Reflecting on the ‘Movie Theater Massacre’
Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in Features
My biggest qualm with modern media stems from my deep rooted belief that sick soul-sucking lunatics and other punks who decide to shoot up places like a movie theater should not instantly have their face plastered on TV screens. Nor should their names pop up on every radio station, essentially cementing their stains in our cultural tapestry — which is exactly what lonely nobodies like the movie shooter wanted. Same with Columbine. They wanted to be someone, they don’t care who.
What happened last Friday was a heart break. The fact that every time I turn on a TV I see that coward’s face is a tragedy. Why do we give people like this the spotlight? Why do we give them that pleasure of knowing the world now knows their name? We take it beyond fact-based reporting and turn into some sort of sensationalist circus where blood and guts put butts in the seats. Who cares about that guy, and why should I have to see his stupid face on the TV? He and the cowards like him should be locked away in a dark pit and never spoken of again.
Even a day after the shooting, I was tired of hearing about this guy who I will not give the pleasure of naming. Echoes of Columbine come to mind. After the Columbine shooting, an unlikely source submitted some commentary to Rolling Stone, something that I think still holds a lot of weight today. That person was Marilyn Manson.
“We applaud the creation of a bomb whose sole purpose is to destroy all of mankind, and we grow up watching our president’s brains splattered all over Texas. Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised. Does anyone think the Civil War was the least bit civil?” Manson said.
Hours, hell, minutes, after the shooting the tragedy was being used as political grist to feed talking heads and for those looking to blame someone for the act of a lonely coward. I wasn’t planning on writing about the shooting, rather it was supposed to be a column on how our political rhetoric molds us into finger pointing pricks. I think this is a prime example.
It’s not the gun laws we have in place. Even if guns where outlawed people would still find a way to get them, so let us not place the blame there. No matter how in depth the background checks are, the cold fact is that lonely lunatics will still get their wicked hands on guns or bombs or anything that will inflict pain and get them a spot on national news for a week or two. The blame rests on no man’s shoulders other than that punk who was dressed head to toe in body armor (He even had a armored cod piece.) and unloaded 100-plus rounds into a crowd of Batman fans and babies.
Now they are saying on NPR that people can’t wear costumes to the movies that “might make others feel uncomfortable.” Oh, and masks are right out. Why do we always respond in the most sheepish way possible to events like this? Same with “the war on terror.” The terrorists have won by creation of the color coordinated “terror threat chart” alone. And by not letting people wear costumes, in a way, counts as a victory for the gunman. He got us all.
I guess you could say that me writing this article is contributing to the media spectacle, and you’re probably right. But that’s not the point. The point is that we have a responsibility to remember those who lost their lives, people like Jessica Ghawi, Alex Sullivan, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Veronica Moser-Sullivan (6 years old) and all of the rest, not the gunman. The problem with modern media is that we put so much focus on the killer and not on those killed. Throw that cowardice, cod-piece-wearing punk in a pit and forget his name.