All citizens worldwide are affected by the violence that ripped to pieces the lives of scores of innocent victims, their families and friends in the Colorado town of Aurora and far beyond its borders.
This tragic event is not a Republican or Democratic tragedy or even an American tragedy. It is a universal tragedy.
The act of suspending contrasting campaign adds in Colorado for a week is a noble attempt at coping with the human grief during this time of universal shock and mourning.
However, strategic and calculated attempts to 'tread softly' by taking the 'high ground' can be construed by some as yet another callous attempt to win votes.
The debate over gun owner's rights and restrictions in this uniquely American culture will continue over the next few weeks and because real gun law legislation is another 'third rail' in any political season, it will be tucked safely away...until next time.
The debate about allowing young people and even babies into midnight showings of violent movies will also continue and then disappear...until next time.
The shared pain from this random violent act and others just like it across the UK and Europe is now carved into the hearts and minds of all of us.
British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's now much over-quoted quote "Events, dear boy, events" does in fact still resonate.
This event will change us and it will remain with us forever.
Events like these have a tendency to take on a morbid folkloreic life of their own.
The 24 hour news cycle certainly plays a part in this phenomenon as does a social media where virtually any individual with fast fingers and a good eye can become the story itself.
As an Adjunct Professor teaching a course on politics and the media in this multi-platform, multi-saturation, hyper-loaded information environment, it is almost impossible to 'stay on script'.
Events relating to the Arab Spring, the fall of Gaddafi, Mubarak and the raging violence in Syria have trumped planned syllabus lesson on most occasions over the last three Spring semesters.
It often seems impossible to keep up with everything that is going on in real time - all at the cost of moments to reflect and absorb what it all may mean in the greater scheme of things.
The televised coverage of the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy brought a generation of people together in some mythical way both here in America and abroad.
What is troubling is that the televised coverage of these recent modern day mass assassinations has become part of a normal process of living in our present time.
The gravity of these events seems lost in their coverage with their own graphics, themes and catchy titles.
With each violent act parents close down the circle of independence around their children with a tighter and tighter loop.
To play freely without a parents watchful eye or simply to go to a movie with friends may be bygone pleasures of another time.
Our generation of young people may never get a chance to feel the freedom from fear that they so deserve.
It would be naïve to say that mass violence is something we don't see 24 hours a day.
The tragic loss of life in Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and elsewhere has a tendency to be 'somewhere else' to most Americans.
The tragic loss of life in a multiplex on a random Summer night is not 'somewhere else'.
It is where we live!
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