Friday, July 27, 2012

On the Batman Shootings and the Children Involved

At midnight on Friday July 20, all around the states the new movie in the Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises, premiered in the theaters. Many of my friends went to the premiere here in town and I read countless Facebook statues about how awesome the movie was. One friend of mine from Seattle had been counting down the days since winter. But along with all this excitement, came senseless tragedy.

I'm sure at this point, everyone knows about the shootings in Aurora, Colorado on the night of the Batman premiere. As a hormonal new mother, I have been trying my best to stay out of it and do not know a lot of the details. I just can't emotionally handle it right now, having a newborn is draining enough. I do know that 12 people died and 58 people were injured, seventy people in total who were shot. I know that the man is named James Holmes and that he dyed his hair red to be like the Joker and that he was arrested on site. I know that he used tear gas. I know that a six year old died and that the youngest victim to be shot was only three months old. Other than that, I don't know anything. At the moment, this is all the information that I need to know.

This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. To the victims and their families, I send my condolences. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through something like that. How traumatic.

A lot of people have been making all sorts of different judgements. Whether it be about the suspect, the victims, the movie itself, how bystanders handled the situation and how the police handled it. Right now, this is not really necessary in my opinion. The things that are necessary right now are getting James Holmes sentenced and consoling the victims and their families. The day after the shooting, all I read about on Facebook was how horrible these parents were for bringing their children to a midnight showing of Batman. Excuse me, what???? How is that even relevant? 

This is pointless to even bring up because of several reasons:

*Babies go to movie theaters all the time. If the mother is breastfeeding, she can't leave a child for over an hour and some mothers choose to never bottle feed their children. Even if baby does bottle feed, sometimes you can't find a sitter but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out. Plus, the baby will not be affected by the content of the movie, they are too little! The baby will most likely be sleeping during that time and you know if the baby became inconsolable, the parents would leave. No one wants to be THAT parent.

*Children also go to movie theaters all the time. Granted, this movie might be seen as inappropriate to children by some people but I disagree somewhat. Batman is the perfect super hero. He does not believe in killing and will not do it no matter what. He also recognizes the difference between criminals and insanity, by sending most of his villains to the insane asylum. Yes this isn't the nineties Batman with Jim Carrey as the Riddler, this is the darker Dark Knight version. It is way darker, there is more death and it could be seen as scarier. But really? In this day, with all the dark stuff already on our news? Children are already experiencing this stuff. And even though you are at the movies, you can still censor your children from things that are too much, in your eyes. Um, hello have you ever heard of covering a child's eyes? That's what our parents did!

*In all honesty, movie theaters aren't usually dangerous even at midnight. Shootings can happen ANYWHERE, at ANYTIME though! Even at elementary schools! Ever wonder why your six year old has to do gunmen drills, its because they can happen anywhere. You think our kids shouldn't go to movies, well maybe they shouldn't go to school either! Maybe we should all just hermit ourselves in our houses! Then we might be "good" parents!

I'm not saying that I would take my child to a midnight showing but really? That's not what everyone's focus should be on. Everyone should focus on comforting and consoling these victims and their families. Could you imagine what it would be like to go through something like that? They are currently dealing with their own guilt as parents. But it was no one's fault, except for James Holmes. Those poor people only need our support. So how about we give them some, instead of only giving them our judgement?

To the victims and their families, I send out comfort and support. In the past week since the shooting, I have prayed for their closure and peace every time I meditate. I hope they will soon find some peace!

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