For years now there has been a debate about the effects of the music and entertainment industry on our minds. Entertainment advocates claim that everyone knows movies and songs are not real and are only meant to provide a few moments of entertainment and freedom from the day’s troubles and stresses.
On the other side of the argument are many Christian and family organizations that argue that the movies, songs and other materials do have an effect on us, especially on the younger people. They say that when our youth fill their minds with sex, violence and disrespect for others often enough, they begin to accept that as normal and part of life.
If you don’t believe this to be true, ask emergency room staff around the country how many injuries they saw right after the Jackass movie and television series aired. Kids and young adults all over the nation tried to imitate many of the dangerous stunts they saw portrayed on the screen.
Last Friday, the nation saw another example of how the material we put into our minds affects us. James Holmes dyed his hair red, armed himself with several weapons, tear gas, bullet proof vest, gas mask and headed to the midnight showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. With the theater crowed with people, Holmes tossed a tear gas canister and then opened fire on the crowd. When it was all over, 12 people lay dead and 59 others were wounded.
Holmes has yet to tell authorities why he did what he did and many are already trying to speculate what his motive could have been. It may be months before we learn why he went on his murderous rampage, but one thing seems to be fairly evident and that involves Holmes’ plans for his attack on the theater.
In 1986, a Batman comic book was released titled The Dark Knight Returns. In that comic, written and drawn by Frank Miller, a lone gunman with reddish orange hair goes into a crowded theater and starts shooting. In the comic, the shooter only killed 3 people. His motive had to do with his hatred for heavy metal music and pornography.
Was it coincidental that Holmes had left loud music playing at his apartment when the police had arrived? Police believe it was done to lure them into the heavily booby trapped apartment, but could the loud music also been inspired by the comic book?
Like I said, we still do not know what motivated James Holmes to do what he did, but in the end, I believe it will be proven that his actions were influenced in part by a comic book.