The Unbearable Banishment: I should probably just keep this to myself

Monday, July 23, 2012

I should probably just keep this to myself

In regards to the midnight movie massacre in Colorado, I haven't seen anyone make the kind of insensitive remarks I'm about to make, but these things need to be said.

The youngest victim was a 6-year old girl. What those parents must be going through is beyond my comprehension. How do you rise above something like that? Do you ever?


Have you seen any of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies? They're violent, loud, dark, scary masterpieces. Who, in their right mind, would expose a sweet, innocent 6-year old girl to a Batman movie? At a midnight screening, no less? At a running time of 2:45, that means that poor thing would have been out until the wee hours of the morning and, without a doubt, frightened out of her mind. 

Here's a quote from one of the survivors:

"Do I run out the door? Is he going to shoot the baby? What am I to do?"

This genius brought his 4-month old son to the screening. Another candidate for father of the year. I don't claim to be a better or smarter parent than anyone else. But why would you bring a 4-month old baby into a horrific environment like a Batman movie? This is what happens when children have children. They're not going to be denied their God-given right to a good time by a stupid mistake like a child.

Neither of our two heroic candidates for president, Obama and Romney, have said a word about regulating assault weapons. Just a lot of "Oh, how awful. How tragic." They're so terrified of the NRA and the well-financed, well-organized gun lobby, that they'd rather suck up to the money spout than take a stand. Two cowards. God bless Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC for disemboweling the gun lobby. Someone in power has to do it.


Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Totally agree about the idiots taking their kids. Wasit even legal yo have a 7 year old there. I'm not going to be seeing this move. Not because of th Colorado event, but because it seems to be based on a totally nihilistic philosophy, which i wouldn't enjoy.

I'm a bit ambivalent about the gun laws. Maybe if a member of the udience had ben armed, then they could have stopped the slaughter.

July 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Verdant Earl said...

I've been saying the same thing about the kids in attendance. On a purely selfish level, if I were attending a must-see film and someone sat next to me with a 3-month old it would ruin the movie experience for me. The child could sleep through the whole thing, but I would be on edge throughout. Just waiting for the child to start crying. So it wouldn't matter how the child behaved. I would be miserable either way.

July 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

TSB: I think I'm going to take a lot of heat for my comments regarding the NRA and gun lobby, but I'm sorry, the answer isn't to arm everybody. Who the hell needs a rifle that can spit 200 rounds without reloading?

BEE: Ironically, I saw the previous Batman movie in a Times Square theater and right before the lights dimmed, two kids came in with a stroller, parked it next to their seats and settled in. They stuffed their faces with popcorn and ignored the baby's cries.

July 23, 2012 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

You'll get no flack from me on either kids at late-night shows or guns laws.
You're not alone in your remarks,UB.Even friends who have (licenced) guns shake their heads at the easy availability of America's lethal guns.

July 23, 2012 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Could they have had a babby-sitter problem?

July 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

dinah: We are still the wild west out here. This country cannot seem to get over its gun fixation.

GB: I knew there was a logical explanation. It took a simian to provide it.

July 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

Totally agree. My first thought on hearing about this was: "what the fuck were those kids doing there?!"

Never having lived in a country where anyone and everyone has legal access to implements designed specifically for killing/maiming I feel unqualified to remark on your gun laws. Except to say they make no sense to me.

July 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

agree that having little critters at that film screening was insane. no need to beat up the parents, though, as they've got to live with that shit for the rest of their lives. maybe some other doofus will reconsider such a decision in the future - but i doubt it.

guess what is illegal in the US? KinderEggs - the kind with the little toy inside. Wouldn't want a kid to accidently choke on a plastic toy. but it's perfectly ok to own an assault rifle. and purchase a metric fuckton of ammo on line.

July 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes being a parent means you have to stay home, babysitter canceled, sick child. NO EXCUSE for those children to be there-and I am sorry but maybe they will live with the guilt that they deserve. There are too many people out the that would be good parents and can't have children. Parents need to take a step back when you have children and put them first.

July 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Eryl: Gun culture is so prevalent here that I feel slightly out of step that I haven't embraced it. I blame the Chinese for inventing gunpowder.

Daisy: I truly do feel awful for those parents and mean no disrespect for what they're going through. But, damn, what's wrong with people? I can say it here in my quiet corner. It'll never get back to them.

MT: Who deserves that kind of guilt? No one. No one.

July 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

It's too easy to point the finger at the N.R.A. Although they,and their followers are standing, almost alone, against gun-control, it just can't be that simple.The common thread in most of these mass killing isn't deprivation or any sense of being hard done by, by society, because the most common background for this type of person is a decent standard of living and at least a moderately good level of education. I'm letting the N.R.A. slightly off the hook because in Switzerland everybody is REQUIRED to own and be competent handling a firearm. So it can't be simply access to guns.I know that that's only a single example to put up against the mayhem that prevails in the U.S. but something tells me that there is something going on that we are just not looking at.

July 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

You speak for a lot of us. A little boy about five years old, holding on to his stuffed monkey was in the theater with us. I just could not believe some parent thought it would be a good idea to take his precious child to that violent, grim movie.

July 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It infuriates me when things like the events in Aurora are desribed as a "tragedy", fatalistically, as if there's nothing that can be done. I don't wish to gloat but I am so glad I live in a country where gun laws are far stricter.

July 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

yes! what amazed me was that the shooter bought 6,000 rounds and no red flags went up, there was no follow up, no checking and yet, i have to SIGN a registry if i buy an OTC drug containing pseudoephedrine because some people use it to make meth? WTF, right? i don't understand our culture at times, sugar. *sigh*

July 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Young at Heart said...

I remember taking my son to Austin Powers when we lived in NY and then he couldn't go with his Grandpa when he visited England.....our gun laws and our cinema laws are stricter in UK.... I guess if you raise children on a diet of violence and horror you are in danger of reaping what you sew.....still tragic though..

July 24, 2012 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Paulo: I'm going to respectfully disagree. Although there is, as you said, something more going on, it is entirely appropriate to criticize the NRA. Those guys have a stranglehold on our political process. I can't think of one good reason why assault rifles should be available to the masses. Is that true about Switzerland?! I had no idea!

Cat: I wish I could carry around a little box with a red button that, once pushed, would un-parent a person.

looby: Gloat away! I think we could learn a lot from you guys about how to handle guns in society. About food? Not so much.

sav: Did you know that when the 9/11 terrorists were taking flight lessons, they only requested instructions on how to fly the plane - not land it?! It's true! Red flags abound.

July 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

YAH: That's a very astute observation. What happens to a very young child who is exposed to that level of exaggerated violence? Doesn't that have a profound effect on them?

July 24, 2012 at 6:57 AM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

In trying to de-demonize the N.R.A. as everyones favourite bogeyman, who once tagged, obviates the need to look any further I may have overstepped what I was trying for. I fully endorse your position on the easy availability of guns being a large part of the problem but I think we all do a disservive to ourselves and the greater community if we just say ' If we only had gun control like other countries this wouldn't have happened ' we're being lured away from any examination of the other factors that make up this paradox.

July 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

Sorry, I got the gun business a bit cocked up. Only those in the militia ( Switzerland doen't have an army as such )are required to keep their military equipment,including guns at their home, but since the country has compulsary military service that means that virtually all males ( oddly females are exempt ) fall into this category.

July 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I share your despair.
After our Dunblane tragedy the gun laws became more stringent over here.
Perhaps some stringency is called for over there?

July 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Paulo: There's a great op-ed piece in today's New York Times by Conservative/Moderate columnist David Brooks that makes your point exactly. It's the psychological causes that need to be examined. That being said, I still believe the NRA to be a negative influence on society as a whole.

Pat: Perhaps?! I'll say perhaps! It would be interesting to see some pre-and post-crime statistics since your gun laws were toughened up.

July 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Did someone actually say something along the lines of 'if someone else in the theatre had been carrying a gun maybe so many people wouldn't have died'?? Is this the wild west? Let's have a shoot out? Have people gone mad? The right to hold arms? Are you all fucking mad? If folk have the right to have guns, why should they not have the right to have explosives, the right to have drugs, the right to have bombs, the right to have chemical weapons....

For FUCK SAKE people, NOBODY should have guns! And if you don't like that, then fuck you! :¬)

July 24, 2012 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Verdant Earl said...

What Mapstew said.

July 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Furtheron said...

These things bring up raw emotions.

Okay first point - agree with you on why on earth were parents there with kids of those ages at that time - that is another thing... The McCain abduction in Portugal, yes I feel for the parents, any parent would without really truly knowing what it is like but no one seems to have said actually why were the parents out at a bar leaving three kids under 10 alone in a holiday apartment! Sorry but for me there is a degree of culpability in that by them.

As a Brit looking in on America I never get the gun thing. When in America freinds tell me that it is the right to defend yourself. Hmmm- a gun doesn't defend - i.e. it won't stop bullets a gun only works as a defence if you shoot first. Therefore the guy who is looking to rob or whatever therefore knows that you may well have a gun and therefore he'll have to shoot first... it just escalates. The only purpose for a handgun or an assault weapon is to kill and maim other humans therefore, they shouldn't be allowed to the general public as why would you want one/need one? After Dunblain we have a law that all pistols used in shooting clubs are kepts under strict lock and key at the gun club - why not? You don't need it in you house.

So my position and the reason I live in a country where these weapons are outlawed is that I believe there is no need for them, they are an aggressor not a defender.

July 25, 2012 at 5:25 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

map: Yes, I believe that's what the implication was. That if we all carried guns, we'd be a lot safer. I think we should sell small caliber hand guns at movie theater concession stands right next to the Milk Duds and Goobers. If we had, someone could have prevented a massacre.

Furtheron: I don't get the gun thing either, and I live here! My theory is that it's a psychological crutch. Holding/owning a gun makes the powerless feel powerful. Have you ever shot a gun? It's a thrill.

July 25, 2012 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Furtheron said...

@UB - once many years ago on a range, a Dad of a teenage girlfriend was in a club. I was rubbish at it... thrill maybe but I was 15 I think at the time and this was in the 70s before computer gaming etc.

A friend of mine in a conversation about this event said that guns were like nuclear weapons - so was his theory that it would cut crime in the UK (I very very much doubt that). I realised he was wrong - nuclear weapons work through mutual assured destruction (MAD ?!?) as if either of us let ours off we'll all kill each other.

So - American's if that is what you want your defence mechanism shouldn't be a gun but a hand grenade. You stare the guy with the gun in the eyes whilst your fingers hold the trigger on a primed grenade - answer being "You shoot me this'll take you out as well". Now that is a position for bargaining a resolution without either party dying

July 26, 2012 at 3:51 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

our 3 year old son gets so little television that, when recently presented with the opportunity to watch Ice Age 2 and Madagascar, he found both movies to be, in his words "too scary". maybe i need to get him to this flick to desensitize him like his old man.

my cousin lives in Parker, just south of Aurora. He noted to me that the national media picked up only on the "Well if there had been other guns on the audience members..." debate. But the reality is that in Colorado, everyone has a gun. Lots of hunting. In some cases, its a "4 legged creatures get to eat 2 legged creatures" type of place. In fact, crime rate demographics apparently reflect the distribution of weaponry.... in other words, you don't do an armed robbery in Colorado Springs because one of the by-standers is probably packing heat. Supposedly downtown Denver is "safer" for armed robbery...more urbanites, less hunters/reactionaries/"patriots". Ultimately the conversations being held in Colorado amongst the populous appears to be that, had this been an EARLIER show, there would have been those with gun permits sitting in the audience. But because of the midnight hour, it was essentially a young person's showing who are a) too young to have a concealed carry or b) do not have enough life experience to have handled the situation without panic.

hence UB, to your point, it was room full of fucking children who have no business caring for children themselves.

July 26, 2012 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

Considering my previous post's inferences, let me add one more personal comment that I think echos many others: GUNS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED AMONGST THE REGULAR POPULATION. Jason Alexander did a wonderful job taking the words right out of my brain to share with y'all:

July 26, 2012 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

JZ: The argument that it's safer if everyone is packing (along with, if you're going to ban guns you have to ban cars and swimming pools because they kill too) is right out of the NRA handbook. I'm not anti-gun. I was a pistol marksman in the Coast Guard, in fact. But rifles that can fire dozens of rounds just by pulling the trigger (as opposed to pumping the trigger) exist only to kill as many people as possible. Their sole purpose is militaristic. They don't belong in the public domain. Incidentally, I have had TONS of life experience and I can assure you that I would have wet my pants with panic.

July 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

I, more than most, had ample reason to carry a gun at certain points in my illustrious past, i never did, i despise the things, i despise the NRA and the fact that we all (meaning Americans) think we need to protect ourselves from what? the whole if someone had a gun arguement is the biggest bullshit i've ever heard... but i'll lay this down plain and simple, most American men who carry guns do so because they have penis inferiority complex, big gun = small dick, they think the gun makes them more of a man but yet really they are not and most likely are unable to satisfy their parnter, if of course they can ever find one... i've come close to having a gun stuck in my face twice and can say with all honesty i did my best not to piss myself, that said had my teeth not been chattering so much i would have asked for them to put the gun down and settle it like men, with fists of course, and then if vanquished you can take my money or whatever else you've come for... may Charlton Heston rot in hell.

July 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Adam Kenny said...

I'm late to the party on reading this entry and I apologize for my tardiness. I'm happy you did not keep this to yourself.

As a father who has raised two kids to adulthood when I read the accounts of little kids and infants in the theatre I wondered why they were there at all. As a father - as you are - I know that a parent who survived this assault only to have his/her child die will be tormented by that very question every day of his/her life. I would not trade my shoes for theirs - not even for one step. I shall however keep a good thought for them on their journey.

August 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM  

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