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So Much Needless Death in Colorado

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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.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Igor

    We are a violent society in the USA. It doesn’t have to be that way, but many years of mistakenly glorifying violence in our culture and art have cemented violence and vengeance into society. Over and over again we see violence offered as the solution to problems. Gunfiring violence in most cases.

    Maybe someday, if we survive long enough, that will change. But in the meantime the least we can do is take care of the innocents who are incidental victims, “collateral damage”, to our glorious shootouts and showdowns.

    Much as we love the gory and the glory of High Noon confrontations in the streets of America, some people in the audience are harmed through no fault of their own (I leave for another occasion the discussion that, after all, those people were in the theater to relish the vicarious pleasures of Batman mowing down his enemies, and ours I guess, with his form of peremptory murder.)

    At the very least our society should patch up wounded spectators so that they can rejoin the hordes of moviegoers who thrill to every simulated murder on the screen, after purchasing a proper movie ticket, of course.

    But many of those hapless spectators will be driven into bankruptcy or worse because of the poor state of medical care and medical insurance in the USA.

    We need single-payer Universal Healthcare in the USA. Among other things, it? much cheaper and will cut national expenses in half.

    Then we can properly patch up wounded spectators and send them back into the theater wars.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Perhaps we need to analyze the problem of violence in a new way, John. We live in a system that dehumanizes people for the sake of profit. Might that not be where the violence begins*?

    While I agree with Igor that the USA is violent, I also see that it began with colonialism, the ultimate violence. So, I disagree that the casual display is what caused the violence, Igor. I rather see that the casual display is a result of the violence inherent in the culture. We just ‘do it better’, of course, than some other western countries.

    *Starting from there and working outward makes sense of a lot of things for me.

  • John Lake

    Agreed. In settling the continent Indians were treated as inhuman — cavemen. So it is in Palestine.
    When we send our soldiers into battle they are systematically trained to see the enemy as gooks, or objects to be hated.
    Then in movies, television, and literature, killing is expected. When the bad guy faces the housewife, and she gets ‘hold of a weapon, we hear ourselves saying, “Shoot! Shoot!! Ahh, don’t wait!” In most cases, if she hesitates, she becomes the victim.
    Is the violence in the entertainment media a bad thing? A good thing? What is to be done?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Not only dehumanizes people, but destroys the earth’s ecosystems and tortures animals in its ordinary course of business affairs.

  • Igor

    By dominating us with gratifying childish revenge fantasies the US commercial empire keeps us infantilized consumption slaves.

    Grow up.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I think Igor has stated the problem, but I’d like to go further. I think the problem extends far past dominating us with childish revenge fantasies to dominating us–period! Creating and dominating markets (without care for any negative effect on people or anything else) IS the game of empire within the capitalist system. It is the point. That means manipulation of people from the time they can make sense of anything. To ‘grow up’, if you meant it in the way that I think you did, would be like telling a fish to stop swimming. They are ‘doing capitalism’ and that is a large part of what capitalism is (the rest is stealing land from people, to acquire the capital to begin with, and then driving those people into wage slavery, which you conveniently provide as an alternative to starvation).

    Here is something you might find interesting, Igor – Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood – the documentary is free at that link.

    The Media Education Foundation has nothing but documentaries like that one, which explain and challenge medias effects on us. They let people like you and me preview them all for free.

  • Igor

    Cindy,

    Sorry, I’m much too lazy to struggle with DLing this. Let me know if a snip appears on youtube, or more appears on MVGroup.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What does DLing mean, Igor? There is a 5 minute snippet right at the link I gave you that can be enlarged to full screen.

    They also have the entire thing available at “VIEW A FULL-LENGTH PREVIEW” in a low resolution free version farther down below the video snippet. That cannot be enlarged and would take real interest to watch.

    I am sorry, but I don’t really understand what you mean.

  • Arch Conservative

    87 people are killed every day are killed by guns in this nation and every leftist is screaming from the rooftops about limiting access to firearms.

    3700 babies are killed every day in this nation and those same people celebrate it.

  • Igor

    Leftists are responsible for the shooting deaths of Americans. If they weren’t so weak and irresolute they’d be able to organise and propagandise and rig elections so that strict gun controls would be passed.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    Compare apples to cannonballs much? I do believe you’ve hit upon the Mother of False Equivalencies.

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