It’s impossible to ignore last week’s tragedy in Aurora, CO, especially when so many were injured and many more were robbed of their loved ones. My heart truly goes out to those in pain because of this event. It is sad to think this guy got what he wanted: we’re all talking about him.
From the media coverage I’ve seen, it would appear no one is blaming the Batman character or movies for this event, which is a huge relief. All too often, music, films, and video games are blamed when crimes occur when they are not to blame in and of themselves. People can take whatever message they want from the arts, but unless the stated intent is to influence others to harm each other, they aren’t to blame. Human stupidity, insecurity, and selfishness are always to blame.
I’m certainly not the first or last to say that James Holmes simply used the film’s opening to emphasize his crimes and garner more attention. While Batman merchandise was found in his apartment, he timed his crime so it would get the most publicity possible, and to ensure, sadly, the theater he invaded would be packed with people. There is not as much of a correlation between the arts and violence as there is publicity and violence. Do something insane and people will notice.
No matter how Holmes’ state of mind can be classified, any guy who buys $15,000 worth of artillery and booby-traps his apartment is hardly a candidate for even the broadest stroke of temporary insanity. While I’m not a lawyer or law enforcement official, this seems incredibly premeditated to me as an observer.
This mass murder has hit many of us close to home. Ryan, Jack, Cory and I were at one of the hundreds of midnight screenings of The Dark Knight Rises and, while it doesn’t pay to focus on it, this could have happened in our theater as well. True as that may be, people cannot be scared to go to movie theaters, where escapism still lives and breathes, despite this tragedy. We cannot let one crazed asshole scare us all into staying at home. While I understand how people might be shaken up by the cold reality of this event, harboring fear of enjoying ourselves is no way to act at a time like this.
Like many, I question the need for many of the gun laws we have in this country. The fact that one man can buy all this weaponry and ammunition without sending up a single flag of suspicion is scary. However, if someone can say something better than I can, I will let you read their words instead. Here is a wonderful piece written yesterday by actor Jason Alexander. I agree with his call for a reasonable discussion about our alleged right to bear arms.
Tell your loved ones how much you love them and do what you can to support the victims of this crime through the various charities, foundations, and fundraisers set up by those who are closest to them. Thank you for your time.