Tag Archives: Aurora

Aurora shooter insanity plea accepted

Donkey Hotey (CC)

Donkey Hotey (CC)

Donkey Hotey (CC)

Accused Colorado theater shooter, James Holmes was in court today to plead not guilty due to insanity. If found guilty, Holmes could face the death penalty for the deaths of 12 movie-goers at the Aurora theater. The 25-year-old is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder, arising from the rampage that left 12 dead, and dozens more wounded.

Reuters reports:

The judge, Carlos Samour Jr., had delayed ruling on whether to accept such an insanity plea until legal questions surrounding the matter were resolved.

Among those issues was a challenge to the state’s insanity-defense law by public defenders. They argued that a provision of the statute that requires a defendant mounting an insanity defense to submit to an examination by court-appointed psychiatrists is unconstitutional.

Compelling a defendant to divulge information that could be used against him at trial and at sentencing violates his right against self-incrimination, they argued. But Samour upheld the law last week, setting the stage for Tuesday’s hearing.

Holmes has been hospitalized twice while in custody – once for self-inflicted head injuries, and once when he was held in restraints in a psychiatric ward. He was ordered to stand trial in January, after it had been revealed in testimony by investigators that he had spent months preparing to commit mass murder by acquiring firearms and bomb making materials.

Ice-T Explains Gun Rights to Naive U.K. Interviewer

Ice T on the second amendment

Speaking with Channel 4 London’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy shortly after the Aurora, Colorado news broke, Ice-T explained to the unknowing show host just why the second amendment to the Constitution exists and must be protected. A rapper/actor knows more about our governing framework and its protections than someone put on TV to look intelligent and tell it like it is.

Culture of Death and the Batman Shooting

Batman

Clearly, what our nation needs is more “separation of church and state.” If those obnoxious, right-wing Bible thumpers would simply quit bellowing about the need for revival – a return to the deeply held Judeo-Christian principles embraced by our Founding Fathers – America would be a much better place.

Secular-humanism – that’s the ticket! We need more reliance on man and less on God.

At the time of this writing, I’m sitting just a few miles from a Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Colo., where, in the early morning hours of July 20, 2012, a deranged, fame-starved gunman shot dead at least 12 innocent people and wounded scores more at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” a Batman sequel.

One of the victims killed was a 3-month-old baby. Another was 6. I won’t even share the gutless dirt bag’s name because that’s exactly what he wants.

I had an entirely different column prepared for this week, but, in light of this horrific event, its subject matter seemed trivial and inappropriate.

Like most decent Americans, I am sickened today – mournful in a way words cannot describe. Please join me in the coming hours, days and weeks in, yes, praying for the victims, their families and the state of our lost union.

It’s times like this when we’re reminded that, when the smoke clears, we’re left with our relationships alone: family, friends, prayer and, most importantly, a deep, childlike need for God’s love, mercy and comfort.

Still, we shouldn’t be surprised by this mass murder. In fact, if we’re honest, we’re not surprised. We’ve become almost numb to such reports – desensitized to what only a few short decades ago would have been unimaginable. Although no one is to blame for this man’s objectively evil actions but he alone, those actions are, sadly, a dreadful sign of our desperate times.

Today, children are reared in a culture that glorifies – even worships – death and violence. But brutal crimes such as this are not the cause of our culture of death; they are merely a symptom.

In an opinion piece penned for the Telegraph in 2008, columnist Jenny McCartney used a prior Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” to illustrate, in a cursory way, our rising death-culture problem. In many ways her words were eerily prophetic and sickly ironic.

“But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic,” she wrote, “has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.”

McCartney went on to describe, in gory detail, the movie’s severely violent opening scene, lamenting that millions of parents would choose to expose their children to it. She concluded by chastising Hollywood for its complicity in an increasingly violent youth culture.

“Even since 2002, the public’s willingness to expose children to previously unthinkable levels of screen violence has soared,” she noted. “The poet WB Yeats once wrote, ‘In dreams begins responsibility,’ yet Hollywood will never take responsibility for its most brutal dreams so long as the paying public still flocks to the theatre of cruelty.”

I think McCartney was on to something but believe there’s plenty more responsibility to go around. I submit that our culture of death derives from somewhere far beyond just Hollywood. The “theatre of cruelty” spans from sea to shining sea.

Just one example, though a big one, is America’s ongoing capitulation to the horrific abortion violence carried out under cover of manmade law each day – an equally evil phenomenon.

Beneath the euphemistic banner of “reproductive choice,” hundreds of women elect to have their own babies slaughtered in the womb daily. Children – those who dodged the abortion bullet anyway – aren’t stupid; they’re just young. From this, they can only deduce that, according to our culture, human life is cheap and meaningless.

So why are we surprised when people like the “Batman killer” act accordingly?

Indeed, in our perverse society, a woman exercising her “right to choose” death for her innocent child represents “courage,” while the Batman shooter’s “choice” to kill innocent moviegoers represents cowardice. And it is. They are both acts of cowardice. The only relevant difference is the victims’ age.

Let me be clear: Am I comparing this incredibly wicked, illegal mass murder at Aurora’s Century Theatre to the incredibly wicked, legal mass murder committed at Planned Parenthoods across the country each day? Absolutely – and you can quote me on it.

But again, like the Batman murders, our nation’s 55-plus million abortion murders post Roe v. Wade are not the cause of our culture of death; they are merely a symptom. Ultimately, the cause stems from something much less complicated.

We as a nation – as a people – have turned our backs on God. We have rebelled against Him and have forgotten that it was He and He alone who gave us 200-plus years of prosperity, unprecedented in world history.

We have left Him, so why are we surprised He’s leaving us? We have said, “We don’t need you, leave us alone.”

And so He has.

Recently, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack acknowledged at a White House briefing that he’s been praying for rain to alleviate the widespread drought plaguing our nation. “I get on my knees every day,” he admitted. “And I’m saying an extra prayer now.”

Predictably, godless “progressives” are up in arms over his statement. Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, quickly pounced, saying that Vilsack’s mere mention of prayer “sends the wrong message to distraught farmers.”

“[Praying] for rain? That’s not just government entangling itself with religion, that’s government publicly practicing it, and wallowing in superstition,” he said.

Oh, please.

In the coming days and weeks, politicians, entertainers, media-types – public figures of every stripe – will call for prayer in response to the Batman shootings. But don’t expect to hear much from the aforementioned godless “progressives.” They generally know when to shut up.

Still, prayer is only the beginning. It can’t just be superficial prayer. It can’t just be an emotional response to this horrible tragedy.

For any real national healing to occur – in order to un-ring the culture-of-death bell – we must collectively surrender. We must recommit ourselves as “one nation, under God,” to the underlying culture of life that such a commitment presupposes.

If we don’t, we’re done.

2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us hope: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Indeed, the restoration of our land begins with you and me.

It ends with Him.

Let’s begin.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)  

Feinstien: Weapons only going to be used to kill people

Dianne Feinstein uses Aurora as anti-gun tool

Dianne Feinstein uses Aurora as anti-gun toolOn Fox News Sunday, California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein chose another tragedy to again push her heavy-handed, misguided anti-gun agenda.

Referring to the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used by Jim Holmes to murder 12 people and injure many more, she portrays the popular sporting rifle as nothing but an instrument of murder and mayhem. “I have no problem with people being licensed and buying a firearm. But these are weapons that you are only going to be using to kill people in close combat,” said Feinstein. [emphasis added]

The AR designator stands for “Armalite Rifle” not assault rifle as the anti-gun liberals would have you believe. In fact, because it’s an AR-15 and not an M-16, it is not an automatic or select-fire weapon that would be used by troops in an assault. Instead, it’s a venerable sporting rifle used in competitions such as 3-gun, NRA high-power rifle (service rifle) and hunting.

The AR is a component-system, semi-automatic rifle which does not demand that it be used in close combat nor does it entice folks to shoot innocent people in close combat. Instead, it is a great platform for hunters and sporting shooters of all ages, genders and abilities. Some fit them with light, flat-shooting rounds for varmint hunting, others with heavy rounds to help deal with the feral swine (wild pig) infestation in the Southeast, and many calibers in between for everything from wolves to deer.

The fact that banning rifles like the AR-15 will amount to no fewer tragedies was not lost on Colorado’s own Governor Hickenlooper as he said, “”I mean, if he couldn’t have gotten access to the guns, what kind of bomb would he have manufactured.” Holmes’ apartment was littered with homemade bombs intended to kill. Blame the killer, not the tool.

Semi-automatic shotguns are used by today’s waterfowl and upland bird hunters as well as sporting clays shooters. The softer recoil and fire rates make the for better outings.

Rifles and shotguns are not purchased by millions of Americans in order to kill lots of people in close combat situations, in fact, they are almost never used for such purposes. One incident does not indicate the need to strip a huge portion of the American population tools they enjoy and use for legal purposes.

There is also the constitutional issue of the government limiting the ownership of firearms by its citizenry. Allowing the government to slice away little bits of that right will ultimately end with no rights at all. Today it will be AR-15s, tomorrow semi-auto shotguns, then pistols, then revolvers, then muzzle loaders, then black powder itself.

No amount of government regulation would have prevented the Aurora tragedy. In fact, rules disallowing concealed carry in the theater may have prevented that one person that could have halted the massacre as soon as it began. Instead, a psychopath was allowed to wander the theater knowing that his victims could do nothing – theater rules said so.

Outlawing semi-automatic sporting firearms will do no more to protect Americans than outlawing red-haired Phd students from going to the movies. The government cannot protect us at every step. We have to do that ourselves.

Married to the Game: Aurora, Sooper Mexican, Media Malpractice, and Gun Control Laws

miccheck

In this episode, we discuss the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  We ask important questions like: what were the shooter’s motives?  Did he work alone?  Should movie theaters start (at least) putting sensors on the exits doors that are INSIDE the movie theater, so management knows that someone is going through that door while the movie is showing?  Was the coward “psychotic” or “insane”?  And we make the determination that the “Coward in Colorado” shall not be named; he does not deserve one ounce of notoriety for this heinous act.  I’m joined in this segment by the always insightful SooperMexican.

Also, Twitter’s “Sean Hannity’s Hair” stops by to discuss the media malpractice and the media bias that led ABC to try and blame an innocent member of the Tea Party for this horrific crime.

And finally (but not least), Tom from Indiana calls in to discuss the merits of changing our gun laws in the wake of this tragic event.  (we also discuss the importance of responsible gun ownership)

This show is packed with terrific insight and lots of honest discussion, and it’s not one to be missed.

CLICK here TO HEAR IT NOW.

 

And, of course, our hearts go out to the victims of this despicable shooting, and the entire community of Aurora is in our prayers.

Democrats Politicize Tragedy

guncontrol3

Just before 5pm yesterday, I received an email from MoveOn.org requesting yet again that I take action on something in the news – this time the massacre in Aurora, CO. When I first saw the item pop up in my inbox, I cringed, thinking that it might be yet another request for money for yet another ad. Thankfully, it wasn’t that, but it did request that I sign a petition.

Dear MoveOn member,

We all woke up to the tragic news of the killing of at least 12 people and the wounding of many more at a late-night screening of the new Batman movie in Colorado.

Reports indicate that the disturbed individual who committed this horrifying act had a bulletproof vest, used some kind of gas canister, and had multiple guns when he opened fire in the crowded theater.1 A three-month-old is among the injured.2

We are immeasurably sad for those who lost their lives, those wounded, and their families—and for all those who experienced the horror of those terrible moments. Let our thoughts and prayers go out to them today.

We’re also so angry. From children’s lives lost in school shootings, to Trayvon Martin, the Representative Gabrielle Giffords attack, and this latest slaughter of innocents, we are not safe from gun violence.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been campaigning to put a stop to senseless gun violence like this with commonsense measures, like fixing gun checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. They’ve started a petition in SignOn.org to demand action on ending gun violence.

Sadly, it often takes moments like these to bring politicians to their senses about guns. And while signing a petition seems so inadequate in the face of what happened last night, it’s important to do what we can. Today that means taking a small step toward preventing this kind of tragedy from happening again.

Sign the Mayors Against Illegal Guns petition to our leaders: “Join me in standing with the victims and families of the Aurora, Colorado shooting and pledge to end gun violence.”

The people who died at the Colorado theater last night are only 12 of the 34 people statistics tell us will die from gun violence today—and among 19,000 murdered with guns since the attack on Representative Giffords in Tuscon.3

And yet today isn’t about statistics. It’s about the pain of human loss—the loss suffered by the community of Aurora, Colorado. And the losses to gun violence suffered today and every day by other communities, whose tragic stories won’t be covered on the news.

It’s in the power of Congress to greatly reduce these senseless shootings and make tragedies like today’s far less possible. They can start by enacting commonsense measures, like fixing giant loopholes in gun checks, that are supported by the vast majority of Americans—including gun owners.4

Let our anger today help give them the courage to act tomorrow.

Sign the Mayors Against Illegal Guns petition to our leaders: “Join me in standing with the victims and families of the Aurora, Colorado shooting and pledge to end gun violence.”

The strength and support we draw from our friends, families, and communities are never more important than on days like today.

Thanks for all you do.

–Justin, Robin, Ryan, Elena, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Gunman turns movie into surreal horror: ‘This is real,'” CNN, July 20, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=277858&id=46725-10103528-3wr0qGx&t=3
2. “Gunman turns Batman screening into real-life ‘horror film,'” CNN, July 20, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=277863&id=46725-10103528-3wr0qGx&t=4

3. “Background Checks,” Mayors Against Illegal Guns, accessed July 20, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=277860&id=46725-10103528-3wr0qGx&t=6

4. “Poll: Majority Of Americans, Including Gun Owners, Support Tougher Restrictions,” The Huffington Post, January 18, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=277861&id=46725-10103528-3wr0qGx&t=7

I’ve quoted the email in its entirety above, primarily because there is more than enough nonsense over misquotes and out-of-context statements. Of course this was entirely predictable, because the left simply never understands the problem isn’t lack of gun control. We can say until we’re blue in the face that these laws are meaningless to criminals and crazy people – if these individuals really want guns, they will get them one way or another, no matter what the laws are.

Contrary to what the left might like to make people think, the above is true – police do not tend to prevent crime. They occasionally do, but for the most part, they respond after the fact. And an armed citizenry remains the best defense against attacks. Today, it’s from the enemy within – criminals – as opposed to the potential invaders the Founders had in mind. While it’s logistically unlikely that any armed citizen could have prevented the massacre in Aurora, that does not help to make the case against creating more gun laws in response to this tragedy. The fact remains that the man who committed this act would have gotten the weapons he wanted regardless what the laws were.

As you can see above, the insane logic of the left knows no bounds. Of course, if the man in Colorado hadn’t been white, perhaps the Muslim card wouldn’t have been played in this way. The implication is that he was one of those “gun-clinging angry white men from the right wing.” That’s not a surprising assumption, since it had already been made by ABC’s Brian Ross. It was irresponsible, but probably irresistible for Ross. Talk about giving his left-wing bosses an issue on a platter! Wouldn’t it have been grand if the shooter had been a member of the Tea Party? It’s what left-wing media wet dreams are made of. But the truth may very well turn out to be a nightmare for them, if the rumors about the shooter being involved with the Occupy Movement turn out to be true. Now, that came from a private investigator as opposed to a journalist. Time will hopefully tell whether or not that one is accurate.

The fact is that right now, we do not enforce the current gun laws we have. Adding more laws will not change the situation. They will just end up being more words on the books that we don’t have the personnel or money in law enforcement to enforce in the first place. It might make people feel safer, or satisfied to make tougher gun laws, but that will end when the next tragedy comes along. I’ve avoided saying the name of the shooter in Aurora for a reason. He did this to get notoriety, and I refuse to give it to him. The vast majority of crazy people that don’t end up killing themselves after mass murder want the attention of the masses. You want a law that will have any hope of deterring their actions? Try stomping a little bit on the First Amendment, and forbid the press from giving mass murderers air time, kilobytes, and ink. Don’t give them what they want, and maybe – just maybe – they won’t do it. Of course, we’re dealing with insanity here, so it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll actually do anyway. But don’t give in to the liberal delusion that gun laws will save us from the crazies. They won’t. Sure, concealed carry couldn’t have helped in Aurora, unless someone happened to have a laser sight on their weapon – even that’s unlikely, though. But, there will come a time when the attack won’t be in the pitch black of a movie theater with hundreds of innocent people that could get hit by mistake. If the law-abiding citizens don’t have guns, they can’t stop that next crazy person. After all, gun laws don’t apply to criminals and crazies. So, just remember the following:

The Ultimate Gun Rights Article

gun

Second amendment rightsIn the wake of the tragic mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, some on the political left have used the occasion to further their assault on citizens’ Constitutional right to bear arms. The charge is being led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who apparently believes that a disarmed populace is a safe populace.

But safe from whom?

The right to defend oneself and one’s property is inalienable and indisputable. However, the left is taking pot shots at Americans’ gun rights by claiming that gun control or even outright bans are necessary for our own safety.

But an article written by Tracy W. Price and published in the Washington Times puts that myth to bed.

Anti-gun nonsense” lures the reader in before laying the hammer down. The first myth it dispels is that high-visibility, highly sensationalistic mass murder sprees used to justify gun control laws are less likely to happen in “gun free,” or as the author puts it, “defenseless” zones.

That’s right before he points out the following, which is well beyond statistical naysaying:

In fact, research by economist and author John Lott and Bill Landes shows that states that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns enjoy a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack.

This is not to say the “debate is over,” since there can be nitpicking over statistical controls for urbanization, education, or other variables, like crack cocaine. But wait, even a critical paper published by the statist Brookings Institution admitted the following of John Lott’s work, while citing highly respected social scientist James Q. Wilson:

[C]riminologist James Q. Wilson calls Lott’s book [More Guns, Less Crime] “the most scientific study ever done of these matters, using facts from 1977 through 1996 and controlling for just about every conceivable factor that might affect the criminal use of guns.” Wilson gives a ringing endorsement to Lott’s thesis:

“Lott’s work convinces me that the decrease in murder and robbery in states with shall-issue laws, even after controlling statistically for every other cause of crime reduction, is real and significant. Of the many scholars who were given Lott’s data and did their own analyses, most agree with his conclusions. States that passed these laws experienced sharp drops in murder, rape, robbery, and assault, even after allowing for the effects of poverty, unemployment, police arrest rates, and the like. States that did not pass these laws did not show comparable declines. And these declines were not trivial—he is writing about as many as 1,000 fewer murders and rapes and 10,000 fewer robberies. Carrying concealed guns reduces—it does not increase—the rate of serious crime, and that reduction is vastly greater than the generally trivial effect of gun-carrying on accidental shootings.”

Such overwhelmingly clear and positive evidence will not deter big government types like Michael Bloomberg from making the argument that Americans do not have the right to defend themselves (from other citizens or from the state).  But the case for eliminating gun control laws is mounting and the counter-arguments are appearing increasingly spurious or trivial.

Not only is the right to bear arms morally just, but it is also statistically proven that citizens who lawfully carry firearms are safer from other citizens and from their own government.

Now who exactly would be against that?

Democrats Attack Tea Party & Gun Rights After Aurora Shooting

gopbox

The Democrat-run media immediately dropped their regularly scheduled program of fluff news as far removed from any whiff of the disastrous Obama administration as possible to cover the tragic Aurora, Colorado shooting that took place at a late night screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises.

But this wasn’t just a sensationalistic media covering a breaking news event, but rather just another opportune moment for card-carrying Democrat “journolists” to attack the clearly non-violent tea party and to assail gun rights. Not that the activist media need any facts, or what used to be called “reportage,” to do so.

The mass murder took place at a multiplex theater late night and at least a hundred witnesses have varying reports on what actually took place. At such a time, when emotions are running high, there is a high risk of error. It is common practice to exercise great caution before jumping to conclusions about a news event.

When the news broke that the previously unknown suspect was one “James Holmes,” a 24 year old white male, the left-wing media again soiled themselves trying to connect him to the tea party. ABC News had an exchange between former Clinton staff George Stephanopolous and reporter Brian Ross that insinuated that there could be a tea party card to be played:

Stephanolpoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.

Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.

Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

It was reported widely that there could be as many as 25 separate James Holmes in the Aurora area, and that the suspect’s car had Tennessee tags. It would be just as presumptuous to allege that the suspect was a tea party member as it would be to say that he was an Occupy Black Bloc thug or a card-carrying Democrat. It turns out that James Holmes is a 24 year-old PhD. student in Neuroscience, hardly fitting for most tea party activists.

The point is that now is the time to back off and gain some introspection about why this occurred. It is not the time to start casting aspersions or interjecting politics into the case.

But the media are running the Jared Loughner playbook once again. It’s all they know. Stay on the attack and keep trying to indoctrinate Americans that the leftwing way is the right way, and to hell with the facts and the human wreckage. Making spurious accusations that Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for Gabrielle Giffords’ shooter Jared Loughner’s psychosis was not just irresponsible, but cruel and baseless. The notion that the well-worn political symbol of a target could drive a normal person to shoot a Democrat congresswoman is flatly stupid, and anyone who would believe such a thing really should take a break from politics.

But the leftwing media are not able to help themselves in this case, just as they weren’t in the Loughner case or the Duke Lacrosse case or the Trayvon Martin case. They are incapable of learning, just as they are unable to separate the faux-compassion of their political agenda from the genuine emotion of caring about the feelings of individuals who are caught up in the tragic case at hand. The left must literally politicize everything; it is a Foucaultian impulse that leads to rampant cognitive fitting and selection bias. That is why it is impossible to reason with the hard left.

That is also why the Aurora shooting has prompted hasty calls for more gun control by the left, as led by New York City’s three-time Triumvir Michael Bloomberg. Just like in the Tucson shooting, and the Virginia Tech shooting before it, the figureheads of the left have to use every opportunity to push their gun control agenda.

It is obvious what the left’s ultimate “solution” to random acts of violence is: a police state and a defenseless populace. Would a completely disarmed theater audience be any safer than one where someone had a concealed weapon on him or her? The Aurora attacker was not even in the audience, but appears to have come through the emergency exit.

Those who want to associate the film The Dark Knight Rises, which has already received controversial and political reviews, with the mass murder in Aurora, should realize a few things. While the intensity of the violence in films may be going up, the number of total violent crime victims per 1,000 has gone down nearly 65% since 1973, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And as esteemed criminologist John Lott has documented thoroughly, more guns does mean less crime.

Tragedies are not the occasion for election-year jockeying or political revenge. But as the Democrats Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel have said themselves, never let a good crisis go to waste. But let’s be decent Americans and refrain from politicizing tragedies, only engaging the left to set the record straight and to protect any victims in the left’s path.

Shooting Rampage Inside Colorado Movie Theater During Screening of Dark Knight Rises

From MSNBC.com

At least 20 people were hurt early Friday following a shooting at a movie theater near Denver, police said.

The incident occurred in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises,” a police official told NBC News.

Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Britain’s Sky News that “a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie.”

“They heard what they thought were firecrackers,” she added, citing witnesses. “Then they saw the bullets flying.”

Eyewitness reports said the assailant may have been wearing a gas mask, Stuart said.

Tear gas went off in the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center following the gunfire, Stuart said. She added that bullets had passed from one theater into an adjoining one.

IBtimes.co.uk adds:

Twelve cinema-goers are reported to have been killed and 20 hurt at a cinema in the Colorado city of Aurora during a midnight showing of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

Local media also report that two gunmen, believed to have been wearing gas masks, went on the rampage. Further reports confirmed that a blast went off at the Century 16 cinema in Aurora, leaving several injured.

In summary, 12 people are believed to be dead, and at least 20 are believed to be injured.  A smoke bomb or tear gas may have been set off.  Details are still coming in.

***UPDATE

According to HLN:

HLN affiliate KUSA reports there has been a mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater at Town Center in Aurora, Colorado — about 9 miles from Denver.

Police chief: 14 dead.  50 wounded.

One suspect is reportedly in custody.