Friday, July 20, 2012

Re: Questions about the Batman Shooter

You may be wondering why my last blog was about the Batman shooter, and if you haven't read it, the link is here: typically I try to avoid writing about cases like this, but because so many people I know were out opening night for the Batman movie, it just ran through my mind. Granted, nobody I knew was at that theater, but the way the news was breaking in, you'd think it was all theaters. (More on that in a bit.)

It's very rare for something that horrible, that evil to actually transpire in real life, that is brings to the table so many questions. All at once, we as humans come together to try and make sense of it all, even when the tragedy itself is senseless. But once the dust settles, and the police cars move, the camera crews move onto other stories, and all at once comes the often cold reminder that life does indeed go on.

Now tell that to the media.

I think I made it clear in my last blog that I wasn't blaming the media for the crime. I blamed the coward behind a gun. Did I question certain aspects of the media? Yes, and heavily so. But I think I was clear that only the gunman is to blame.

But in the hours after I posted that blog, a wave of fear mongering and sheer paranoia washed over every news channel I have, and now I have a few more questions, only now I have some answers too.

For starters, one question I should have added to my last blog was an obvious one. Can we blame the gun laws?

It's true, Colorado's gun laws are shamefully riddled with loopholes, even more than a decade removed from Columbine. And I've had many an anti-gun post on most of my accounts. Certainly you've been counting how many times I've called him a coward. Why? Because instead of dealing with his issues, he hid behind a few guns and blew away total innocents. That screams coward in my book.

But the gunman in this case did go through the legal method of obtaining a gun. He was given more than one background check. He bought the guns via legal means. In this instance, I can't actually blame the people who gave him the ammo. For all they knew, this could have been a cop in training or a hunter. He had no prior record, and no actual reason to raise suspicions.

Too many people will read this blog, and hide behind the 2nd Amendment, stating that "we all should have guns" when they can't even be be bothered to read the rest of said amendment. We do have the right to bear arms... IN TIMES OF WAR. A cinema-plex full of people for a fictitious movie is NOT a time of war.

But again, I must concede that unless there is a statewide ban on guns, there is nothing out of the ordinary as to how he got them.

The explosives and chemicals on the other hand, I highly question, but let's move on.

So now I'm seeing how the media is handling the aftermath, and I have to say, it's not very well. So I think I'll tackle it piece by piece.

Warner Brothers is threatening to re-cut both trailer and movie Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, to erase a good chunk of the violence. This is highly unnecessary. It's pretty clear that the gunman came in early enough into the movie on opening day, that it's highly unlikely he ever even saw the film. The movie was so tightly watched that there weren't even bootlegs available at the time of the shooting. So how can you blame the shooter for seeing a film he hadn't seen before? They don't need to cut the film. The trailer can be made shorter, to play up on the fact that this is the last in this series, and that Bruce Wayne is still Batman, or even to better introduce John Blake as the next hero of Gotham, but the movie can be left alone. Another idea is to tack on a tribute at the end of the film, which would be a show of respect on Warner Brothers' part.

NBC is pulling all ads for the movie and stores are pulling the DVDs of the last two films: The ads I can understand. You may want to hold off from posting the ads again for just 2-3 days. That's long enough to be respectful, without dropping your profits. But pulling the other movies from circulation is absurd. All three of the films combined did not start this rampage. Remember, we're dealing with one mad man, ONE time only.

News stations have up a do/don't list for the next time this happens: Next time?? There is no next time, and to tell the American people that there will be a next time is in itself a form of terrorism. You are spreading fear and lies in the name of what? Ratings? Get a grip.

First of all, the man has been apprehended. He had nobody else joining him. this is a done deal. A once in a lifetime tragedy that will not repeat itself. Many theaters are already ordering bomb and metal detectors and bringing in security guards. You have a better chance of actually meeting Christian Bale than you do ever seeing another horrid incident like this in person.

Second, half of the information they're spreading is wrong. One of the tips Inside Edition gave was to "keep flat to the ground". While this may help you survive a chemical attack in a war-torn nation, this will not get you away from a psycho with a gun. If anything, this dangerous move can ~ and will ~ get you trampled, plus you may be blocking what could be a clear exit path for you and the other patrons. The best thing you can do is to cover your head and run. You have a better chance of survival this way.

Third, you need to keep in mind that you should not ever "have to" prepare for a tragedy like this. We as a nation need to grow up, and stop living in fear of things that are in the past. 9/11 is in the past. Columbine is in the past. This is in the past, and for as evil, sad and scary as all of these violent occurences were, you can't punish an entire country for the actions of one. That's as bad as when you're in school, and one kid acts up, so everyone has to have a time-out. It's absurd. We already are at a point now where you can't even bring a pocket watch into an airport without TSA jumping you, or a nail file to K-Mart without security following you like the plague. We're Americans! Take a breath and get a grip on reality.

News Stations are also telling parents how to explain this to their children: The average American child is not watching the news right now. He's outside, running himself into an anorexic dizzy fit, trying to steer clear of the pretend obesity myth, that was based on made-up statistics, during a "wag the dog" campaign to get you to forget that our last president started two wars and managed to still, not catch Osama. Your child has a better chance of catching a torn ACL from an exercise related injury than he does ABC World News.

But let's say by some chance he does hear about the massacre. It's not very hard to explain to him what happened, in a way that won't damage him. It's easy. You just calmly do the following:

1. Sit down with your kid and look him in the eye.
2. Tell him that an evil person walked into a theater, and shot a ton of people for no reason. If you believe in religion, now's the time to explain Heaven and death, if you haven't before.
3. Explain that he was caught, and can never come back and do it again.
4. Explain that theaters are still safe places to go to, and you shouldn't be afraid of that ever happening again.
5. (Optional) Offer to see the movie with him either when he's older (Because this is not a children's movie), when it comes to TV or in a few weeks when the price goes down and people stop freaking out over it.

Total time spent with child: 5-10 minutes. That's about the length of two or three YouTube videos, which is the extent of his attention span anyway.

It may sound crazy to think it takes just this little amount of time to explain such a thing, but keep in mind, I had to explain to a 9 year old (my brother) 9/11 as it was happening ~ LIVE. In the grand scheme of things, we end up explaining to children even worse down the road, so it isn't as hard to talk to your child as the media makes you think.

Theaters are planning on pulling the movie: In Paris, the premiere was already cancelled. The Celebrities were sent straight back home just as the news was breaking. Now this was a sign of respect in Paris by some quick thinking people, but the move doesn't need to be permanent. If you're serious about honoring the dead and wounded, go ahead and pull it for a few days. But for those who still want to bring their hard earned $15-18 per ticket for the movie, let them have a screening.

Now it's true, at any time I could re-word this entire blog, but I'm an American. And as such I realize that it doesn't help anybody to spread fear and propaganda.

What will get everyone through this, is a firm grasp on reality.


  1. Koriander You shoulda been a Vulcan at least then you wouldn't have had to put up with nonsense killings and propaganda and your Logical mind woulda been put to better use than being thrown to the side and being ignored

    Atleast i hear ya and i understand what ya all got ta say

  2. I think the idea for adding "Dedicated to" at the end is a better idea than just stop showing the movie all together. Also, gun laws should be tighter. Did you know that after the shooting, guns sales in Colorado rose?

  3. Yes and it makes me very sad. You would think that a tragedy like this would make people realize that guns are not needed, unless you are in law enforcement.