The Batman and the Bad Man: Movies and Fear

At this point, I am sure you have heard about the shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. When a tragedy like this occurs, people react in very different ways. I’ve heard people saying they are afraid, people asking for prayers, people asking for calm, people asking for more gun control, and people calling for more concealed weapons permits. So here’s my opinion.

First, Batman didn’t cause this. Just like violent video games, heavy metal music, or Dungeons & Dragons didn’t cause any other acts of violence, neither did violent comics or movies. This was a disturbed man determined to hurt himself and others. Take away the guns, and he would have built a bomb. Make that impossible, and he would have set a fire. This isn’t about Batman. This is about a bad man.

Second, my wife an I went to a showing of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday evening. I was happy to see a packed theater (and the line for the next show was almost out the door). People weren’t letting fear get the best of them, despite the best efforts of a local news crew.

You see, the morning after the shooting, the news channel put up a survey asking people if they were going to change their plans because the shooting had made them afraid. That same news channel was interviewing moviegoers outside the theater my wife and I attended. They were asking people if they felt unsafe and whether movie theaters should start searching bags and other procedures. Their questions were designed to play on the fear of the public.

Look, we live in a scary and violent world. Bad things will happen. Mourn the loss of the innocent. But living in fear and abdicating your security to others is not the way to respond. Go out this weekend, and go to the movies. Don’t be afraid to live your life. Continue to celebrate the beauty, the spectacle, and the fun of the movies. It’s about escapism, suspension of disbelief, and having fun. Continue to camp out for midnight showings. Dress up. Have a good time. Live your life. Don’t be afraid. Conquer that fear. Don’t let one man’s actions deter you from going to the movies this weekend.

Be brave, be kind, and help those who need it. Be a little bit more like the Dark Knight.

P.S., my brother-in-law wrote a similar post on his blog. His love for the movies really comes through, so I suggest all of you follow his advice. Don’t be afraid. Overcome your fear, and go see a movie this weekend.

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