Tragedy in Colorado

We know it’s not a local story, but the horrific tragedy in a Denver suburb late last night is on everyone’s mind this morning.

The senseless killing that left 50 12 dead and dozens injured took place during a premiere showing of the new Batman movie in a theater in Aurora, Col.

We’re watching the story like everyone else. Please share your thoughts and comments with us.

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  1. Horrible. Horrible.

    Why are we such a violent society? While I do not blame in any way shape or form the people who made this movie, it does make you wonder why such extreme dark depressing violence resonates with people. A generation ago people would never have taken small children to such an extreme dark movie. It would have been a niche film for adults. Now this kind of stuff is routinely the fodder for 9 year old boys’ birthday parties. Why? I took my kids to the last Batman and could not believe hopw unpleasantly dark and violent it was. Made David Lynch look tame in a lot of ways.

    I am sure lots of people will respond that this was the act of one deranged person and nothing more. Perhaps. But I think we have gotten so immune to extreme violence that’s it’s basically now seen as nothing but a form of deranged entertainment.

  2. When there are “death threats” against the people giving this movie bad reviews, and the director himself defends because people love Batman so much. Not true, you cant take kids to this dark violent Batman that he has created. Feel bad for those in Colorado and their families. THis was meant to be the darkest most violent movie they could make, think they are happy now??? GIve me Adam West any day. Go see the Avengers, kids can watch that and have heroes to enjoy, not some violent interpretation of a comic hero.

  3. This is certainly a tragedy. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those lost.

    But one cannot make the mistake in believing that “dark” movies motivate such violence. In a society that is as “dark” as this- joblessness, hopelessness and war- to pin this on a movie is, well, silly. Likewise, there has been no credible connection between violence in media and violence in society. To this– this tragedy aside- violence is down.

    The movie is rated PG-13- so no on under 13 should be there unless accompanied…. I agree that this is a dark movie, but as an adult– I don’t mind. And I don’t only want entertainment to be that which is suitable for 9-year-olds. Please.

    If an adult brings a “kid” to this movie, that’s on them. I believe there were very young children at this MIDNIGHT show. That’s crazy… But if you are a fanboy, with a kid, and no one else to care for your kid, what do you do?

    Oh, right, live with your bad decisions and find a better alternative. Bringing a child to an inappropriate movie should never be an option. But as most will tell you– folks bring young kids to inappropriate movies all the time!

    (My other thought is if this were a rap show, we’d be hearing all sorts of folks talking about “banning” rap and hip-hop….)

  4. I saw multiple media reports this morning identifying the shooter as a “White American”. Whew, that’s a relief.

  5. wow! you guys have no thoughts regarding the guy with the gun who actually did the shooting?

    or thoughts regarding his access to the weaponry involved?

    just finger-wagging at people that made an action movie, and recommending people to stick with movies that portray lighter stylized fictional violence over realistic-looking fictional violence.

    and yes, some folks took there kids out on a late night to a movie that was too much for them, but might there not have been a bigger thing that happened last night to gripe about?

    My condolences to the victims and their families and I hope that all involved in this tragedy – including those that provided access to his weapons – are brought to justice.

  6. My thoughts on this are, in order of apperance:

    O fer chrissake, what’s the world coming to?
    Can’t we have some happy news on a Friday?
    How many comments did this piece get? Six? More than I would have expected?
    I wonder if ROC showed up. No, I guess he didn’t.
    I drank too much coffee this morning.
    Why does it have to rain just before a weekend?
    I wonder what I should do for lunch?
    I wish I didn’t have to work today.
    I guess I should be happy to have a job.
    What would I be doing if I had Romney’s dough?
    Ouch, I stepped on a pen.
    I would love some potato chips right now, but I have to watch my weight.
    Oh, screw it, I’ll stuff a few in my mouth and start dieting tomorrow.

  7. Not one news organization has posted a photo of this subhuman. I want to see what the face of an evil coward looks like. Already, people are making this into a race issue. It’s not. It’s just another sick individual who should be shown no mercy. As a society, we should not stand for this. It could have happened anywhere, at any time. Seriously, I am glad they got him alive so the whole world can watch this POS take the stand and try to defend his actions against innocent who just wanted to watch a popular movie in peace. Bring it on.

    In the meantime, condolences to the victims of this horrendous crime.

  8. If we are lucky, this could help end this seemingly never-ending string of uncreative super hero movies. Though, probably not before Andy Capp debuts.

  9. God forbid we should have some strict gun laws. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
    That said, this is really tragic and my heart goes out to all those people and their families.

  10. OK, so now we have a photo. Truth be told, you would walk past this man on the street and wouldn’t look twice. Not homely, not handsome, just average, no distinguishing marks. Still lots of unanswered questions, the biggest one being “Why?” No police record, other than a traffic ticket. But then we are told that spree killers such as this usually have no police record. No ties to any terrorist groups and despite what Brian Ross says, no ties to the Tea Party. Just a lone wing nut whose mother now asks that we respect her privacy. Fat chance.

  11. and being covered in The Atlantic – timeline is impressive!

    “But one of the most effective sources of information about the massacre has been Reddit. In particular, “Comprehensive timeline: Aurora Massacre,” a Reddit page that offers a tick-tock of the Aurora events that play out in granular, heartbreaking detail. Posted a few hours ago, it has already received hundreds of upvotes, and is on its way — already — to becoming one of the definitive documentations of the tragedy.”

  12. Prof- I disagree that there is “no credible connection” between violent media and aggressive behavior. There have been many well-designed, randomized control studies that suggest that people exposed to violent media (in the short term) behave more aggressively (also in the short term). Violent video games seem to be the worst offenders, but studies with films have demonstrated similar effects. Of course, these studies don’t prove that someone would watch violent films and then go shoot others, but they do suggest that watching violent media can desensitize people and increase aggressive tendencies.

    That said, I am not arguing that movies like Batman, etc. caused this individual to do this. There are clearly many factors involved. I just wanted to point out that I think there is evidence (though Prof and I might disagree about what is considered credible) for the negative impact of violent media.

  13. hf12,

    Again, I look to facts. A quick google search turns up mountains of studies that debunk the common myth that violent video games lead to or cause violent acts.– Again, with crime at a 30 to 40 year low and more violence than ever at the reach of kids, it’s hard to make such a claim. Same goes with sex. Check these: (Ms. Olson wrote a book and was interviewed around the time of it’s publication. Here she is on Brian Lehrer:

    And the idea that some hold some violence after seeing or playing a violent game is addressed. But like the feeling some Moms around here have of being aroused after reading a page of “50 Shades of Grey”, it quickly goes away.

    I know, it’s hard to think that there must be something more difficult at play here, it’s always easier to blame violent video games, a text message, or a dumb comment. Sometimes, crazy ass people do crazy ass things….

    Here, this is a deranged madman. They’ve been around long before Halo 3, Batman and pre-TV, Ice-T.

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