On Friday morning, I (along with the rest of our country) woke up to the terrible news of the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. When something horrible like this happens, I am desperate for more information, so I am usually glued to the news and internet. As we all know now, there were several children injured in the theater, and a six-year-old little girl was killed. On Twitter and Facebook I started noticing tweets and status updates questioning why children were in the theater, with varying degrees of hostility.
So, I wrote about it over on The Babs. The crux of my post was that we shouldn’t put this judgement and disapproval onto these parents currently suffering. That we should save our disagreeing opinions for another day, and that on the day of the shooting, we should be respectful and compassionate. I was very sad that many people claimed their first reaction to the shooting wasn’t, “Why did a man open fire on a packed movie theater,” but instead was, “It’s absurd that children were at a violent movie at midnight.” Despite the point of my post, many commenters still insisted on discussing the latter.
I’m not saying that a discussion about the appropriateness of children at movie theaters should never be had. It is a valid conversation topic, and one I know people will be very passionate about. However, I thought it was in poor taste to discuss it online that day while the bodies of the deceased were still literally laying in the theater. Talking about it that day was, by virtue of the timing, shifting some blame onto the victims. Someone compared it to asking why the rape victim was in the bar full of drunk men.
Some people disagree. That’s fine. Some people disagree so much that they’ve called me names, told me to stop breeding, and to go fuck myself (Babble removed those comments). Those people obviously have other issues. The lack of empathy and compassion for the loss of life is so sad.
I really feel for the parents who brought their kids to the theater that night, especially the mother of the six-year-old girl. She is going to blame herself forever. She doesn’t need to hear it from anyone else. I will always blame myself for Madeline’s premature birth and death. The situations are vastly different but the outcomes are the same. People died on Friday. Let’s support the families of the victims and stop pointing fingers at anyone but the man who pulled the trigger.