Friday, July 20, 2012

Please don’t blame Hollywood for the Colorado shooting

This morning was a bit of chaotic for me. I usually start my mornings off by reading the news, but since I had a doctor appointment this morning, along with some errands to run, I only had so much computer time. I did log in at Twitter to share a link, and I noticed that someone on there was expressing his sadness over “the shooting in Colorado.” (Leave it to Twitter for me to get news!) I saw that and wondered what he meant. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to find out. (Double unfortunate that I missed the morning news shows on TV.) (Yes, I am a news junkie! What?) So I spent a good part of the day wondering about that. I grabbed a local newspaper, as well as USA Today, but there wasn’t anything in there about a shooting in Colorado.

Then, finally, in the late afternoon, I was at the desk again, online again, and able to finally read some news lists I am subscribed to. That’s how I found out about the gunman who opened fire at the showing of the movie The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado. As I read that report, I was horrified. I was shocked and saddened. What a terrible tragedy.

I also read that the gunman was dressed as The Joker, the character from the Batman stories. I cringed when I saw that, hoping that there weren’t going to be people saying movies are EVIL because they influence people to commit murder, do drugs, rape women and rob banks. (Do we really NEED another TV show or movie making the bank robbers the good guys or letting them get away??)

Well, when I logged in at Facebook, I saw someone (not on my friends list) saying just that. Movies are EVIL! They are a bad influence on someone stupid enough to be so impressionable that they want to be just like The Joker and shoot up a movie theater.

I could only shake my head when I saw that. That’s such a sad claim to make. That is just not the truth!

It’s the same argument with guns (and you just KNOW the anti-gun crowd are going to start hating on guns because of this, too). Movies don’t kill people; people kill people.

It’s not the movies’ fault.

It’s not Batman’s fault.

It’s not The Joker’s fault.

It’s not Hollywood’s fault.

It is the fault of one person: The guy who started shooting at innocent moviegoers.

Yes, there are people who are fans of TV shows and movies. Some of them are such HUGE fans that they dress up like their favorite characters on the night a movie premieres. But these are NORMAL people. They are not people who are going to think that it’d be fun to shoot up a theater. I mean, seriously. There is a very fine line between fantasy (movies and TV) and reality – reality being a majority of moviegoers and fans who like to dress up as characters and watch their favorite TV shows or movies and who UNDERSTAND it is all fiction. These are people who know the difference between right and wrong, who are not “messed up in the head.” These are regular folks!

On the other hand, there ARE crazy lunatics out there who are going to ruin it for the rest of us. There are messed up people out there who prefer violence, death, murder and chaos over a good time at the movies. They have zero respect for life, zero grasp of reality and zero regret for what they do.

In essence, it is a person or people’s fault for such tragedies, not the movie’s fault. And not Hollywood’s fault, either. Hollywood wants to make movies that entertain. And who doesn’t love Batman? Who doesn’t enjoy a good Batman flick? The Batman movies are fun, exciting, funny and creative. They’re not meant to promote violence and certainly not to promote the evil ways of The Joker.

While Hollywood does make movies that promote violence, it’s not their way of telling moviegoers to pick up a gun and start shooting. Some people dig those violent and gory movies. Some people watch them. And so Hollywood caters to this need.

But don’t condemn Hollywood for that. The next time a movie comes out where there is a villain shooting up people or a bunch of crazy lunatics killing everybody in sight, keep in mind that this is only Hollywood making a movie for that particular audience. It’s not Hollywood saying that we should pick up a gun and start shooting everybody. Hollywood doesn’t do that. People do.

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