On Sunday, an armed, off-duty, official stopped a gunman from becoming James Holmes 2.0 by shooting and handcuffing the suspect of chasing and injuring employees and moviegoers at San Antonio, Texas', Santikos Mayan movie theater — where Peter Jackson's film The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey was playing.
Though it was later reported that the still unidentified suspect, who is currently at the hospital, was motivated by a romantic break up, the incident bears a chilling resemblance to the July 20 Aurora Colorado mass shooting where 24-year-old neuroscience student James Eagan Holmes killed 12 and injured 58 — at a midnight premiere of Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight Rises.
However, both incidents, as well as Friday's horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut — where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mom, 20 kids and six adults before turning on himself — reflect the need for armed, undercover, officers in public spaces such as movie theaters, shopping centers and public schools to protect Americans from random mass shootings.
Let's get real; guns aren't going anywhere, nor are "violent video games" or movies about gunmen (whether they are the "good" or the "bad" guy) shooting things and people left and right. As far as gun control legislation; it needs to be reviewed, but legislation by itself is not going to stop mass killings (Connecticut has some of the country's strictest gun laws and yet they failed to prevent the most recent tragedy).
What we need are more metal detectors placed at the entrances of public spaces such as shopping centers, movie theaters and even schools. In addition, we need either scanners or guards going through people's bags and packages (just like we do at airports and federal buildings). Lastly, we need armed, undercover, agents (similar to sky marshals) to protect Americans from random mass shooters at public spaces. It's a far from ideal situation, and it won't have a 100% rate of success, but at least it would provide an increased sense of security in these dangerous times.