Once again, a cocktail of fanaticism, mental disorders and firearms brings mourning and sorrow to dozens of homes in the U.S. This time, a movie theater showing the third and final Batman sequel from director Christopher Nolan was chosen as the scene of a tragedy, which took the lives of at least 12 people and left 59 others wounded.

The act occurred in the early hours of Friday in Denver, Colorado. A man dressed in a gas mask, helmet and bullet-proof vest and armed to the teeth with a bayonet, two guns and an assault rifle—all legally acquired—burst into a cinema that was showing the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” After his dramatic entrance, he fired upon the moviegoers, which included children. Minutes later, the police arrived and apprehended the perpetrator: 24-year-old white male and doctoral student James Holmes. He had been a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Department of the University of Denver since June 2011, although he had withdrawn from the program this year.

After the incident, one and all linked Holmes to Nolan’s movie villains. Some thought Holmes may have wanted to channel Bane, the villain who terrorized Gotham in this final sequel and whose nose and mouth were always covered with a mask to alleviate pain from old wounds. Others suggested that Holmes identified with the Joker, the sinister enemy of Batman whose evil devastated Gotham City in the second sequel.

Beyond the evident disorders of the murderer, who may or may not have been linked to the Batman co-stars, what is certain is that this tragedy once again puts into evidence the terrible consequences of the unregulated sale of arms in the U.S. In effect, incidents of this nature are increasingly commonplace in the country to the north. Within the past 20 years alone, 23 similar tragedies have been documented, resulting in more than 60 deaths.

What is the explanation for this absurd arming of the common population? They know the ever-increasing possibility that these weapons will end up in the arms of delinquents or disturbed persons, who in a bid to mimic an American hero believe that they have a right to bring “justice” with their own guns.

Ostensibly, perhaps it is for the power and luster of money. This is the only possible way to explain how a business as deadly as the sale of arms, whose main beneficiaries do not seek so much to defend themselves as to commit crimes--as in the glaring case of organized crime--thrives so much in the U.S. And all this is under the auspices of the National Rifle Association, whose influence over the grand Republican spheres of power is quite evident.