‘Batman’ massacre: a lunatic strikes-A A +A
Sunday, July 22, 2012
AMID the shock over the Colorado incident in which one James Holmes, 24, Saturday shot 12 people dead and wounded 58 others in a midnight screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” the usual deluge of post-analyses flowed, blaming:
-- The ease with which the shooter stocked his arsenal, including an AR-15 assault rifle, two Glock .40 handguns, and one Remington 870 rifle;
-- The movie, for inspiring Holmes with ideas like going into the theater with his hair dyed red, a full-body, head-to-toe body armor, and posing as Batman villain “Joker”:
-- The “unpredictability” when a mass murderer would strike and inability to provide security in public places.
What they usually don’t blame is the crazy gunman who slaughters strangers with twisted reason or with no reason at all.
The mentally deranged if slain is listed as a “victim” (Holmes surrendered to police), not a “perp”: he was abused as a child or was plain crazy who couldn’t be held legally responsible.
While mass murders stun us, it’s not new in the US where 36 massacres were recorded in 30 years since 1982: mostly single incidents, in schoolyards, cafes, and other public places.
Debate over gun control and bad influence of mass media usually surges after each massacre.
In “Dark Knight Rises,” pacifist Batman tells Catwoman, “No guns, no killing.”
But Holmes idolized the bad guy, not Batman.
Banning guns at public places and not making the killer a celebrity may help. But when madness seizes a lunatic, police can’t send for Batman.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.