It's been 24 hours since the traumatic and desperately disturbing events that unfolded in the small town of Aurora in Denver, Colorado in the United States.
Just in case anyone isn't aware of the events I am talking about, I shall briefly re-cap. A masked gunman burst into a Midnight screening of the new Batman film THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, (2012, Christopher Nolan), (which opened across most of the globe on Friday 20th July), in Aurora, threw a gas-canister/smoke bomb into the very full auditoria, and then using an assault rifle and handgun, started to shoot the viewing public, in a cold-hearted, callous and bloody massacre.
So far, 12 people have died. Eight died in the auditorium. Four more died either en-route or at local hospitals and emergency rooms. The victims were of all-ages, including some infants. (More on that in a moment.)
About 40 more were injured in the melee.
The killer, James Holmes, a 24-year-old PhD Neuroscience student at the University Of Colorado, who was born in San Diego, gave himself up to police on-scene. He was immediately taken into custody, whilst emergency services personnel and the FBI were on-site to deal with the aftermath.
This morning, news has broken that Mr Holmes has rigged his small apartment, and that it contains various potentially-deadly explosive devices.
Aurora is in mourning.
The world mourns with you.
To those of you who are wondering, "Why were infants in the death toll", I'm afraid this is a perversity of the US classification system. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is classified in the USA as a PG-13. This means that whilst the film is considered unsuitable for under-13's to watch, parents and guardians over the age of 17 can accompany under-13's into the film, if those parents/guardians believe their child(ren) can cope with the film's content and themes.
Sadly, in the USA, it is not uncommon for some adults to take young children into such films. Nor is it uncommon, for some parents to take in babes-in-arms, or infants with them, whilst the adult watches the film.
Like I say, it's a perversity of the US MPAA ratings system, that this can happen. Here in the UK, the BBFC won't allow anyone under the age rating of the film, into a film carrying a 15 or 18-rated certificate, no matter what.
No parents taking minors into a film like KILLER JOE (2011, William Friedkin), irrespective of how young the child or infant may be. Not even babies can be taken into age-restricted films. If you're not of the right age, you don't get in to see the film.
It's simple, it's clean, and everyone knows where they stand.
Whilst I know that the latest Batman film is not classifiable as extreme cinema, under any description of the term, I wanted to post a discussion, because of a typically offensive and defamatory "lynch-mob" mentality that has broken out, in some areas of the UK Tabloid Press.
The parasitical morons who edit the Daily Mail (a disgusting, wretched and bigoted little rag) have found it in their hearts to not only post photos of the killer's family on their website, but are apportioning blame on the killing, to an easily purchasable Batman graphic novel - "The Dark Knight Returns" - in which a killer, called Krimp, walks into a porno theatre, and shoots into the crowd, after listening to Led Zeppelin's classic song "Stairway To Heaven". The DM website then goes onto say:
Holmes motives behind the massacre are unknown, but if he was a fan of the Batman comics, then he may well have read the issue featuring Krimp's killing spree. The comic itself is still in print, and on Friday, it was available in several Waterstones' book shops for £12-99.Well, you know what Daily Mail journo's, so fucking what?
The casual link you are making, between a fictional comic book story written over 25 years ago, (that is, before John Holmes was born, you pricks!), and a real-life atrocity, is so incongruous, as to be laughable. But then, this is the Daily Mail - an organisation I have written about (or should that be named-and-shamed) a few times on my blog, over the past 18 months, due to their extremely predictable, but annoying habit of linking every real-life atrocity to a fictional equivalent, either in films, television, or literature.
I could link the colour of a book cover, that happens to be yellow, with the sun. Which also happens to be yellow. But that correlation would have nothing tangible to it. It would be meaningless drivel, which is what the DM's "link" is!
In Jill Reilly, Lydia Warren, Hugo Gye and Daniel Bates's eyes, as it was these four ingrates that compiled the article together, there's always a link between fiction and real-life.
With the tragedy so raw and fresh, no one knows why the killer did what he did. No one knows why the killer chose that cinema, that screen, or that film to commit his act of carnage. Therefore if the Aurora Police and FBI don't know why he did what he did, what makes you think that you can casually link a comic book story as the justification for a murder-spree, and suggest to the world at large, that that is what caused the killing?!
I am really sick of tabloid journalists who always link real-life violence to fictional film and media violence. The two are NOT linked. All the studies that have been made over the years, have resulted in one thing: that there is NO, DEFINITIVE EVIDENCE that links fictional depictions of violence, with real-life violence or violent crime.
These same studies have, at best said, that there may be a link, but that no evidence can be provided to backup this theory, at this time. In other words, fictional violence can't be linked with real-life violence, until (or unless) more investigation is undertaken, on far larger groups of people, than all the current and past studies have utilised.
As such studies have neither gone ahead, or have been undertaken, then there is no proven cause between fiction and non-fictional violence, and anyone inferring that there is, needs their head examining.
What makes this even more deplorable, is that it is the Daily Mail implying that there is, with only the most derisory of "evidence". To add insult to injury, they do this, with the killing spree still fresh in the world's eyes. Talk about reprehensible journalism!
If you are going to be the kind of person who says that A is linked to B, and A causes B to occur, you'd better have some damn good facts to backup your accusation. And this is purely an accusation. It's nothing more than the Daily Mail casually linking a comic book story, with a real-life tragedy, in order to say "We're a responsible paper, trying to stand against injustice"!
No you bloody well aren't.
You're a disgusting and odious little organisation, that pumps out myths, fiction and accusatory speech as actual, hard evidence, when nothing could be further from the truth. You are deliberately saying that A maybe the cause of B, without actually saying that A does cause B. The reason you don't say that A causes B is because you know full-well that A definitely does NOT cause B, and if you did say that, you know that you would be sued for libel.
In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if comic book writer Frank Miller who wrote THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, doesn't take action against the Daily Mail, for linking his work to a real-life tragedy, when there's no evidence other than the vaguest of possibilities.
On a different note, the other problem is that when you have a real-life killer, like Holmes, who legally purchases his guns and his ammunition, no amount of legislation will be able to prevent a tragedy. The fact that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, guarantees the country's citizens the right to bear arms (to carry a gun, and to use it), means that there will always be tragedy's like that in Aurora. I don't want to apportion blame here, and I won't, but unless the US Government pulls its fingers out, and starts to ask itself if the Second Amendment should either be recalled in full, or at least modified, then another tragedy like this is inevitable, at some point further down the line.
Likewise, if you are a criminal, and you want to make a bomb, and every component that you need is legally available from supermarkets, chemists and DIY/hardware stores, then no law is going to be able to stop you from creating, and potentially, using that bomb. If the components are illegal to procure or own, then there's a fighting-chance that government agencies and laws can be used against you.
As things stand, though, Holmes will simply be another one in a long-line of mass murdering, psychopaths who have armed themselves to the teeth, and gone on the rampage. Whatever his reason was for committing such a heinous crime, no reason will ever sit well with us, the public, as a justification for doing what he did.
Take care out there.