Monday, July 23, 2012

A Dark (K)night indeed...

A dark night indeed for the friends and families of patrons in a cinema complex in Denver a few days ago who were injured and killed by a lone gunman whilst at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The same questions will be asked that have been asked after other massacres: Should guns be outlawed in America? Do films that depict graphic violence have a detrimental impact on the psyche? Why do young men have to vent their anger on innocent people? The same arguments will be offered: Guns are not dangerous in the hands of responsible people. Violent films will not affect your psyche unless you are already prone to aggression & violence. Guns and violence are an integral part of masculinity in many cultures. I don't know why we all respond so quickly with surprise when something like this happens. We (not only those in America) grow up seeing serials, films or documentary footage, or play video games which demonstrate that conflict is resolved with war and aggression. Some will argue that of the millions of males who are exposed to guns, violence and warfare only a small percentage will use that gun to kill someone or themselves. Current statistics suggest that nearly 30,000 people die per year by being shot by someone in America and nearly 17,000 people per year commit suicide by shooting themselves. Let's face it, America IS a gun culture. Let's stop being surprised by this kind of carnage.

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