James Eagan Holmes Shooting: Batman Movie Itself is Not to Blame

The shooting massacre at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado was devastating and shook our nation to its core. James Holmes, a 24-year old graduate school dropout, killed 12 and injured 58 others with several weapons, including a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns. Holmes, who had dyed his hair a pink-red color before the shooting, told officials that he was The Joker. His actions seem highly reminiscent to the violence portrayed in many of our films today, such asThe Dark Knight Rises. However, films are not to blame for what happened in Aurora, Colorado.

Films and video games can sometimes be violent, but this does not mean that we will all become inherently more violent by watching them. Movies and video games offer us an escape from reality for a few hours. They allow our minds to break away from the stresses of the real world, and immerse ourselves in someone else’s fantasy. We let down our guard during those moments of recreation to immerse ourselves fully in another world. It was during one of those moments of defenselessness that this incident occurred.

In the case of James Holmes, violent movies are not to blame. Violence has occurred long before the invention of films and video games. The imagination of the human mind has always existed, and war and bloodshed have been around for centuries. We cannot blame the release of one more violent film to be the root of this particular incident. It is far more likely that a person who is not well in health be involved in a crime like this. If a person is mentally unstable, there is little we can do to prevent incidents from occurring unless we reach out and help them ahead of time.

One thing that is certain is that this shooting was no spur of the moment incident. It was meticulously planned, and all the items purchased were bought over time and legally. Holmes even set up booby-traps in his apartment so that anyone who entered would instantly be harmed. He seemed to be battling his own demons before and during the massacre. This does not justify his heinous actions by any means, but until there is further information as to why he committed this crime, we can only assume that there is something mentally wrong with him.

The shooting in Aurora, Colorado was not symptom of violence in the media. It was something beyond the control of anyone, and there is no film that we can blame for the incident. There is something far worse that led James Holmes to go into that movie theatre that night. Regardless of what the reasons may be, it is a truly a tragic moment for all the families and friends of those who were killed that night, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. 

James Eagen Holmes Shooting: Batman Movie Itself is Not to Blame for Colorado Shooting

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Belinda Moreira

Belinda is a Teach for America 2013 Corp Member and 10th grade English teacher in the DC Region. She is a graduate of Georgetown University. She also has a particular interest for education policy, and is originally from Houston, TX.

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