A quick one about the Aurora tragedy

20 Jul

by Mike Hansen

Batman Colorado memorialUPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

I didn’t learn about the shooting at the Aurora midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises until this afternoon. I’d just returned from my own day at the movies.

I don’t want to add much to all of the reporting and punditry, but I do want to mention a few quick things:

1. This had nothing to do with a Batman movie, and everything to do with a packed, darkened room with few escape routes.

2. This had nothing to do with comics, movies, videogames, or any other media that depict violence, and everything to do with a mentally deranged individual who had no business being allowed to have access to deadly weapons.

3. The news reporting on this tragedy MUST be handled differently to prevent future shooting incidents. Patton Oswalt posted this 3-year-old YouTube video that’s very relevant to today’s news – please watch it, especially after the 1:43 mark:

In other words, some of these are PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

4. As Bloomberg has reported,

Colorado doesn’t require gun registration and there is no specific waiting period to buy a gun.

I have no problem with personal gun ownership for self-defense (don’t get me started on hunting), but guns are more than an issue of freedom; they’re a public-safety issue. There’s a reason why we have drivers-license laws. Not having a few basic rules to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of the wrong people is simply insane to me. Again: SOME OF THESE ARE PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

There is no good reason for the lazy corporate news media to continue referring to this as a “Batman shooting.” We in comics must do everything in our power to prevent this poor train of thought from becoming fact in the minds of the uninformed. Otherwise, we will continue to see more attempts at unnecessary product labels, ratings systems, and censorship.

Finally, I received a mass email from Chuck Rozanski, owner of the Colorado-area Mile High Comics chain, in which he offers to contribute 10% of the net proceeds from his current 60%-off codeword sale to victims of the tragedy. While it’s admirable to create ways to help those affected, the fact that Rozanski is using his usual weekly 50-60%-off codeword email to drum up sales in the name of helping victims really rubs me the wrong way. The email even makes it clear that he is not losing money in any way from doing this.

Real charity involves personal sacrifice for the common good. I urge people to find what they believe in their hearts is the best way to provide immediate help and relief to the victims of this horrible incident.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: