History of Terrorism – Aurora Theater Shooting Research Paper

The Aurora Theater Shooting

The 20th July 2012 Aurora Theater shooting in Colorado was a terrorist attack by a 24 years old suspected gunman James Holmes. On that day, Colorado awoke to the worst mass shooting ever since the Columbine massacre after approximately 50 people injured and at least 12 were killed by a lone gunman who wielded tear gas and fired randomly at cinema goers who went for the midnight premier of the Batman movie.

The gunman entered into one of the three cinemas that was showing “The Dark Knight Rises” at the multiplex cinema in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, at around 12:30 am. He made his way in to the cinema through a side exit, when he was dressed in black and had put on a flack jacket and a mask while carrying hand guns and a rifle. He flung a gas canister above the audience into the air, with fumes and a loud bang spreading through the auditorium (McCann, 2014).

The suspect was arrested by police officers while he was near a car behind the theater. When he was found by police he had a handgun, a rifle and a knife. Another gun was later found from the scene of incidence.

Impact of the Aurora Theater Shooting

Cancellation of shooting sport competitions

The cancellations happened due to the fact that there were imposed concerns over the legal implications of the new gun laws and the political opposition. Those 300 shooters who were expected to be in attendance in the International Defense Pistol Association’s Rocky Mountain Championship in Montrose between 4th -6th of July no longer provided the local business with food, lodging, and gas.

Wasted government resources and time

There were new gun legislation which would impose new burdens on the law enforcement system, limiting their resources and time, particularly in a case where the officers are forced to take extreme measures in ensuring stoppage of the black market trading like California. Besides all that, the legislative battle on gun legislation prevented the Colorado government from giving focus on other important issues that could be of improvement to the well-being of its citizens (Caraley, 2013).

The other consequence of the Aurora Theater attack is the lingering physical maladies.

As a result of killing of 12 people and 58 getting injured in the July 2012 shooting spree, people still experienced insomnia, and facial tics and stress-induced epilepsy years later. The psychiatric experts noted that it wasn’t easy to know who would experience serious the after-effects of the attack. Nearly 7% to 8% of the individuals would go on to develop the post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a result of such a deadly attack, according to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

There was also a lawsuit filling against the Aurora Theater.

One of the people who were in the crowd during the shooting, Torrence Brown Jr. sued Aurora Century 16 theater for failure to equip the emergency exists with guards and alarms. Even though Brown himself secured no injuries, he lost a friend during the attack and he claims of extreme e trauma.

The Stated purpose of the U.S. War on Terror

When we talk about terrorism, the U.S. government considers it as dealing with a global military agenda characterized with different forms of intervention. The latter is inclusive of the covert of intelligence and military operations in supporting the domestic paramilitary groups and the ones called liberation armies (Colon & Jacobson, 2006). The operations are hugely devised to create ethnic, political and social divisions within the national societies, which ultimately contribute to the destruction of the whole countries as was experienced in Yugoslavia.

In the mean, the United States sponsored “democratization” agenda includes intervening in the countries’ agenda on internal affairs, usually with a view to destabilizing the national governments and ensuring an imposing sweep of the “free market” reforms. With this respect, the illegal invasion of the Haiti as a result of a U.S. sponsored military coup, which also had the support of France and Canada, became an integral constituent of the Washington global military agenda.

The aspects of war and globalization often become intimately related processes. Intelligence and military operations is in support of the opening up of the new economic frontiers and the restructuring of the national economies. The forces and powers indelibly behind this process include the Anglo-American oil giants, the Wall Street, and the U.S. –U.K. defense contractors.

Finally, the purpose of America’s “War on Terrorism” is to ensure transformation of the sovereign nations into an open territories (free trade areas), both through imposition of deadly macroeconomic reforms and military means. On the macroeconomic reforms, as implemented under WTO-World Bank-IMF auspices usually serve to destroy and undermine the national economies, thereby precipitating millions of people into abject poverty. Consequently, reconstruction programs which are imposed by creditors and donors in the wake of the war add to a spiraling external debt.

Issues with regard to War and Terror

Mainstream Media

As the citizens everywhere are rightly outraged over the attacks, the mainstream media has on a greater extent concentrated on the different aftermaths and impacts, effects, and make reports of what the political leaders are doing or not doing, are saying or not saying (Colon & Jacobson, 2006). As with a number of conflicts in the recent history, though huge in quantity, media reporting are comparatively lacking historical context, in depth, and an investigative analysis on the cause which has fueled such terrorism and outrageous militant extremism.

International cooperation in war and terror

The attacks of 9/11 generated unprecedented degree of international cooperation, and also the extent to which the states collaborate differently across the varied domains in context of war and terrorism. First, is the undeniable contribution and the grounded aspect of hegemony. This social web comprising of states in a system, not just through the prism of power balances, but on the basis of shared norms and a system of rules in provision of an umbrella for the interstate relations. Even though interstate conflict becomes a ubiquitous in the context of the international society alongside pursuing particularistic interests is also a common phenomenon, the international society offer a normative framework that moderates restricts the hegemon’s actions (McCann, 2014). The normative framework is the reason for the hegemon’s inclination toward a peaceful and an orderly interstate relations, thereby minimizing its reliance on power.

Read Also – Role of International Non-Governmental Organizations in Combating Terrorism-Sample Research Paper

The interstate cooperation in war and terror has reflected a thematic approach which tackles only the specific components of terrorism. The 9/11 attack had demonstrated the lethality of al Qaeda and the threat it posed, not merely to the particular states, but rather the principal tenets of international order. States quickly recognized that al Qaeda was a representation of a totally different kind of threat that made them to see that fighting it back as a shared interest and thus began devising a combative collective action in confronting it.

Barriers to international cooperation in fighting terrorism

  • Inter-organizational Coordination – It is practically impossible to have an international counter-terrorism cooperation in the absence of inter-organizational coordination. The example of May 3, 2003 bomb attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which resulted to deaths of 26 expatriate residents, occurred due to lack of inter-organizational coordination as U.S. government had warned the Saudi Arabia on this specific threat. Another area of importance in coordination is also the police organizations (Durmaz, North Atlantic Treaty Organization & Turkish Institute for Police Studies, 2007). In case of countries with public and private police systems, there is often poor coordination between the two sections, at times due to competing objectives and lack of agreement on institutional objectives.
  • Political instability- the absence of a concrete central government usually serves as an “open invitation” to the relocation of criminal syndicates and international terrorists. This sends signals to the much way that the “broken windows” do with respect to bereft communities in urban ghettos to be a place for conducting criminal acts. The absence of a significant central authority there is little prevention over a terrorist organization not to take advantage of the presented opportunities (Durmaz, North Atlantic Treaty Organization & Turkish Institute for Police Studies, 2007).
  • Civil war and Regional Conflict –The presence of regional or civil war in at least one region in the world has internecine, ethnic or tribal basis has often caused huge influx of refugees into the surrounding regions, hence providing excellent cover for the mobile terrorists.

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