Friday, August 3, 2012

Reflecting on the Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: Parents Are People, Too

As news and information continues to unfold about the horrific shooting at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, many people are continuing to keep the victims in their thoughts & prayers.  Reports came in quickly that folks attending a midnight screening of the Dark Knight Rises were attacked by gunman James Holmes, dressed in riot gear.  Holmes allegedly set off smoke devices while firing into the crowded audience of Theater 9 at the Century Movie Theater.  Police arrived within 90 seconds of the first 9-1-1 call and Holmes was apprehended in the parking lot six minutes later.  His deadly wrath took the lives of 12 people and injured 58 more.

Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado
One of the first stories to emerge from the tragedy was that of a baby injured in the attack.  The child was treated and released from a local hospital following the shooting.  As reports surfaced, critics began to appear online...and had plenty to say.  This report by ABC News had plenty of opinions regarding whether or not a 4-month-old should be at a midnight movie.  The Christian Post also reported the questions raised publicly about the parent's decision to bring their child to the movies.

Legarreta & Rohrs
Twenty-five-year-old parents Patricia Legarreta and Jamie Rohrs had recently moved to Colorado and wanted a night out.  They brought their 4-month-old old son and their 4-year-old daughter to the screening and inadvertently ended up sitting in the path of the gunman.  The family survived Holmes' line of fire, but didn't escape the criticism to follow for bringing their children to a midnight movie.

Legarreta said, "We have to go out.  We have to do things.  You don't think you're going to get shot.  You're just living your life."

We are new parents, living in a state with few friends and no family.  We don't have a babysitter on call.  Sure, we could find a complete stranger online and give them our child to tend to for the evening, but we're just not comfortable with that yet.  Right now, it's just the three of us...and we completely understand how this Colorado family thinks.  If we want to do something together, we have to take Colt with us.

We love movies! Before Colt was born, you would find us at advanced screenings on nearly a weekly basis.  Since our duo became a trio we have to do things a little differently.  We haven't been brave enough to take Colt to a "real" movie theater, but we have discovered a loophole to still enjoying our favorite flicks on the big screen...and not being forced to wait for the Redbox.  One of the perks of living in our area is that there are several drive-in movie theaters.  Have a screaming kid?  Just roll up your car windows.  Perfect for parents!

We are incredibly fortunate that Colt is an easy going baby.  He doesn't seem to mind traveling and generally goes with the flow.  Pack the Boppy, bottles and a snuggly blanket and the kid is set.  He doesn't mind stretching out in the backseat, but really prefers someone holding him.

The Malta Theater is about 15 minutes from where we live, but it's a great getaway for folks like us.  During the summer, you can catch a flick there seven nights a week.  We did notice that on Friday nights, you hear the cars running at the local dirt racing track a few miles away.  It's also nice to be able to control the movie's sound from your car radio.  Honestly, sometimes those action movies can get a little loud...especially for little ears!

One of our favorite perks is that the drive-in is actually cheaper than tickets to a regular theater-which runs $11 per person or for IMAX, you'll shell out $17.50 a person!  You get two movies for $8 and for another $5 you can bring in your own food & drink.  We've recently become huge fans of the Pizza Hut $10 Dinner Box.  Yes, it is sort of blasphemy that we're not eating New York pizza, but it's really  too good of a deal to turn down.

We can certainly empathize with Legarreta & Rohrs' situation and are thankful that their children are ok.  Legarreta is right, you do have to live your life once you have children.  Sure, there are some things you can't do once you're a parent, but don't forget...we're people too.

*Image credits courtesy of ABC News & The Christian Science Monitor.

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