With a thunderous start, your favorite superhero appears on the massive screen. You haven’t seen him in years and have eagerly awaited his dramatic return. At this moment, nothing could be better.
Moments later, smoke fills your lungs, your eyes are burning, and deafening explosions fill the room. Is this a prank? You wonder as a man dressed in black shoots into the ceiling. Your brain can’t comprehend what you are seeing. Is this really happening?
Suddenly, a pain you have never imagined rips through your shoulder. Screams surround you — people are running madly. A 6-year-old girl lies lifeless next to you. The companion of a pregnant woman falls to the ground.
The man in the theater opens fire with his semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle. Bullets spew out at an unimaginable rate.
One after another, people begin to fall.
A 26-year-old father of two little children is cut down; a 51-year-old father falls in front of his teenage children. More began to fall. Screams continue in the darkness as the man mows moviegoers down one by one.
Twelve dead and 58 injured. Hundreds of bullets and lives forever torn. In just minutes, in Aurora, Colo., an apparently disturbed young man ended and damaged the lives of so very many.
Imagine if you will, how different it could be if disturbed 24-year-olds were unable to go out and easily purchase an assault rifle that holds 100 rounds of bullets designed to tear through human flesh and kill.
Imagine those two young children running up to their front door to greet their dad upon his return home. Imagine the 51-year-old father, watching his children graduate from college. Imagine the mother experiencing childbirth.
Sadly, our imagination in this horrible case will not bring back these fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Those innocent children will never embrace their dad upon his return from work. That father will never see his kids graduate and move on with their lives. The parents of the 6-year-old killed in that theater will never see their baby girl again.
While the Second Amendment will forever allow us to bear our arms, should the Second Amendment allow us to outfit ourselves in military-grade weaponry and open fire in a crowded theater?
America is free, and guns will always ensure our freedom, but it is time we demand reasonable gun control, as our individual future relies upon it.
Now open your eyes and ask yourself, what do you see?
• Brian Williams first moved to Tracy in 1993 and returned to town in 2012 after a brief hiatus in Dublin. He can be reached at. Briansbrain2010@gmail.com.