Going to the movies should be an American pastime, not a way to get killed.
Last week, we were forced to remember the horrible events of 2012’s Aurora shooting after James Holmes was sentenced to life in prison for killing 12 innocent moviegoers. Last month, two were killed while seeing Amy Schumer’s comedy Trainwreck in Louisiana. Last week, a 51 year old man walked into a movie theater with a gun and a hatchet, attempting to kill moviegoers seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. On Saturday, two men broke through an emergency door during a screening of The Gift. In panic, moviegoers were running out of the theater, trampling and injuring several.
I don’t want another person to be killed because they bought a movie ticket. I don’t want to see another shooting covered on CNN every other week. People no longer feel safe going to the movies. People no longer feel safe in our country. There’s reason to be worried and there’s reason to be angry about it. We all agree these shootings need to stop, but our country and our Congress are divided on how.
You can say you’d feel safer if you had a gun, but I would feel safer if you didn’t have one. Some argue that if you were armed, you could stop these situations from happening. I want to see one story of a mass shooting where an armed civilian stopped it from happening. Just one. There isn’t. There won’t be. The right to bear arms is ending more lives than saving them. While I would love for there to be stricter gun laws to stop these situations from happening, the reality is that the NRA’s grip on Congress won’t loosen. We can’t wait for legislation to maybe protect us. I don’t know how many shootings that will take.
I’m asking AMC and Regal theaters to step up and take steps to prevent these shootings. In response to the Aurora shooting in 2012, they’ve moved Friday night releases of movies to Thursdays. But the Louisiana shooting showed that the time of the movie screening or even the type of movie doesn’t matter. No one thought that going to see a romantic comedy on a Thursday night would get them killed. But it did. Going through a metal detector could be the best way to keep audiences safe. The ten seconds it take to go through a metal detector may be a hassle, but it may also be necessary.
Ticket sales haven’t dropped since last Thursday, so AMC and Regal likely don’t feel that there’s really a problem. And to some extant, there isn’t a need for immediate action. You shouldn’t be terrified to go to the movies. You are incredibly safe going to the movies because movie shootings are incredibly rare. There are thousands of screenings across the world every day. Odds are you will never be in any danger.
But there is a reason to be scared. You are sitting in a dark theater distracted. It is too easy for a shooting to take place during a movie. It is too easy for a shooting to take place in America. It’s a reality but we can fight it. I think metal detectors in theaters are a precautionary measure that could protect audiences. It’s a step that should be taken even if it doesn’t need to be taken. Like I said before, to some extant there isn’t a need for immediate action. But there is a need for precaution. Theater shootings are still very, very, very rare. But they are a reality.
I know this is a rant. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic. I didn’t want this website to be political. I just wanted to talk to you guys about movies. But in this day and age, going to the movies might mean getting shot. That’s not just wrong, that’s unacceptable. Something should be done. Something better be done. I don’t think safety is too much to ask.