Saturday, 21 July 2012

Aurora Theater Shooting

As a film fanatic and a lover of the big screen, the Aurora Theater Shooting left me feeling shocked and saddened. For me, the cinema is a special place. Its a place for escape, to immerse yourself into another world, where its just you, the crowd and the screen. The cinema is one place where a whole group of people, friends, family, strangers alike can get together as one and experience something magical. In the case of The Dark Knight, when I went to a showing, the crowd cheered, laughed and cried together. It is horrifying knowing that many people in the Aurora theater going to watch the third film had a very different and chilling experience. They were fighting for their lives.

Its heartbreaking this could have happened. 12 people were killed in the attack, and around 50 were injured when a gunman broke into the theater, and opened fired. The gunman was arrested outside the cinema and was later identified as James Holmes. Could this violent and brutal attack on innocent moviegoers have been prevented? It is reported that Holmes had with him 3 legally purchased guns, while a second gun was also found inside the cinema. How could this happen? Should there have been stricter gun control laws?  There ought to be a way to make it harder for people to get there hands on such destructive weapons, perhaps through a more detailed background search. It can be argued that nobody could have prevented this brutal tragedy from happening. New York theaters now plan on having gun searches on entering the cinema. Most cinemas provide bag searches, and I feel that perhaps in order to make people feel safer, gun searches should also be carried out.
Living in North London, I have heard of many people carrying knives around for their own personal safety. I never understood the argument people give for carrying around guns, knives and other weapons. They say that they have no intention of using them. But what other use is there for a gun or a knife? It makes me feel that I need to be more cautious when out. In responding to lets say somebody in need of help on the street I should be wary of the risks involved: Does this person need my help? Is there a chance that this is not genuine and in fact a set up to attack me? Does this person carry a gun? Is this person bleeding and could I be exposed to infection? There is no way of knowing and common sense is needed.

In America, it is easily accessible to get a gun. This needs to change. This type of violence happens more and more, yet we are doing nothing to stop it. The fact that guns are so easy to get hold of is inexcusable and it could prevent many tragedies like The Aurora Shooting and The Columbine High School massacre from happening in the first place. Why should innocent people suffer, when a ban on guns could be enforced making tragedies like these less occurring?  Many other people are intent on blaming the nature of The Dark Night Rises movie. This cannot happen. The film is not at fault. Fans of the film fight back responding with the well known Batman quote: "No guns. No killing."
Nobody made Holmes commit such a violating attack on innocent people in a dark and crowed cinema. "Guns do not kill people. People kill people." It all comes down to a number of factors: the lax American gun laws, how easy it is to purchase a gun and the exploitation of the freedom of individuals and their personal liberty.  For the victims of the Aurora shooting and their families, there is NO excuse. At this time they need our support, prayers and thoughts. 

Christopher Nolan, the director of the Batman film, responded to the tragedy, stating that: '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 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.' He continues, 'The movie theater 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.'

My thoughts go out to the victims, their families and to those affected by the Aurora Theater Shooting. Its a sad time and shows just how fragile life really is. Many of those killed were simply enjoying a night out at the cinema, even tweeting and social networking just like any of us would do. I find this so sad. I feel that despite this senseless attack and the horror it has caused, people need to see this film. People need to go out and to not be afraid, as a tribute to those who have lost their lives.

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