It never ceases to amaze me in today’s world how people will sue for all sorts of things —without actually thinking how illogical their suits are. What amazes me even more is when filmgoers will attempt to sue a movie studio for a film, saying it caused violence. This is exactly what has happened yet again as one of the Colorado shooting victims has decided to sue Warner Brothers for the violence that transpired during the screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Now, before some of you get the wrong idea and start cursing me out, thinking I’m being insensitive here, hold on. The shooting in Colorado was tragic. I’m sure many (if not all) of the surviving victims of the shooting are still traumatized by the events. However, suing Warner Brothers for the actions of a crazed man, simply, is absurd.
In no way, shape or form did the film itself cause the shooting. Anyone with half a brain knows this. The gunman, James Holmes, had pre-planned this massacre weeks, if not months, in advance. He knew what he was doing, and he wasn’t brainwashed into killing like this victim must think. For sake of argument, if this was the case, not only would Holmes have unloaded his arsenal, but the other patrons in the theater would have taken part too in the violence, whether fighting each other or rushing Holmes. Instead, they were victims to this madman. This was a heinous crime that was planned by a crazy person, who knew very well there would be a large amount of people in a small, concise space. End. Of. Story. The only relation “The Dark Knight” had to this shooting, simply was the fact that it happened to be shown during this tragic event.
If any judge elects to see this case longer than simply dismissing the allegation, he needs to be debarred. There’s no way any logical judge with half a brain could look at this case seriously. Sure, the judge will feel sorry for the victim but no way does this mean he’s going to make Warner Brothers pay this victim money. Not to mention Warner Brothers’ lawyers will most likely outmatch the victim’s lawyer. Speaking of which, this is what prosecution had to say about the case: “Somebody has to be responsible for the rampant violence shown today.”
Oh for crying out loud! Really? I mean, really?! We’re going to go this route? No. No. No! This brings up a whole new can of worms. First off, movies do not make people commit crimes. The media, politicians and attorneys have tried to use this excuse for years, and it’s the most baseless accusation. Much like the film supposedly inciting this violence, if movie violence in general caused violence in the real world, we’d all be dead. Period.
What really bothers me about this quote though and similar accusations towards the film industry is that it’s being used as a scapegoat. Someone has to be responsible for the violence shown today? I’ve got an idea. How about we make people accountable for their actions, i.e. Holmes himself. Why don’t we look into how the man was brought up? He’s the one that made this violence happen. This sort of logic is nothing else but a cop out, so people have a scapegoat to blame.
Bottom line: People need to be smart. It’s a terrible tragedy, but Hollywood and other art forms are not responsible for acts of terror. They are an escape, a way of artistic expression. What they are not is propaganda to encourage people to kill. End of story.