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Mass Shooting at "The Dark Knight Rises" Midnight Show, Colorado

Woke up to terrible news about a man entering a midnight screening of the new Batman in a gas mask and rifle, threw out a cannister of hissing gass and opened fire. Horrifying news. Every time I click on a news link the number of dead rises. (Here's an interesting snapshot of how public news like this travels in real time.)

So sad that for each new gun massacre there is not a new gun control law. We never learn. 


News Update: 12 confirmed dead and 51 more injured. Suspect James Eagan Holmes surrendered to police.
Christopher Nolan's statement and The Atlantic's fine essay on the matter.

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Reader Comments (24)

Oh god!!! Truly terrible news.... I hope this nut is locked away. And I hope this doesnt set off a media firestorm again on how movies instill violence in people.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

This is incredibly eerie; I remember reading something online that a midnight screening for a popular movie would be the best time for a shooting to take place...unbelievable. My condolences go out to the families of the victims.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Just terrible news to hear at any time, and I was just going out to see Dark Knight Rises. My condolences to the families.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrad

Agreed-gun control laws are the only way to prevent tragedies like this from occurring. An aboslute tragedy.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Dude, if even the movies are no longer safe, then the terrorists really have won.

But seriously, this was awfu,. AWFUL news to wake up to this morning. At first I thought I wasn't hearing it correctly, but it soon became painfully clear that it was very real. So, so sad.

Maybe we can get the fanboys to rally for a proper gun control law?

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Truly horrible! Why do these things happen????

Off-topic, but why are all your old Oscar predictions gone? I miss reading them so much! All the way back from the 74th awards!!!!!

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

This is so scary. I, like many, go to the movies to escape...it's an oasis. I hate that this happened in a place that is supposed to be an outlet for fun and entertainment.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

aside from the obvious horror/tragedy, i thought this was a really interesting piece about what this means for the movie experience; http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/07/20/553901/the-dark-knight-rises/?mobile=nc

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

This was so sad to hear about this morning. Also sad? The fact that some people are blaming the movie, as if it has anything to do with some random psycho deciding to kill a bunch of innocent people. Like you said, it comes down to gun control, but some people don't want to realize that.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I agree with thefilmjunkie. It's absurd the amount of times something like this happens and people find ways of blaming something other than guns. It happened with Columbine, when people blamed violent video games and Marilyn Manson music. This has NOTHING to do with this or any other movie. The screening I attended had hundreds of people together in a pretty communal atmosphere, everyone excited in the same way and reacting to the movie with shared gasps, laughs, etc. The movie brought a lot of people together (granted, I actually didn't like it very much overall, but the shared experience of the theater can't be denied) for 3 hours, and it's only psychotic assholes like the one in Colorado who have to ruin not only that, but far more seriously, people's entire lives. My deepest sympathies are with everyone at that theater last night and the families of the victims.

Since stricter gun laws are not something America seems to be comfortable with, I suspect that at the very least, a movement might start to implement security checks for movie theaters from now, and I'm certain it would pass. People are pretty much trapped once they're in a movie theater, leaving them more or less sitting ducks for psychopaths. It's a sick world we live in where going to the movies isn't safe anymore, but I believe theaters might be required to have security checks in the very near future.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

Also, I wonder if Warner Bros. will pull the trailer for Gangster Squad now, since it features a shooting in a movie theater. In fact, I wonder if they'll remove the scene from the movie altogether.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I don't see how stricter gun control laws would've have prevented this. This is from early reports, but what I've heard is that this guy didn't have a crimnal record, so he wouldn't have had a problem getting a firearm. And if he had his mind set on committing the act, he'd find a way to get what he wanted. We have drug-control laws, but yet people still get a hold of narcotics.

It's a tragedy, yes, but let's put the blame on the gunman where it belongs.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZach

I live in Denver and actually went to a midnight showing last night near the theater where the shooting take place. Almost decided to go to the very theater that the shooting was at, but instead went to a different place with an IMAX. Scary to think that this could have happened at any theater....in any city....in any state. This tragedy is a testament to the failure of our mental health system to identify and help a person who obviously had immense mental health needs. So very tragic to have something like this happen in a setting I tend to associate with joy and happiness.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

It's frightening that this Holmes guy was a Ph.D. student. A smart guy with a screw loose.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZach

I have just heard that amidst all the controversy surrounding this incident and its alleged relation to the content of the movie (bullshit), The Dark Knight Rises might become the first movie in history to be re-rated by the MPAA while in theaters. I doubt this is true, but supposedly there are people calling for the movie to be advertised with an R rating from now on, and theaters to not let anyone under the age of 17 in unless accompanied by an adult. Basically, this whole incident just fucked things up for everyone who only wanted to see a Batman movie, and unfortunately for Christopher Nolan and crew, the legacy of this movie, and possibly even the whole trilogy, will be linked to this. What a shame.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

It's like how when you hear Virgina Tech you only think of one thing.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZach

One method to combat this kind of thing from happening requires the population to care. Care enough about gun control and care enough about the mental health of our neighbor. America is filled with unfeeling people preoccupied with how we are so different from each other and therefore you're in a state of social warfare every time you leave the house.

I am anti-gun.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

I'm like Lindsay and I don't live that far away from that theater. I'm pretty freaked out that this happened so close to me

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt S


Aren't we preoccupied with how different we are from each other because we're supposed to be? Aren't we supposed to be diverse and accept our differences with/from others?

I'm confused by what you're trying to say.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonsey


Our people see difference as a way to judge and compare ourselves to. Politicians know this and use it to their advantage every time. Coming from the hippie-liberal we're all different and that's why we're beautiful isn't what I was getting at.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

You know how this thing goes. Every time there's a mass shooting, and the issue of gun control comes up, the NRA or any other gun nut will say "This is not the time to talk about this" or "How dare you politicize this tragedy!" and then another conservative will try to shift the blame to movies & video games. So when the impact fades in a couple of weeks, zero gun control laws will pass.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

....There's also the fantasy of, "if only everyone in that theater were armed, he wouldn't have tried this/would have been stopped!" Yeah, right. Mass gun ownership is the answer to all our crime problems.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne -- i feel reasonably certain that if more people were armed, more would be dead. given his body armor and the smoke. But i get your point. It's a fantasy for those who long for the lawlessness of the wild wild west. Unfortunately they are legion.

Irvin -- exactly. But how horrifically sad is it that we have a standard response to this. That we all know how it will play out? This is no longer shocking to us and that's the worst tragedy of all.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

There was a woman who evaded a shooting in Eaton Centre here in Toronto only to be a fatal victim of the Aurora shooting a few weeks after. Tragic.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo
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