Essay about Terrorism and Holmes

Submitted By Jcgonzalez1
Words: 1501
Pages: 7

Compare and contrast the Aurora theater shootings and the Sikh temple shootings. Why was one classified as a terrorist action immediately?

The term “terrorism” is ambiguous in its definition and can be embodied by a wide spectrum of characteristics that ultimately leads to the difficulty of setting clear boundaries on who can be considered a terrorist. According to the Code of Federal Regulations terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).” The vagueness of the definition leads it to be subject to various interpretations by distinct people, which, in turn, can sometimes reflect their own personal perspective as well as morals or ideologies. In American culture due to anti-Muslim sentiment, the post 9/11 hysteria, and a growth in domestic terrorism in the last 2 decades, media is used as a form of propaganda to immensely sensationalize incidents that have struck mass panic or death within communities. It is also usually the main contributor in raising the question to the public of whether the incident was linked or tied to any form of terrorism. Amidst the ending of the 20th century, the United States was grief stricken with the largest domestic terrorist attack on April 19, 1995 by former American veteran Timothy McVeigh. This attack, known as the Oklahoma City Bombing, brought the unknown notion and fear attributed to domestic terrorism, which according to the FBI “is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives,” into reality in the United States. 17 years later the American people would again relive similar experiences through the Aurora Shooting in Aurora, Colorado on July 20,2012 and the Sikh Temple Shooting in Wisconsin on August 5, 2012.
James Eagan Holmes committed the horror in Aurora on a Friday night during the midnight movie premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. He used multiple firearms and tear gas grenades, that supposedly irritated the eyes and throats of victims, to subdue multiple, injure close to 60, and kill 12 people. The attack allegedly happened about 30 minutes into the movie and Holmes was capture approximately 20 minutes after that. During the shooting Holmes was dressed in dark tactical attire that included a gas mask, helmet, and vest. After being detained and arrested, Holmes revealed that he had set up explosive devices in his apartment before going to commit the crime. On July 21, 2012 Colorado Police and bomb experts diffused the explosive devices in Holmes apartments and when the premises was breached several more explosive devices were found throughout the entire apartment alongside multiple gallons of gasoline. The same day he was captured, Holmes, was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder as well as other possible charges that might be brought to trial after further investigation is done. While incarcerated, Holmes was put under suicide watch, which has laid a foundation for his attorney’s claim to Holmes having mental instability and pleading insanity during trial. Even thought it is almost inevitable that Holmes does not receive the life sentence, many victims and their patrons are pushing for the death sentence and using coining Holmes with terms such as “terrorist” in order to obtain their goal. Many argue that Holmes fits the perfect scheme of terrorism due to the atrocity he committed in his own city as well as the potential destruction that could have taken place if the explosives in his apartment were to have detonated. He can potentially fit the scheme for a…