Posted by Nicholas Rapp on July 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm
The midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, CO was an outright tragedy. A man by the name of James Eagan Holmes allegedly massacred the midnight audience, killing 12, and injuring 59 people. Those injured range in age from forty-five years old to just three months old, but everyone there underwent a traumatic experience that I know I personally would never forget, or fully move on from. He went in with multiple weapons, and with a gas mask and protective gear he let loose tear gas upon the audience but twenty minutes into the film. Then he “sprayed” the audience with gunfire, swiftly killing all he could. Apparently he walked up and down the aisles shooting where he went, and upon pin pointing everybody he saw attempting to flee, he would shoot them as well. What with 71 people shot, this was the largest mass shooting in U.S history.
This news enrages me. He has slaughtered innocent civilians, and he has invaded a sacred space, making movie theaters around the world irreparably tainted by his mark. The theater is a place we go to escape from our own lives and immerse our minds into the lives of others. Not to mention our desire to escape the news to which all we hear about is crime. Movie theaters have never been a place for mass murder. This man, who has spearheaded this horrific event has tainted the movie going experience. I have never thought to have fears of being in a theater. At least in order to get onto an airplane you have got to get through security. And what could Holmes have wanted with the people of Aurora, CO? He was from San Diego, and there is no news of him having known any of the victims personally, unlike the Columbine shootings where the victims of the murderers were their peers. The word to describe this massacre is “incomprehensible.” While Holmes allegedly planned the massacre at the Aurora theater months in advance, there is no way he could have planned who would show up, and who he would kill.
The men and women who died during this event did so seemingly at random. Because they paid their ten dollars and waited hours in advanced for THIS screening of The Dark Knight Rises, men and women and children were shot and injured, and twelve lives were ended. It is unfair to die this way. With tear gas in your eyes, and your wife and child by your side. It could have been anyone in that audience, and with my heart as rattled as it is just from hearing about this story, my deepest condolences go out to everyone who was there. All of us here at TheMovieBanter are stunned, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. To the families of those injured and killed, my heart goes out to you. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the family members who went to find their siblings, their children, and their parents at the hospital in critical condition. And to the families of those dead, I am so unbelievably sorry for your loss.
I have wondered how Nolan, the director of the film, could cope with such a travesty. Of course it is not Nolan’s fault that this happened, and the media definitely should not take any blame. But what can a director say when someone uses his film as a vessel to commit such evil? The statement from Christopher Nolan himself below:
“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting, but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”