Reacting to the Colorado Tragedy

By Matt Peters

Fandom everywhere celebrated as Dark Knight Rises officially came out yesterday. I wanted to go see a midnight showing, but respiratory issues and work kept that from happening. Unfortunately, this was by no means the worst thing to happen surrounding the release. What should have been a celebratory day has been overshadowed by a single, reprehensible act.

Like most of you, when I woke up this morning, I read the horrible news coming out of Aurora, Colo. Some maniac decided to open fire on a packed theater dressed in a bulletproof vest and carrying several weapons. This crowd included folks of all ages, including a few toddlers and babies. Twelve people lost their lives, and many were injured.

Scum like this does not represent our demographic, or any group that I want to be a part of. I don’t even want to act like I understand the motivation behind this attack. Honestly, there will never be a reason or excuse good enough to make this situation any more tolerable.

At the time of this writing, Warner Bros. has cancelled the Paris premiere and is considering canceling all remaining screenings of the film this weekend. It seems like an extreme reaction, but what can they possibly do when a massacre happens during the debut screening of, arguably, their most anticipated movie this year?

What should have been a fun experience has been tainted for everyone, especially the victims. Fandom wants to do something to show respect, and one way it’s being expressed is through art. Most of it focuses on Batman’s stance on gun use of any kind. There’s a fear among fans of the character and the franchise that the media will take this occurrence and  use it to push their personal agendas.

It’s important to realize that this movie isn’t the culprit. Just like the far-too-frequent tragedies that strike our nation’s college campuses – teachers, employees and curriculum can’t be blamed for these actions. One sick person destroyed so many lives and affected many more.

On behalf of the staff here at Pads & Panels and myself, I’d like to express my deepest sympathies to the victims and their families who are enduring this tragedy. I sit here typing, feeling powerless, and wishing there was something I could do to take this away. There’s only one thing I can think of right now, and it may be something you want to do, as well. If you want to help, please consider donating blood at a local Red Cross or even donating funds directly to the Colorado chapter.