If you have been following the news, you are no doubt already aware of the horrible tragedy that befell a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises last night in Aurora, Colorado, in which, as of this writing, a dozen audience members lost their lives and dozens more were injured by a shooter who attacked a movie theater full of patrons. I speak for everyone here at CraveOnline when I express our deepest sympathies, condolences and prayers for the victims and their families.
You may have noticed that we haven’t discussed the topic yet here at the CraveOnline Film Channel. This sort of genuine human tragedy isn’t the kind of thing we usually cover. We prefer to focus on issues and news directly affecting the artistic medium of film. What occurred last night was a crime, a truly terrible crime, which does not fall under the purview of our website. We encourage our readers to seek accurate, up to date information about the event from your trusted news outlets of choice, who are better equipped to provide you with the facts surrounding the incident. What follows is merely an editorial.
It is our belief that now is not the time to contextualize the senseless deaths of innocent moviegoers (who, bless them, just wanted to see a movie last night) in regards to either the art form we all love so dearly or the industry that supports it. We strongly urge our readers, the film industry and news outlets not to jump to conclusions in an attempt to assign blame beyond the individual personally responsible for this monstrous act. We do not have enough information about the murderer’s motivation or state of mind to make sweeping statements about what may or may not have influenced this particular event. Frankly, we may never have enough information to do so with any authority.
It is tempting to write a sweeping polemic about the correlation, or lack thereof, between popular culture and the actions of a clearly troubled mind. It is tempting to get on our well-worn soapboxes to remind our readers and the public at large that whatever film, book or music that a murderer might or might not have used to inspire or justify their terrible actions is not, in itself, the culprit. In time we may need to discuss these matters in greater detail, if only in reaction to how the film industry or other media outlets choose to react to this tragedy. For now, we simply ask that you remember that a dozen lives have been cut short and that many more have been sadly affected by the actions of an individual who is responsible for their own actions, and whose problems clearly extend beyond any movie they may or may not have seen.
If this truly horrible crime has impacted your willingness to see a movie in a theater, it is an understandable reaction. We are not going to ask that you go to The Dark Knight Rises or any other films you might be interested in seeing this weekend or next simply so that those responsible for the events in Aurora, Colorado will not “win.” We do, however, hope you will remember that this was, and will hopefully remain, an isolated incident. The problem is not the movie theater environment or the films they show, the problem is that there are sad souls in this world who would commit such a truly heinous deed.
All we ask is that our readers and the media at large discuss the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, accurately, fairly, and sympathetically, and without politicizing the deaths of theatergoers who, like many of us, simply cared about the cinema and wanted to see The Dark Knight Rises. We hope that these events have not sullied anyone against the cinematic medium or the theaters that project movies on the silver screen. Most importantly we hope that the victims of this terrible crime are cared for, and that the guilty are brought to justice under the full weight of the law.
Thank you for your time.