Don't cancel the premiere of Batman's movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Don’t cancel the premiere of Batman’s movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Paris cancelled the premiere of the “The Dark Knight Rises” Friday after a gunman killed a dozen people and wounded about 55 others,  including children at a midnight opening of the Batman film in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

The big event scheduled to be held in Paris at the Champs-Elysees was to include the director Christopher Nolan and stars Christian BaleAnne HathawayMorgan Freemanand Michael Caine. They won’t be there as workers pulled down the display Friday.

Warner Brothers also said it would cancel all media interviews about the blockbuster movie in the city, saying in a statement they were “deeply saddened” by the shooting.

The gunman was dressed in a gas mask and bullet-proof vest when he hurled a gas canister into the auditorium and opened fire on moviegoers about 15 minutes into the film.

Victims were screaming and pleading for their lives, saying, “I’m hit, help me,”  while  some simply played dead to avoid being shot.

Police arrested James Eagan Holmes, 24, a University of Colorado medical student, who also booby-trapped his apartment with explosives, which required authorities to evacuate five buildings and create a perimeter for several blocks.

“The pictures are fairly disturbing. It looks very sophisticated, how it’s booby-trapped,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters.

Holmes was arrested without incident in the parking lot behind the cinema. He was carrying a high-powered rifle, a shotgun and two pistols, according to authorities.

“When we got out of the theater it was just chaos, Donovan Tate told KCNC television. “There was this one … guy, was on all fours crawling. There was this girl spitting up blood. There were bullet holes in some people’s backs, some people’s arms. There was this one guy who was stripped down to just his boxers. It looked like he was shot in the back or something. It was crazy.”

A day of mourning is justified for the victims of this tragic shooting in  Aurora, Colorado. But Paris went too far. Apparently Paris believes, “The show must go” and not that “The show must go on.”

Don’t blame the movie. Blame the shooter.

Shutting down the film is not the message that should be sent. Let’s hope America movie theaters stand strong – similar to what so many of us did after other tragedies including Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings as well as after Sept. 11.

Yes, it’s so sad to see Colorado go through this again. But they will recover as they did after the Columbine shootings. That state didn’t stop sending kids to school nor did students decide to stop going to Virginia Tech just as our nation didn’t stop living after Sept. 11 when terrorists crashed planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, killing thousands of people.

In America, we don’t let terrorists dictate our life whether it be foreign or domestic killers.  After Sept. 11, we carried on.  We went back to work; held massive concerts, and attended sporting events and concerts. We showed the world we aren’t afraid to live in freedom.

That was a strong united message.

Let’s hope we do the same with this latest horrific incident.  And I will be the first to admit – much to the disdain of our Screen and Scene blogger Domenic Mezzanotte, who makes no excuses about being a Batman fanatic  – that I’m not a fan of the Dark Knight series. Ironically, for my taste  it’s too violent.

I prefer the 1966 campy Batman series with Adam West as an overweight Batman with the comic-like balloons in the fight scenes that scream, “POW! and BAM!”

But this time I’m making an exception, I’m pulling for the Dark Knight to break box office records.

Count me there when it screens in my hometown. I’ll be there for the victims – those brave innocent patrons who lost their lives and those who miraculously escaped when a mad gunman sprayed bullets randomly in the theatre. It’s the least I can do.

Who is brave enough to come with me?

About the author

Timothy W. Maier

Timothy W. Maier started out writing music, fiction and poetry and then turned to news writing where he spent the past three decades at news organizations in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. More recently he was the managing editor at the Baltimore Examiner. He now spends time with his family, dogs, trains for marathons and works as a media consultant. Contact the author.

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