The country was rocked last week by an unspeakable tragedy in Colorado. In this case, a movie theater was the backdrop for horrific news. An audience taking in a midnight showing of the latest "Batman" movie instead was engulfed in perhaps the worst shooting tragedy in our nation's history.
A gunman killed 12 people and injures more than 50 during 15 minutes of steady fire. Those who weren't physically hurt are left with emotional scars that may never heal.
The gunman, from the outside looking in, is not some tragic figure who was doomed to commit an atrocity. Up until a few weeks ago, he was seen as a highly intelligent medical school student.
Besides are sadness, we are left with the gnawing realization that life and death can be so random, that we can't legislate a unanimous human trait that would prevent senseless tragedy.
Of course there will be a renewed cry for the banning of weapons and a siege on the right to bear arms. But for every Colorado situation, there are a dozen instances when the right to bear arms plays out in a positive way. Enforcing the laws on the books, tedious as it may be, is the real answer for that angle of the tragedy.
Security measures and metal detectors in move theaters?
That would seem to be the logical step.
Think back to airports prior to Sept. 11, 2011, and it's amazing how lax security at airlines was in retrospect.
It's the question of our times - how much of our freedom are we willing to give up to be secure in what should be normal circumstances, boarding an airline or go to a movie?
With freedom comes responsibilities and those responsibilities rest not with 99 percent of us, but all of us.
We suspect that the majority of Americans would gladly subject themselves to some security measures if they thought it would assure they could attend a movie free of safety concerns.
After all, the only weapon we have against the overwhelming sadness that comes with the Colorado theatre shooting is action that would prevent such tragedy from happening again.