A 1986 issue of The Dark Knight Returns depicts a similar movie theater shooting that claims 3 lives
by Larry Simons
July 20, 2012
By now, the entire country has learned of the horrific movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a showing of the third film in the Batman series The Dark Knight Rises. We have now also learned that the shooter is 24-year-old James Holmes. There have been reports that Holmes was inspired by the Batman films to commit the murders, going so far as to resemble the Joker by donning red hair.
While countless media figures and political pundits are quick to blame guns for the incident, one has to wonder, why not blame what may be the real inspiration…comic books?
I have nothing against comic books and I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, but since the media wants to desperately point fingers and find blame in something, why go after what people use as weapons in these horrible incidents? After people are stabbed, we never hear about crusades to ban knives, do we?
If there is something to be blamed, why not blame where the thought to commit these crimes may have originated…comic books?
In a 1986 issue of The Dark Knight Returns, the Washington Examiner reports, a similar incident to the Aurora shooting is depicted. “In the comic, a crazed, gun-toting loner walks into a movie theater and begins shooting it up, killing three in the process. The passage concludes with the media blaming Batman for inspiring the shooting, though he is not involved in the incident at all.”
In a 1983 issue of Marvel Comics [#100], the World Trade Center towers are depicted as being destroyed and a Nazi flag is waving over them.
But no one blames comic books, and for good reason. Although comic books can possibly inspire someone to commit a horrible act of violence, the person it is inspiring is most likely already a sick and fucked up individual who is already dangerous even in the absence of a criminal act.
Normal, sane law-abiding citizens who can separate fantasy from reality know that with or without a gun, it is a crime to imitate any crime being depicted in movies, TV shows or comic books. For political figures and the media to pin the blame on a particular book, movie or comic book is just as insane as the criminal act.
Blaming yesterday’s shooting on a 1986 comic book or the recent film is no different than blaming the destruction of the World Trade Center on the 1983 Marvel Comics issue. The real blame is in the minds of sick and disturbed individuals who decide to act out in a violent manner toward innocent human beings. It is not the fault of movies, comic books or even guns, but the twisted and fucked up minds of deranged assholes like James Holmes. And since you cannot punish thoughts, you have to punish something, right?