I heard on the news this morning that the movie theatre killer in Colorado will be going on trial today. I had been thinking a lot about that situation lately; first, because there’s a screening of Gangster Squad tonight that I’m supposed to attend. The movie is opening here this weekend, and I remember when I saw The Dark Knight Rises, I thought the trailer looked good. In one scene, they showed a gangster shooting a movie theatre full of people while walking through the screen. I immediately thought about how Quentin Tarantino had Hitler taken out in a movie theatre in Inglourious Basterds. When the shooting in Colorado happened, I called our news director and said “Uh, I’m guessing the Gangster Squad trailers are going to be pulled, since they show a movie theatre shooting.”
I think Fox 5 was the first to mention that, too.
And that’s the exact reason why you can’t censor movies or art based on what nutjobs in society do. The killer (I won’t use his name) didn’t see this trailer and get the idea. In fact, we know he died his hair red to look more like The Joker, but nobody ever said the comic book movies shouldn’t be made because they’d insight violence. I’m guessing most would suspect, if anything, they’d increase vigilantes that would try and stop crime (a premise that should’ve worked in Kick-Ass, but didn’t).
When Charles Manson (I’ll use his name because everybody already knows it) and his followers killed people, they said it was because of Beatles songs. They even wrote song lyrics on the walls in blood. Nobody said that The Beatles did anything wrong in writing those tunes.
I’m guessing this trial will bring more talk radio stations into having the debate about guns. That’s a debate I don’t care to get into, for a number of reasons. I don’t own a gun and never will. I have no problem with people that do, though. And for every person that does what that idiot in Sandy Hook did – there’s a story like the one I heard this morning. A woman shot and killed an intruder yesterday. Her gun saved her.
There’s something so frustrating about having these debates after something like this happens. People end up basing things on emotion rather than common sense and logic.
Now, a debate I had with a few friends last week involved that Colorado movie theatre. Some of them were saying the theatre should be torn down out of respect for the victims. He brought up the McDonald’s in San Ysidro that was the scene of a shooting in the mid-80s. Lots of people were killed and injured, and they tore it down. I felt at that time, that was the right decision, but hardly think the theatre needed to be torn down.
I don’t think it’s insensitive for the owners to want to keep their business, although they did show a lack of judgment in sending invitations to the reopening to some of the victims families. We just finished a holiday season, when these families are probably even more miserable. Yet nine of the 12 people killed, had family members saying they got this disgusting offer from the theatre. At first I thought I heard the story wrong. Perhaps the theatre just send flyers to everyone in town. It wasn’t until I did some research and saw that it was because they were going to have an “evening of remembrance” followed by a movie.
What in the world were the suits behind this company thinking when they came up with that? Think about the meeting and the ideas being thrown around.
“I got it! We’ll have an evening of remembrance.”
“Great idea, Stan. We’ll have the theatre go dark, we’ll light candles outside…”
“No, no, no. We’ll have a moment of silence. Perhaps will let the victims families speak. And then we’ll show a screening of The Hobbit. We’ll offer a free small popcorn to any of the victims families.”
“Should we make them show proof they’re related to the victim before handing out the popcorn?”
“Of course! Otherwise, the entire town of Aurora is going to be asking for something free.”
Okay, I made that conversation up, but you get the point.
Some of the victims families have said this was Cinemark’s attempt to show the families were at the opening and are willing to forgive and forget.
Now, as disgusted as I was to hear about Cinemark doing this…I don’t think you can fault the movie theatre for the shooting. Most movie theatres don’t have armed guards. You can’t talk about back doors that were left unlocked, because somebody wanting to get in will get in. They can walk out, and leave a rock between the door and the wall to keep it open. It’s how I did it in Mira Mesa to sneak friends into Fast Times at Ridgemont High when I was in 8th grade.
I also heard the family of a 6-year-old is suing the theatre. I would like to hear about social services suing the family, for thinking it’s appropriate for a 6-year-old to: A) be attending a show that started at midnight. B) be at a movie that was rated R, and rather violent.
And don’t even get me started on how 6-year-olds really shouldn’t be at anything other than a Disney flick, because they sit there asking their parents questions about everything, and it ruins the experience for the rest of us.