In America, the land of the free, we aren’t prevented by an overpowering government from viewing on screen and in print a certain amount of violence. We might speculate that the bloody and detailed display, some very extreme, has both positive and negative effect on the viewing public. Most of us can in a harmless way express our hatred and fear of violent perpetrators; but in any society there will be some who don’t see it that way. Perhaps they see the portrayals as though they were a real part of life. Then, they become more bloodthirsty themselves, striving to conform. How ironic.
Jessica Ghawi was a victim of the Colorado Theater mass murder. Irony again comes into play. The blue-eyed, red-headed Ghawi was a survivor of a June 2, 2012, shooting at the food court of a popular Toronto shopping mall that left two dead and many wounded. Jessica wrote blogs about that shooting and the fragility of life. 30 days later the vibrant young lady, who had hoped for a career in sports journalism, was a victim in the Colorado shooting, and was being remembered by her friends as “beautiful, warm hearted, and passionate; A whirlwind, like a Labrador puppy running clumsily with innocent joy.”
Matt McQuinn took three bullets. He died but saved his girlfriend.
Among the tragedies that night, young Veronica Moser was killed. Her mother Ashley was making a special night for her 6 year old daughter, taking them to the midnight premier of the latest in a series of Batman movies. Ashley was pregnant, wounded in the gunfire, and hospitalized. While still in deep mourning for her little daughter, she lost the baby she was carrying.
“Tragically, the extreme trauma she sustained also caused a miscarriage,” the Moser family said. These were two needless deaths by a gunman who may have seen himself as an integral part of the movie.
As most of us know, a total of 12 people were slaughtered that night.
Some politicians have been outspoken as to the issue of obscenity available to the public. Among them Rick Santorum, who opposed all pornography. His extreme view may have cost him the presidency. “Mitt” Romney likewise opposes any allowance of pornography in the hands of children. But I doubt many Americans would oppose the killing and violence we see. We remember in our childhoods the stories of “The Big Bad Wolf,” “Rumplestiltskin” (he kept her in his dungeon), and more. We recall the many safes and anvils dropped in Roadrunner cartoons, and we grin. Educators have no objection to this sort of thing.
So, what can we do? Maybe nothing. Maybe gun-control is the answer. Or a more vigilant “Big Brother” attitude from our administrators. Life isn’t always pleasant.
Photo credit: News First (for the Jessica Ghawi photo), and The UK Telegraph for the photos of the Mosers.