I was in a theater Thursday night / Friday morning, one of the thousands who saw "Dark Knight Rises" on its opening night.
We actually went to a marathon; for $25, we got all three Batman movies. And a small popcorn.
It was a great family fun night. I loved each movie (hadn't yet seen them!) and was very impressed by the whole experience.
Driving home at 3AM, I pondered the unique experience I had; sharing a theatre for nine hours with a crowd of people I didn't know (save Marc behind us and Lenny and Lindsay up front). We entered as strangers; we left as strangers, still; but with a shared experience that somehow united us.
It was fleeting, for sure; but there it was. I watched three brilliantly made movies, and I was moved emotionally, and I felt like I wasn't alone. It made me want to go see movies more often, like that weird commercial they play before the previews with the shrinking screen. Maybe it really is better together, this movie experience.
I went home satisfied, by the artistic experience, my reaction to it and the fact that I was part of a tribe of people who were willing to spend $25 and nine hours to see all three Batman movies.
And then I woke up Friday morning, and I saw a blurb on Facebook, and I thought, "What?", and all my satisfaction swirling down the drain in a peculiar mix of disgust and sorrow. My experience was tainted because some other tribe - somehow part of my tribe as humans simply watching a movie - these innocent folks were assaulted and destroyed. Even those who escaped with their lives now were destroyed, because how do you sit through something like that and ever be the same again? Some part of you has to wither, some part of your soul, the place where you do simple things and know you're safe, the place where anxiety stays under lock and key because it's just a movie, for God's sake, and everybody goes to the movies.
Everybody goes to school.
Everybody goes to college.
It troubles me, it disturbs me, and I know there's nothing we can do, the guy had issues, he was crazy, whatever.
But I can't help but wonder why the guy with issues was able to walk into a movie theater - everybody goes to the movies - with a semi-automatic weapon able to fire 100 rounds before he had to stop.
I've never stood on a soapbox to spout my position regarding gun control; I'm not about to do so now. I just want somebody to explain this to me. Somebody tell me why people in this country own semi-automatic weapons.
I'm serious. Tell me, because I honestly don't know. What do you hunt with a weapon that has this kind of firepower?
Other than people?