Colorado State’s Rocky Mountain Collegian Quickly Mobilizes, Provides Coverage of Theater Massacre

Student staffers at The Rocky Mountain Collegian deserve kudos this weekend for quickly and impressively mobilizing to cover and reflect upon various newsworthy components of the Colorado movie shooting.

Along with a basic recounting of the known facts related to the massacre itself, the Colorado State University campus newspaper has posted stories online focused on CSU student reactions, state gun laws, and the legal gauntlet shooter James Holmes will soon face– the latter based on an interview with a law professor.

The most powerful– truly chilling– part of the Collegian’s coverage, put together by its summer edition editor-in-chief Michael Elizabeth Sakas: a photo slideshow displaying the bullet wounds suffered in the attack by a CSU football recruit.

One especially eye-opening detail revealed within the slideshow is that the young man was not even in the theater where the shooting took place.  In his words, “The gunman was in the other room, so he shot and he missed and it went through the wall and then hit me. It went through my neck and ended up going through the back.”

A separate commentary by a CSU student who previously worked at a movie theater confirms a reality all of us moviegoers have long suspected: cinema security is mostly lax or entirely absent.

As Emily Kribs writes, “I worked in a Thornton, Colo., movie theater for one summer, during which we weren’t faced with anything close to the shooting at Aurora’s Century 16 complex.  However, I think we were similarly prepared for one, which is to say not at all.  In terms of security, we had a box around the ticket sellers designed to prevent theft, rather than violence. We relied on peoples’ social graces when we told them they couldn’t enter without a ticket or told them to stop talking. And we never performed pat-downs or examined peoples’ costumes for potential threats.”

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