Monday, July 30, 2012

The shooting in Aurora

Now I wasn't going to say anything about this, because what can I say that hasn't already been said?  It's obvious (to the vast majority of people) it's a tragedy.  It's obvious that lax gun laws are part of the problem, it's obvious that banning cosplay and comics and pop culture is not a solution.  But then I read something on Willow's tumblr (which I whole heartedly recommend following, because Willow is brilliant), re-tumbled from Gail Simone's tumblr, who wrote the original piece.  I shall cross post some of the words here:
We have been stories of impossible heroism that occurred that night in that theater. Jarrell Brooks, just nineteen years old, had an exit out of the theater, and went back in to help a young mother and her two daughters get out, getting wounded in the process.

Three men gave their lives using their own bodies to shield their girlfriends; Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, and the member of my friends’ party, Alex Teves. All three threw their girlfriends to the ground and put their bodies in the path of the bullets. Not one of these men was yet out of his twenties.

Stephanie Davies, when her friend was shot in the neck, dropped to the floor and held pressure on the wound while the gunman was still firing, instead of making for the exit, quite likely saving her friends’ life.
Mike White, Sr., after his son, and his son’s girlfriend were shot, removed his shirt to apply pressure to her wound to save her life, and then as the gunman approached, put his body on top of hers to take the bullets if necessary.

There’s more, but this is what I keep thinking about.

I write stories about morals all day…stories about fictional heroes and fictional villains. And I want to believe they have influenced my life, that they have taught me to stand up when called upon, to try to do the right thing even when it is a sacrifice.

Few are called upon like the heroes of Aurora that night. They remind me what heroism really means. They give me hope. In the middle of the despair and shock, these people saw what needed doing and did it, regardless of the cost to themselves.

A lot has been made of the idea that the gunman was influenced by a fictional villain.

But I think it’s very telling to note that all those heroes, all those amazing, remarkable, beautiful people, came not just to see the latest Batman movie…they went to the first possible showing, a midnight show. They wanted to see Batman. I have seen the power that character has, I have felt it myself. He doesn’t kill, he doesn’t use guns.

He’s a good guy. A hero. A protector.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that THOSE remarkable people were there to see a movie about a hero.


You can't blame comics for causing people's villains fantasies which leads them to shoot a cinema full of people, without also blaming comics for causing people's hero fantasies which leads them to save a cinema full of people.

So it's not comics which are the problem.  It's people. It's wider society. It's wider culture.  It's being disempowered and angry and having a whole host of other problems that cannot simply be boiled down to one small part of popular culture.

And having easy access to guns of course.

To see the full post on Willow's tumblr click here.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

The ease with which one can procure guns and ammunition in the U.S. is chilling. And when every massacre happens, there is the same mouthing of platitudes by the politicians and the National Rifle Association.

Seriously, do we NEED automatic weapons with which to hunt deer and go target shooting?