Aurora Massacre: Heroes and Victims

By Reader's Digest Editors
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As shock and disbelief turn to grief and anger, we continue to follow the coverage of the Aurora massacre. Each day details emerge about the events inside the theater, and about the lives of those who were killed. Here then, some of the better news articles and analysis, plus a collection of unique artistic tributes from Instagram, the photo-sharing site.

“Movie screen superheroes never die. But there were superheroes present in a darkened movie theater at the Town Center at Aurora mall, and some of them did die, like Matthew Robert McQuinn, who threw his body in front of his longtime girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, shielding her from the bullets that took his life. Mr. McQuinn, 27, was one of 12 people who were killed when a gunman opened fire in the theater early Friday, and like many of the other victims, he was young enough to have limitless possibilities ahead of him.” – From a Dark Theater, Tales of Protection and Loss, New York Times

“When the shooting in theater 9 early Friday stopped, 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes was in handcuffs, and 70 people were wounded. Twelve of them died. As their names trickled out over the past two days, in friends’ social media tributes, in anguished families’ pleas for information and, finally, Saturday afternoon, in an official list, portraits emerged of the lives they had lived, and would have lived. Of the 12, the youngest was 6, the oldest 51. Nearly all those in between were young adults, old enough to be crafting careers, serving in the military, raising families but young enough to get a thrill out of being first to see the summer blockbuster — and energetic enough to do it at midnight.” – Lives that ended in Aurora theater shooting were full of promise, Denver Post

“Friday’s movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., … has ignited the same conversation as those that have followed other gun-related tragedies: what can be done to prevent this from happening again? And the debates that have ensued, on issues ranging from gun control to midnight-movie screenings, will only ramp up as more time passes. It’s probably a good thing that these discussions are taking place. Yet psychologists and other researchers who study human decision making see some potential pitfalls in making new laws—or taking any major action—in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy.” -Jesse Singal, The Batman Shooting: The Trouble With Acting Too Fast, The Daily Beast

“I own guns — shotguns and rifles — and I hunt quail. I don’t want to give up my guns. But I know this: there isn’t the remotest chance under the sun that I will have to. And I know this too: the kind of assault rifle used in the Aurora massacre — an AR-15, which is essentially a civilian version of the military’s M-16 — has no sporting purpose save playacting, in which the shooter is in some kind of combat situation. You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt, and you certainly don’t need the high-capacity magazine that was reportedly used even if your interest is target shooting on a range.” -Jon Meacham, A Gun Owner’s Case Against Assault Weapons, Time Ideas

“Often in the wake of tragedies like the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Internet users create graphical tributes as a way of honoring the victims. In this case, the tragedy’s connection to the new Batman film—the gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises—gives a poignant edge to some of Hollywood’s most iconic imagery.” -Amazing Aurora Tribute Art on Instagram, The Daily Beast