Aurora shooting nothing but evil

........................................................................................................................................................................................

I have been proud of my kids since the first time I held them and looked out at the world convinced that no one had ever accomplished this minor miracle before. My pride continued and grew when I could point them out in band concerts, sporting events and graduation ceremonies. When I watch them today, raising their own children, I can get positively sappy.

So, it is difficult for me to contemplate the horror that happened in Aurora, Colo., without getting choked up.

Evil — cold, calculating, diabolical evil — reared its ugly head in a movie theater and turned an evening of fun and anticipation into a nightmare for hundreds of victims, friends and relatives.

Evil robbed individuals and a community of unrealized potential and accomplishment. Evil robbed families of comfort and solace.

Evil also provided a canvas for heroic deeds of good citizens, where they displayed what is still good and decent about America.

In a world where many archaic cultures practice misogyny and in a nation where various organizations have tried to blur the lines between men and women, four men put themselves between the gunman and the ladies in their lives. Each man paid the ultimate price for their acts of selflessness.

Jonathan T. Blunk, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves recognized a dangerous situation and without thinking sought to protect their dates. In the words of one of my Trifecta mentors, Scott Ott:

“Men walked into that theater; men were not made in that theater in that moment… They were men because other men had poured their lives into them and made them men.”

Even though pride is not much consolation for experiencing something this tragic, all of America should take a measure of pride in the actions of the these four American men.

We still raise good kids, kids we can and should be proud of. The exceptionalism that is America is still being taught to our children and we are still producing good citizens.

Boys are still being taught to defend themselves. Boys are still being taught to protect those that are important to them and those that are less capable of protecting themselves. Boys are still being taught that in America, womanhood is to be appreciated and even revered. Boys are still being taught the culture that has made our nation the gold standard of the world.

I believe that these four young men had older men in their lives — dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers — that inspired them to stand up to bullies and defend others. They had mentors who expressed their pride in their protégés with a smile, a handshake, a tear or a hug. These silent teachers perpetuated our culture.

Eight men died in that theater, half of them protecting someone else. I think that speaks well of our nation. Our culture has been maligned and abused, but it is not finished.

The pride I have for these heroes of Aurora, like that for my kids, is unwavering.

That’s my nickle.