So add going to the movies as the latest in the list of perilous activities in this country.
That list includes walking down the street, filling up your gas tank, standing in line at the fast food joint, attending school, sitting at your desk at work, enjoying a picnic, driving down the freeway, and watching TV in your living room.
The tragic shooting in Colorado last night at a screening of the latest Batman movie again underscores, as if we needed it, that nowhere are we truly safe.
The examples listed in the second paragraph are, off the top of my head, activities that people were engaged in when they were shot, either in a mass shooting, a drive by, by a serial killer or something in between.
James Holmes, 24, is a former med student and he is in custody now as the alleged shooter. As I write this, 12 have perished and nearly 40 are wounded. All at the hands of one man---who was armed as if he was ready to go to war.
Maybe he was, in his twisted mind. Certainly, dressed as he was with a bullet proof vest and wearing a gas mask, one might get that idea.
Holmes is the exception, in that when these horrific crimes occur, typically the shooter doesn't make it out alive; he either shoots himself or is killed by police.
So at least there might be some gratification in dissecting his mind to find out the answer to the only real question that matters, and the only one people want the answer to forthwith.
That is a question that doesn't necessarily produce closure or satisfaction, even when the perpetrator is alive to answer it. You think the families of the victims of the Manson Murders feel good about what Charlie said after being apprehended?
Holmes, police and witness accounts say, released a canister apparently filled with tear gas and just started shooting, into a crowded theater. He was armed with a shotgun, a rifle, and two handguns. And his canister.
Reports were that explosives might be found in his apartment, whose building was evacuated.
So it's another male shooter, armed to the gills, with military-like gear, turning an everyday civilian activity into a horror movie.
No, you can't even go to the movies anymore.
The truth is, you can do whatever you want and 99.999% of the time, nothing will happen to you like what happened to those 12 poor victims last night in Colorado.
The truth is, we might feel squeamish about going to the movies for a brief period, but then forget about all that and enjoy the experience just as before.
The truth is, we really do feel safe most of the time. Until something like this happens, and we get a little nervous. But then it goes away.
Until the next time.