Sadly, we've never had much of an attention span in this country. It is rather like our addiction to fast food. Get in, get out, eat it, then forget about it. That's right, keep moving and don't think about the past, because if the burger had been bubbling with e coli it would have killed us by now anyway.
Yes, tomorrow is a new day and there will always be another burger, deadly, or otherwise. All we have to do is drive a couple of blocks to find it.
Not quite three years ago James Eagan Holmes entered a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. It was just after the start of the midnight premier of the film, "Batman, The Dark Knight Rises." He wasn't there to see the flick.
For nearly three months prior to his appearance in front of the audience, young Mr. Holmes had been planning mass mayhem. He had stocked up on all manner of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. He had bought body armor and a gas mask. No one at any of the sporting goods stores who sold him all the hardware gave him a second thought.
However, other people were starting to realize he might be dangerously short of a few cards in the deck. His psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver was so alarmed she told campus police they should look into what he was doing. He slipped through the cracks by dropping out of school. The moment he ceased being a student he was no longer their problem. They didn't think to notify any other law enforcement agencies. By that point his behavior was, in fact, so weird a local gun club refused to offer him a membership.
On July 20, 2012, about eight or nine minutes into the movie Brother Holmes came through an exit door he had blocked open earlier. After tossing a tear gas grenade he began to fire on the patrons. When he was done 12 people were dead and 70 were wounded. The police arrested him almost immediately after he left the auditorium.
The media and public were, once again, shocked and appalled by the savagery wrought by a middle class white guy gone completely berserk. Reasonable people wondered out loud how such a whack job could get his hands on what amounts to weapons of mass destruction. The gun crowd claimed if the people in the audience had been armed the body count wouldn't have been so high. The conspiracy clowns blamed everything from the MK Ultra mind control plot, to a FBI false flag operation. One that went so far as to include dead people who never existed and actors posing as the wounded.
The great gun control debate flared up white hot for about two weeks and then, as it always does, died down when the NRA put the clamps on it's wholly owned subsidiary, the Congress of the United States of America.
Monday, the nation, preoccupied by the ongoing nightmare in Baltimore, barely noticed, Jimmy Holmes went on trial for murder in an Arapahoe County, CO courtroom. It is unclear if the collective reaction would have been any different even if nothing at all was happening in Maryland. Nearly three years after the fact, for too many of us, he is the burger we survived so long ago we barely remember eating it.
The jury of 11 women and one man is backed up by 12 alternates. They have three choices. James Holmes is guilty of murder and will be sentenced to either life without parole, or death. Or, he is legally insane and will be committed to a state mental hospital for an indefinite period. No one on the planet earth, excluding a handful of cashews on You Tube, thinks he didn't do it.
His defense team has done everything in their power to save their client's life. They've petitioned for a change of venue and they've moved to keep the jury from seeing crime scene photos. They'll parade battalions of psychiatrists onto the witness stand and each one of them will claim James Holmes is as mad as a hatter.
And they'll be right. You don't do what he did without being insane. Unfortunately for the defense, their problem is two fold. One, was he "legally insane?" Yeah, he was nuts, but can anyone reasonably believe, during two and a half months of planning, plus buying body armor for self protection, he didn't understand that what he was doing was wrong? If you vote innocent that's the conclusion you must arrive at. Two, the jurors are human and there isn't a soul in that box who will vote Mr. Jimmy innocent if she, or he thinks he'll ever walk around free again.
Hey, the crank who shot Ron Reagan is hanging out at his Mom's place in Williamsburg, Virginia as I type. There is always the possibility somewhere down the road a shrink will claim James Holmes is cured and should be allowed to stand in line with you and your date at yet another movie theater. The prosecution won't even have to mention it. Everyone in the courtroom already knows it.
No, that isn't going to happen. The odds are he will go away for life without parole, despite the gruesome and tragic evidence presented by the DA. The odds are also, that unless it is a slow news day when the jury finally does arrive at a verdict, barely anyone outside of those immediately impacted by this awful lunacy will notice.
It is The American Way. In the end, James Eagan Holmes is old news and as a nation we need a fresh rush--one with new names and different scenery. Think not? How many of us remember the identity of the student who shot up the Virginia Tech campus, or even the name of the kid killed in Ferguson, Missouri a little while ago?
Indeed. Case rested.
sic vita est