Talk of a masked gunman will have instantly reminded anyone who has watched trailers of “The Dark Knight Rises,” or who saw its predecessor, “The Dark Knight,” of the villains who bestride those two films. The first is masked merely in smeared makeup, the second in a crab-like device, (as I describe it in my review of the film), which obscures half his face. Both men are indiscriminate in their use of violence, and find only pleasure, or the thrill of power, in the taking—whether random or carefully planned—of human lives. And so the thought arises: were the terrible events in Aurora suggested, aided, or in any way inspired by matching events onscreen?

Read the whole story at www.newyorker.com