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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial: Aurora shooting hits close to home

    Ernie+Somoza+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0AA+framed+photo+of+Gabrielle+Giffords+sits+alongside+other+mementos+at+the+University+Medical+Center-University+Campus+memorial+for+the+U.S.+Representative+on+Wednesday%2C+Jan.+12.%0A%0A
    Ernie Somoza
    Ernie Somoza / Arizona Daily Wildcat A framed photo of Gabrielle Giffords sits alongside other mementos at the University Medical Center-University Campus memorial for the U.S. Representative on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

    The shooting in Aurora, Colo., shocked the nation on July 20, when 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes opened fire in a movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 58. It was one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, but in the midst of this tragedy, residents in Aurora and across the nation witnessed firsthand that we are surrounded by everyday heroes.

    For Tucson, we understand the hurt and confusion the residents of Aurora inevitably face during this time. Colorado stands as a chilling reminder of the mass shooting that occurred in Tucson on January 8, 2011, when gunman Jared Loughner killed six bystanders, including 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, and injured 13 others, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

    The 12 who died in Aurora’s shooting included high school baseball player AJ Boik, six-year-old Veronica Moser, UA alumnus Alex Teves, as well as six other men and three other women. Fifty-eight total people were injured, and nine remain at hospitals in critical condition. Just as we experienced in Tucson last year, this is an emotional tragedy that took the lives of many friends and family members, leaving the entire community shaken.

    However, acts of heroism in both tragedies demonstrate the compassion we must all emulate now. Just as Tucsonan Dorwan Stoddard shielded his wife Mavanell in the Jan. 8 shooting, people like Teves, 27-year-old Matt McQuinn and 26-year-old Navy veteran Jonathan Blunk used themselves as shields to protect their dates from the gunfire.

    Similarly, Daniel Hernandez, an intern for Giffords, used his hand to try and staunch Giffords’ head wound, and Aurora resident Allie Young was shot in the neck while trying to warn others of the shooter. Young’s best friend, Stephanie Davies, used her finger to help slow the blood loss.

    We call for kindness and sympathy to honor these everyday heroes.

    As the nation discusses these tragic events and debates how to prevent such tragedies in the future, we are sure to remember the names of Holmes and Loughner and the atrocities they chose to execute. But it is also important to remember the actions and decisions the heroes of Tucson and Aurora made, which show an immeasurable amount of kindness and courage. As the residents of Aurora begin the healing process, we can all comfort ourselves, just as Tucson did, by knowing that even though there are criminals capable of evil and harm, our communities are also full of people who are good.

    Editorials are determined by the Arizona Summer Wildcat editorial board and are written by one of its members. They are Miranda Butler, Greg Gonzales, Courtney L’Ecuyer and Lynley Price. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

    An earlier version of this editorial misstated the number of people injured in the Tucson shooting. This error has been corrected.

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