Aurora Shooting: What Teens Can Take From The Tragedy

07/20/2012 04:34 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2012

Many people came into a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado last night looking for a good time. Some were present for the midnight premiere of the final installment of the Batman movies. The series' dark close was anticipated by many, and to mark the occasion, a good number of people came in costume. Partway through the movie, a man wearing a gas mask stepped into the theatre where Batman was being screened. Those watching thought he had simply dressed up for the movie, but when he fired shots at the ceiling, people knew he wasn't just a costumed fan. Then their worst nightmares came to life as he shot across the theatre with a powerful gun.

I can't imagine the fear felt by those in the theater at that moment. They had come to escape reality in the form of entertainment, but everything around them was so real and gruesome. No one in that room could have predicted what went down, and at this point, I don't think anyone can wrap their head around the fact that it really happened.

There are so many precautions that we take in this country to prevent terrorism, but horrific things like this awful massacre still happen. It's a scary world out there, and I can't begin to understand what would motivate someone to wreak such bloody havoc upon others for no apparent reason. I'm scared by what happened in Aurora. I don't feel safe. I've been to Aurora, and it's not much different from where I live. Sure, this was an ordeal that will hopefully not occur again, but that doesn't make me feel okay about going to see dark movies, because I'm afraid that something could happen.

Perhaps the shooter planned out the massacre of countless innocent people in advance, and no one even knew about it. I don't think that gun control would have changed much. If someone is so maddened that they kill many people -- or anyone, for that matter -- then they likely would go to great lengths to obtain the arms necessary to commit the crime. And that's what it seems to be with massacres like this: absolutely maddened people with no sense of the value of human life. I think the only thing that may have prevented this -- and I'm no expert in human psychology, so don't call me out -- is if someone had seen that the man was clearly not okay and tried to do something about it.

When someone is that crazy, there have to be some kind of signs, right? If someone has the desire to kill so mercilessly, don't they show it in some way or another?

I think that what teens can take out of this is that a lot of young people are troubled -- some say it's just our age. But this guy must have shown that he needed help in some way or another. My point is that if you see that someone in your school or community is struggling, you should try and help them in any way you can, even if adults have to be involved. There are a lot of kids who suffer from depression and bullying, and not helping them can cause their psychological conditions to worsen. I'm not saying that this applies directly to the killer in the theater, because I know nothing about him; but he is clearly deranged, and there is a chance that a friend intervening could have really helped him. Trying to help other people who need help can make a huge difference, and that's what I've taken from this tragic situation.