Viewpoint: Movies don’t kill people, guns kill people

Books, Comics, Gaming, Movies, Music, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Television

The Dark Knight ReturnsLike the country, the President, the state of Colorado and geek-communities everywhere, my heart goes out to the victims and the families of the Aurora Dark Knight Rises theater shootings. I can only imagine the horror these poor fans experienced during what was supposed to have been an exciting evening of entertainment that I’m sure they had anxiously been awaiting for the past two years.

God only knows why these poor souls were destined to collide with this madman on this night at this particular movie, but you know that right-wing politicians and their conservative-minded psychologists are already gearing up to blame the violence in films, comics and video games for inspiring this tragedy, all the while ignoring the real problem.

The simple fact is that the reason those people were killed and injured in that theater is because we allow any insane person walking the street easy access to guns in this country, not because of any violence portrayed in a Batman movie or comic book. Batman doesn’t use a gun, and this is even emphasized more than once in this new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

Furthermore, the hero in this movie fights against just the type of crime and tragedy that occurred in that theater. So let’s put the blame where it should belong, on the conscious of every ‘they’ll take my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers’ nut-case out there.

The Dark Knight ReturnsI’m so tired of the mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well, guess what? It’s people with guns that kill people and if you can’t make that connection, then you should not be permitted to carry a gun. Guns are made to kill, comics and movies are not, but it amazes me that the people who want to regulate the arts and free speech are the same ones who fully embrace the right to have an arsenal in their home. It’s okay to have 20 guns in your closet, just don’t make a movie where someone is using one.

Then there’s the old favorite, “If guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns.” First off, outlaws already have guns. So you having yours, so you can shoot at beer cans out on the back 40, didn’t prevent the outlaws from getting theirs did it? And just take a look at the recent George Zimmerman fiasco to see where toting a gun for protection gets you – nothing good will come from it.

The right to bear arms from the Second Amendment was written at the same time that the government also allowed slavery in this country; and while I realize that many pro-gun people are also cool with slavery, we need to realize that our country has changed since the Constitution was written. We’re not facing a tyrannical government anymore and no matter what the Limbaughs & Becks of the world tell you; the Feds are not poised to enslave you and take all of your worldly belongings – so lose the grip on your weapon and get a grip on reality.

The Dark Knight #2To quote Bruce Wayne from the new Batman film, “I’m not afraid; I’m angry!” I’m not afraid of going to the movies, I’m not afraid of getting on a plane and I’m certainly not afraid of attending some geek event where fans are wearing costumes and having fun celebrating the comics, movies and games that bring them such joy in life – and hurt no one. But, I am angry.

I’m angry at the needless loss of life, injuries and pain that those victims in Colorado are experiencing, and I am angry that this tragedy is no doubt going to focus on pop culture and everything except the killer’s access to guns, smoke bombs and explosives; and that politicians are going to continue to ignore the real problem so long as the NRA is financing their re-election campaigns.

There’s a storm coming; and I’m angry that the geek community is going to come up on the short end of it – while the real problem continues to go unresolved. Let’s make sure we focus on HOW this was able to happen, so that it never happens again.

Related and recommended