Saturday, July 21, 2012

Response to Shootings in Aurora

      It’s obviously no secret that I’m a huge comic book fan. Two of my posts just this week are on the comic books, and it turns out this blog is one of the top results if you search for “Shakespeare + Hulk”, which for a small time blogger I find pretty exciting. So it’s no surprise that I was looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises like a dog looks forward to just about anything. I had even gone to the movies that night in order to try to score a ticket to the Batman Trilogy marathon some theaters were running, but I was too late.

    It obviously makes sense that I would have some reaction to the horrible tragedy that unfolded in Aurora, Colorado the night of the midnight showing.

    I’ve needed some time to think about it. I can get into the minds of each one of those people sitting in the theater. Each one excited -- this is a movie they have been waiting for since the end credits of The Dark Knight. Some people were wearing costumes, some people were wearing shirts, everyone was excited to see a comic book superhero go up against a comic book villain, and leave the violence on the screen. Then their world was rocked in a way that I don’t think I could ever imagine.

    My heart goes out to everyone in the theater that night. The people at that midnight showing were fans. They were dreamers who believed that a man dressed as a bat could make a difference. They are the people who read the comic books and hope for a hero, even if it was in their imaginations for a few hours. And they suffered because one lone gunman decided that he was going to break in and start shooting people. It was a senseless crime. It was a crime that attacks all of us. I point out again that these people were dreamers, who hoped for the best in the world. And in one swoop someone came to try and take it away. It’s more important than ever that we don’t let him do this.

    Now is the time for healing, now is the time to help. Now really is the time for all of us to be Batman in some way. I don’t mean dress up, I don’t mean more violence. I mean now is the time to help people the way our comic book hero would. Here is how we help:

    Don’t be afraid. There’s no need to avoid the movies this week if that is what you want to do. This was a lone instance of psychopath. If you love movies, as I do, still go. You aren’t dishonoring anyone. You aren’t in danger. (Except of being gouged at the concession stand.)

    Don’t point fingers. This isn’t the fault of violent movies, of one group over the other, of a negative influence, or anything else the professional shouters will decide over the next few days. To commit a crime like this requires a dangerous mind, one who would have done something like this no matter what his influences might have been.

    Do what you can to help. If you feel that you want to help, there are charities and organizations out there that are helping right now. www.givingfirst.org has a few suggestions. Don’t want to give money? Give time. Go volunteer. Go do something to help in the name of these victims. The East Coast Avengers is a group that visits Children’s Hospitals dressed as superheroes. Go help them.

    Be Batman. Contrary to the rock’em sock’em movies or adventures, Batman hated violence because of how his parents died. Batman was quick to act to help people. But what Batman is about is standing up in the face of danger, standing up to corruption, and standing for those who need it. Be brave. Be strong. Help people.

    I will return on Monday with my usual humor, defense of education, robot invasions, and dreaming. But as I mentioned, I’m going to write what I’m passionate about in this blog. In the meantime, I’m not going to let one guy dictate what I will or won’t be afraid of. I will not let one guy dictate my future plans. I will not let one guy dictate what I dream about. I hope that you don’t, either.

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