Grant Rants

Don’t lose your head, Batman! The movies are safe.

- July 20th, 2012

Greetings heathens, zealots, web denizens, and the rest of you!

Ok, I know it often seems like I don’t take things seriously and I am always cracking wise about life, the universe and everything. But there is nothing particularly funny about the shooting in Colorado last night at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

It’s one of those bizarre events that leave everyone with even a shred of human compassion wondering what in the name of Hades is going on with society. What would possess someone to walk into a crowded movie theatre, throw smoke bombs and start shooting random strangers?darknight

Among today’s stories about gun control and terrorism and political outrage (Including this insane gem of a politician in the U.S who blames the shooting on the separation of church and state. The stupid burns all the time I guess.) are questions about how afraid we are. We at the Standard even have a poll asking if you’re too scared to go to the movies now.

Without making light of the tragedy in the U.S. – which is absolutely awful – can we please get a bit of a grip here?

Some facts worth considering before you refuse to go the movies out of fear that you too will be gunned down:

First, the crime rate in North America has, for well over a decade, been declining. This includes violent crime and gun crime. But, we in the press often give an impression that chaos is rampant and it’s like Mad Max out there in the big bad world. Which leads to a truly bizarre situation. The crime rate is down but the fear of crime is pretty high. People believe their streets are vastly more dangerous than they actually are, which impacts how people act in a whole mess of ways.

Second while shootings like this one, or the recent gang violence in Toronto, are epic, scary and understandably grab headlines for days, they are aberrations. In other words, your odds of being gunned down in some Columbine-like shooting or a gang war are very, very low. In fact, there is almost no chance that if you go to see The Dark Knight Rises tonight in St. Catharines that you will be shot. All things being equal, the most you will have to deal with is some annoying bozo sitting behind you talking too loud or kicking the back of your chair.

Third, these kinds of shootings – as with most things in life – are totally unpredictable. They don’t happen often – despite what happens when everyone stomps on the fear button with all their might – and when they do you have no way of knowing when or where. They have hit malls, schools, churches  universities and now, a movie theatre. If you are going to avoid the movies because you fear some nut with a gun will kill you, then you might as well then avoid all potentially inclosed rooms anywhere and avoid contact with people. That would be your only way to avoid it. You might still get hit by lightning or a comet, mind you.

Finally,  it is always worth remember that freaking out – what I like to call the headless chicken syndrome – is always the wrong response when something big and tragic happens. It solves nothing and does little other than keep people frightened and not thinking clearly. It can actually make things worse.  And the so the question “are you afraid to go to the movies now?” doesn’t get regarded as irrational but totally reasonable. Which it isn’t. The question ITSELF plays on your fears.

This shooting is beyond awful. It truly is. And once we learn more about the shooter and what kind of crazy is going on his head it will seem all the worse. But there is no reason to rip up your movie tickets or start wearing body armour to the movies. Go see your movie choice, enjoy some time with family or friends. Relax. Keep your head. Think. Otherwise, the nut with the gun really does win.

Categories: Isn't it absurd?, News, politics, strangeness

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1 comment

  1. Steve sad American says:

    It isn’t the nut with the gun that wins in America, it’s the NRA that fronts for the gun manufacturers. This is an industry that bullies and bribes our US congress with no purpose but to increase sales and profit. Somehow, more guns and minimal sales control, does not translate to each person being safe. Online sales of ammo appear to be unrestricted. Please live with us in Philadelphia or New York or Los Angeles and then tell us to relax as the gun industry pumps ammo and guns into our neighborhoods. Next, tell us that guns don’t kill, people kill. I have shot guns for sport, and I have had a gun held to my head during a robbery. Guess what? My vote is for removing access to guns as much as is possible. I am not “freaking out” my friend, I am living in the reality of a country saturated with many firearms and too many persons broken financially or mentally.

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