One would have to live under a rock, never turn to any news source or just exist in their own protective bubble not to be aware of the tragic happenings that took place early Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado. It truly was numbingly horrific. Of course being the thinking kind of creatures that we are we must strive to understand it…understand it all.
The first question is what drove a seemingly nice, smart-looking, accomplished young man to exact such horror in a crowded movie theater. But then so little is really known about the shooter at this time and so that question remains unanswered…for now.
Moving on we bring out the whole gun control debate along with the tired argument that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.“…people with semi-automatic assault rifles with high capacity magazines kill people. Gun enthusiasts would argue that if we exact stricter gun control laws, the criminals can still get them…therefore why have such laws keeping law abiding citizens from purchasing weaponry guaranteed by their Second Amendment rights? You know, law abiding citizens that easily pass background checks with no red flags or questions…like the shooter. But then pundits and the media point out that gun control is really not a relevant discussion at this time. It’s too soon and it’s an election year you know. We shouldn’t be talking about the need for stricter gun control laws right now.
What else can we deliberate on? Oh how about the question of why were there families at a midnight premiere of the Dark Knight Rises? What kind of parent brings children?…an infant? And media types, people who have no children, and the better-than-the-average-parents do just that. Surely some blame can be placed here because what kind of parent would be there with their children? What were they thinking? Yet in spite of their perceived poor judgment, they are the innocent victims here. No person, no family when going to a movie expects someone to show up in the darkened theater, dressed in full body armor and a gas mask and armed with tear gas, handguns, a shot gun and an assault rifle and begin shooting at everyone there. But The Dark Knight Rises is not an appropriate movie to bring a child or an infant, some argue back. One even pointedly asked me if I would bring a small infant to a premiere like that?
The answer is yes…yes I have.
Judge away. I really don’t care. My fourth child, Jodie, was born after a long, complicated pregnancy that kept me confined to complete bed rest hooked up to a monitor and a medication pump for months. Bed rest is hard. Bed rest is even harder when there are three small children who depend upon you. Confined to bed for months with little interaction with the outside world while I stressed every waking moment about my unborn baby, my stressed out husband and my three other children nearly drove me mad. After the birth our healthy, full term (thank God) baby girl, the last thing that I wanted was to be cooped up at home. As a family we quickly resumed normal family activities which included a weekly date night for my darling husband and myself. With four small children, trust me, we needed this weekly date night.For us date night was usually as simple as a walk to the local coffee shop or hanging out at the mall people watching and sometimes, a movie. Because Jodie was just a small infant who pretty much demanded to be breast fed every two hours and would not accept a bottle at all, she was our little third wheel usually snuggled in the baby sling sleeping against my chest. She accompanied us three times to movies, two which were premieres and definitely not movies for small children. But snuggled securely in her baby sling, Jodie slept throughout the entire length of the movies never once stirring. People around us scarcely were aware that she was even there…unless they were judging me for bringing a baby to see Twister or The Rock or Independence Day.
The way I see it was that my husband and I made a judgment as parents just as we do with any movie that we have allowed or not allowed our children to see through the years. It really was no one’s business or judgment but our own…even when we have taken our children to midnight premieres of some movies.
And so the way I see it is it really appropriate for us to consider and analyze what kind of parent would bring an infant or a six year old to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight? Well, under ordinary circumstances, sitting in a movie theater at a movie like that maybe…I have wondered to myself sometimes while attending certain movies. I guess it is our nature to do just that. Then again in this circumstance is it really okay?
A family is planning the funeral of their six year old little girl and we are really going to question the appropriateness of them bringing that little girl to a violent, dark PG13 film at midnight….a movie where she and 11 other innocent people were gunned down and murdered?
We are going to question the thinking of the victims. The victims?!
Christina of Life in Pleasantville sums up perfectly how I feel about such discussions right now.
So many parents lives were changed forever yesterday. Pain, horror, guilt, grief, anger, are only some of the emotions these poor people with have to deal with for years to come. They should have nothing but our complete sympathy, but instead the judgers come out, in record time really, to shame the parents a little more.
I certainly hope none of them live in a glass house, throwing stones about like that and all.
Like she said, we just need to put our stones down and perhaps say a prayer, light a candle or even cry a little for the insurmountable pain, suffering, guilt and grief they must now live with. And then maybe we should reach out with our wallets to offer help to these victims, because they are the victims
That’s what we have done here under the Big Top…cried a little, prayed a lot, gave what we can…
And because we do not choose to live in fear because of one deranged human, we celebrated Bill’s birthday by taking back The Dark Knight the afternoon of July 20.
I won’t lie to you, I did eye the exits a little…human nature I guess. But my circus act truly enjoyed the movie.