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Posts tagged: Aurora

Neely: Don’t Blame Journalists

I’ve glimpsed on Facebook these last two weeks the occasional pledge to boycott news organizations that make any mention of the Aurora, Colo., shooter’s name. This impulse appears driven by compassion and sensitivity to victims’ families. And yet it’s all wrong. Here’s why: It is during life’s most difficult and traumatic events that we need the power of journalism most. At the beginning of a major tragedy, we overcome the anxiety generated by rumor and conjecture by gleaning facts that not only define the scope of the event, but also provide its reassuring limitations. When my husband and I watched early news reports of the Aurora shooting, we were riveted by video of the former University of Colorado student’s apartment complex. At first, the newscast wasn’t clear about the exact location of the building, which eerily resembled the brick UC apartments where our daughter and son-in-law live this summer. If that image had simply popped up in the swirl of random Facebook posts and tweets, our anxiety would likely have accelerated. Instead, journalists soon clarified that the apartment complex was located in Aurora near CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus, not CU-Boulder where our family members live/Jamie Tobias Neely, SR. More here.

Question: Do you ever blame journalists for coverage of senseless tragedies, like Aurora?

Trib: Answer To Killings, More Guns?

That emotional, knee-jerk reaction you're hearing to the massacre of a dozen people and the wounding of five times as many in a Colorado movie house isn't coming from the gun-control crowd. Oh, you'll hear a few scattered voices arguing that had the Brady bill not been allowed to lapse almost eight years ago, suspect James E. Holmes might not have carried an assault weapon equipped with a 100-round drum magazine into a crowded theater. But Republicans are wedded to the National Rifle Association, Democrats are scared witless of the gun issue and many Americans aren't sure laws already on the books function adequately. No, what really stands out is the number of people who are willing to use this rampage as a springboard for even fewer restraints on guns/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you consider the answer to the Aurora massacre to be more guns?

Hollywood Skirts Massacre Blame

There seems to be very little of the blame-it-on-Hollywood backlash in the wake of the Colorado theater massacre that so often occurs when people struggle to make sense of a senseless, violent act. Many agree that you simply can't hold the art form itself responsible in the shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured at a packed midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The alleged shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, appeared in court Monday for the first time since the bloody attack of early Friday morning. While his hair was dyed the kind of bright, orange-red shade you might see in a comic book, authorities say it could take months to determine a motive. Still, the film industry seems to recognize the potential for scrutiny and has shown sensitivity in response to the tragedy, if not some defensiveness/CBS Money Watch. More here. (AP photo from “Dark Knight Rises”)

Question: Does Hollywood deserve any of the blame for the Aurora massacre?

No Costumes For AMC Batman Shows

Theaters across the country were on high alert Friday for the regular screenings of Batman’s “The Dark Knight Rises” following the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., where 12 were killed and dozens more injured. Earlier today, Regal Movie Theaters released a statement saying the chain will “continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.” AMC theaters across the nation are not allowing any movie-goers into theaters with “face-covering masks, costumes that make guests feel uncomfortable or fake weapons,” according to a corporate news release/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (AP photo: Brittany Diemer shows the ticket stub for the Dark Knight Rises Friday morning in Aurora, Colo.)

Question: Are you more/less reluctant to see “The Dark Knight Rises” as a result of the Colorado massacre?

Shooter Was Neuroscience Student

Federal law enforcement officials say the suspect in last night's deadly shooting in Colorado is James Holmes, a 24-year-old American. Officials believe Holmes killed a dozen people when he fired into a crowded movie theater in a Denver suburb. He was wearing a gas mask and set off an unknown gas in the theater. Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication that incident is tied to any terrorist groups. Holmes was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says Holmes was a student until last month. Montgomery says Holmes enrolled in the program in June 2011 and was in the process of withdrawing/AP. More here. (AP photo: Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School where he has been searching franticly for his son Alex Sullivan who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see “The Dark Knight Rises,” movie)

DFO: Now this is getting strange as all get out. Sounds like this guy was enrolled in the same neuroscience PhD program in same UColorado/Denver medical center as my son. He entered program in 2011. My son left for UFlorida in 2009. I met many of the professors of that neurosurgery program during my son's doctorate dissertation. Shudder.

Thoughts?

High Noon: Should Movie Be Pulled?

The Dark Knight Rises' once-bright, perhaps-historic box-office prospects have clouded in the wake of the shooting at a Colorado theater that left at least 12 dead. “Nothing like this has ever happened,” Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said Friday. The Christopher Nolan Batman epic grossed $30.6 million in Friday midnight screenings, Warner Bros. estimated, a staggering debut that was the second-biggest such take on record, but felt beside the point as the news from the Rocky Mountain state sunk in. “i'm at a loss for words, which is rare,” said Hollywood.com's Paul Dergarabedian, an always reliable sound bite on the box office. The loudest silence was at Warners, the studio behind the final chapter in Nolan's comic-book trilogy/Joel Ryan, E!. More here.

Question: Should Warner Bros. pull “Dark Knight Rises”?

Eyewitness To Horror

Eyewitness Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interview by police outside Gateway High School where witnesses were brought for questioning today in Aurora, Colo. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, RJ Sangosti)

Question: Should Riverstone and other local area cinemas beef up security in view of the Aurora massacre?

Shooter Kills 14 In Movie Theater

Tom Sullivan, center, stands with family members outside Gateway High School where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises Batman movie today in Aurora, Colo. Sullivan later pleaded with the media to help find his missing son, Alex Sullivan, who attended the movie to celebrate his 27th birthday. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver theater at a midnight opening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 14 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. Moviegoers didn’t know what was happening and some thought the attack was part of the show. Then they saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke at the front of the theater near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd. “I told my friend ‘we’ve got to get out of here,’ but then he shot people trying to go out the exits,” Jennifer Seeger told NBC’s “Today.” She the shooter made his way up the aisle, shooting as he went, saying nothing. Some of those injured are children, and victims are being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. The shooter, a man in his 20s, was arrested shortly after the attack at 12:30 a.m. MDT at the multiplex theater at a mall in Aurora/AP. More here.

Question: Why do these massacres happen at intervals in American society?

Obama, Romney Pull Negative Ads

President Obama called for “prayer and reflection for the victims” of the Colorado shooting Friday, cutting short a campaign swing through Florida as he pledged federal support for state and local officials. “There are going to be other days for politics,” Obama told a crowd of several hundred supporters on hand to see him at the Harborside Event Center here. Obama said he had spoken earlier in the morning with the mayor of Aurora, Colo., the Denver suburb in which the shooting had taken place and with the state’s governor, John Hickenlooper, and that the federal government would assist in any way possible with local law enforcement efforts. … Before the event, campaign press secretary Jen Psaki said that the Obama campaign had asked television stations in Colorado to pull “contrast” ads critical of Republican Mitt Romney off the air for the time being. Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul announced shortly afterward that the GOP campaign would do the same. SuperPacs supporting the two candidates said they also had pulled their advertisements in the state/L.A. Times. More here. (AP photo: President Barack Obama walks down the steps after speaking about the Aurora, Colo., shooting at an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., Friday)

Question: Does angry political discourse affect the public?

Is There Link Between Film, Shooting?

With the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., inside a packed movie theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises,” questions are being raised as to whether there is any connection between the killings and the movie’s plot and the character of Batman. In “The Dark Knight Rises,” a masked villain leads a murderous crew into a packed football stadium and wages an attack involving guns and explosives. It’s just one of the more haunting scenes in what was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, if not the year. It’s unclear whether the shooter’s motives had any specific link to “The Dark Knight Rises.” The shooting happened at 12:30, not far into the midnight screening that marked the film’s opening day. Violent attacks on the public by villains are key components of most superhero movies, including “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-man,” both in theaters now. By Hollywood standards, the Batman movies are more grim than bloody/AP. More here.

Question: Do movies, like “The Dark Knight Rises,” prompt marginal individuals to act out in murderous ways?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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