Why do we Fall?: A Tragic Shooting and Rising Above the Fear it Has Caused.
With the tragic death of 12 innocent people at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises", movies are once again being blamed for this senseless tragedy. People are beginning to feel fear...don't.
What occurred in Denver are the doings of a madman. A lone gunman whose goal was simple - to inflict pain and suffering to fulfill his own twisted desires. This could have been in any city for any movie. And this isn't the first time we have seen films, video games, or even music being blamed for such terrible acts (Columbine being the most obvious comparison to this event). Perhaps such sick deviants may use images portrayed in films as an excuse to inflict pain on others but that is all it is an excuse. I have written a few essays and editorials for various classes on the effect of violence in films and its effects on moviegoers and I personally believe there is little to none.
The problem is not violence in movies but trauma in real life. There will always be a few who may be negatively influenced by films. However, this problem is rooted in the environment in which they are raised, where there is a failure to acquire a sense of right and wrong. At the end of the day, we should not be asking ourselves whether a movie is too violent or scary but rather whether or not a parent has equipped his or her child with the tools to understand the difference between art and reality. That is, according to most Freudian thinkers, a logical reason why one commits terrible acts.
The person who committed this crime was sick in the mind. Film may have inspired his choice of words (apparently he claimed he was the Joker) but not his actions, beliefs, or mindset. Those have likely existed for a long time.
What saddens me more is not only the sheer lunacy of this act but peoples reaction to it. Those who believed that the film (which is quite amazing by the way) should be delayed, to me, are giving the wrong reaction. Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is about overcoming fear and becoming something greater than fear. Even when fear knocks us down we must always pick ourselves back up. By closing down screening we are bowing to fear and letting it consume us. The goal of a terrorist or psychopath is to inflict fear, because it lasts. Closing down screening will also not show "respect" for the victims, it will only strengthen the killers desires. Furthermore, by shutting down screenings it sends the message that the film is to blame which is not the case. The chances of this ever occurring again are slim to none.
So I ask you all to keep the victims in your hearts, whether you knew them or not, but don't let it put you off from seeing the film. Those that died wanted to see the film as much as we all did/do. This is a film that is inspiring, smart, and ultimately contains an important message that, no matter what your political beliefs, should be respected by all. This weekend, as geeks, movie-goers, and people I ask you to rise above fear, put aside your differences and see The Dark Knight Rises.
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