By SoRelle Wyckoff
The mass shooting that took place in Aurora, Colo., during the midnight premiere of the newest "Batman" installment has conjured up many emotions throughout the nation.
The first, most natural and most important emotion felt is intense grief. The victims and families affected by the unexplainable violence are the ultimate priority. There is little to reconcile their losses, but prayers, donations and comforting words have been offered in attempts from those all over the country.
In a continuing attempt to comfort, many then look for answers. The "how?" and "why?" behind the massacre are scrutinized, resulting in theories, debates and more questions.
James Holmes was arrested on the scene, leading to more pinpointed questions about his motive. His race, intellectual experience and lack of criminal history are circumscribed with speculations, and his recent appearance in court has seemed to create even more confusion to onlookers.
The logistics behind the attack, involving assault rifles and toxic gases, then sparked a new debate as to how he attained these. And the gun control debate has been reenergized just in time for the upcoming election. But the argument has more than likely reached a standstill because, while access to weapons like guns is seemingly easy in America, the right to bear arms is an amendment -- a sticky situation both parties will purposefully skirt around.
Yet amidst the horror of innocent deaths, crazy killers and gun violence, many still sidled into the movie theaters to watch the Hollywood flick, one that coincidently was filled with innocent deaths, crazy killers and guns, bombs and violence. And "Batman" is not alone. A new Bourne Identity movie is on its way, along with action flicks like The Expendables and Assassins Bullet, all filled with intense scenes of gun-induced deaths.
The violence in these films and others, as well as TV shows and video games, has reached a state of normalcy for many of us, even classified as "entertainment." I myself enjoy the Bourne series, and I'm planning on seeing The Dark Knight Rises this coming weekend. But when the violence we see on the screen breaks the fourth wall and turns into reality, there is a stark difference, void of any entertainment.
Before we start to blame the guns (rather than the people behind them) and the free choice to own them (which is in the Constitution), we should consider what images of guns are most common to Americans. Most will probably revert to the images on the screen in front of us, rather than the ranch or skeet range miles away.
The correlation between the violence on the screen and the violence of James Holmes does not justify his actions. The victims were innocent and unarmed, and the suspect's actions were beyond horrendous. My prayers continue to reside with the community of Aurora.
Yet Americans must realize we are becoming an increasingly violent country. Consistently surrounding ourselves with images of death and destruction threatens to desensitize us even further. Unfortunately, it's only until instances like that of Aurora, and Tuscaloosa earlier last week, that make us realize what a gunshot actually means.