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July 24th, 2012
10:37 PM ET

RidicuList: Campaign song you won't hear at a rally

William Tapley, a RidicuList regular and Third Eagle Of The Apocalypse, returns with a new campaign song written for the 2012 presidential election.

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Filed under: The RidicuList
July 24th, 2012
10:19 PM ET

KTH: Candidates shy away from gun law issue

Anderson Cooper looks at what the presidential candidates are saying, and not saying, about gun control laws.

July 24th, 2012
10:18 PM ET

Babysitter tried to save youngest victim in Aurora shooting

A teen who survived the Colorado theater shooting without physical wounds is learning to deal with her emotional scars. Kaylan, 13, watched as three people with her at the batman screening were shot, including 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

“I put my hand on Veronica’s ribcage to see if she was breathing,” Kaylan tells CNN’s Poppy Harlow, “but she wasn’t breathing so I started freaking out.”

Kaylan, who regularly babysat Veronica, showed tremendous courage in theater 9. “I felt like it was partly my job to protect her,” she says. “She was just a child.”

Veronica was the youngest victim to die. Her mother was shot in the neck and abdomen, but lived.

“I thought I was going to die,” Kaylan says. “It’s the scariest feeling to think that you’re going to die.”

Her pastor Michael Walker calls her a girl with a servant’s heart. “She’s the type of kid that would come in a room and say what can I do to help,” Walker says.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 24th, 2012
10:15 PM ET

Syria's violence and 'street of death'

CNN's Ivan Watson reports from inside Syria on the opposition's fight against government forces.

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Filed under: Syria
July 24th, 2012
10:12 PM ET

Grieving father: Son 'was my best buddy'

Alex Sullivan died in theater 9. It was his 27th birthday and he was just two days shy of his first wedding anniversary.

Earlier that night Alex tweeted: “oh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever”

“He was my best buddy in the whole world,” his father Tom Sullivan tells Anderson Cooper. “I always went with him places. People would say, ‘Tom when I see you you’re always with your kids,’ and I said, ‘well that’s why you have them they’re supposed to be with you.’”

Sullivan says that going to the movies was a tradition. “We have always gone to the movies on his birthday,” he says. “We started back when he was 6-years-old.”

He also tells Anderson that Alex’s wife is coping with the loss.

“He was just such a fun guy and he was so empathetic,” Sullivan says to Anderson about his son Alex.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 24th, 2012
10:11 PM ET

'Miracle' stories of survival in Aurora

CNN's Randi Kaye tells the story of survivors who lived through the gunfire in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.

Katie and Caleb Medley are high school sweethearts who had their first baby, Hugo, this morning. Both were caught in the attack. Katie and the baby were unharmed, but Caleb is still in a medically induced coma. To help them, go to Caleb's website http://calebmedley.com/help

Stephanie Davies helped save the life of her friend Allie Young who was shot in the neck. Stephanie didn't leave Allie to find safety, she stayed with her and applied pressure to her wound. Then, she carried her friend across two parking lots to an ambulance.

Petra Anderson was hit four times, with one bullet entering her brain. The 22-year-old was probably saved by a rare birth defect - a fluid-filled channel in her brain that maneuvered the bullet. Her family is struggling with paying for her medical bills along with those of her mother who is battling terminal breast cancer. To help, visit a website created by her friends and family: http://www.indiegogo.com/readytobelieve

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 24th, 2012
10:10 PM ET

Brain condition may have saved victim

Call it what you will - providence, fate or simply a stroke of incredibly good luck - Colorado shooting victim Petra Anderson has some of it.

Anderson, 22, sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the movie theater rampage last week. Three shotgun pellets hit her arm, and one went through her nose into her brain.

The head injury could have been fatal, but thanks in part to a brain abnormality she never knew she had, Anderson is on her way to a full recovery, according to her pastor.

He said there's just one way to describe what happened: "a miracle."

"The doctor explains that Petra's brain has had from birth a small 'defect' in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear," Brad Strait, senior pastor at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colorado, wrote on his blog this week.

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July 24th, 2012
07:46 PM ET

Letters to the President #1282: 'The gun control debate'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day. He writes to me only on Thursdays. Well, actually he doesn’t write to me at all, but if he decides to, Thursdays will work on my end.

Dear Mr. President,

Here is a basic principle of life that I adhere to whenever possible: Don’t make grave decisions at a time of high emotion. By that I mean, for example, that no one should get mad, yell “I quit!” and storm off the job. He or she should wait until the fury passes; carefully consider if the job is desirable, and then decide to stay or go. People should not decide to divorce when they are furious at each other and throwing plates; rather, they too should wait until they are less angry, discuss their differences in a rational manner, and if they still want to smash the china, then they should call lawyers. And on it goes.

You get my point. Actions taken at a moment of heightened feelings can be very satisfying in the instant, but disastrous in the long run. (Oh sure, sometimes circumstances are so dire one must act right away, but often that is not the case.)

I mention it now because of all the debate over gun control in the wake of the Colorado shootings. I understand that this horrible incident is, for many people, a perfect catalyst for getting the conversation underway. I know as well that the conflict itself is perfectly valid; people who are for more gun control and those who oppose it have carried on a vigorous dispute for a long time.

But in the heated environment of the moment, I’m not sure we will get the best discussion, nor would we get the best legislation if both sides pressed it to the end. What we are most likely to get is a lot of inflamed rhetoric, accusations, and…once again…no conclusion of any sort.

Here is a novel idea: The people who are most vested in this issue, both pro and con, need to remember this moment and engage the issue when we are not in the wake of a national tragedy. I say this not out of any particular sense of moral propriety, and not because I am attempting to tip the scales either way, but rather in a spirit of practicality. Calm, rational, committed people almost always have a better chance of reasoning with each other and finding workable solutions, than do people who are upset and defensive.

The gun control debate, no matter which side you stand on, is a serious one that deserves serious consideration. All too often, however, we only hear about it when something awful happens…and it becomes nothing but another gust of sound and fury that soon passes and is forgotten by politicians of all stripes who are too timid to talk about it unless emotions are already flaming.

Hope all is well.

Regards,
Tom