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More Gun Control

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The Case for More Guns (And
More Gun Control)

By Jeffrey Goldberg
The Century 16 Cineplex in Aurora, Colorado, stands desolate behind a temporary green fence, which was raised to protect the theater from prying eyes and mischief-makers. The parking lots that surround the multiplex are empty—weeds are pushing through the asphalt—and the only person at the theater when I visited a few weeks ago was an enervated Aurora police officer assigned to guard the site.
I asked the officer whether the building, which has stood empty since the night of July 20, when a former graduate student named James E. Holmes is alleged to have killed 12 people and wounded
58 others at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, still drew the curious. “People drive by to look,” he said, but “not too many.” The Aurora massacre is noteworthy, even in the crowded field of mass shootings, as one of the more wretched and demoralizing in the recent history of American violence, and I was surprised that the scene of the crime did not attract more attention. “I guess people move on,” he said.
I walked up a slight rise that provided an imperfect view of the back of Theater 9, where the massacre took place, and tried to imagine the precise emotions the victims felt as the gunfire erupted.
“The shooting started at a quiet moment in the movie,” Stephen Barton told me. He was shot in the opening fusillade. “I saw this canister-type thing, a smoking object, streak across the screen. I thought it was a kid with fireworks playing a prank.”
Barton is 22 years old. He had been preparing to leave for Russia this fall on a Fulbright scholarship.
“The first...

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