By now we've all read about the young Aurora, Colorado couple who had just moved to town and made the fateful decision to take their two young children to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Many have gotten in their judgy comments about whether two young children should have been in the theater that night. And now the father, Jamie Rohrs, is getting a drubbing for leaving his family in the theater as he escaped and ended up driving away from the carnage, only coming back once his girlfriend, Patricia Legarreta, called him. Commenters are even telling Patricia to leave the father of her children, saying he will never be there to protect her. Of all the judgmental nonsense people can spout, this is certainly some of the most ignorant.
When the shooting started, Jamie Rohrs yelled to his girlfriend, Patricia, to get on the ground. He then says he threw Patricia's daughter, 4-year-old Azeria, to the floor. He assumed his fiancee had their son, 4-month-old Ethan. At this point, the two got separated. The theater was absolute madness of people crushing over each other to escape in darkness and also the blinding and suffocating tear gas or some other chemical. Said Rohrs:
People are running all over. I'm tripping and falling. I don't know if I laid [Ethan] down or sat him down. I'm wondering maybe there's more of them. [I'm thinking] 'He's crying and they're going to come get me.' I look up to see if I can run. I'm ducking, dodging, turning left, turning right. ... Every time you hear a gun shot, it's like 'Oh, I'm dead.' I'm just disoriented after I put him down.
Here's where people start to get judgy. Why would Rohrs put his son down? A lot of people are assuming he put him down so he could more easily make a run for it. Could it also not be that with bullets flying he thought his son should be closer to the ground?
Now Rohrs got out of the theater. Then he drove away, and came back after Patricia called him. Rohrs himself says: "It just felt like the worst thing ever because my son's still in there. My girlfriend is still in there. I'm out here. Who leaves their child there?"
At the time, Rohrs was disoriented, panicked, and his body was flooded with adrenaline. This is how it played out. Does it mean he's a bad person or a coward? No. No one knows how they will react in an extreme situation like this until they are in it. And anyone who wants to judge it from the comfort and safety of their own home is being naive, simplistic, and downright cruel.
I just hope that Rohrs doesn't let the question "Who leaves their child there?" haunt him to the extent that he becomes a bad parent and husband (as he and Patricia are now getting married). The couple need to concentrate on healing. The video where Rohrs explains what happened is heartbreaking.
Do you think Rohrs should be judged for the leaving the theater?
Image via CNN