Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Is the Denver/Dark Knight movie massacre evidence of an increased thirst for violence?

Asked by filmfann (40337 points ) July 20th, 2012

The Denver shooting is a tragedy, of course, but what caused this? Why go to a movie to do this?

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50 Answers

syz's avatar

In mine mind, these types of incidents are more an indictment of our mental health care system than any reflection in violence in our society.

linguaphile's avatar

I don’t think it’s an evidence of increased thirst for violence, no.

I think it might be evidence of an increased sense of entitlement and narcissism which leads to much less empathy.

bookish1's avatar

Lord. I don’t even know what to say. I found out about this from a lady at work today and was just speechless all afternoon.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

An individual’s action does not mean the general population is reacting to to anything.
So sorry to hear about shooting.

ucme's avatar

It would’ve been ironic had another movie been showing.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I think it’s been the same amount since forever. The media is probably going to scapegoat violent video games or “Satanic” music when it’s probably more complex than that.

Blackberry's avatar

@ucme Too soon man, too soon…......lol.

syz's avatar

And by the way, what kind of idiot takes a 6 year old to a movie like that?

Response moderated
ucme's avatar

@Blackberry….but that movie was made over 15 yrs ago ;¬}

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I woke up to news of this. It happened in my neighborhood. No one I know was involved, that I know of.

@Blackberry it is really too soon. I’ve gotten calls from my family members across the country to check up on us.

I’m experiencing similar feelings as I did in 1999 when the Columbine shootings happened; also when September 11 attacks happened. The community is in shock, and we are individually and collectively trying to deal with it.

ucme's avatar

It says the shooter was taken into custody, normally these whackjobs end up shooting themselves, maybe he’s another Anders Breivik who saw this as his “divine mission” in life.

Cruiser's avatar

I listened to Pat Brown who is a renown criminal profiler talk about this on the radio this AM and she had some chilling insightful comments into why psychopaths do these things. She has a book called Killing For Sport that gives her thoughts on the why of these insane events.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@ucme, the shooter was taken into custody. His apartment, just a few miles from the theater, seems to be loaded with explosives. They have evacuated the building and four surrounding apartment buildings.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Yetanotheruser The news services are saying it may take hours or DAYS to remove and deactivate the explosives and booby traps.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Tropical_Willie The devices he used before he started shooting seemed to be some type of chemical/shrapnel bombs. My source has been Denver’s 9News.

ucme's avatar

@Yetanotheruser This was clearly a planned attack then, hopefully his motives for carrying out such an atrocity will be revealed in the coming days/weeks.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No. It’s a reminder that psychopaths live amongst us.

How did this guy get into the theater with all of this stuff?
Did he have a duffle bag or what?

janbb's avatar

And they say guns don’t kill people…..

A close friend of mine is involved with this film. Although the film makers bear no responsibility, he must be heartsore today.

linguaphile's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I’m watching 9News too right now. It will be hard to stop watching until I know the apartment’s cleaned out and safe.

@SpatzieLover He went in as a regular moviegoer, then used the back exit to access his car and came back in.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Thanks @linguaphile. I just couldn’t understand how he took all of that stuff in with no notice. That makes more sense. Although you’d think at a midnight showing there’d be some type of security at the exits.

woodcutter's avatar

I want to know where he got the tear gas bomb. You can buy an AK 47— if you qualify but CS grenades are controlled devices. I have never seen these for sale anywhere. Probably because they are illegal?

Cruiser's avatar

@woodcutter Early reports say the shooter said he had bomb making materials in his apartment. He could have made this device himself.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

James Holmes is the suspect’s name.

btw, despite earlier reports, no connection to Tea Party!

nikipedia's avatar

@syz, I completely agree. It is shameful that for many people in this country, it’s easier to gain access to a gun than a therapist.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Holy hell, I heard about this on the radio earlier. It’s just awful! To answer the question, I don’t think it’s indicative of an increase in the thirst for violence. I think it just proves that anyone you know could be a secret psychopath.

Thammuz's avatar

It’s evidence of the fact that people shouldn’t have access to firearms without any government oversight and veto power.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @syz & @nikipedia. However, in this case the shooter is a neuroscientist. You cannot make me believe he didn’t have access or know where to obtain therapy.

Pandora's avatar

At this point I am simply convinced not to move to Colorado. But I agree that there is some need to better mental health care. I think it is over-looked. But lets be realistic. The larger the population the more likely you will run into crazies. Mass murders happen in plenty of other countries as well. They are just so use to it that they don’t bother to report it any more.

janbb's avatar

@Pandora That is actually not true. They are widely reported when they happen in other countries, e.g. Norway, and they happen more frequently in countries like ours where there is greater access to guns such as AK-47s.

nikipedia's avatar

@SpatzieLover, from what I read, he was leaving his program. He may have also been leaving his health insurance behind.

Pandora's avatar

Well its not reported so heavily here. We just think we are the worst because our local media mostly concentrates on our events. I remember when I was in Japan. The Ramsey kiddnapping and then murder was all over the news. Every time something big happened here, it was big news there. Bigger than even our own media carried it.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think there’s more than a small increase thirst for violence here, if any, although I think the middle east does quite a bit better than we do in the area of violence.

I think the real issue is the opportunity to get your hands on firepower when you do get a taste for violence. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, Americans can really do a good job of it because it is so easy to get lots of high powered weaponry.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@SpatzieLover He also might not have been able to access therapy. Lots of schools offer a handful of sessions free, but after that, they cost a lot of money. If what you’re dealing with is a long-term issue, 5 or 6 sessions isn’t really going to cover it. And I think people really downplay the stress-intensive environment that grad school is.

jrpowell's avatar

300+ million people and one person every six months does this stupid shit. I’m kinda shocked it isn’t a daily thing.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

..an increased thirst for violence? No.

There is a point beyond which such desires can’t really increase. This is known as a ceiling effect. (A ceiling effect occurs when a measure possesses a distinct upper limit for potential responses and a large concentration of individuals score at or near this limit”)

Except in a situation of severe civil unrest or in the midst of active warfare, there is no room for an upward shift in the societal appetite for greater violence or bloodshed.

Different societies may differ in their tolerance for the tools or instruments of bloodshed or violence and thus be more vulnerable to the occurrence of such events.

Comparisons of incidence rates of gun-related violence (as a relevant example) may be instructive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I think it says something about living in a country where it’s easier to get guns than it is to get mental health care.

maybe the intention is to provide guns as mental health care!~

filmfann's avatar

This is a bit of today’s OP ED piece by Roger Ebert in the NY Times:

Immediately after a shooting last month in the food court of the Eaton Centre
mall in Toronto, a young woman named Jessica Ghawi posted a blog
entry
.
Three minutes before a gunman opened fire, she had been seated at the exact
place he fired from.
“I was shown how fragile life was,” she wrote. “I saw the terror on bystanders’
faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was
reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or
where we will breathe our last breath.”
This same woman was one of the fatalities at the midnight screening in Aurora.
The circle of madness is closing.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@filmfann truly ironic andnsad.

Only138's avatar

It is evidence that a dumb fuck took a gun to the theater. Nothing more in my eyes.

Blueroses's avatar

Listening to NPR on the way home today, I heard that previews for the new film Gangster Squad have been pulled because it shows a scene of gunmen opening fire in a theater. ( A less reliable source says that very preview ran before the Aurora showing last night, but that could be hyperbole.)

Who knows what made the CO shooter plan and execute this act? I don’t think it’s indicative of anything widespread, culturally.

woodcutter's avatar

It was a carefully planned and calculated attack on a group that was trapped in a small place. The fact the shooter came prepared indicates to me he was ready for some return fire…knowing nobody wears body armor while viewing films. His criminal act was the exception. Are we to assume all Muslims want to bomb aircraft and other soft targets because a handful of them did it?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

The situation in the news cycle seems to have died down, with all the victims being named and eulogized in the media. The suspect’s apartment has been entered with no additional injury (thankfully) to the police or to neighbors. Most of the injured are no longer in critical condition. The healing has begun.

It is important that the healing has begun.

woodcutter's avatar

The healing will feel better when that dick is dead. But because of the appeals process he will outlive us all. I hope the prosecution doesn’t botch this with technicality BS.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@woodcutter Oh, I seriously doubt the prosecution will botch it. If anything, the defense will pull the “Oh, he’s mentally ill! He doesn’t deserve to die just because he viciously murdered 12 people and wounded 50 some odd others. Let’s give him medicine and talk to him!” bullshit that gets pulled too often, and he will spend the rest of his life vacationing in a loony bin, high on medications, with hot meals, TV, knitting classes, and group meetings where they sing fucking kumbaya.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Is that a new song? I never heard of “Fucking Kumbaya”!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Tell us how you really feel ! !
Group therapy and anti-psychotic meds will not been back any of the dead.

wundayatta's avatar

This is the old insanity debate. I don’t know if this guy is legally sane or not, and I’m not arguing one way or the other.

But in general in our society, we believe in responsibility. If a person is not capable of being responsible, we don’t hold them responsible. If you are mentally ill, you may not make decisions you would make if your illness was cured. Killing someone for what they did while mentally ill is like killing someone for having breast cancer. It makes no sense.

I think the problem is that people don’t understand how someone could not be responsible for a set of decisions. I understand that. I’m afraid that it would take having the experience of taking a pill and finding yourself doing something that was heinous to you in order to understand the effect that brain chemistry has on thinking and personality.

I know it’s hard to imagine you might ever be mentally ill. And it is true that the older you get without being mentally ill, the less likely you will ever have that experience. However, it does happen. I hope noone here ever gets mentally ill later in life. I hope noone kills anyone because they are mentally ill. I hope no one loses a job or a house or a spouse or children due to mental illness.

I also hope it doesn’t take getting ill to start to have some empathy for people who suffer with mental illness, even if they do kill people. The death penalty for mentally ill people does not make any of the rest of safer. In fact, it makes people less likely to get help if they start feeling weird. We stigmatize those with weird thoughts far too much as it is. It doesn’t help us achieve a safer society.

woodcutter's avatar

This guy put way too much preparation into this to be able to use the“not knowing right from wrong defense” It was the body armor. That by itself will hang him outright. The penalty goes up exponentially whenever anyone uses body armor in the commission of a crime.

Plus all of the booby traps in that apartment building. He can pretend with all that crazy act but he’s is so done. The community has started the healing process but i’m not from there. Heal my ass. I would pop that fuck and not think anything of it. He killed a baby.

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