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Horrific Colorado shooting reminds that life is precious

A 24-year-old man in full ballistic gear and a gas mask walked to the front of a Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20 and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring dozens more.

The shooter reportedly called himself “The Joker” after the nemesis of Batman and apparently had booby-trapped his home, which took the police more than a day to enter.

According to the authorities, the shooter legally acquired the four fire arms used in the rampage (including an AK-type rifle) and bought some 6,000 rounds of ammunition months before the attack.

The cruel attack, the most deadly in recent U.S. history, has triggered debates over the impact of violent movies and the thorny issues of gun control in the United States. On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, called on U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to give more details on their views on gun control.

“Maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country,” he said.

On the other end of the gun issue spectrum, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas said after the shooting that the violence could have been lessened if more people in that movie theater had carried weapons of their own.

Some commentators, meanwhile, pointed out the difficult situation facing Obama and Romney, who have both largely avoided the hot button gun issues, which have become hard to tackle during presidential elections due to powerful gun rights lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association.

The shooter reportedly left the theater about 20 minutes into the movie, went back to his car parked outside to put on his gear and arm himself, re-entered the theater from the front exit and said something to the effect of “I am the Joker” before throwing canisters of tear gas and opening fire on the moviegoers.

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