Document Type

Class Paper

Publication Date



On July 20, 2012, twenty-four year old James Holmes entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado where a new Batman movie was being shown and began shooting, killing twelve people and injuring fifty-eight (“Deadliest Mass Shootings”). Throughout his career as a doctor who treated mainly gymnasts, Larry Nassar molested hundreds of women and girls for decades. On Valentine’s Day of this year, Nikolas Cruz walked into his former high school in Parkland, Florida, and shot and killed seventeen faculty and students, injuring many more (“Deadliest Mass Shootings”). In the United States today, it almost seems commonplace to hear these stories in the news. Our society has become so violent that once peaceful and safe spaces like movie theaters and schools have become war zones. The sanctity of simple, normal behaviors has come under threat, and many live in fear for their lives every day.

The actions of these individuals, and many more, have created and perpetuated an environment of trepidation that so many Americans experience when they go about their everyday lives. People, myself included, often see or hear these stories of horrific actions and become angry. They want to find the abhorrent person, or persons, that committed these heinous crimes and punish them to the worst degree. Some might say they deserve to be murdered also and are satisfied when the individual either kills himself or is killed by law enforcement. Others believe that suicide or being killed is the cowardly way out of their actions, and that they should have to face the mess that they have made. However, anger is an emotion that good decisions are never made out of. There must be standards and laws put in place to establish fairness and equality for everyone. Although these individuals, and many others, have committed the most egregious crimes, they still, as human beings, deserve a fair trial with access to a defense.


This paper was presented as part of Advanced Composition (CORE 2053), taught by Professor Jennifer Pittman.