Scoot Blog: Violence in a Movie - Literally!
If you have seen the 4D movie at the WWII Museum or if you have been to Disney and seen movies with special effects in the theater, it’s not surprising that movie-goers at the newest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” initially thought the tear gas and the shooting in the theater were part of the movie they were watching. But when people started falling and bleeding - everyone knew it was real.
The tragic shooting at a movie theater in a suburb of Denver, CO early this morning will lead to more debate about violence in movies. There will also be immediate comparisons with the shootings at Columbine High School, in another suburb of Denver.
The violence in “The Dark Knight Rises” or any movie is not to blame for violence in the real world, regardless of the striking parallels. There is no research that directly links violence in movies to real acts of violence. A movie can’t make you do something you are not predisposed to do.
While there may seem to be haunting similarities between the movie theater tragedy and the Columbine shootings, both in suburbs of Denver, there are things about the Denver area that are not obvious to the outsider. I did a talk radio show in Denver for a few years and lived there longer than any other city, except my home, New Orleans.
Denver is a city with a very diverse culture. There is a large and active goth scene in the city. It’s fair to say that Denver has a dark side. But that dark side does not, in any way, promote violence. Denver is a peaceful city where people just want to enjoy life. But when I hear about bizarre behavior and bizarre characters in that area, I think of many of the things I witnessed while living there. It’s not fair to blame Denver for the deviant characters who commit horrific crimes, but I do understand how certain people would feel at home in Denver and the surrounding areas.
Your children will hear about this shooting. They will talk about it. That’s why it is imperative for you to talk to your children about this tragedy and let them know that the world is still a safe place and they should not be afraid to go to a movie.
The nature of ‘news’ is to attract the attention of an audience. ‘News’ is entertainment, therefore the ‘news’ is driven by the principles that contribute to the compelling nature of any form of entertainment. This is a manifestation of human nature. The coverage of the shooting outside of Denver is disproportionate to the actual threat it presents to each of us and your children.