A tragedy like the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado at the Dark Knight Rises premiere has been averted, all thanks to one brave mother. Blaec Lammers, a 20-year-old man from Bolviar, Missouri, was planning to follow in the footsteps of James Holmes during a midnight showing of Twilight’s Breaking Dawn: Part 2. He purchased weapons, ammunition and tickets to the movie, ready to gun down his fellow citizens until the police arrived to make him stop. But he didn’t count on his own mother turning him over to the police before he could carry out his grim plan.
This mom called in to the police and let them know that her son had purchased weapons like those used in Aurora and that she was nervous of what he might do with them. The police officers took the call seriously, investigated the matter, and found that the young man was fully prepared for this event. It wasn’t just a horrific dream that wouldn’t have made it to reality. As a local detective explained,
“You’ll come across people who will make threats toward people and events, but they don’t actually take the substantial steps that he took in planning it out. He got the idea, he purchased the guns, purchased the ammo, went out and practiced using the gun, got his venue, got tickets to the venue, then thought ‘Well, maybe if I run out of ammo, I need to pick a different venue.’ He had taken every step he needed to take except for actually committing the act.”
The strength it must take to turn in one’s son is simply unbelievable. It would be so easy to convince yourself that your child couldn’t possibly do something so awful. It would be easy to try to talk them out of it yourself, without getting the police involved. This mother did what she had to do. She protected the world from her own child.
We’ve seen some mothers after a mass shooting occurs that say they aren’t surprised. They say that they heard about a shooting on the news and they “just knew” it was their child. We shouldn’t blame these parents at all for not going to the police early on with their fears. The only blame lies with the person who makes the choice to take innocent lives. But we do have to recognize that this mother could have been another parent, sitting at home and worried that her child would do something terrible. Instead, she spoke up. And she saved lives.
A crisis was averted. A mass shooting, the kind we’ve seen increasingly since this summer, was stopped because this mother spoke up, no matter how hard it was to believe that her child could commit such an atrocious act.