Ever since I got rid of my cable (for the third time), I’ve been completely out of touch with current events. I get my news from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Last Friday, after the alarm went off, I checked Facebook, which is literally one of the first things I do in the morning. My friend Leigh Anne had posted a news article about the ‘Batman Massacre,’ as they’re calling it now. It was the first thing I saw, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
I’m a fan of midnight showings when movies are released. I’ve been to plenty. I went to The Dark Knight at a midnight showing, in fact. Two of my closest friends went to a showing of The Dark Knight Returns on Thursday night here in Dallas. I tried to put myself in the shoes of those moviegoers. Of course I would have thought it was a special effect… a promotional stunt. Most of the midnight showings I’ve been to have catered to people’s fanaticism about the movies. They give away t-shirts, buttons, posters. They want to make the movie experience a little more special than a regular old showing. After all, in many cases, you’ve waited in line for hours and hours to get a good seat.
When you go to the movies, it’s escapism. It’s dark, the screen’s huge, the sound overwhelms you, and you leave your own little reality for a couple hours at a time. In a way, it desensitizes you. It’s frightening. In any other setting, you want to chat with the best friend sitting next to you, but it’s annoying at the movies. It’s not because they’re too loud, or that what they’re saying isn’t important– it’s that it takes you out of the fantasy. It reminds you that you’re not a player in the movie, but rather just your normal self in a theater. We go to the movies to leave that behind for a bit.
It’s horrible that this happened to the people in Aurora, but the fact is, this horrific act could have happened anywhere. What frightens me the most is that it still can.
Friday at work, one of my coworkers and I were chatting about guns. I was voicing my disapproval for current gun control laws. My friend said it wouldn’t matter if laws banned all firearms. He said, “If there is one thing humans excel at, it’s new and horrible ways to kill each other.” What a sad reality, but it’s true. We’re constantly shocked by things that happen. It’s not something we even consider, someone walking into a safe place like a movie theater, but now that it’s happened, it will always be something I fear. It expands your imagination for other things that *could* happen, but still, things will surprise us. Every time a tragedy like this occurs, it chips away a little more of the freedom most Americans take for granted.
I’m not very patriotic, I’ll admit it. I have waived my right to vote numerous times because I don’t feel passionate about most issues to give a damn one way or another. Gun control is one of the few areas that I have a definitive opinion. I just see no point in civilians having semi-automatic or automatic weapons. I personally don’t want a gun in my household at all, no matter what kind it is. But having these high-powered weapons– what in the world would anyone need one of these for, except to blow people away? These aren’t sporting guns. These are mass-killing guns.
There’s an argument out there that civilians need access to these because the bad guys are going to find a way to get them, laws or not. If they are, I doubt any ‘good guy’ is going to be quick enough or mindful enough to fight back anyway, unless we find ourselves in total anarchy, which who knows? I guess it could happen. If we end up in that society, though, I don’t want to be a part of it. I’ll be the first in line to take a bullet, because I don’t want to watch mankind become the savage animals that we’re fully capable of being. Another friend made a comment that they believe every citizen of our country should be able to carry around a concealed handgun wherever they go. Can you imagine? It’d be like the wild, wild west, wouldn’t it?
He took my parking spot. BAM!
She called me a bitch. BAM!
They ran out of the iPad. BAM!
We are too emotional and reactionary to be trusted with guns, especially the kinds that can kill or harm 70 people in 90 seconds… not only that, but keeping them out of the hands of children… I can’t imagine how difficult that would be. Already too many kids ‘play’ with guns with horrific results. Imagine if you could carry a gun like you could an iPhone. How many kids do you see playing with those?
Anyway. I know that mad people will find a way to carry out their evil plots, regardless of laws. They’ll do things we never even imagined… but why do we have to make it so damned easy, by making these killing machines so readily available to people? We don’t.
Our laws need to be rethought. Things have to change.