I purchased my ticket early.
I picked it up two days before opening night.
I woke up that morning, impatient for the day to be over and the night to begin.
I went out for drinks with friends, tapping my foot on the ground, eagerly awaiting the time when I could go to the theater, present my ticket and take my seat.
I went to the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and like millions of fans around the world, I sat in my seat awaiting the start of the movie.
The time came and I watched three hours of one of the best films ever created.
But I didn't know that what was a moment of joy for me was the same moment that 71 people were injured and/or killed.
I woke up the next morning, unable to fully comprehend just how terrible the situation must have been.
While my first thoughts were for the individuals affected by the shooting (there were babies in the theater for goodness sake!), I later began to consider just how the travesty was going to affect the country.
There were so many causes to get behind. Guns and violence are strong issues in our culture and I knew the shooting on July 20th would cause a great uproar.
Not just that, but one man has changed movie-going forever. What was once an escape, a place to relax, will always be tainted with the memory of Aurora, Colorado. Security will be raised (if not today, definitely in the near future) and bags will be checked. No more sneaking in that bottle of Diet Coke.
As I began to ponder how the shooting would affect my personal movie-going experience, I angered myself. How could I be so selfish as to consider my own preferences in all this? Families were torn apart, people were killed, lives were changed and I was sitting on my bed complaining to myself because I wouldn't be able to wear belts to the theater any more.
The New York Times helped me feel a little better. As I began reading about the incident in the paper, I realized that I wasn't the only person with these thoughts. The Times had dedicated numerous pages, three articles and an innumerable amount of human labor into covering every aspect of the shooting.
There was an article describing the events, an article detailing the gun issue and even an article detailing how the film industry was responding to the crisis.
Interestingly enough, while reading the articles, I realized that the outcry for gun restrictions, heightened theater security and less violent movies was far less than I expected.
Yes, there was an uprising, but there was also a response.
Some people went so far as to say that if they had been able to carry a gun into the theater in Aurora, they would have been able to save themselves and numerous other victims. Others said that more gun restrictions wouldn't have stopped this shooter or any other. They said that people "like that" are going to find a way regardless of the law.
They have a point.
The film industries seemed to take a more conservative approach. Many of the promotions for the third installment of the Batman series were stopped and one theater in Paris canceled its premier. Security also made an appearance at many theaters across the country.
This isn't the first encounter the movie industry has had with present day events. One film, "The Watch" had a mid-promotion name change after the Trayvon Martin incident. Originally titled "Neighborhood Watch", producers felt the title might be linked to unwanted publicity.
All this controversy sparks questions in my mind.
Can violent films have this affect? If so, should the films be banned or should there just be higher restrictions on guns? Or should we take what some suggested and make guns more available to the average citizen?
Maybe something can be done. Maybe these are real issues.
But while my heart breaks for the men, women and children affected by the Aurora shooting, I cannot help but feel that this could have happened at any time and place and that anything the government does to control the issue might only make things worse.
Banning guns or making greater restrictions will only affect those of us who are already law-abiding citizens. Bans on violent films will only spark a greater interest in them.
Maybe the best action is just to sit back, calm down and pray for the families affected by this terrible tragedy.
— Lauren Kittrell is a senior in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at email@example.com.