I’ll give you my LibertyCon 25 wrap-up later in the week. It was way better than I expected, I had a great time and met some great folks. But I want to talk briefly about what happened last week in Aurora.
I’m not going to talk about guns, or gun control. For the first time in recorded history, I agree with a statement from the NRA, that this is not the time to make statements for political gain or to advance an agenda. This is a time to mourn, a time to reflect, a time to honor the heroes, a time to heal our wounded, and a time to burn these days into our memories.
Because we are all Aurora. This was not simply an attack at a movie theatre. This was an attack on fandom. These are our people. These are the people who were lined up to be there first. To be with fellow fans.
These are the same type of folks that went to Harry Potter release parties. The same type of folks that camped out for the Firefly Reunion panel at ComiCon. The same type of folks that line up an hour before Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle are supposed to start signing just so they can get their Lucifer’s Hammer autographed.
I was surrounded by fandom all weekend, and I was thrilled to be with my people. But my heart hurt as well for my people in Colorado that were dead and bleeding. MY people, motherfucker. So yeah, I was angry, too. I still am. I’m angry that something as innocent and quintessentially American as going to the movies was attacked by some batshit crazy sonofabitch with a bunch of ammo and an axe to grind. I’m angry that the next time I see a guy cosplaying an Umbrella Corp. soldier, that I’m going to be a little cautious. That the next time I see any militaristic cosplay the first thing that pops into my head will be “copycat” and I’ll look for my weapons and the exit. That pisses me off, that one cowardly fuckbag with bad hair dye can touch me from thousands of miles away, and corrupt something that I love.
But then I look for something better in all this. And I find it. I find Stephanie Davies, who saved her friend’s life and wouldn’t leave her side even though it might have cost her life. I find Matt McQuinn, who gave his life to shield his girlfriend from gunfire. I find Christian Bale, who spent today in the hospital in Colorado visiting the victims of the shooting. This was a terrible, terrible tragedy. The cost to fandom everywhere is incredible. I’m still angry. I’m still concerned about security at the next major event. But then I remember that I am surrounded by fans. And fantasy and science fiction fans are the best in the world. These are the most giving, most caring people I’ve ever known. And I know that we will take care of our own.
This week I will weep for Colorado. But I also know that there are heroes in all of us, and sometimes it takes the darkest night to bring them out.
The following people lost their lives last weekend. Never forget. I won’t.
Alexander J. Bolk
John Thomas Larimer