels. And just so I'm clear, should that government confiscate guns from law abiding citizens to bolster its supplies, or should the government use tax dollars to purchase the guns it supplies to the cartels? Also, when these guns are used to commit crimes against United States citizens, should Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies lodge a protest with the Mexican government or the US government? Did you ever stop to think that many of the guns that are illegally in the hands of criminals were sourced outside this country? As for the effectiveness of gun control, let's look at the firearm-related crime statistics for Mexico where gun ownership is highly restricted, if not outright prohibited. 12,903 homicides in the first nine months of 2011-- Mexico's violent murder rate is more than twice that in the US.
Kenneth Stepp July 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Dave I have a friend in Canada that lives in an area where guns of all kind are prohibited. I actually export items through him (not guns). He describes his neighborhood as being owned by armed gangs, drugs, and under policed. All this because of strict gun control laws. I agree that if you avoid facts and lessons about gun control it sounds great. But where they are the strictest we have the worst violent crime. It's just hard to completely ignore that. George, I'm sure you are well meaning, very smart, and a well educated person, I just cannot agree with your logic. It doesn't work in the real world. Criminals will always get guns, laws do not matter to them. Disarming the citizens just makes it easy for them to do their thing.
4 Horseshoes July 21, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Ok George Ill play along. How many people have been murdered by a knife in that same period? How many people have been murdered hands and feet in that same period? How many people have been murdered by a blunt object? It doesnt really matter what your answer is, prohibiting guns will not prevent murder. It will only put guns in to criminals or make a murderer with the intent to kill use a different weapon. I can also save you a lot of needless brain power..... the 2nd A is here to stay... our right "Shall not be infringed upon" will stand the test of time because thats what our founding fathers believed in. Guns dont kill people just like spoons are not responsible for fat people!
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Kenneth, No where have I said anything about disarming citizens.Why do you and other keep repeating this? Strange! Canada is safer to live in than the United states check the per capita murder rate with guns.
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
4 Horseshoes Perhaps a letter sent by Thomas Jefferson to a friend might give you a different perspective on the constitution. Re: Second Amendment...see what Jefferson had to say: From letter 1816 to Samuel Kercheval: "Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. they ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it....But I also know that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times."
Kenneth Stepp July 21, 2012 at 09:52 PM
George Gun control laws are only for people that obey laws. As far as stats you may have read about Canada, my friend is a world traveler. He told me what it was like in his city from personal accounts. Law breakers can always and will always get their hands on guns. Not sure why that's hard to understand. You speak of more gun control laws. That is keeping law abiding citizens from owning guns. Whatever guns you would want to control. Of course criminals will have those guns you would take away from people who haven't and won't break the laws. Laws do not and will never control criminal behavior. I want every advantage over criminals to keep my family safe.
George Wilson July 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Dave, The United States is the major source of weapons including guns for the world.That is why the industry helps fund organizations like the NRA.The reason we have so Mexicans are killed is that gangsters they are fighting to gain control of the lucrative drug trade exporting to the United states.I believe we had our own history along these lines...it was called prohibition.Remember Al Capone and others with all of the violence and murders.Just like our war on drugs is failing so did prohibition.Go to www.fixgunchecks.org that is supported by 600 mayors.I'm also surprised at your comment about Mayor Bloomberg's web site www.MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns.org,have you had a bad experience with mayors?
4 Horseshoes July 21, 2012 at 11:00 PM
A fundamental right that every human should have is to protect themselves. When criminals attack a person should be able to dispose of that threat by any means necessary. You have still not addressed the number of murders by other weapons....I think your avoiding that issue all together. With your logic society would benefit from a "progressive mind" by eliminating all cars and driving immediately. They kill far more people everyday than guns ever will. The idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker is the problem. But hey whatever floats your boat. Hitler also had gun control in Germany.....that worked out well!
Dave Emanuel July 22, 2012 at 01:01 AM
George- My experiences with mayors has been both good and bad, but that's an entirely different subject for another time. As for Bloomberg, he's just another big government proponent who sees no problem with intruding into people's lives.. Remember, he's the guy who wants to make super-size soft drinks illegal. Like virtually every other gun control proponent, Bloomberg's program is just a first step in a plan to suppress personal freedom with respect to firearms. The surface statement always seems to be "I support the 2nd Amendment", but beneath the surface is an attempt to control all firearms. Since you seem riveted on firearms, let's wander down the path of a scenario in which guns are not available to citizens. At the center of this scenario is a mentally disturbed person who is intent on hurting others for no particular reason. He can't get his hands on a gun, so he starts looking for another means of injuring people. Think back to the Atlanta Olympics, Oklahoma City and countless other catastrophes that were caused by a crazy person without a gun. As I said early on, much of the violent crime in this country is a result of cultural issues. That type of culture doesn't exist (or represents a very small percentage of the population) in the countries you've mentioned that have very low per capita homicide rates. If you want to fix a problem, you have to address the true source.
Dave Emanuel July 22, 2012 at 01:23 AM
For reference, according to several sources (Verify for yourself) *Among the 15 states with the highest homicide rates, 10 have restrictive or very restrictive gun laws. *Twenty percent of U.S. homicides occur in four cities with just 6% of the population—New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. In New York and Chicago, it is virtually impossible for the average citizen to legally carry a handgun, Washington DC and Detroit have extremely restrictive handgun laws. *Firearms are used to commit as many as 650,000 crimes each year. But firearms are also used to prevent crimes as many as one million times each year. In fact, criminals are three times more likely to be killed by armed victims who resist them than by the police.
Dave Emanuel July 22, 2012 at 01:31 AM
The operative words here are, "laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind." I would submit that aside from technological considerations, the human mind has made precious little progress, if any at all.
George Wilson July 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Kenneth, For the record Canada had as many long guns per capita as the United States and some sensible policies onthe acquiring of guns.It sounds like your friend as a law enforcement problem not a lack of weapon problem.
George Wilson July 22, 2012 at 04:02 PM
4 Horseshoes Hitler did not put on gun control laws in Germany .That was done by a democratic government called the Weimar Republic.They put some controls in because the Communist and Nazi's were engaged in running gun battles killing alot of people.In 1938 Hitler did add to this law by preventing jews from owning guns.But by then all of the democratic freedoms were gone.Hitler acquired his power by having the parliament enact a law called "THE ENABLING ACT".This was because a Communist had burned down the Reichstag building.Some people think that Goering and The Nazi's did this act of terror in order to get this act passed.
George Wilson July 22, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Dave, As said before,these mayors have had their efforts to reduce crime with guns impaired by weapons coming in from places like Georgia and other states that have laws making it easy to obtain guns.that is why we need a national policy on guns.We also need to also restore the 1994 law on assault rifles.WWW.fixgunchecks.org or www.MayorsagainstIllegalGuns.org.Dave we both know that neither party will take the right steps as outlined on these web sites.So, until we change the political system that makes it easy for the majority party to have a voice(INDEPENDENTS) and the NRA to start losing members we will continue to have these incidents.
Dave Emanuel July 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
George- You haven't presented any new information and are just continuing to beat the same old broken drum. Further, you have failed to address any of the issues or answer any of the questions I raised in my previous comments, which says a lot. The bottom line is that virtually every proponent of gun control legislation wants to put a governmental agency in a position to preempt 2nd Amendment rights. Spin it any way you like. Here's another question for you. In this country, the government totally controls the sale of fully automatic weapons. (Only members of law enforcement and a very few select individuals are allowed to purchase them.) So how do so many criminals end up with them?
George Wilson July 22, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Dave, If the government controls the sale of fully automatic weapons as you say,then how did theshooter in Colorado get his? Didn' the Bush adm.let that law lapse? I read your position as people with mental health problems,criminals,terrorist,druggies have a right to purchase any weapon without any background checks on a national data base.I don't think most people would agree with you.
Dave Emanuel July 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM
George- Let['s cut to the chase. Irrespective of anything I or anyone says, you're convinced that a group of mayors (or their designates) who know little about self defense and even less about psychology should determine who can and who can't purchase or carry a firearm. Fortunately, our Constitution guarantees you the freedom to believe as you do and to express and defend those beliefs. However, I do believe I owe you the courtesy of a response to your questions. There is a significant difference between semi- and fully automatic weapons. I don't know the details of all the weapons the shooter in Colorado had, where he purchased them and whether or not they were illegally obtained. As for the ability of people with mental health problems, criminals terrorists and druggies being able to legally purchase weapons, we've never had that discussion. One of my points that you have chosen to ignore is that these types of people will obtain firearms illegally. Further, you're advocating a national data base of people with mental health problems and don't seem to understand what that implies. What follows that? A national data base of people who MIGHT have mental health problems? Or a national data base of people who don't have mental health problems but are predisposed to having them?
Kenneth Stepp July 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM
At some point it isn't worth my time to post after George. To make the leap that my friend has issues with law enforcement just shows what Liberal minds will do to make a case. He didn't even know his name.
A Patriot July 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM
"If the government controls the sale of fully automatic weapons as you say,then how did theshooter in Colorado get his?" Maybe before you advocate the restriction of the rights of citizens and demonize guns you should educate yourself about them. The rifle used by the shooter has been reported as an AR-15, which he was able to purchase at a retailer because it is NOT an automatic weapon. The sale of automatic firearms was restricted by the NATIONAL Firearms Act. Also, while a context is given, it does not weaken the phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed." I certainly don't want criminals to be armed, but if the choice was between armed criminals and loosing another freedom, (which it is not), I'd take the criminals. In the country, our freedoms are our most important asset, and restricting them in a foolish attempt to deny human nature is like burning your house down to get rid of termites. Why don't you just move to one of those wonderful countries you mentioned and let their overbearing governments coddle you? If you do, be careful, just google "UK knife crime", you'll see what I mean.
George Wilson July 24, 2012 at 01:11 PM
A Patroit Three things always occur doing any debate on any issue: 1.Someone always brings up Hitler(see 4 Horseshoes) 2.Someone employs the argumentum ad hominem(see Kenneth Stepp) 3.Someone employs the love it or leave it argument (see A Patroit) 4.Someone jumps on a horse and rides off in all directions (See Dave Emanuel ) Most get the facts wrong (see all) More later!
George Wilson July 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM
@A Patroit 1994 ,Congress approved a 10-year ban on 19 types of military-style assault weapons.But the law expired in 2004 with Bush threatening a veto and the NRA and Republicans in Congress against it and the Democrats running scared from the election of 1994. Had this law still been in effect Holmes would have been prevented from buying the assault rifle and the high capacity magazines (100 rounds).Please check out the following websites for solutions to this problem. www.fixgunchecks.org www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org www.Bradycampaign.org
A Patriot July 24, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Well I'm not going to call your argument invalid just because you listed four items in your list of "three" debate tactics. That being said; 1. Sure enough. 2. Yep. 3. That was in part a rhetorical device to compare our society with that of those whose citizens cannot be armed. 4. Is that the Crazy Horse argument? Which facts did I get wrong? Lets go through this again, "If the government controls the sale of fully automatic weapons as you say,then how did theshooter in Colorado get his? Didn' the Bush adm.let that law lapse? " Again, an AR-15 is NOT an automatic firearm. It was, however, banned from sale by the Federal Assault Weapons Ban which was indeed allowed to lapse by Bush. Assault weapons are not the same thing as assault rifles. Assault rifles ARE automatic. Assault weapons are many different firearms defined by specific model or by accessories attached to them, as per the Assault Weapons Ban. THE KEY ISSUE HERE IS NOT THE SIZE OF THE MAGAZINE IN THE COLORADO SHOOTER'S GUN. THE PROBLEM IS THAT A DERANGED INDIVIDUAL DECIDED TO GO AND MURDER PEOPLE WHO WERE WATCHING A MOVIE. We always say that firearms are tools. This man happened to choose guns as his tool to commit this horrible act. He could have used any number of things to kill people, he was bent on murder. Laws cant fix someone like that. Legislation is not the solution to every problem.
George Wilson July 25, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Everyone should send this sample letter to their respective candidates Dear President Obama and Governor Romney, The recent mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado was a terrible tragedy and a painful reminder of the cost of gun violence. More than 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the next president’s term. That’s why I’m calling on you to step forward with a substantive plan to end gun violence. What we need from our nation’s leaders is more than just a moment of silence -- we need a moment of courage. I demand a plan to end gun violence.
A Patriot July 26, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Other kinds of violence are alright, then? You clearly ignored my statement about "knife violence" in the United Kingdom. The British have clearly shown that restricting weapons does not end murder and violence. Bearing that in mind, creating restrictive gun laws only makes good, law-abiding citizens less able to defend themselves. Legislation - especially the weakening of American rights - is not the solution to every problem. Furthermore, courage is being willing to be responsible for your own safety and that of those around you, not sticking your head in the sand and pretending that guns make people dangerous. (People make guns dangerous.)

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