Stand Strong: Why Giving In To Maniacs is Bad For All of Us

By now everyone has heard about the deplorable events of the gunman who decided to open fire in a Colorado theater during the new Batman movie. The aftermath of this event has resulted in not only a mass exodus of some from movie theaters, but Warner Brothers is now considering re-cutting and editing their upcoming feature The Gangster Squad and possibly even delaying it because of.. what?

This terrible event was unnecessary and had no bigger motivation than a man who gets his jollies killing helpless civilians. The men and women in the theater were innocent bystanders mowed down by a madman. They were not martyrs. The shooter deserves no special place in history or 24 hour coverage on any news network. Already, the absolute obsession with every detail of this man floods every major news entity.

This is preposterous and insulting.

How does this serve the memory of those who died? This kind of gross overreaction does nothing but tarnish the legacy and ideals of freedom that I’m sure those who were killed in the movie theater believed in, and would not give up so easily. If we stand to serve the memory of the fallen by removing ourselves from similar situations, why do we have movies that glorify the wars overseas? Where is the outrage then? Shouldn’t we pull those movies to honor the men and women who died serving this country in a questionable war? Don’t those families deserve the same solace? Or is it different when it doesn’t happen to Americans?

We’re asking the wrong questions.

Why are average citizens given such easy access to assault rifles? Where did this man get the rifle? Why aren’t we having a conversation about the simplicity of buying such a weapon? Why hasn’t anyone asked why it’s okay for a man to purchase over 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the internet? Why aren’t we having a discussion about our obsession with guns in America? Am I an advocate for harsh gun control? No, but these questions need to be explored and discussed.

Instead, we puff ourselves up in false superiority and pay attention to the red herring. We have a culture of wannabe heroes who tell us how if they had been in the theater with their gun and watched innocent people being killed, they would have done something about it. Forget that you’d have to kill a gunman in a dark theater during an extremely loud movie, dodge the hail of gunfire, all while aiming your shot between the hundreds of innocent people scrambling around. I don’t think I need to do anything with this point about the Hollywood hero ideal other than underline it.

Without a doubt, this situation will be exploited by the press until it’s been bled dry and airbrushed from the national media. There will be recreations, timelines, candlelight vigils at movie theaters, Facebook memorial pages, and books from various opportunists, but eventually the outrage will be over, and we’ll move on with our normal lives.

Why?

That’s life. We live in a world where aberrations like this occur. There is no statute or law to protect against this kind of lunatic. These are risks we gladly take in exchange for living in a free country. It’s hardly reason to seek respite indoors. There are traffic accidents that kill more people daily than this event. Should we stop driving? Shootings like this happen about as often as planes crash. Should we stop flying? It does great intellectual and spiritual damage to be controlled by the pernicious among us.

The event was an anomaly with no incentive or political motivations. There will be no “fallout” from this event and life should resume as normal. Take a moment of solace for the friends and family of the victims, but don’t give in to the fear mongering that tells us it’s not safe to go outside anymore. Don’t concede one minute of your life to the intimidation of a terrorist. Going to the movies and living your life is exactly what you should do.

James E. Holmes, you may have gotten my attention, but you haven’t received my submission. This is the time when rational and brave people don’t succumb to the exploits of a madman. We endure. Humanity is resilient, and if you want to pay the ultimate tribute to victims, you stand strong in the face of mayhem. The solution to this problem is rather simple, and there’s a quote by Macbeth in Shakespeare’s eponymous play that goes “Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day.”

How do you defeat a terrorist? Don’t be terrorized.

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