Tragic events often prompt reflection as society tries to make sense of senseless violence, and the so-called “Dark Knight Shootings” in Colorado are no exception, bringing back to the forefront one of America’s long-running debates — violence in entertainment.
The question remains unanswered as to whether violent films inspire violent actions, or if violent actions would happen anyway, but at least two prominent film critics are wondering if it isn’t time to tone it down in Hollywood.
Kenneth Turan, a Los Angeles Times film critic. offered up his thoughts on the matter.
“It is impossible to live in a world where so many ultra-violent films exist that they’re broken down into genres — slasher films, splatter films, torture porn — and not feel queasy at the very least,” he wrote. “(These questions) get raised every time an atrocity like the one in Aurora takes place, and the movie business’ response is always the same: Not us, we’re not to blame, it’s someone else’s fault.”
John Farr, editor of Bestmoviesbyfarr.com, wrote in the Huffington Post that this attack highlights a need to reexamine the nation’s gun laws, but added that film violence, even the less extreme type seen in the Christopher Nolan Batman films, could shoulder some of the blame.
“True, this is not the first time a film has inspired violence, but now that it’s happened again, in the very place where we allow those images to transport us, should we not consider toning down all the violence in our popular culture?”
No doubt the debates about gun laws and film violence will continue to grow from the aftermath of this tragedy, causing Americans across the land to stop and think.